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Manual of Pali

Manual of Pali
Item Code: IDJ091
Author: Prof. C. V. Joshi
Publisher: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 8170842502
Pages: 158
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.4" X 5.4"


The Pali language was derived from Vedic Sanskrit; its former name appears to have been Magadhi, the dialect of the Magadha country. The name Pali to the language was given later. Really speaking Pali ( a line ) is the Tripitaka text as distinguished from the Tika or commentary, the latter always referring to the former as Pali. Gradually the connotation of the word was enlarged and it came to be applied to every composition in Magadhi and consequently to the language itself.

2. The language was the vernacular of ancient Magadha, in which the great Buddha preached his doctrine to every man and Asoka inscribed his immortal message to generations. A study of Pali is of great use to the students of Philosophy, ancient history and philology. Yet the want of a suitable text-book on Pali grammar presented a great difficulty to the Indian student, who was already equipped with a knowledge of Sanskrit grammar and whose mother tongue consisted of a Sanskrit and Prakrit vocabulary, as similar to the Pali as any two Provincial dialects in the same country. The texts on Pali grammar treated the Pali forms without reference to the rules of Sanskrit grammar, but this method cannot explain numerous forms which are bodily taken from the corresponding Sanskrit ones. My method is to follow Pali rules as far as practicable and to point to the Sanskrit formations when Pali rules are not adequate to explain them.

3. In the treatment of the verbs, I am following the Sanskrit system with its ten conjugations and not the Pali one with its seven. The latter system which puts the roots us, hu, ha, tudh & c. under the 1st conjugation cannot account for the peculiarities in the conjugation of these verbs. I have not treated the Attanopada, which is rarely represented in literature except on a few occasions in Poetry and in the Passive voice, where too its presence is an exception rather than a rule. Similarly I have dispensed with the three preterite tenses in preference to a single Past Tense. In declension also I have avoided the multiplicity of forms in which the Pali grammarians indulge excessively.

4. Students wishing to appear for the Matriculation, Entrance or School leaving examination are recommended to study the elements of Sanskrit grammar before taking up Pali, a step which will facilitate their work. Those who are advanced in Sanskrit will find a study of Pali very delightful as it may form an acquaintance with the joining link between Sanskrit and their mothertongue.

5. A chart of the Roman, Burmese, Sinhalese, Siamese and Brahmi characters has been appended to the book for scholars who want to read Pali books printed outside India. All the Pali books are not yet available in the Devanagari characters but it is hoped that in the near future it will be an accomplished fact. The book has been recognised by University in and out of India, to whom the author is grateful.

Lesson Section Subject Page
I 1 - 5 The Alphabet 1
II 6 - 9 Rules of change 3
III 10 - 11 Declension of substantives 9
  12 Mascoline nouns ending in Aa 10
  13 The padas 11
  14 The present Tense 11
  15 The 1st conjugation 11
IV 16 Neut, nouns ending in Aa 13
  17 - 18 The 2nd and 4th conjugations 14
V 19 Fem nouns ending in Aaa 17
  20 - 21 The 6th and 7th conjugations 18
  22 The use of Adjectives 19
VI 23 Masc. nouns ending in e and au 21
  24 The 10th conjugation 22
  25 The numeral dve 23
VII 26 Neut. nouns ending in e and au 25
  27-28 Prepositions & Indeclinables 25
  29 The 1st per. Pronoun Aha 26
  30 The numeral ti 27
VIII 31 F. nouns ending in e and au 29
  32 - 33 Prefixes ( upsagga ) 30
  34 The 2nd per.pron. tumh 31
  35 The numeral chatu 31
IX 36 F. nouns ending in e and auu 34
  37 - 38 The imperative mood 35
  39 The Attanopada 36
  40 The 3rd per. pron. (masc.) 36
  41 The numeral punch 37
X 42 - 45 Nouns ending in in in Sansk. 39
  46 Uppadtatpurish Compounnds 41
  47 - 48 The Future Tense 42
  49 The 3rd per. pron. (fem) 42
  50 Numerals from six to ten 43
XI 51-52 Masc. And n. nouns ending in auu 45
  53 Nouns ending in bhu 46
  54 The Passive Voice 46
  55 The 3rd per. Pron. ( neut. ) 47
  56 The numerals ( 11 to 18 ) 47
XII 57-61 The Pronouns 49
XIII 62 Masc. Noun go 56
  63-64 The Past Tense ( Continued ) 56
XIV 65 Nouns raj, brah and ardh 60
  66-68 The Past Tense ( Completed ) 61
XV 69 Nouns ath, yuv…pum and saa 65
  70-71 The Potential Mood 67
XVI 72-74 Nouns ending in tu in Sanskrit 71
  75-76 The Conditional Mood 72
XVII 75-79 Nouns ending in vant and mant 76
  80 Irregularities in the 1st conjugation 77
XVIII 81-88 Present participles 81
  84 Absolute Construction 83
  85 The 3rd conjugation 83
XIX 86-88 The Causal 87
  89 Denominative Verbs 88
  90 I he 5th conjugation 88
  91 Neut. Nouns ending in sa ( SK ) 89
XX 92-93 The 8th and 9th conjugations 92
  94-99 The Namerals 93
XXI 100-105 The Participles 99
XXII 106 Irregularities in Declension 105
  107 Some obsolete verbal forms 106
  108-111 The Sandhi 107
  112 Suffixes 112
XXIII 112-122 Compounds 112
… … Pali-English Glossary 119
… … English-Pali Glossary 146
… … Pali Alphabet in different characters 159

Sample Pages

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