Bhante Sujato Pali Course 2023: Warder lesson 4

:pray: :pray: :pray: Thank you, Bhante.


I was wondering why there is deseti and desayati? DPD has them both… and they seem to mean the same thing and come from the same root dis.

Thank you :slightly_smiling_face:

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I don’t know the historical, linguistic reasons why this is so, but it seems that all the verbs that end in -eti have an alternative version ending in -ayati. It probably stems from gradual sound change. Say desayati to yourself over and over, getting faster and faster, and you might notice it starts to sound like deseti.


7 posts were merged into an existing topic: deseti and desayati?

Warder says on p25 while presenting the aorist plural inflections for verbs of the seventh conjugation (desesuṃ, desittha, desesiṃha)

The 3rd person plural inflection is um; the other plural persons are not used (> first form on strong root).

  • “The 3rd person plural inflection is um;” is clear.
  • “the other plural persons are not used” – Yet he supplies forms for them, so is he meaning something else?
  • “(> first form on strong root)” – The root is √dis. Strengthened the vowel becomes e. – But what does this phrase mean?


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I don’t have a copy of Warder handy, and generally find it opaque, but it seems to me what he is trying to show is a form of the aorist for the causative verb deseti.

Has he presented causative verbs yet? Deseti is based on the verb disati, root ‘dis.’
I believe to form the causative the first i in disati is strengthened to e, then an ‘aya’ causative infix is reduced to e.
(Your 3rd question)

I think this is what’s called the ‘sigmatic aorist’, an extra s is inserted before the personal ending.
So the 3rd per singular would be desesi.
PED also gives another aorist version, ‘adesesi’., using the a augment.
I don’t know if the plural forms actually occur in the canon, they may be theoretical.

See Duroiselle # 418-424, particularly 422 for a clear explanation and paradigm.

Frankly, in my humble opinion, it’s not so important to know how to construct the aorist forms (who writes in Pali??), but rather much more important to recognize then and deduce the present indicative (so you can look up the meaning).

I hope this helps

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Thanks for the additional references.

Not yet. He’s using √dis as a paradigmatic example for the 7th conjugation, present and aorist.

I think my question boils down to "What does Warder mean by “(> first form on strong root)?”

I tried to answer that last question by explaining how disati becomes a causative.
But perhaps I am missing something?

Maybe the confusion lies in Warder only partially explaining causatives and how they form.

I think I’m the one missing something.

D + i—> e + s + aya—> e + ti.

So, if one now takes the causal strengthened root ‘des’ (“ form on strong root”) and adds the aorist personal endings, one ends up with desesi, desesum, etc.

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You are very kind Stephen. … I need to go to bed and sleep on this.

Twelve hours later and some strong coffee: :coffee:

  • > doesn’t mean “greater than”, it is an arrowhead → (duh!)
  • strong root means “original root strengthened” (first step in vowel gradation)

So, in terms of what Warder has taught so far, the student understands: d + i → de, which is in line his statement at the beginning of the paragraph:

A second form of aorist is taken by verbs of the seventh conjugation. Here an aorist stem is formed by adding s to the present stem in e. The singular inflections are as in the first form of aorist. [which he has already given as -i -i -im]. The 3rd person plural inflection is um; the other plural persons are not used (> first form on strong root).

He then gives the paradigm with the two putatively unused forms desittha and desimha. Go figure!

The causative won’t be taught as such for some time. I guess ‘causal’ is a synonym for ‘causative’.

Thank you very much for helping me work through reading this. :pray:

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You’re very welcome.
And quite correct- I should have written ‘causative’.
(I wrote that quite early in the morning!)

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