Vikāla with ending in "-a"

Dear all,
one puzzling Pāli issue I would like to posit.
What accounts for the -a ending of the word vikāla in the sentence “vikāla visikhā cariyānuyoge sahāyo hoti”? I just found vikāla as masc. noun with stem in -a (nom. in -o etc.) and for these there is no sensible case ending in -a (only the voc. case has it, which is impossible in this context) .

Can it be just an alternative occurance of nt. nouns with stem in
-an? So far I could make sense of it but not further. I appreciate any assistance.



Looks like a compound: vikālavisikhācariyānuyoga- ‘the practice of walking about in the street at inappropriate times’ (or similar).
No inflection of vikāla would be necessary here.

Dear Leon,
actually the words appear separately, in an uncompounded state. At least I never heard of compounds having such charecteristics. For potential references I would be grateful. Sure, no need for inflection in compounds.


Dear A. Bhikkhu,

I’d guess this is just an artefact of the edition you’re looking at.
Check out at the edition of DN.31 here on SS: SuttaCentral
I could, of course, be wrong, and welcome correction.

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My pali to English dictionary has vikala as an adjective, meaning “defective”.

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Thanks for the reference, Leon, quite helpful and interesting. Any idea as to the difference? I will also inquire regarding the cause for it … The versions might be of the fifth and sixth councils respectively, to conjecture.


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Not quite what you’re after but it’s pronounced vikāla, and not in any other way in :sri_lanka:.

Well, it’s really just a matter of editorial convention.

The Pali language can be written in numerous different scripts (Mon, Burmese, Singhalese, Thai, Devanagari, Roman etc etc) and in each case the conventions will differ.

Some scripts make use of spaces to separate words (e.g. Roman script following modern conventions), while others generally do not (e.g. Thai script).

When it comes to representing compounds in Roman transcription of Pali, some editors add spaces between each compound member, some hyphenate compound members or make use of other interpunction signs, some editors choose to write compounds without any division between members.

Since this is an issue of script and not language, there is no rule in Pali about such matters.

I hope that clarifies the issue for you.
With mettā.

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