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Difference between stem and root

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  • flrobert2000
    Hello, I am sorry to ask such a basic question that has probably more to do with linguistics than with Pali, but I am confused about the difference between
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 4, 2005
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      Hello,

      I am sorry to ask such a basic question that has probably more to do
      with linguistics than with Pali, but I am confused about the
      difference between root and stem. I read again Warder on this topic
      but it doesn't really clarify the issue. Could anybody give me a short
      and clear explanation?

      If I take the verb form "pacati" for example, would "paca" be the stem
      and "pac-" be the root and "-ti" the ending? Buddhadata mentions
      "bhava" as base. Does that mean stem?

      Is there a difference in English between root and stem? For example in
      "sings" is "sing" the stem and "s" the ending, the root being the same
      as the stem? I was looking in a simple French grammar book and they
      seem to mention only the stem ("radical") but not the root ("racine").
      In chanter (to sing) for example "chant-" is the stem.

      Same question with nouns. If nara is a masculine stem, what would be
      the root of this noun? Why are nouns classified under stems since the
      stem form is actually never used?

      Sorry again for these questions which might seem out of place,

      Florent
    • rett
      Hi, I hope the following can be of assistance. ... Yes. The stem is what you put the endings on. The root is what you make the stem out of. Some more examples:
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 4, 2005
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        Hi,

        I hope the following can be of assistance.

        >
        >
        >If I take the verb form "pacati" for example, would "paca" be the stem
        >and "pac-" be the root and "-ti" the ending?

        Yes. The stem is what you put the endings on. The root is what you make the stem out of. Some more examples:

        Root Stem Pres. 3rd Sing
        i e eti
        gam gaccha gacchati
        ci cinaa cinaati
        nat nacca naccati
        dis dese deseti

        The roots are divided into classes, or ga.na-s, (called conjugations by Warder), and each class has its own way of creating stems from the roots. This is covered in Warder, though it's split up throughout the book instead of all being covered in one place. Some roots also take irregular stems.

        In the above examples, the root 'i' (class I, Warder chapter 1) has had its vowel strengthened to 'e' to make the stem. (see the vowel gradation chart Warder page 12).

        The root 'gam' (class I, Warder chapter 2) takes the irregular stem 'gaccha'.

        The root ci (class V, Warder chapter 15) adds 'naa' to make the stem.

        The root 'nat' (class III, Warder chapter 11) adds 'ya' to make the stem. The resulting 'ty' in 'natya' assimilates to 'cc' according to a regular rule in Pali.

        The root 'dis' (class VII, Warder chapter 3) takes strengthening of the root vowel and adds 'aya' to make the stem: desaya-. Then, because of a common sound change in Pali 'aya' reduces to 'e' leaving dese- as the stem.

        etcetera

        Note that the numberings of these classes can differ in different works. I'm using Warder's numbering since you mentioned his book. Class VII here, for example, would be called class X in a Sanskrit grammar. There are also slightly different numberings in traditional Pali grammars. Still, the principles are the same.


        > Buddhadata mentions
        >"bhava" as base. Does that mean stem?

        Yes, if by that you mean the stem derived from the root bhuu. Stem/base are interchangeable.


        >Is there a difference in English between root and stem? For example in
        >"sings" is "sing" the stem and "s" the ending, the root being the same
        >as the stem?

        As far as I know, the concept 'root' doesn't apply to English. It's specific to ancient Indian languages.


        >Same question with nouns. If nara is a masculine stem, what would be
        >the root of this noun? Why are nouns classified under stems since the
        >stem form is actually never used?

        Personally I don't think it makes much sense to speak of nouns has having roots except in cases where the noun is clearly derived from a verb (such as gamana 'the act of going' from gam).

        best regards,

        /Rett
      • rett
        There s also a very good file in the downloads section on this topic: Formation of Verbal Stems.pdf Common to both conjugated verbs and primary derivatives
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 4, 2005
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          There's also a very good file in the downloads section on this topic:

          Formation of Verbal Stems.pdf
          Common to both conjugated verbs and primary derivatives 87 KB myanpali
          Offline May 4, 2005
        • flrobert2000
          Hello Rett, Thanks a lot for your explanation. It makes more sense now. The stem comes out of the root, and so the root is the most basic form of a verb I
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 4, 2005
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            Hello Rett,

            Thanks a lot for your explanation. It makes more sense now. The stem
            comes out of the root, and so the root is the most basic form of a
            verb I guess (I guess it's a bit similar to the root/stem of a
            plant). And as you say, in English or French verbs have no roots.
            This was also confusing me since I was trying to make a parallel.
            I will study the pdf file you suggested me to download. I find both
            Buddhadatta and Warder a bit confusing on this notion.

            Merci,

            Florent


            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, rett <rett@t...> wrote:
            > Hi,
            >
            > I hope the following can be of assistance.
            >
            > >
            > >
            > >If I take the verb form "pacati" for example, would "paca" be the
            stem
            > >and "pac-" be the root and "-ti" the ending?
            >
            > Yes. The stem is what you put the endings on. The root is what you
            make the stem out of. Some more examples:
            >
            > Root Stem Pres. 3rd Sing
            > i e eti
            > gam gaccha gacchati
            > ci cinaa cinaati
            > nat nacca naccati
            > dis dese deseti
            >
            > The roots are divided into classes, or ga.na-s, (called
            conjugations by Warder), and each class has its own way of creating
            stems from the roots. This is covered in Warder, though it's split
            up throughout the book instead of all being covered in one place.
            Some roots also take irregular stems.
            >
            > In the above examples, the root 'i' (class I, Warder chapter 1)
            has had its vowel strengthened to 'e' to make the stem. (see the
            vowel gradation chart Warder page 12).
            >
            > The root 'gam' (class I, Warder chapter 2) takes the irregular
            stem 'gaccha'.
            >
            > The root ci (class V, Warder chapter 15) adds 'naa' to make the
            stem.
            >
            > The root 'nat' (class III, Warder chapter 11) adds 'ya' to make
            the stem. The resulting 'ty' in 'natya' assimilates to 'cc'
            according to a regular rule in Pali.
            >
            > The root 'dis' (class VII, Warder chapter 3) takes strengthening
            of the root vowel and adds 'aya' to make the stem: desaya-. Then,
            because of a common sound change in Pali 'aya' reduces to 'e'
            leaving dese- as the stem.
            >
            > etcetera
            >
            > Note that the numberings of these classes can differ in different
            works. I'm using Warder's numbering since you mentioned his book.
            Class VII here, for example, would be called class X in a Sanskrit
            grammar. There are also slightly different numberings in traditional
            Pali grammars. Still, the principles are the same.
            >
            >
            > > Buddhadata mentions
            > >"bhava" as base. Does that mean stem?
            >
            > Yes, if by that you mean the stem derived from the root bhuu.
            Stem/base are interchangeable.
            >
            >
            > >Is there a difference in English between root and stem? For
            example in
            > >"sings" is "sing" the stem and "s" the ending, the root being the
            same
            > >as the stem?
            >
            > As far as I know, the concept 'root' doesn't apply to English.
            It's specific to ancient Indian languages.
            >
            >
            > >Same question with nouns. If nara is a masculine stem, what would
            be
            > >the root of this noun? Why are nouns classified under stems since
            the
            > >stem form is actually never used?
            >
            > Personally I don't think it makes much sense to speak of nouns has
            having roots except in cases where the noun is clearly derived from
            a verb (such as gamana 'the act of going' from gam).
            >
            > best regards,
            >
            > /Rett
          • flrobert2000
            Hello, Actually by looking a few chapters ahead in the second part of Buddhadatta (p74) I found the following explanation which kind of makes sense:
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 10, 2005
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              Hello,

              Actually by looking a few chapters ahead in the second part of
              Buddhadatta (p74) I found the following explanation which kind of
              makes sense:

              <<A root is a primitive element of the language, expressing an
              abstract idea. It is incapable of any grammatical analysis

              A. It is common in European languages to express the idea contained in
              the root by means of the Infinitive, e.g., Bhuu (to be); but it must
              be borne in mind that the root is not an Infinitive, but a primary
              element expressing a crude idea.

              B. the Classical Pali Grammarians give all roots ending in consonants
              with a euphonic vowel at the end, e.g., Pac(a) = to cook; Gam(u)=to
              go. This vowel however, does not really belong to the root.>>

              With Metta,

              Florent
            • Ole Holten Pind
              ... Fra: Pali@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Pali@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af flrobert2000 Sendt: 10. oktober 2005 17:04 Til: Pali@yahoogroups.com Emne: [Pali] Re:
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 10, 2005
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                -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
                Fra: Pali@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Pali@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af
                flrobert2000
                Sendt: 10. oktober 2005 17:04
                Til: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                Emne: [Pali] Re: Difference between stem and root

                Hello,

                Actually by looking a few chapters ahead in the second part of Buddhadatta
                (p74) I found the following explanation which kind of makes sense:

                <<A root is a primitive element of the language, expressing an abstract
                idea. It is incapable of any grammatical analysis

                A. It is common in European languages to express the idea contained in the
                root by means of the Infinitive, e.g., Bhuu (to be); but it must be borne in
                mind that the root is not an Infinitive, but a primary element expressing a
                crude idea.

                B. the Classical Pali Grammarians give all roots ending in consonants with a
                euphonic vowel at the end, e.g., Pac(a) = to cook; Gam(u)=to go. This vowel
                however, does not really belong to the root.>>

                It is, unfortunately, somewhat more complicated. The /u/ of gam(u) is not a
                euphonic vowel, but a so-called anubandha, an attached letter, indicating
                inflectional pecularities of a specific root. In the case of gam(u), the /u/
                corresponds to Sanskrit /.l/. /u/ was introduced by the Pali grammarians
                because pali disallows the consonant cluster /m.l/. This anubandha indicates
                that the aorist of the root gam is a so-called root aorist, i.e., that it is
                derived from the root gam plus augment and inflectional endings. The canon
                actually records a few examples of the root aorist, e.g., agama.m 1. sg.,
                and agama.msu 3. sg.
                Hope this clarifies a tiny bit of the somewhat esoteric field of pali
                grammar as reflected in the works of the pali grammarians.

                With kind regards,

                Ole Pind




                With Metta,

                Florent







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              • flrobert2000
                Dear Ole, Thank you for the explanation. It is indeed very esoteric! I was actually wondering if the English to be and the Pali Bhuu are somehow
                Message 7 of 7 , Oct 11, 2005
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                  Dear Ole,
                  Thank you for the explanation. It is indeed very esoteric! I was
                  actually wondering if the English "to be" and the Pali "Bhuu" are
                  somehow etymologically related. They actually sound and look quite
                  similar.
                  Regards,
                  Florent

                  > Hello,
                  >
                  > Actually by looking a few chapters ahead in the second part of
                  Buddhadatta
                  > (p74) I found the following explanation which kind of makes sense:
                  >
                  > <<A root is a primitive element of the language, expressing an abstract
                  > idea. It is incapable of any grammatical analysis
                  >
                  > A. It is common in European languages to express the idea contained
                  in the
                  > root by means of the Infinitive, e.g., Bhuu (to be); but it must be
                  borne in
                  > mind that the root is not an Infinitive, but a primary element
                  expressing a
                  > crude idea.
                  >
                  > B. the Classical Pali Grammarians give all roots ending in
                  consonants with a
                  > euphonic vowel at the end, e.g., Pac(a) = to cook; Gam(u)=to go.
                  This vowel
                  > however, does not really belong to the root.>>
                  >
                  > It is, unfortunately, somewhat more complicated. The /u/ of gam(u)
                  is not a
                  > euphonic vowel, but a so-called anubandha, an attached letter,
                  indicating
                  > inflectional pecularities of a specific root. In the case of gam(u),
                  the /u/
                  > corresponds to Sanskrit /.l/. /u/ was introduced by the Pali grammarians
                  > because pali disallows the consonant cluster /m.l/. This anubandha
                  indicates
                  > that the aorist of the root gam is a so-called root aorist, i.e.,
                  that it is
                  > derived from the root gam plus augment and inflectional endings. The
                  canon
                  > actually records a few examples of the root aorist, e.g., agama.m 1.
                  sg.,
                  > and agama.msu 3. sg.
                  > Hope this clarifies a tiny bit of the somewhat esoteric field of pali
                  > grammar as reflected in the works of the pali grammarians.
                  >
                  > With kind regards,
                  >
                  > Ole Pind
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > With Metta,
                  >
                  > Florent
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~-->
                  > Click here to rescue a little child from a life of poverty.
                  > http://us.click.yahoo.com/rAWabB/gYnLAA/i1hLAA/b0VolB/TM
                  > --------------------------------------------------------------------~->
                  >
                  > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Homepage]
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                  > [Send Message] pali@yahoogroups.com
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                  > their delivery options to daily digest or web only.
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                  >
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