Appendix:Sanskrit declension

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Sanskrit is a highly inflected language with three grammatical genders (liṅga) of masculine, feminine and neuter; three numbers (vacana) of singular, plural, dual; and eight cases (vibhakti) of nominative, vocative, accusative, instrumental, dative, ablative, genitive, and locative. These inflected forms of lemmata are meant to be displayed using standardized set of templates.

All the declension templates display a collapsible table, and the most general of those is {{sa-decl-noun}}. This template accepts 24 positional parameters, and the optional parameter title used for setting the table gloss. All the other declension templates invoke this one, thus providing visual uniformity. This template is generally not meant to be called directly, except for nouns with irregular paradigm.

Beside positional parameters for individual paradigms, the template also accepts named parameters which provide special "override" functionality. These parameters are as follows:

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative ns nd np
Vocative vs vd vp
Accusative acs acd acp
Instrumental is id ip
Dative ds dd dp
Ablative abs abd abp
Genitive gs gd gp
Locative ls ld lp

These named parameters can be combined with either of the predefined templates, or directly with the {{sa-decl-noun}}. At any case, they override the default behaviour. The default value to display when neither the named nor positional parameter is provided is the hyphen.

For example, such is the noun अप् (áp, water), which has only plural forms in classical language. Thus, it calls the template directly, providing by name only plural forms:

|np=आपः (āpaḥ)
|vp=आपः (āpaḥ)
|acp=अपः (apaḥ)
|ip=अद्भिः (adbhiḥ)
|dp=अद्भ्यः (adbhyaḥ)
|abp=अद्भ्यः (adbhyaḥ)
|gp=अपाम् (apām)
|lp=अप्सु (apsu)

In all the other cases, the predefined set of templates described below is supposed to be used for all the nominal words traditionally described by grammarians as nāman, which include basic nāman (common nouns morphologically derived from verbal root - dhātu), the sañjñā (proper nouns, personal names or technical terms whose meaning cannot be etymologically determined), the sarva-nāman (pronouns) and the nominal qualifiers or adjectives (viśeṣaṇa): all those decline according to liṅga, vacana and vibhakti.

On Wiktionary, all of these ought to be provided in their prātipadika (stem) form, i.e. without the vibhakti endings that they gather in actual use, as they are usually lemmatized in the dictionaries. Their lexical category ("part of speech") must be normalized to the usual terms of English grammar, notwithstanding the fact that all of nāman are inflected in essentially the same manner.

Everything in this article refers to Classical Sanskrit only; archaic Vedic endings that have fallen out of use in the classical language are not discussed.

Nouns and adjectives[edit]

Classification and arrangement of declensions presented in this article is not absolute. No general agreement has been reached among scholars as to the number and order of Sanskrit declensions.

The division-line between substantive and adjective, always an uncertain one in early Indo-European language, is even more wavering in Sanskrit than elsewhere. There are, however, in all the declensions as divided below - unless we except the stems in or ar - words which are distinctly adjectives; and, in general, they are inflected and use the very same declension templates like noun-stems of the same final: only, among consonant-stems, there are certain subclasses of adjectives bases with peculiarities of inflection to which there is among nouns nothing corresponding. The two considerable classes of adjective-compounds requiring special notice are, namely:

  1. Compound adjectives having as final member a bare verbal root, with the value of present participle: thus, सुदृश् (su-dṛ́ś, well-looking), प्रबुध् (pra-búdh, foreknowing), अद्रुह् (a-drúh, not hating), वेदविद् (veda-víd, Veda-knowing), वृत्रहन् (vṛtrá-hán, Vritra-slaying), उपस्थसद् (upá-stha-sád, sitting in the lap). Every root is liable to be used in this way, and such compounds are not infrequent in all stages of the language.
  2. Compound adjectives having a noun as final member, but obtaining an adjective sense secondarily, by having the idea of 'posession' added, and being inflected as adjectives in the three genders. Thus, प्रजाकाम (prajā́-kāma, desire of progeny), becomes an adjective meaning 'desirious (i.e. having desire) of progeny'; सभार्य (sa-bhārya, having one's wife along) etc.

Hence, under each declension, one has to notice how a root or a noun-stem of that declension is inflected when final member of an adjective compound.

Stems in a[edit]

A-stems ([a]) comprise the majority of all the declined stems of the language. As a rule, nouns belonging to this class, with the uninflected stem ending in short-a ([a]), are either masculine or neuter. Templates {{sa-decl-noun-a-m}} and {{sa-decl-noun-a-n}} are reserved for this declension class. For example, for the masculine noun काम (kā́ma, love):


and neuter noun आस्य (āsyá, mouth):


Among nouns, there are no irregularities in this declension.

Original adjectives in a are an exceedingly large class, probably the majority of all adjectives. There is, however, no such thing as feminine stem in a; for the feminine, a is changed to ā, paradigm for which is discussed below - or often, though far less often, to ī.

There are no verbal roots ending in a. But a is sometimes substituted for the final ā of a root (and, more rarely, for final an or am), and it is then inflected like an ordinary adjective in a.

A noun ending in a, when occurring as a final member of an adjective compound, is inflected like an original adjective in a, making its feminine likewise in ā or ī. On the other hand, a feminine noun ending in derivative ā shortens its final to a to form a masculine and neuter base.

Stems in i and u[edit]

The stems in i and u are inflected in so close accordance with one another that they cannot be divided into two separate declensions. They are of all three genders, and tolerably numerous - those in i more numerous than those in u, especially in the feminine (there are more neuters in u than in i).

The endings of this declension also differ frequently and widely from the normal, and the Vedic irregularities are numerous. As models of i-stems may be taken masculine noun अग्नि (agní, fire):


feminine noun गति (gáti, gait):


and the neuter noun वारि (vā́ri, water):


As models of u-stems may be taken masculine noun शत्रु (śátru, enemy):


feminine noun धेनु (dhenú, cow):


and the neuter noun मधु (mádhu, honey):


There are no irregular u-stems, and only a very few i-stems.

Stems in ā, ī and ū[edit]

Radical stems[edit]

Derivative stems[edit]

Stems in [edit]

Stems in consonants[edit]

See also[edit]