by: P. N. Pushp and K. Warikoo
and Cultural Foundation
Roots, Evolution and Affinity
- S. S. Toshkhani
Kashmiri is a unique language in the Indian
linguistic context. It is analytic like the modern Indian languages of
Sanskritic stock and synthetic like the Old Indo-Aryan itself, possessing
characteristics of both and at the same time having peculiarities of its own
many of which are yet to be fully explored. Linguistically, its importance can
hardly be overlooked because, as Siddheshwar Verma has observed, it reveals
linguistic strata of various ages-"Vedic, Buddhist Sanskrit, Pali,
Kharoshthi Prakrit"1. George Buhler's view that it is of the greatest
importance in the study of a comparative grammar of Indo-Aryan languages2 only
stresses the obvious for preserving old word-forms and also revealing how new
forms took shape from old bases, Kashmiri does seem to hold the key to
understanding the processes through which these languages have passed in their
development before assuming their present forms.
Grierson too appears
to endorse the same point when he says that a study of the Kashmiri language is
"an essential preliminary to any inquiry" regarding the "mutual
relations of the modern Aryan vernaculars of India"3.
There exists a very strong
evidence to support the claim that Kashmiri has descended from the Vedic speech
or, as pointed out by Buhler, from "one of the dialects of which the
classifical Sanskrit was formed"4. References are replete in Rig Vedic
hymns to rivers and mountains which have been identified by scholars like Zimmer
with definite places in Kashmir, indicating that the region was a part of the
Vedic Aryan world - at least in the geographical sense. Linguistically too this
fact is strongly corroborated by the presence of a large number of lexical and
phonetic elements in Kashmiri that can be directly traced to Vedic sources.
These include several words most commonly used in everyday speech in Kashmiri.
For example, we have the Kashmiri word yodvay meaning if, what if, yet, still,
nonetheless. This appears in almost the same form in the Vedic word yaduvay 5,
the corresponding word for it in Sanskrit and Hindi being yadi. Similarly, the
word basti, which in Kashmiri means skin, hide, bellows, is hardly different
from the Vedic basti meaning goat or bastajin meaning goatskin. The Vedic word
sin occurs as syun in Kashmiri meaning "a cooked vegetable", while the
Vedic san appears in Kashmiri as son meaning deep. Again, the word vay which
means grains in Vedic is used in Kashmiri in the same sense. From the Vedic root
taksh comes the Kashmiri word tachch (to scratch, to peel, to plane, to scrape)
and its derivative chchan (carpenter, Skt Ksh invariably changing to chch in
Kashmiri). Several Kashmiri words have evolved from Vedic through intermediary
Pali or Prakrit forms. For instance, Ksh. atsun (to enter), Pali accheti, Vedic
atyeti. Similarly Vedic prastar, from which the Hindi word patthar (stone) is
derived, changes through the intermediary Prakrit form pattharo to pathar or
pathur in Kashmiri retaining the original sense of "on the ground" or
"floor". These are but a few of the numerous examples that show how
Kashmiri has preserved phonetic, semantic and even morphological elements of the
It is perhaps on the
basis of such overwhelming evidence that eminent inguists like Jules Bloch,
Turner, Morgenstierne, Emeneau, Siddheshwar Verma and several other scholars
have pointed to the Vedic origin of Kashmiri, arriving at their conclusions
after intensive research on the actual traits of the language.
Phonetic aspects of
how Kashmiri retains some of the most archaic word forms that can be traced only
to the Old Indo-Aryan speech have been analysed at some length by Siddheshwar
Verma. Citing word after word, Verma provides evidence on how Kashmiri shows
contact with older layers of Indo-Aryan vocabulary 6. The Kashmiri word Kral
(potter) derived from the Vedic Sanskrit Kulal is one of such words which he has
examined in detail, taking help of Turner's Nepali dictionary. While all other
modern Indo- Aryan languages, except Nepali and Sinhalese, have for it words
derived from the Sanskrit kumbhakar, Kashmiri alone preserves remnants of the
relatively older kulal, he points out, which appears for the first time in the
Vajasneyi Samhita of the Vedas. Kumbhakar makes its appearance after the Vedic
age (c.f.Monier Williams: Sanskrit-English Dictionary) and it is from this that
words like Hindi Kumhar, Gujrati-Marathi kunwar and Western Pahari kumar have
originated. Tomul (uncooked rice) is another word cited by him in this context,
which, he says, has retained the initial ta of Sanskrit tandulam, while other
modern Indo-Aryan languages generally have cha. For example, we have chawal in
Hindi and Gujrati, chaul in Bengali and Oriya, chaur in Sindhi, chamal in
Nepali. Retention of the original r in Kashmiri pritsh (Skt. prichcha = to ask)
and prang (Skt. paryank = bed) are other notable examples, according to him, of
the tendency (in Kashmiri) to preserve original phonetical elements. Kochchwu,
the Kashmiri word for tortoise, he goes on to point out, indicates that the
original word must have been kashyapa and not kachchapa as in Kashmiri. Skt.
ksha almost invariably changes to chcha, e.g. aechchi < Skt. akshi, maechchi
Editor's note: 'ae' is
used for Greek symbol for delta (lower case). A text editor does not provide a
makshika, lachch < Skt.
laksha, vachch < Skt. vaksha and so on. The intermediary form derived from
kashyapa, which actually occurs in the Vajsaneyi Samhita, must have been
kakashapa, Verma suggests.
similar lines, eminent Kashmiri linguist S.K. Toshkhani goes a bit further and
suggests that Kashmiri may have preserved even some pre-Vedic phonetic elements
7. Citing examples, he refers to the Kashmiri words rost and sost which
correspond to Sanskrit rahit and sahit respectively. Rost and sost, he says,
appear to be older than rahit and sahit, and could be pre-Vedic as the change of
sa to ha is regarded a relatively later development.
George A. Grierson, however,
holds entirely different views on the question of affinity of Kashmiri.
Disregarding the overwhelming evidence that reveals its basic Indo-Aryan
character, he seeks to banish the language from the Sanskritic family,
preferring instead to classify it under the Pishacha or Dardic group, which, he
holds, occupies a position "intermediate between the Sanskritic language of
India proper and the Eranian languages farther to their West"8. Considering
Dardic languages, including the Shina- Khowar group, to have developed from the
Indo-Iranian branch of Aryan, he uses the cover term Pishacha to describe them
and observes that Kashmiri too shares their characteristics and so must be
grouped with them. He tries to shrug off the predominance of Indo-Aryan
vocabulary in Kashmiri by attributing it to a powerful influence of Indian
culture and literature for over two thousand years and arguing that vocabulary
alone cannot be the determining factor of the classification of a language.
"Kashmiri", he concludes, "is a mixed language, having as its
basis a language of the Dard group of the Pishacha family allied to Shina",
explaining that by basis he means "its phonetic system, its accidence, its
syntax, its prosody"9.
Chatterji almost echoes Grierson when he observes that "the Kashmiri
language is a result of very large overlaying of a Dardic base with Indo-Aryan
elements''10. But neither Grierson nor Chatterji have heen able to show what
this Dardic base precisely is or produce any evidence of the
"over-laying". However, their conclusions have found almost uncritical
acceptance by many, creating a confusion that shows no sign of abating and
letting a totally erroneous view to prevail. It must be strongly asserted that
Grierson's arguments and pronouncements are based on extremely flimsy evidence
which has little to do with the facts of the language, and need, therefore, to
be re-examined, particularly at a time when the very basis of his theory of
Aryan immigration in waves is being seriously questioned. His classification of
Kashmiri is overdue for rejection as seriously flawed and arbitrary.
Grierson starts from a false
premise when he equates Kashmiri with Pishachi and therefore with Dardic and
Iranian, a theory that makes little linguistic sense and has even lesser basis
in historical facts. His infatuation with this equation notwithstanding, there
are questions which refuse to be exorcised. Were the supposed raw-flesh eating
Pishacas actual speakers of Pishachi Prakrit? Were they and the inhabitants of
Dardistan one and the same people historically? Both find mention in the
Mahabharata and in the Rajatarangini, but in different contexts and as separate
and distinct ethnic groups. Nowhere have their ethnic traits or identities
overlapped or been confused with one another - something that only Grierson has
attempted on the basis of far-fetched and hardly tenable evidence.
absolutely not sure and certainly not in agreement about the linguistic features
and exact geographical area of Pishachi. Yet Grierson in his obsession to
separate Kashmiri from Indo-Aryan languages extends as though with a sweep of
his hand the Pishachi and hence Dardic speaking region from the Hindukush to
Goa11, assuming too much and interchanging the terms Pishacha and Dard only to
create a mess from which linguistic research has yet to recover. And granted for
a moment they are interchangeable terms in ethnic as well as linguistic sense,
is there sufficient material for one to adduce inferences about the features of
Pishachi and sufficient grounds to apply these on one to one basis to Dardic
larguages and equally to Kashmiri? Was Chulika Pishachi an Indo-Iranian form of
speech? For answering these queries all that we have to fall back upon is what
the Prakrit grammarians have to say in this regard and the stray examples they
have cited in their works, for of Pishachi virtually no record exists, the great
Brihatkatha of Gunadya having been completely lost.
What we gather from
Vararuchi, Hemachandra and other Prakrit grammarians boils down to but a few
phonetic and morphological features with which Kashmiri has hardly anything to
do. One of these is hardening of soft consonants in Pishachi as compared to
Sanskrit, or the third and fourth voiced aspirated stops becoming voiceless and
unaspirated. This process is nowhere in evidence in Kashmiri except in some rare
cases limited to borrowings from Persian. Thus ga seldom changes to ka in
Kashmiri-there being absolutely no possibility of nagar changing to nakar or
gagan to gakan (examples chosen by the Prakrit grammarians to illustrate their
point), nor of guru changing to kuru or gachcha to katsh. Sanskrit agni changes
to agin and lagna becomes lagun (of Hindi lagna) the ga remaining strong and
unchanged in initial, medial or terminal positions. Again gha is pronounced as
ga but in no case does it become kha as is said to happen in Pishachi-megha >
mekho is unthinkable in Kashmiri in which ghotaka > gur, ghama > gum and
ghata > gati. Further, d at the end of a word does not change to t. Thus,
Damodar changing to Tamotar, as shown to happen in Pishachi is absolutely
impossible in Kashmiri. In fact, there are several examples of the final ta
changing to da, as, for instance, in Skt. anta > Ksh and, Skt. danta > Ksh.
> dand. The consonant is, however, mostly retained in Kashmiri in initial and
medial positions while changing to th in the final position (rakta > rath,
gati > gath, mati > math, prati > prath, shata > shath and so on.
Also, Sanskrit ja is
pronounced as za in Kashmiri and does not become cha as the rules of Pishachi
phonetics would have required. Thus, jal becomes zal, jana becomes zon, jangha
becomes zang, jarjar becomes zazur and ujjwal changes to wozul. In borrowings
from Persian, however, ja usually remains unaltered, as in jald, janawar,
jurmani, jae:hil, jang etc. Of Sanskrit ra changing to la, a frequent phenomenon
occuring even before the Prakrits were evolved, there are but very few examples,
the tendency to retain it as such being quite strong. For example, rajju >
raz, raksha > rachh, taranam > tarun, maranam > marun, patra >
vaethr, mitra > myethir, sutra > sithir, mutra > mithir and so on.
Final dha is pronounced as da, loosing its aspiration, but not as tha to which
it changes as in Pishachi.
Kashmiri does not share any of the characteristics attributed to Pishachi. The
ablative of stems ending in a is not marked by ato or atu, nor does the past-
participle tva changes to tun, or thun or dun as Prakrit grammarians have laid
down. Sanskrit tva invariably becomes it or ith in Kashmiri as illustrated by
Kritva > karitva > karith, nutva > namayitva > naemith, mritva >
marith, dhritva > darith and so on.
As against this none
of the actual linguistic traits of Kashmiri, phonetical or morphological, can be
traced in Pishachi, of which examples provided by the Prakrit grammarians are
the only record available. One, therefore, sees little logic in forcibly
imposing on Kashmiri features of a virtually non-existent language. All that
Grierson has done is to gather far-fetched examples, mostly from Dardic and
Kafir languages, and attribute these to Kashmiri, claiming that rare exceptions
form the rule and pronunciation of a few words (Persian borrowings) represents
phonetical tendencies of the whole language. A much laboured exercise, surely,
but also gross misrepresentation of facts.
Is Kashmiri a
Coming to Dard languages
proper, Grierson's pet theory that these together with Kashmiri and the Kafir
group constitute a special branch of Indo-Iranian can hardly withstand
linguistic scrutiny. Georg Morgentierne rejects it outright by maintaining that
the so-called Dardic languages are in reality Indo-Aryan and not Iranian. Their
word-stock is mainly Indo-Aryan and so are their basic characteristics, he
contends. Morgiensterne finds Grierson to have muddled the whole issue by
clubbing together the Dardic and the Kafir languages into one single group, and
so he is not inclined on the basis of his own research to accept Grierson's
views. "I am unable to share these views", he observes. "The
Dardic languages, in contradistinction to the Kafir group, are of pure IA
(Indo-Aryan) origin and go back to a form of speech closely resembling
Morgenstierne's observations, Emeneau adds that these (Dardic) languages are
Indo-Aryan but they did not pass through the MIA (Middle Indo-Aryan) development
represented by the records, while on the other hand the Kafir languages (Kati,
Waigali, Ashkun, Prasun and to some extent Dameli) may occupy some sort of
special position"13. With Jules Bloch and Burrow too taking the line that
the Dardic (Shina-Khowar group) languages have Indo-Aryan characteristics while
the Kafir group may have Iranian affiliations, there is no justification for
applying a different yardstick to Kashmiri. Kashmiri too is just as much Indo-
Aryan as, say, Shina to which Grierson finds it allied. By confusing Pishachi
with Dardic and Dardic with Kafir speeches and all these in turn with Kashmiri,
Grierson has botched up the whole question of affiliation.
We find him going to
absurd lengths in trying to establish that Kashmiri has close affinity with
Shina, shutting himself out from facts and displaying on]y a superficial
knowledge of Dardic phonetic and morphological systems. Ironically, while he
rejects vocabulary as the determining factor in the matter of linguistic
classification, he starts with using this very factor as a proof for his
conclusions. Of the 128 Shina words he has listed for having cognate forms in
Kashmiri 14, more than 107 are unmistakably of Sanskrit origin-a fact that he
chooses to conceal. Let us have a look at some of these:
(Pkt. majjh, Hindi manjh)
(the actual Kashmiri word is 'shihul')
(the actual word is doiki)
(of a tree)
It will not be difficult to
see from these examples selected at random by Grierson that it is not the Dardic
connection that binds Kashmiri and Shina but the affiliation of both to Sanskrit
or the Old Indo-Aryan upon which they draw as the basic source for their
vocabulary. Many of these, as Grierson hirmself admits, have cognate forms in
other Indian languages too because of the Sanskrit factor and, therefore, these
do not show any exclusive linkage between Kashmiri and Shina. It can also be
easily marked that phonetic systems of the two languages operate along entirely
different lines. The presence of one or two Shina loan words in Kashmiri does
not go to prove anything for, as T. Graham Bailey has clearly pointed out, Shina
in turn, particularly in its Guresi and Tileli dialects, has been influenced
considerably by Kashmiri. The fact is that Dardic languages have borrowed
heavily from Urdu/Hindi and Punjabi and have some singificant morphological
similarities with these North Indian languages, while with Kashmiri they have
Contrary to what is
generally believed, there are wide differences between the linguistic traits of
Kashmiri and Shina, too fundamental to be ignored. Proceeding one by one
according to the criteria set up by Grierson himself for affiliation, let us see
how tenable the arguments in support of grouping Kashmiri with Shina as a
representative language of the Dardic group are. But before that let us have a
look at some of the lexical and morphological similarities that link the Dardic
speeches with other modern Indo-Aryan languages. These will be found to be of
more than casual interest. Here are some lexical items from Shina and their
corresponding Hindi equivalents.
coal, cinder, spark
||to dip, be
These are but a few
examples that should be sufficient to give an inkling of, how lexical items in
both the languages are derived from a common source. The similarity extends to
other features also. For instance, pronomial forms (first person-singular) in
Shina closely resemble the corresponding Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi pronouns. The
same is true of adverbs of place and of conjunctions, most of which appear to be
borrowings from these languages. The Shina auxiliary and substantive verb-forms
hanus, hanu, hane, haniek bear an amazing similarity to Hindi hun, hai, hain,
honge. If that is the case, are we to conclude that Hindi too is a Dardic
Shina: Phonetic Dissimilarities:
Let us go back to the
dissimilarities between Kashmiri and the Dardic languages and start from their
phonetic features. Though too glaring, these have never been highlighted. Some
of the important differences are as follows. (1) The peculiar Kashmiri vowel
sounds ae ae: i and i: do not occur in Shina and other Dardic languages, nor
does Kashmiri share with them its umlaut system or "consonantal epenthesis
under influence of a following vowel". In turn Kashmiri does not follow the
short, very short, long, half- long vowel system of Dardic languages. (2) Almost
all nasals occurring in the old Indo-Aryan exist in Shina, including the
cerebral n, Kashmiri has only n and m. (3) Dardic languages have the sibllant
cerebral s, Kashmiri has not. (4) Existence of two sets of so-called palatal
letters, both fricatives and stops, is a marked features of Shina, while
Kashmiri like other Indo-Aryan languages has only one- the fricates sh, and z
and zh do not occur in it nor does cerebral j. (5) Like most modern Indian
languages the cerebral letters t, d, r and n are an intrinsic part of Shina, but
Kashmiri does not have n and r., the latter being used in the rural dialect only
in place of r. (6) In Shina the position of the half-vowel y is very weak and
often approaches e; in Kashmiri y is strong in initial, medial and terminal
There is a great
divergence in the phonetic changes that words of Sanskritic stock undergo in
Kashmiri and in Shina. Sanskrit s and sa almost invariably change to ha' in
Kashmiri, but in Dardic languages this phenomenon seldom occurs. Some examples:
Sanskrit sharad, Shina sharo, Kashmiri harud; Skt. shun Sh shun, Ksh. hun; Skt.
shikasha Sh. sich, Ksh hech, Skt. shrnkhala Sh. shangal, Ksh. h:nkal; skt.
shushka Sh. shuko, Ksh. hokh; Skt. vis Sh. bish Ksh. veh; Skt. shakti Sh. shat,
Ksh. hekat. Initial h chances to a in Kashmiri, but is generally retained in
Dardic: Skt. hasta, Ksh ath, Sh. hat; Skt. hamsa, Ksh. anz Sh. hanz; Sanskrit tr
changes to cho, in Shina while in Kashmir it is generally preserved: Skt. stri
Sh. chei, Ksh. triy; Skt. trini Sh che. Ksh tre; Skt. jamatr Sh. zamoch.
Sanskrit dr changes to z in Shina, where as in Kashmiri the d of the compound
consonant is generally preserved: Sh. heridra, Sh. halizi, Ksh. ledir, Skt.
draksha zach. Ksh. dachh. Sanskrit bhr also changes to z in Shina, but not in
Kashmiri: Skt. bhratr Sh. za (cf. Panjabi bhra), Ksh. boy. In Shina, as in
several Indian languages, Sanskrit v becomes 'b', but in Kashmiri its position
is generally strong. Skt. vish Sh. bish, Ksh. veh; Skt. vatsa Sh. batshar (c.f.
Hindi bachra). Ksh. votshh. Terminal b, in Shina tends to become p and terminal
d is pronounced as t in words of Persian or Sanskrit origin; gulab > gulap,
garib > garlp, jibh > jip faulad > fulat. This is rarely the case in
That should be
enough to blast the myth that the Kashmiri phonetic system is allied to that of
Shina. The fact is that phonetically Shina has little to do with Kashmiri,
though it has features that can be found in Hindi/Urdu and Punjabi. Grierson has
unfortunately chosen to give selective, distorted and misleading information by
taking words- from Dardic and Kafir speeches and even from the so-called Siraji
and other supposed dialects of Kashmiri.
We find the same process of
falsification of facts repeated when we come to morphological features. Grierson
has kicked so much dust about these-accidence and syntax and so on-that it would
be worthwhile to examine in brief some of the important ways in which these
features differ in the two languages15:
(1) Shina has two sets of
accusative-the first after transitive verbs in general and the second after
verbs of striking (with hand, stick, knife etc.), the nominative having the same
form as the Ist accusative.
(2) The genetive in
Shina is formed by adding the suffix- ei or -ai in Kashmiri post positions. un
and iny and n and ni are added to the dative for masculine and feminine,
singular and plural proper nouns relating to human beings, uk and iky and ich
and ichi in case of inanimate objects. For nouns other than proper names hund or
sund, hindy or sindy in case of masculine singular and plural and hinz and sinz
and hinzi or sinzi in case of feminine singular and plural nouns are added.
(3) Shina has a
prepositional case to be used after most prepositions, Kashmiri has no
(4) In Shina
separate suffixes -r and -zh are used to denote in and on or upon in the
(i) ai disher (in that
place); hier, in (my, his, your) heart.
In Kashmiri locative is
formed by using postpositions like andar, tal, dur, kyath, nyabar, pyath etc.
with the dative case.
generally used with azhe, as mecezh azhe, upon the table;
(iii) anu manuzezh
(it ibareh nush, I have no faith in this man.
(5) Pronouns in
Shina are mostly of the Hindi/Urdu, Panjabi type, except the nominative and
agentive plural of Ist person masc. be, bes which appear to be influenced by
Kashmiri. Only pronouns in the 3rd person have a feminine in singular. The most
important difference is that unlike Kashmiri there are no regular indefinite and
relative pronouns in Shina.
pronoun is commonly used in their place especially in negative clauses. For
(i) ko, (who): ko mush,
there was no one, mutu ko (someonel
6. In Kashmiri adjectives are
declined and agree with the noun in gender, number and case. In Shina only
adjectives ending in -u are declined, and these agree with the noun in gender
and number only, not in case. Other adjectives are not declined and are treated
(ii) jeh (what):
jega nush, (nothing at all), mutu jek (something else).
(iii) kos thai
buti daulat naye gub (the man who lost all your wealth), main jek daulat
haniek, (whatever wealth there may be of mine).
7. There are no
forms for the comparative and superlative in Shina. These are expressed by means
of the preposition jo or zho, (from, than). Thus: chunu, small: mojo chunu,
smaller than, but, e jo chunu: smaller than all i.e., smallest. In Kashmiri the
comparative and superlative are formed by using khwoti and sariviy khwoti
8. Numerals in Shina
are counted by twenties or scores, though there are words for hundred, thousand
and lakh (the last two have been borrowed from Hindi/ Urdu). To form numbers
beyond twenty the conjunctive particle ga is added to it. For example bi(h),
twenty: biga ek, twenty and one or twenty one; bi ga dai, twenty and ten or
thirty; dibyo ga che, two-twenty and three or forty three and so on. In Kashmiri
cardinals are formed as in other modern Indo-Aryan languages - akavuh, twenty
one; trih, thirty, tsatji, forty, teyitae:ji forty three and soon.
9. Cardinal numbers
in Kashmiri are declined in agreement with their nouns. In Shina, they are
declined only when used by themselves as nouns, not otherwise.
10. Ordinals in
Kashmiri are formed by adding the suffix -m or -yum to the cardinal, whereas in
Shina ordinals after pumuko or 'the first' are formed by adding - mono and -mone
in masc. singular, and plural and -moni and -monye in fem. singular and plural
11. Like Hindi/Urdu
and Panjabi, noun of agency is formed in Kashmiri by adding vol (Hindi vala) in
masculine and vajyen (vali) in feminine singular. This is not the case in Dardic
languages. In Shina, the auxiliary verb is used to express the idea. For
instance, Ek achi hanu musha hanu, one eye is man is, a one- eyed man; shei
jakur hani chei hani, white hair is woman is, a white-haired woman.
12. In Shina verbs
most commonly used are thoiki (ta do) boiki (to be) and doiki (to give). Boiki
and thoiki are correlative verbs used with the same nouns or adjectives to form
intransitive and transitive verbs respectively. This is not the case with the
corresponding verbs karun, asun and dyun in Kashmiri.
suffixes are a prominent feature of Kashmiri, but they rarely occur in Dardic
14. The present
tense in Kashmiri is formed by the auxiIiary verb chhu and its various masculine
and feminine forms. In Shina auxiliary forms hanus, hane, hanu, haniek etc. are
used which bear a similarity to hun, hai, hain, honge etc. It must be stated
that substantive verb forms based on the root chha occur in many Indian
languages, but not in Dardic languages.
15. There is no
ordinary way to express the idea of continuance in Shina. While in some cases
the word hel is employed to indicate habit, the conception underlying the
Kashmiri bi osus khyavan (I was eating), bi gos khyavan, (I went on eating), su
rud vuchha-n, (he kept looking) etc. is not expressed in everyday speech in
from Dardic languages in numerous other ways, all of which cannot be recounted
here for want of space. A few similarities there may be, but these are mainly
because of the Sanskrit factor common to Indo-Aryan languages. In view of such
overwhelming evidence that separates Kashmiri from the Dardic group in such
important aspects as phonetics and accidence, the assertion that Kashmiri
possesses nearly all the features that are peculiar to Dardic and in which
Dardic agrees with Eranian" looks preposterous. It is difficult to believe,
yet it is true that Grierson has gone to the extent of distorting linguistic
facts and making false and misleading statments- a case of suppresso veri and
suggesto falsi- in his desperate attempt to procure evidence for his pet theory.
A glaring example of the tendency on his part can be seen in his suggestion that
all basic Kashmiri numerals are Dardic and therefore Eranian in spite of their
obvious development from the old- Indo-Aryan, or the "Pali-Sanskrit"
pattern to use Siddeshwar Verma's words Similarly, it is a known fact that
Kashmiri borrowed the Persian poetic forms like the Ghazal and Masnavi and the
metre Bahar-e-Hajaz in the 19th century, but it is the Vakh and the Shruk that
are considered to be the representative Kashmiri metres. How does this lead to
the conclusion that Kashmiri metrology is basically Iranian? Fifteenth century
Kashmiri works Banasur Katha and Sukh Dukh Charit have employed well-known
Sanskrit metres, which have contributed primarily to the evolution of vatsun or
the Kashmiri short lyric, and also some original Kashmiri metres like Thaddo and
Phuro. These facts are too signiticant to be overlooked.
Just because Kashmiri is
different in some ways from languages like Hindi and Gujrati, does it make
linguistic sense to exclude it altogether from the Indo-Aryan family? How strong
its affinities are with this family is revealed by its basic word-stock, or, to
put it in Grierson's own words, "the commonest words-the words that are
retained longest in any language, however mixed, and seldom borrowed".
Surely words relating to parts of the body 'physical states and conditions names
of close relatives, animals and bids, edibles, minerals, objects of common use
etc. can be described as such words and show that their etymology can be
umistakably traced to Sanskrit.16 (For details see Appendix I).
Coming to accidence or
morphological features, Kashmiri reveals its Sanskritic roots no less firmly.
Declensions of Kashmiri nouns show how new cases have developed from old
Sanskrit bases. For instance, the instrumental in masculine singulars takes the
case-ending -an which is a remanant of Skt. -ena or -ena: Ksh. tsuran, Skt.
chorena. The dative suffix -as or -is is obviously the same as Pali - assa,
which in turn is a derivative of Skt. -asya, though there it is used with the
genetive: Ksh. tsuras, Pali chorassa, Skt. chorasya. The locative singular takes
the ending -i or e: Ksh. vati, Skt. pathi; Ksh. gari, Skt. grihe. The ablative
masculine singular ends in -a or -i, a remanant of Skt. -at: Ksh. tsuri, Skt.
chorat For agentive masculine plurals the affix used is -av which appears to
have evolved from the Vedic ebhih: Ksh. tsurav, Skt. chorebhih. In the
accusative/ dative masc. pl., the case-ending -an can be traced to Skt. -anam:
Ksh. tsuran, Skt. choranam: Likewise, fem. sing. nouns take the affixes -yi or
-i in accusative/dative/agentive case which can be said to have been derived
from the Sanskrit case-endings im, -ya, yah: Ksh. d-iviyi, Skt. deviml
Like other modern
Indo-Aryan languages, Kashmiri forms a new genetive by adding postpositions to
the dative and agentive cases. The postpositions used are hund or sund with
masculine singular and hinz or sinz with feminine singular nouns and pronouns in
case of animate objects the plural forms being, hindy or sindy and hinzi or
sinzi respectively Punjabi uses handa or hunda and sanda and Sindhi sanda.
According to Becames, sanda is the Panjabi form of the Prakrit santah18, which
becomes handa and hunda' with the s changing to h. Buhler is of the opinion that
Kashrniri sund comes from Sanskrit shyunda19, which appears to be a little
far-fetched. The genetive takes the postpositions un and iny also in masculine
and feminine nouns denoting living things; the plural forms are iny and ni. With
inanimate objects uk and ich are used in singular and iky and chi are used.
These correspond to the Hindi ka, ke and ki, while in Gujrati we have no (bapno
ghar- father's house). The feminine forms of the Kashmiri genetive remind one of
the corresponding Marathi forms chi che etc.
Several other cases
can also be formed by adding postpositions to the dative.
have preserved many old forms, which occur in Sanskrit but are not found in
Prakrit. For example, the personal pronouns (third person) su (he) and su (she)
are quite akin to Sanskrit sah and sa. and their plural forms tim (they masc.)
and timi (they fem.) to Sanskrit te and tah. All other forms of this pronoun
have evolved from the Sanskrit root tad. The Kashmiri first person pronoun bi or
bo (I) is a remarkable new form which Buhler regards as "a representative
of Skt. bhavat, originally present participle of bhu, 'to be"'. All other
forms of this pronoun have developed from the Sanskrit root asmad, as is the
case with Punjabi and some other modern Indo-Aryan languages Ksh. asy, panj.
assi. Kashmiri interrogative pronoun, kus, who, and its plural kam, as also
their various forms reveal a close relationship with Skt. kah and kas. The
demonstrative pronouns yi, this has its origin in the Skt. root idam while the
relative pronoun yus and yim come from Skt. yah yo and ye.
Verbal forms in
Kashmiri follow Sanskrit in being derived from the root of the verb, especailly
in the past tense. As Buhler has pointed out, "it is impossible to explain
them by Kashmiri'20. In this context Buhler cites deshun, 'to see' and dyun to
give; as examples. From these we get the forms dyuth, saw', and dyut, was
given', which are derived from dittho Skt. drstitah and ditto < Skt. dattah
respectively. This process is visible in the formation of all basic tenses-
past, present and future. Various forms of the Kashmiri auxiliary verb chhu and
as, which are derived from the Skt. roots kshi, 'to be' and as, and occur in
several other Indian languages too, are formed by affixing remanants of personal
pronouns to the stem. The simple future tense is formed by adding the suffix -i
to the nominative base in the 3rd person, a remanant of the Sanskrit suffix
-syati: Ksh. kari (-he/she will do), Skt. Karis yati, Ksh. mari (-he/she shall
die), Skt. marisyati, Ksh. vegli (it will melt), Skt. vigalisyati, Kashmiri
imperative verbs can hardly be distinguished from their corresponding Sanskrit
forms. For example we have, Ksh. gatsh, 'go' Skt. gachcha; Ksh. Iekh, write, Skt
likha; Ksh. an, bring', Skt. anaya; Ksh. dav, run Skt. dhava, Ksh. lab, find',
Skt. labha(sva), Ksh. kar; do', Skt. kuru, Ksh. van, tell', Skt. varnaya and so
on. It appears that most Kashmiri verbs spring from Sanskrit roots.
Verbal nouns are
formed in Kashmiri by adding the suffix -un to the base, which can be easily
traced to Skt. -nam or nam and is similar to the Hindi suffix -na. Examples Ksh.
marun. Skt. maranam (Hindi marna; Ksh. tarun Skt. taranarn (Hindi tarana); Ksh.
vavun, Skt. vapanam -(Hindi bona); Ksh. pihun, Skt. pesanarn (Hindi pisna); Ksh.
pihun, Skt. pesanam (Hindi pisna); Ksh. tsihun, Skt. chusanam (Hindi chusana),
Ksh. khanun, Skt. khananam (Hindi khodana Ksh. tachhun, Skt. takshanam; Ksh.
thavun, Skt. sthapanam; Ksh. vuchhun, Skt. vekshanam (Panj. vekhna), Ksh. vatun.
Skt. vestanam and so on.
conjunctive participle -ith preserves elements of the old Sanskrit form -tva.
Thus, we have Ksh. karith (-having done), Skt. Krtva, Ksh. namith (having bowed)
< namitta < Skt. namitva (nutva), Ksh. gatshith having gone) < ae
gachitta (-having gone") < gachhitva < ae gachhitva (gatva), likhit
< Skt. likhitva, rachhit Skt. rakshitva.
Kashmiri adverbs too
point to their old Indo-Aryan origins, quite transparently:
1. Adverbs of Time:
2. Adverbs of Place:
(Pkt. ghatia, Hindi gari ghari)
||as soon as
3. Adverbs of Manner:
place/from that place
place/to whichever place
(Pkt. majjhe, Hindi manjh)
manner, as in this manner
Kashmiri conjunctions too
show the same trend with 'ti' and, coming from Skt. tatha, 'ti', 'also' from
Skt. iti'21 and beyi, and, 'more', 'again', from Pkt. 'beiya' Skt. 'dwitlya'.
Order of words
Inspite of all this massive
evidence the fact that Kashmiri is an Indo-Aryan language is sought to be
dismissed with the argument that the order of words in a Kashmiri sentence is
not the same as in Hindi or other north Indian languages. But the order of words
is not the same in any of the Dardic languages either which have a totally
different syntax. Besides this is not the whole truth. True, the order of words
very nearly approaches that of English in direct or coupla sentences with verb
coming in between subject and object, but certain other types of Kashmiri
sentences do resemble those of Hindi and even Sanskrit, as for instance, in
certain types of imperative and interrogative sentences. Consider the following
(1) Imperative sentences:
|yot yi ti
and eat your food
aur khana kha
adkas nishi beh
ke pas baith
after taking tea
inside the room
kathi ma kar
Some of the simpler
imperatives can hardly be distinguished from Sanskrit:
|ati ma par
|az ma lekh
you come here?
beti kahan hai?
kamysund gari chhu?
house is this?
In subordinate or relative
clauses the verb generally come last as in Hindi:
yus yeti rozan os kot gav?
the boy who lived here gone?
jo yahan rahta tha kahan gaya?
|su hun yus
tse onuth tsol rath
which you brought, ran away yesterday
jo tumne laya tha, kal bhag gaya
taemy vaeneyi so drayi paez
had said came out to be true
usne kahi thi voh sach nikali
gaeyi, so gaeyi
past is past
gayi so gayi
This is not to suggest
that Kashmiri agrees with Sanskrit in every respect. As a language it has its
own peculiarities and distinguishing features. But its basic word-stock does
come from Sanskrit, or old Indo-Aryan, and its grammatical forms too have
without doubt, developed from it to a considerable extent. True that a great
number of Persian and Arabic lexical items have found their way into Kashmiri
after the advent of Islam and have become a part of its vocabulary. These,
however, are later day additions made much after Kashmiri had evolved as a
Evidence: Kashmiri and MIA
Though it is not possible to
say at what point of time exactly did Kashmiri start taking shape as a distinct
language, much of its early literary output having been lost, there is enough
written evidence available to help one outline its gradual development fromthe
MIA stages of Prakrit and Apabhramsha through which other modern Indo-Aryan
languages have passed. Anyone who cares to study its earliest extant record,
that exists in the form of the Chhumma Sampraday verses, Mahanay Prakash,
Banasur katha and 'Sukha-dukha Charit' will be able to see clearly the
continuity of linguistic development that runs through these works. While Chumma
Sampraday can be assigned to 11th or 12th century, Mahanay Prakash written by
Shitikantha can be rated to the 13th century, both being treatises of esoteric
Tantric sects. Then we have the verses of Lalleshwari and Sheikh Nur-ud-Din,
celebrated saint-poets who lived in the 14th century, but these have been passed
down for centuries in oral tradition and thier language cannot be said to be the
same in which they were originally composed. The sentence 'Rangassa Helu dinna'
(the village of Helu was given to Ranga) occuring in the 12th century work
Kalhana's Rajataringini is also a curious piece of of linguistic evidence.
Though Shitikantha's 'Mahanay Prakash' and Avtar Bhatta's Banasur Katha are
separated in time by about two centuries, these works share many a linguistic
to have written his work in the local dialect "inteligible to all
people'-"sarvagochardeshabhasa", and Avtar Bhatta too has used the
term "deshy" to describe the language he wrote in. The term has been
used by Prakrit grammarians to denote local or provincial dialects, as pointed
out by Dr. Tagare. Prakrit works by Jain writers are replete with references to
eighteen such dialectsor "attharas bhasa", of which Kashmiri must have
Features of early
Kashmiri that appear in Chumma Sampraday in a nascent form become more developed
and distinct in Mahanay Prakash, which displays a definite tendency of
Prakritization. Banasur Katha, on the other hand, is a record of that state of
Kashmiri when the language had just emerged from the Prakrit-Apabhramsha
egg-shell. The language of Sukha-dukha Charit is relatively closer to modern
Kashmiri while sharing most of the characteristics of Banasur Katha. Being a
record of the Kashmiri language as it was spoken in the 15th century, the last
two works shed useful light on its medieval development and are greatly helpful
in tracing earlier forms of a good number of Kashmiri words. For instance,
various forms of the auxiliary verb chhu occur as ksho, kshi, kshem, kshoh,
kshiyiy etc, suggestirg that these have originated from the Sanskrit root kshi,
meaning 'to be'. Similarly we find the original sh retained in words like shiki,
shit; shiton of which the corresponding modern forms are heki, kyath, 'hyotun',
Skt. sh generally changing to h in Kashmiri. Shot is another word of this kind,
its modern form being hot, 'throat' This is precisely what we find in the Poguli
dialect which even today preserves the original sibliant. 'Dittho' (modern Ksh.
dyuth) Skt. drishtwa and ditto (mod, Ksh. dyut) < Skt. dattah are among the
many intermediary forms of modern Kashmiri words that occur in Banasur Katha.
Most of the
phonetical changes one comes across in Mahanay Prakash (M.P), Banasur Katha
(B.K) and Sukha-dukha Charit (COC) take place much the same way as they do in
Prakrit and Apabhramsha. Many of these changes have crystallized to form words
which are used in present-day Kashmiri. For instance, of elision of independent
consonants ch, t d and p, there are many examples in these works, the elided
consonant being replaced by a glide, y or v: vachan>vayan, lochan>loyan,
gatah> gav vady>vay, avaptam>vato, sthapayitva>thavet. In modern
Kashmiri too, excepting the elision of ch in vachan and loyan, we have several
examples of this as gav, vay, vot and thevith. In Apabhramsha Skt. r changes to
a, i and u. In M.P, B.K. and S.D.C., r>i and a: prithvi>pithiv (M.P),
Pithvu (B.K); prakriti > pakiti (M.P), pakit (B.K), trn > tin,
mrtyu>mitya, drdha>dado (B.K), drstva>dittho, nrtya>nats etc. In
modern Kashmiri this tendency can be seen in words like dor< dridha, nats.
It will be interesting to note that a good number of grammatical and lexical
items are quite similar in B.K., S.D.C. and modern Kashmiri, the apparent
phonetlc differenes being mostly due to orthographical limitaticns. Another
feature that needs to be noted is that several wcrds occuring in B.K. and S.D.C.
are found in Hindi and some other north Indian languages but not in present day
Kashmiri. For instance we have: jalo (Hindi jala) pado (Hindi para), chados,
chadet (Hindi charha, charhe), piya (Hindi piya), guade (Hindi ghore;
modern/standard Kashmiri gur, rural Kashrniri gur). In B.K., the word eshen
occurs at one place having beeing been used in the sense of 'they came'.
Cursiously, this appears to be a Bengali word, the mod. Kashmiri word being ayi
(Hindi aye). These do not appear to be loan words. Their occurrence in 15th
century Kashmiri lends further support to the view that the lines of development
of Kashmiri and other modern Indo-Aryan languages must have been similar in the
linguistically singificant trait is that in B.K. as well as S.D.C., both 15th
century works, several words occur in more than one form. For instance, we have
tav and tam, kshyo and chho, ko and kus i and yi. One of these forms appears to
be older and unstable whereas the other is relatively new. This shows that the
language at that time was more or less in a state of flux and word forms had not
yet crystalised. Interestingly enough there are words in contemporary speech
also which exist in more than one form. One such word is navid, barber, which is
derived from Skt. napita and occurs in the form of nayid (Hindi nai) also, the
two forrns denoting two different stages of development: napita>navid, nayid.
This makes Kashmiri an interesting subject for study in the Indian linguistic
These early Kashmiri texts
also shed singificant light on Kashmiri metrics. While in Chumma Sampraday and
Maharlay Prakash the metre used approaches Vakh and Shruk(J)' derived probably
from Sanskrit Shloka or Prakrit Gaha metres, in Banasur Katha Sanskrit metres
like Vasantatilakam. Mandakranta, Narkataka, Sriagdkara have been used
straightaway together with what appear to be original Kashmiri meitres like
Thaddo, Phuro and Dukatika. We find the author of Sukha-dukha Charit also using
these very Sanskrit and indigenous metres and that is the last we see of them.
The above study,
based on written evidence of the state of Kashmiri language as it was used from
the 11th to late 15th century, should be enough to indicate the broad lines of
its development in the light of the phonetic changes that can be seen to have
taken place during this period. It should surely make it easier for us to go
back in time and note for ourselves that this process has been hardly different
from the one that has led to the development of other Aryan languages of India.
For those who care for facts, this is something that is quite valuable for
ascertaining and relocating the position of Kashmiri in the Indian linguistic
context. One thing is certain, the roots of Kashmiri do not lie hidden somewhere
in the Dardic soil, but can now, more clearly than ever before, be traced to a
land that formed a part of the Vedic world. Surely, there is a wide area that
has still to be explored, but the direction of this exploration is no longer
hazy or uncertain.
(c.f. Hindi kohni)
(c.f. Sh. aguto)
kshurah (-a cloven hoof- Note the change in meaning)
||sole of a
artery, blood vessel
(c.f. Hindi bukka)
the body roma
nalam (Pkt nalo)
And here are some words
relating to various physical states and conditions:
(c.f. Hindi 'bukh')
As for names of close
relatives are concerned Kashmiri 'mol' (father) and 'maej' (mother) are said to
be of Dardic origin. 'Mol' is, however, derived from Skt. 'mahal', meaning 'the
great one'. Other words are clearly of Sanskrit origin.
(Pkt. kunwari, Kauri, Panj. kudi, Kaur)
(Pkt. Mausi, Hindi mausi, masi)
(Pali jamatar, Hindi jamai)
(note the change of 'sh' to 'h')
son (wife's sister)
(Pkt. ramano ravannu) ranu, ravan (dialect)
Common animals, birds and
even worms and insects have names which are derived from Sanskrit. Examples:
tortoise, a turtle
tortoise, a turtle
Words for Colours:
(cf. Hindi kanha)
Names of days of the week:
(Hindi itvar, Sh. adit)
Names of edibles:
(c.f. Hindi chhimi)
(Pkt. kelao, Hindi kela)
||a kind of
||a dish of
rice and split pulse
cake offered to a god
Names of the minerals also
show the same tendency:
Names of objects of common
use are mostly of Sanskrit derivation:
(Pkt. kappado, Hindi kapra)
(Pkt. bhayana, Guj. bhanun, bhanen, Sindh banu)
||a canoe, a
(c.f. Hindi donga)
vohittha (c.f. Hindi bohit)
plate of metal
(c.f. Hindi thal)
affix ri (c.f. Hindi bangri, bangri; Marathi bangrya)
||a shoe of
grass or straw
Names of different seasons
are peculiarly Sanskritic:
|Name of the season
rituh (Hindi 'barsat')
Etymology of words
relating to physical, natural and environmental phenomena is quite interesting:
(Muslim Kashmiri 'akhtab')
chandra+mas (Hindi 'chandrama')
Of particular interest in
this context are Kashmiri numerals, cardinals as well as ordinals, which are
amazingly Indo-Aryan, retaining old Sanskritic elements as hardly any other
modern Indo-Aryan language does. In the Dardic languages Sanskrit sh does not
change to h though in Prakrit/Kashmiri has a full fledged numeral system which
by no stretch of imagination can be said to have any links with Dardic where
counting is done in twenties. Siddheshwar Verma has very clearly shown that
Kashmiri follows the Sanskrit-Pali pattern in its numerals. Let us consider
a few examples. Kashmiri is the only modern Indo- Aryan language that retains
the Sanskrit dvi in the form of du) in numerals that come after ten (barring
twelve). Thus we have, duhaeth (Skt. dva-shasthi, Pali dvasatthi, Pkt.
basatthi); dusatath (Skt. dvisaptati, Pali dvasattati), dunamath (Skt
dvanavati). In all other Indo-Aryan languages including Prakrit, d>b, as in
Hindi basath, bahattar, banave. In the same way Kashmiri shunamath retains the
sh of Sanskrit sannavati, whereas in other Indo- Aryan languages sh>chh,
Hindi chhiyanave, Bengali chhevanabbe, Sindhi chhanave etc. Again, Kashmiri
"satath" is closer to the Sanskrit-Pali pattern and not to Prakrit in
which the terminal t of saptati changes to r:Prakrit sattari', Hindi, Punjabi,
Bengali, Marathi sattar, Sindhi satari.
It is amazing that
Kashmir deh (Muslim Kashrnir dah) and hath derived from Sanskrit dash and shat
respectively, with sh and some other Indian languages like Marathi it does:
(Skt. dashamukha Pkt. dahamuho; Marathi daha- ten) In the Dardic, and even Kafir
languages, sh is generally retained. Thus we have: Kalash dash, Gwarbati dash,
Garwi dash. Torwali dash, Shina dai, Maiya dash. In Kashmiri shat (h) as well
hath are used for hundred hath for numbers below seven hundred and shat for
numbers above it. But in Dardic languages sh is generally retained or changed to
s as in Hindi and other modern Indo-Aryan languages: Kalash shor, Garwi 'So,
Torwali 'So, Maiya shal, Shina shal.
The following table will
make the position of Kashmiri numerals more clear:
Some Examples of
(1) k+t > tt: shakti
> shatta, bhakti > bhatta, rakta > ratta; Mod. Kaihmiri: rakta
'rath', 'bhakta (-rice) > bati, saktum > (parched rice) > sot.
In conjuncts with sibliants,
the sibliant generally elides:
(2) p+t tt/t: sapta >
satta, avaptam > vato. Mod. ksh.: sapta > sath, avaptam > vot, tapta
(3) t+y ch: nrtya- >
nachha - Mod. Ksh nrtya > nats, atyeti > Pkt. achei > Ksh. ats
(4) d+y jj: adya > ajja,
vadyanti vajjan, Mod. Ksh: adya > az, vadyanti vazan.
(5) g+dh > dh: dagdha
> dadho, dadhos. Mod. Ksh. dagdha > dod, dodus.
(6) dh+y > jj: madhya
> majj (Pkt. majh, Hindi manjh); budhyate > bujje (Pali bujjhati, Pkt.
bujjhai). Mod. Ksh: Madhya > manz, budhyate > bozi.
(7) h+v > jj: dahyati
> dajji Mod. Ksh: dahyati > dazi
(8) d+v > b: dwitiva
> Pkt. belya, bhiya, Mod. Ksh. beyi, dwadash > bah (Hindi barah) dwar
> bar (Punjabi bari)
(9) g+n > gg: lagnah
> laggo Mod. Ksh. lagnah > lagun, log
(10) g+n > nn: naghah
> nanno Mod. Ksh. nagnah > non
(11) t+m > p: atman >
pan (Pkt. appa, Hindi ap, Sindhi, pan, u)
(1) s+t > th, tth: stana
> than, hastat > attha Mod. Ksh: stana > than, stabmbh > tham,
hasta > athi
Another point of similarity
between phonology of M.P., B.K. S.D.C. and Prakrit-Pali-Apabhramsha is elision
of 'r' in r'-conjunction. The present writer was pleasantly surprised to come
acorss the word 'piya' (-beloved) in one of the most beautiful songs of Banasur
Katha-piya ma gatsh marnay.
(2) s+th > th: sthal
> thal (Pali thal', Pkt. 'thal', Punj. 'thal' Assamese 'thal', Guj, 'thal',
Marathi 'thal', Hindi 'thal' Skt. stha piyitva > thavet, sthan > than,
Mod. Ksh: 'sthal' > thal, sthapanam > thavun, sthal > thal.
(3) s+ph > ph:
'sphotayah > photiy; Mod. Ksh: 'sphotyati' > phuti
(4) s+m > s: 'smar' >
sar, saret (Pali 'sar' -, Pkt. 'sar'-, Mod. Ksh: 'smar' > sar
(5) sh+t/th > ttha:
drstva dittho (Pali dittha, Pkt. datt,ha, dittha, Guj. Dithun, Awadhi: ditha),
pristha > pittha, nistha > nittha, upavista > bittha; Mod. Ksh:
dristwa dyut,h; prishtha > pyath, pith; kostha > kuth; oshtha > wuth;
asta > ae: th kashtha > kath (Hindi kath) musti > mvath pusta >
puth, jyestha > zyuth (Hindi jetha), bhrasta breth; upavista > byuth.
(1) k+r > k.
krodhe > kodhe, krur > kur, Mod. Ksh: krur > kur
When 'r' is the second member
of a conjunct, however, it does not elide, but is retained with a vocalic
(2) k+k > kk: chakra
> chakka, shakra > shakka; Mod. Ksh: chukra > tsok, nakrashira >
Pkt. nakkasira- > Mod. Ksh. naser
(3) t+r > t: > tatra
tatte, tati; yatra > yatti, yati; atra > ati, trasen > trase, tri-
Mod. Ksh. tatra > tati;
yatra > yeti, atra > ati, ratri > rath, kutra > kati
(4) r+n/n, > n (n):
varna > vanna; suvarna > suvanna, varnaya > vanno, (a) karne >
akannet. Mod. Ksh.: karna > kan, swarna > swan, parna > pan, churna
(5) r+m > mm; m; karma
> kamma, marma > mamma charma > chamma Mod. Ksh: karma > k aem,
charma > tsam
(6) r+p > pp: darpa >
dappa; arpit > appu; Mod. Ksh: shurpa > shup; karpasa > kayas
(7) r+h > ll, 1: yarhi
> yille, tarhi > tille, Mod. Ksh: yarhi > yeli, tarhi > teli
(1) Agre > agari, agra;
abhrat > abhra; sahasra > sass; nirgatah > niret, niri, nirim; sparsa
> parshet, Mod. Ksh: abhra > obur, sahasra > sas, nirgatah > ner;
sparsha > phash (Pkt. phassa)
The consonant 'r' is,
however, generally retained in modern Kashmiri in initial, medial or final
positions. The doubled consonants formed as a result of its elision have been
simplied in course of further development of the language in case of words where
it has been elided. There is no compensatory elongation of the vowel in Kashmiri
for the words so formed, as usually happens in Hindi and other modern Indo-Aryan
languages. Thus karna > kan and not kan (as in Hindi), swarna > swan and
The joint letter ksh
changes mostly to chh or chchh, but in some cases it changes to kh as happens in
Mod. Ksh. too.
Here are same examples:
(1) Ksh > chchh/chh:
kshut. > chchot; akshi > achchi Mod. Ksh: kshut > tshot, akshi >
achh, mandakshi > mandachh, bubhuksha > bochhi, laksha > lachh,
vaksha > vachh, raksha > rachh, paksha > pachh, kaksha > kachh,
taksha > tachh, yaksha > yachh, draksha > dachh, maksha > machh,
kshalava > chhal, shiksha > hechh, veksha > vuchh (Punj. vekh)
The sibliants 'sh', 's'
(cerebral 'sh') and 's' generally change to 'h' in Kashmiri though there are
(2) ksh > kkh/kh:
tikshna > tikkho Mod. Ksh: Lakshmi > lakhymi, sukshma > sikhim,
paksha > (-wing) > pakh, kshama > khyama
(1) sh/s > h: dasha >
daeh, ekadasha > kah, chaturdasha > chuddah, nashan > nahen Mod. Ksh:
dasha > clah, ekadasha > kah, chaturdasha > tsodah, nashan >
nahvun, sharad > harud, shat > hath, shuska > hokh, krisna >
kruhun, chusana > tsihun, pesanam > pihun, vestana > vatun, visam
> veh, tus > toh, manusya > mohnyuv, upavisha > beh; shun/shwan
> hun; shari > haer, mashkah > moh.
Vowel changes occur in modern
Kashmiri almost along the same lines as in M.P. B.K. and S.D.C. Examples of some
of these are given below:-
(2) sh/s remains unchanged:
shobha > shub, maihisa mash, shurpa > shup, pusa/puspa > posh, asha
> ash, tris. > tresh, mris. mash-, lesha > lish, prakash > gash.
Initial 'h' changes to 'a'
in Kashmiri. There are only a few examples of this in M.P. B.K. aild S.D.C.:
hastat > attha, hasti > asis
Mod. Ksh: hasta > athi,
hasan > asun, ha,dda > adda
(1) a > a: sahara
> sass, saphal > saphul, nibhrit > nibhara, rakshaka > rakshe,
sahit > sate, priya > piya, nashya > nah. Mod. Ksh: sahasra > sas,
raksha > rachh-,. nashya- > nah;
(2) a > u: Medial 'a'
often changes to 'u' in Kashmiri nominative singular. This tendency is equally
strong in M.P., B.K. and S.D.C.
Examples: Janaka >
januk, anal > anul, varsana > varshun, tapodhana > tapodhun,
sanrakshaka > sanrakshuk, Narad > Narud, Madhava > Madhuv. Mod. Ksh.:
balak > baluk, varsan, a > varshun, rakshaka > rakhyuk, takshaka >
takhyuk, Narada > Narud, sarpah > sarup, bhramrah > bombur
(3) a > a: Like
Maharashtri, Jain Maharashtri, Ardha- Magdhi Prakrits and Apabhramshas, a >
a in fem. nom. sing. in M.P., B.K., and S.D.C. Modern Kashmiri also exhibits
this tendency. Examples: Puja > puj, katha > kath, bala > bal, Usha
(proper name) > Ush, mata > mat Mod. Ksh.: Puja > puz, katha >
kath, bala > bal, Usa (proper name) > Ushi, mala > mal, sthala >
(4) i > a: narpati >
narpat, dinapati > dinapat, nayika > nayak, rishi > rish, rashi >
rash, rashmi > rashm, buddhi > buddh, shakti > shatta, bhakti >
bhatta, agni > agna. Mod. Ksh.: rsi > ryosh, ganapati > ganapat,
rashi > rash, budcdhi > bwadh, gati > gath, prati > prath.
(5) i > u: jiva > juv
(Sindhi jiu, Panj, jiu, Kumanoni jyu, ziu, Bengali jiu, Marathi jiu, Hindi
jiu) Mod. Ksh.: zuv
(6) u > a: tribhuvan
> tibhavan, Shambhu > Shambh, ashru > asra, kutah > katto, asur
> asar, shatru > shatra, Visnu > vi,sn,a.
Mod. Ksh.: ashru > osh,
kutah > kati, shatru > shathir Vishnu > veshin
1. Siddheshwal Verma, The
Antiquities of Kashmiri: An Approach. p. 7.
2. See his Detailed Report
of a Tour in Search of Sanskrit Manuscripts Made in Kashmir, Rajputana and
Central Asia p. 89.
3. Journal Asiatic Society
of Bengal, p. 280.
4. Tour in Search of
Sanskrit Manuscripts, p. 83.
5. Monier Williams,
Sanskrit Dictionary, p. 844.
6. The Antiquities of
Kashmiri: An Approach, p. 4.
7. S.K. Toshkhani,
"Some Important Aspects of Kashmiri as a Language", The Lala Rookh,
August 1967, p. 50.
8. G.A. Grierson, "The
Linguistic Classification of Kashmiri", Indian Antiquary XLIV, p. 257.
9. The Linguistic Survey of
India Vol. VIII. Part II. p. 259.
10. S.K. Chatterji,
Languages and Literatures of Modern India. p. 256.
11. The Lingusitic Survey
of India Vol. VIII, Part IV: The Introduction p. 8.
12. Quoted by Murray B.
Emenau in AnL VIII. No. 8, p. 282-83.
14. G.A. Grierson, The
Linguistic Survey of India Vol. VIII, Part II, 251- 2.
15. See T. Grahame Bailey,
Grammar of the Shina Language, Royal Asiatic Society, London, 1924.
16. Help has been taken of
Turners' Comparative Dictionary of Modern Indo-Aryan Languages' for etymology
of most of the words.
17. Siddheshwar Verma, The
Antiquities of Kashmiri: An Approach, p. 5-6.
18. Beams, A Comparative
Grammar of the Modern Languages of India. p. 291.
19. Tour in Search of
Sanskrit Manuscripts, p. 86.
20. Ibid. p. 86.
21. G. A. Grierson, The
Language of Mahanay Prakash, Para 274.