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Clauses & Conjunctions - Part 2

Following on from an earlier post detailing relative clauses in Pali, we will continue to examine clause structures.

Clause conjunction structureIf you remember, a clause consists of a subject (noun phrase) and a verb phrase or to use different lingo, a subject and a predicate. In its simplest form a sentence is just a single clause.

Now let’s continue with our analysis.

Conjunctions – ca, vā & pi

Clauses can be joined to form compound sentences by use of conjunctions. In Pali, these  include:
 sace (if), evaṁ (thus), ceva, ca (also, too), iva (like), puna (again), pana (however), ve, have (indeed), vinā (without), aññatra (except), eva (only, just), saha, saddhiṁ (with), vā (or, else), idha (here), huraṁ (there).

An enclitic, or just clitic, is a technical term that simply means a word that always follows the word to which it relates. As such they never appear at the beginning of a sentence. Many conjunctions are enclitic.

The particle ca, is used to mean ‘and’ while vā means ‘or’. Also ‘pi is sometimes used like ‘ca'.  They can be used to join either words, phrases or clauses. And being enclitic they usually follow the words to which they connect or are be placed near the beginning of separate clauses indicating that the clauses are joined. Unlike English, the particle (very generally) follows every word conjoined. For instance:
bhikkhu
araññagato
rukkhamūlagato
suñña-agāra-gato
A monk
gone to a remote place
or
gone to a tree base
or
gone to an empty dwelling
or
A monk , gone to a remote place or gone to a tree base or gone to an empty dwelling

However sometimes there is only one ca or vā with the arrangement being somewhat arbitrary eg.
  • A ca B ca
  • A ca B
  • A B ca
When there are two or more correlative particles in a sentence, the sense is often: 
  • ca… ca… ‘both…this and…this ’,
  • pi… pi… ‘both…this and…this ’,
  • vā… vā… ‘whether … this or… that’
And ‘ca is sometimes compounded to the end of a noun in which case any preceding vowel is lengthened. 

Disjunction (either/or clauses) can also be expressed with yadi… yadi.. and in the negative (neither this nor that) by: 
  • n’eva… n’eva…,
  • n’eva… na pi…

Negation – na, no & mā

The particle ‘na’ or ‘no’ is often placed near the start of a clause. It negates the whole clause within which it is placed. This is equivalent to putting ‘not’ in front of the verb in English.

They may also be compounded to the front of a verb eg. n’atthi or  to a noun attribute in the form of ‘a-‘ (or an- in front of a vowel) which negates the copula verb. This is similar to but different from the prefix ‘a-’ (or ‘an-’) applied to a noun, adjective or participle which reverses the meaning of the word, (acting like ‘a-‘, ‘un-‘ or ‘in-‘ in English eg. a-political, un-impressed, in-tolerant, im-patient etc.) So where the ‘a-’ prefix negates the noun, ‘na’ 'n'-' negates the verb.

Note, not all words beginning with ‘a’ are negatives; some verbs are prefixed by an augment ‘a-’ making them conditionals or aorist/past tense. Other prefixes can also be used to negate, ni(r)-, vi-, apagata- (to go away), vigata- (expend), vīta- (vanish). These may express absence/loss or simple negation.

The negative particle is often accompanied by an emphatic as in:
na pi - , nāpi, n’eva, na kho, na pana => not indeed
na hi -> certainly not
na hi kudācana  lit (certainly not sometimes) => never

Kuto & Kuto pana may follow a negated clause with the meaning ‘still less this…’ (adversarial clause) eg.
natthi soko kuto bhayam"
"there is no grief, still less fear
The particle ‘mā’ is similar to ‘na’ and is used with a verb either in the aorist (past) tense or the imperative to mean a prohibition i.e. ‘do not do this’ and is, often in 2nd person implying ‘don’t (you) do this’. If in 3rd person it means ‘may he not..’ ‘don’t allow him to…’

A double negation, with either na & mā  or na & no in the same sentence is a strong assertion (i.e. I really mean this).

‘ti & iti clauses – Quotation, Direct Speech & Thoughts

Verbs of saying, telling, asking, naming and also knowing & thinking, are often expressed within an ‘iti’ clause; which gets abbreviated just to: ‘ti. The particle ‘ti signifies that the word or phrase preceding it should be placed in quotation marks. Although the particle marks the end of the quotation, only context can tell you where the quotation starts!

The quoted phrase by no means is limited to words actually spoken! It may identify at attitude or thought and may represent a reason for something being done.

The verb related to the speech or thought (eg. 'he said') can be placed either before or after the quoted phrase and sometime even omitted.

It’s also important to note that particles such as ‘ti (and also ‘ca) are often compounded to the end of nouns, in which case, they may affect the spelling of that word in two ways:
  • an immediately preceding short vowel becomes lengthened (a->ā) and 
  • an ṃ changes to a nasal form of n, due to sandhi. 
So, when looking up words in dictionaries, these effects must be first reversed.  eg.:
evaṃ + 'ti = evañti
kvaci + iti = kvacīti
iti + evaṃ = iccevaṃ;

The Interrogative or Questions  - ka

Questions are formed in Pali in different ways. Usually they contain an interrogative pronoun based on ‘ka-’. 
kasmā, why? wherefore?
kissa, kena, why?
ko, who? etc.

But can also be expressed with particles like:
Nu, pana,  nūna,  isn’t it?  
Api, (when interrogative is always placed first in the sentence)
Api nu, , nu kho, anga pana

And with idioms:
Saccaṃ kira -> is it true… ?
Atthi nama -> is it possible… ?

And sometimes reversing the sentence order ie. placing the verb at the start also implies a query.

Learn Pali Grammar - Interrogative Pronouns & How to form questions

In this Pali studies tutorial we take a look at the grammar of Interrogative sentences & Interrogative Pronouns both in English and the Pali language. We use interrogative pronouns to ask questions. ...

Conditional clauses - sace, ‘ce, yadi & yaṃ  

Conditional clauses are an ‘If X then Y’ style of clause, stating a condition and a result (not to be confused with conditional mood). The main independent clause of the sentence usually expresses the result (either fulfillment or failure).
If I study, then I will learn Pali
In Pali  the conditional sentence can be divided into three types:
  • certain (truths), 
  • hypothetical (what if) and 
  • non-realised, counter-factual.
These can be constructed through combinations of verb tense & mood (see the post on Verb tense aspect and mood). The condition is introduced by either sace, ‘ce, yadi or yaṃ  (ce is enclitic and thus won't be the first word in the clause).  And the two clauses then take one of the following verbal moods:




Pāli verb mood

condition, if
then - main clause

if clause
then - main clause
certain/true:
If I study
I will learn Pali

Present/future
Present/future
/imperative
hypothetical:
If I were to study
I could/may learn Pali

optative
optative
not possible /
non-realised:
If I had studied
I would have learnt Pali

optative
optative
conditional
optative
conditional
optative

The table above shows the verb tenses/mood used by Pali to create the different types of conditional meaning. Generally in these constructions, the future tense can be translated as ‘will’, the optative as ‘were to’, ‘may’ or ‘should’ and the conditional as ‘had’ or ‘would have’. Usually, if the condition and its result are purely hypothetical the- optative is used; if true, the indicative (present or future) ; if false, the conditional mood - but sometimes the optative also.

Notice here the conditional verb mood implies an action or situation that did not take place and although it shares the same name as the conditional clause it is only employed in one type of this construction. 

For more see Warder pg.295 or Perniola pg.396

Here's probably a good place to summaries the verb tenses & moods found in Pali.
  • Present: refers to an action occurring at the present time and also the so-called “historical present” or the narration of past events cast as if in the present.
    • Optative: is used to express possibility, probability, fitness, agreement, or permission and may be translated by ‘should, would, or may’. It is also be used in conditional clauses
    • Imperative: is used for commands but also invitations and wishes. It is also be used in conditional clauses and to form prohibitions.
  • Past (aorist): refers to the general indefinite past or previously completed events. It is also used in prohibitions.
  • Future: implies an action or an event that will occur at some unspecified point in the future. It can also be used to express the probable, a mild imperative and also be used in conditional clauses
    • Conditional: is rather strange. It refers to a future event which may not eventuate due to some impediment or obstruction and so is used to suggest impossibility, potential failure or non-realisation of an action. It is often used in conditional clauses
Some examples:
sace
ākaṅkhasi
nisīdā
indec
pres, act
sgl
2nd pers

imperative
sgl
2nd pers


present
imperative
if
you wish
(please) sit down

sace’pi
me
kodho
uppajjeyya,
khippam’eva
naṃ
paṭivineyyaṃ
indec
inst/dat/gen
sgl
m,n,f

nom
sgl
male

opt
sgl
3rd pers

acc
sgl
m,n,f

acc
sgl
m,n,f
demon
pron

opt
sgl
1st pers

optative
optative
even if
my, for me
anger
may arise
quickly
this, it
may I drive out
even if for me anger were to arise, I would drive it out quickly

This one's a bit long so I've simplified it to display here.

no
cetaṃ
abhavissa
ajātaṃ
abhūtaṃ
cond mood
no
if that
would have been
not-born
not-existent…
if there were not the not-born, not-existent…

nayidha
jātassa
bhūtassa
nissaraṇaṃ
paññāyetha
cond mood
no, then
of the born
of the existent
escape
would be evident
then no escape of the born, of the existent… would be evident

Relative clause

I’ve covered relative clauses in a previous post, but here are some other clauses formed by relative adverbs.
  • yathā…tathā/evaṃ… (‘just as…so in that way…’)
yathā
pure
tathā
pacchā
adverb
indec
adverb
adverb




just as
before
so
afterward

Similar construction with:
  • yadā… tadā/atha… (‘when… then…),
  • yato (‘because/since’ or ‘from what/whom’),
  • yasmā… tasmā… (‘because of… therefore….,)
  • yadi (‘whether/if…’).
  • yattha/yatra…tatthā… (‘where this…so there…’)
See this tutorial on Relative Adverbs:

Relative Adverbs & Clauses #2: Learn Pāli Language

Following on from the tutorial examining relative pronouns, we now take a look at the grammar of relative adverbs & clauses in the Pali language. Like pronouns, relative adverbs can begins relative clauses...

hi clauses - Because

‘hi’, ‘because’ usually introduces a cause or reason. Unusually for Pali, the ‘hi’ clause often follows its main clause.
gaṇassa
satthāro
sāmañña-p-pattā,
na
hi
nūna
te
sappurisehi
dūre
gen/dat
sgl
male

nom/acc
pl

agent noun

nom/acc
pl
fem
past part

indec
nom/
acc
pl
male

inst/abl
pl
male

loc,acc
sgl, pl
m,n,f

of a sect
teachers
obtained a company
not
because
indeed
they
from worthy
men
distant/far
Teachers of a sect obtained a company
because they (are) not far from worthy men
Similarly, with:   yāva…  tāva…  (as far as / as long as…  this far/long, until…) which is often reversed:   tāva…  yāva…  (until…   so…)
yāv’assa
kāyo
ṭhassati
tāva
naṃ
dakkhanti
deva’manussā
adv
gen/dat

sgl

m,n

nom
sgl
male

fut, act
sgl

3rd pers

adv.
acc
sgl

3rd pers 
pron

pres, act
pl

3rd pers

nom
pl
male

as long, this/his
body
will last
this long
him/that
sees
deities & men
as long as his body will last
this long deities & men see him

Repetition of nouns, pronouns & adverbs

Here is a good place to mention repetition. This is generally done for emphasis or to generalize.
  • Repetition of nouns can imply emphasis (very…).
  • Repetition of relative adverbs and pronouns implies generality ‘whatever, wherever, whomever…’
  • Repeated demonstratives may imply ‘several, various…’
Some specific examples:
  • yad yad = whosoever, whatsoever
  • yena yena = wherever
  • yo yo = whoever
  • tesu tesu = various
When a relative adverb/pronoun is repeated, so is any co-relative term - implying a meaning ‘all these…’
  • yathā yathā = in whatever way… tathā tathā = so these…
yattha yattha
sukhaṃ
upalabbhati
yahiṃ yahiṃ
taṃ
taṃ
tathāgato
sukhasmiṃ
paññapetī
relative adv
nom/acc
sgl
nt

pres,pass
sgl

3rd pers

relative adv
acc
sgl
m,n,f


nom
sgl
male

locative
sgl
nt

pres,caus.
sgl

3rd pers

where, where
happiness
is found
where, where
that, that
authentic one
happiness
he makes known
wherever happiness is found, whatsoever, all this the authentic one makes known in happiness

Compounded Clauses

Finally, clauses are often compounded. Warder gives many examples on pg.299
sā,
bhante,
vesī
amhesu
pamattesu
paricārentesu
bhaṇḍaṃ
ādāya
palāyittha.
nom
sgl
fem
pron

voc
sgl
male

nom
sgl
fem

loc
pl
m,n
pron

loc
pl
m,n

loc
pl
m,n
pres part

nom/acc
sgl
nt

absol
past reflex
sgl
3rd pers

she
O lord
a harlot
we/our
intoxication, carelessness
feasting
property
having taken
(she) ran away
the harlot, O Lord,
while we intoxicated by feasting
having taken our property, ran away
This is actually a compound of clauses, Here one clause is marked by the locative, plural and another is created by the absolutive. The locative case is a way to express subordinate clauses, especially temporal and causal clauses, this particular one is a type of locative absolute – subject of the participle in locative differing from that of main clause and implies 'while/after'.

Thus, the main clause is ‘the harlot, she ran away’. Added to this is the absolutive ‘having taken our property,’.  Finally add in the locative absolute  and we get:
the harlot, having taken our property while we were intoxicated by feasting, ran away
The final verb took me sometime to parse. Fortunately, it can only be from one base - palàyati - to run away. The ending then is -ttha. Using Pali Lookup lead me first to think it belonged to aorist 2nd person, plural  – ‘you ran away’ which makes little sense in the context. Then after trawling through Duroiselle I discovered he lists -ttha also under perfect reflexive 3rd person sgl – ‘she ran away’. The perfect is a rare past verb tense in Pali used originally to express a definite past.


In the next post I'll try to summarise what we have covered so far in a quick reference guide for dissecting Pali clauses

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