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Tadbhava (IPA: [t̪əd̪bʱəʋə]) is the Sanskrit word for one of three etymological classes defined by native grammarians of Middle Indo-Aryan languages.[1] A "tadbhava" is a word with an Indo-Aryan origin and related to Sanskrit but which had been changed to fit the phonology of the Prakrit or Apabhraṃśa in question. Tadbhavas were distinguished from tatsamas, a term applied to borrowed words which retained their Sanskrit form, and deśi ("native"), a term applied to words that were not borrowings.[2] In the modern context, the terms "tadbhava" and "tatsama" are applied to Sanskrit loanwords not only in Indo-Aryan languages, but also in Dravidian, Munda and other South Asian languages.[3]


Tadbhavas in Indo-Aryan languagesEdit

Modern Indo-Aryan languages have two classes of tadbhava words. The first covers words which have come to these languages from Old Indo-Aryan through Prakrit and Apabhraṃśa; these are also called deśi "native". A second class of tadbhava words in modern Indo-Aryan languages covers words which have their origin in Classical Sanskrit and which were originally borrowed into Prakrit or Apabhraṃśa as tatsamas but which, over the course of time, changed in form to fit the phonology of the recipient language. Words that were borrowed into a modern Indo-Aryan language itself as tatsamas, but which have since changed in form are often called ardhatatsamas or semi-tatsamas by modern linguists.[2]

Tadbhava, tatsama and semi-tatsama forms derived from the same Indo-Aryan root sometimes coexist in modern Indo-Aryan languages. For example, the descendants of śraddha in Bengali include the tatsama sroddhā and the tadbhava form cheddā in addition to the inherited word sādh.[3] Similarly, Sanskrit ājñā exists in modern Hindi as tadbhava āgyā and an inherited form ān (via Prakrit āṇa) in addition to the pure tatsama ājñā.[2] In such cases, the use of tatsama forms in place of equivalent tadbhava or native forms is often seen by speakers of a language as a marker of a more chaste or literary form of the language as opposed to a more rustic or colloquial form.[4][5] Often, however, a word exists only in one of the three possible forms, that is, only as a tadbhava, tatsama or semi-tatsama, or has different meanings in different forms. For example, reflexes of the Old Indo-Aryan word hṛdaya exists in Hindi both as a tatsama and as a tadbhava. However, the tatsama word hṛdaya means "heart" as in Sanskrit whereas the tadbhava hiyyā means "courage".[2]

Tadbhavas in Oriya languagesEdit

Oriya words are divided into native words (desaja), those borrowed from Sanskrit (tatasam) and those adapted with little modification from Sanskrit (tatbhaba). The 17th century dictionary Gitabhidhana by Upendra Bhanja, Sabda Tattva Abhidhana (1916) by Gopinath Nanda, Purnachandra Oriya Bhashakosha (1931) by GC Praharaj containing 185000 Words, Promoda Abhidan (1942) containing 150000 words by PC Deb and Damodara Mishar classified the Oriya words as deśi, tatsama or tadbhava.

Those Oriya words are derived from Oriya verbal roots, and the Oriya verbal roots are derived from Sanskrit verbal roots; these Oriya words are called Tatabhaba Krudanta words. For example, "kandana" is derived from Oriya "dhatu kanda" which is derived from Sanskrit "kranda dhatu".[6][7]

Tadbhavas in other South Asian languagesEdit

In the context of Dravidian, Munda and some South Asian Tibeto-Burman (e.g. Nepāl Bhāṣā) languages, the terms "tatsama" and "tadbhava" are used to describe words which have been borrowed from Sanskrit either unmodified ("tatsama") or modified ("tadbhava"). Tadbhava as used in relation to these languages, therefore, corresponds more accurately with the categories of tatsama and semi-tatsama used in relation to the vocabulary of modern Indo-Aryan languages. All Dravidian languages contain a proportion of tadbhava and tatsama words, possibly exceeding over half of the vocabulary of literary Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam, with Tamil being less Sanskritised.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kahrs, Eivind G. (1992). "What is a tadbhava word?". Indo-Iranian Journal. 35 (2-3): 225–249. doi:10.1007/BF00164933.  at pp. 67-69.
  2. ^ a b c d Grierson, George (1920). "Indo-Aryan Vernaculars (Continued)". Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies. 3 (1): 51–85.  at pp. 67-69.
  3. ^ a b c Staal, J.F. (1963). "Sanskrit and Sanskritization". The Journal of Asian Studies. Association for Asian Studies. 22 (3): 261–275. JSTOR 2050186. doi:10.2307/2050186.  at p. 272.
  4. ^ Burghart, Richard (1993). "A Quarrel in the Language Family: Agency and Representations of Speech in Mithila". Modern Asian Studies. 27 (4): 761–804. doi:10.1017/S0026749X00001293.  at p. 766.
  5. ^ Barannikov, A. (1936). "Modern Literary Hindī". Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies. 8 (2/3): 373–390. doi:10.1017/s0041977x00141023.  at p. 390.
  6. ^ "International Journal of English and Education" (PDF). October 2012 [30 September 2012]. ISSN 2278-4012. Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  7. ^ Hausmann, F.J. Dictionnaires. Walter de Gruyter. p. 2515. ISBN 978-311012421-7. Retrieved 2015-08-20.