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In Pini's Sanskrit grammar, v?ddhi (Sanskrit: , IPA: ['?r?d?d], lit. 'growth',[1] from Proto-Indo-European *werd?- 'to grow'[2]) is a group of long vowels produced by ablaut (vowel gradation). For example:[3]

  • bh?-tá- ? "carried" (base form, nowadays called zero grade)
  • bhár-a?a- "burden" (gu?a, full grade)
  • bh?r-yá- "to be carried" (v?ddhi, lengthened grade)

In modern Indo-European linguistics it is used in Pini's sense, but not restricted to Sanskrit but applicable to the Indo-European languages in general as well as to the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language from which this feature was inherited:

  • *b?r?-[4] (zero grade of the reconstructed verb meaning "to carry")[5]
  • *b?er- (full grade)
  • *b??r- (v?ddhi, lengthened grade)


A v?ddhi-derivation or v?ddhi-derivative is a word that is derived by such lengthening, a type of formation very common in Sanskrit, but also attested in other languages. Such derivatives signify "of, belonging to, descended from". An example:[6]

  • PIE *swé?uro- "father-in-law" (Vedic Sanskrit ?vá?ura-) -> *sw??uró- "relating to one's father-in-law" (Vedic ?v??ura- "relating to one's father-in-law", Old High German sw?gur "brother-in-law")

Derivatives that are formed by inserting a full grade (as opposed to a lengthened grade) vowel into the "wrong" position of a zero grade are also called v?ddhi-derivations:[6]

  • PIE *diw-, zero grade of *dy?u-s "sky"-> *deyw-os "god, sky god" (Vedic devás, Latin deus, etc.)


  1. ^ in Sanskrit, a -tí-nomen actionis formed from the verbal root v?dh-/vardh- 'to grow'
  2. ^ *werd?- 'to grow' entry at Indo-European etymological database of The Tower of Babel project
  3. ^ Meier-Brügger, Fritz & Mayrhofer (2003, L 413)
  4. ^ The asterisk * indicates that a form is not directly attested, but has been reconstructed on the basis of other linguistic material.
  5. ^ Rix (2001:76f)
  6. ^ a b Fortson (2004:116f)


  • Fortson, Benjamin W., IV (2004). Indo-European Language and Culture. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 1-4051-0316-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Meier-Brügger, Michael; Fritz, Matthias; Mayrhofer, Manfred (2003). Indo-European Linguistics. Berlin; New York: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-017433-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Rix, H (2001). Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben (2 ed.). ISBN 3-89500-219-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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