The University of Texas at Austin; College of Liberal Arts
Hans C. Boas, Director :: PCL 5.556, 1 University Station S5490 :: Austin, TX 78712 :: 512-471-4566
LRC Links: Home | About | Books Online | EIEOL | IE Doc. Center | IE Lexicon | IE Maps | IE Texts | Pub. Indices | SiteMap

Tocharian Online

Lesson 2

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Laryngeals

Since voiceless aspirates were finally removed from the PIE stop inventory, scholars were forced to explain the origin of the voiceless aspirates in Sanskrit. For this Hittite again led the way. Hittite preserved consonants, now called laryngeals and denoted *h₁, *h₂, *h₃ (or collectively just *H), which were unattested in any of the other daughter languages. These consonants, when following voiceless non-aspirates in Sanskrit, resulted in the corresponding aspirate: PIE *-tH- > Skt. -tʰ-. Laryngeals also had the following effects:

  • Coloring: laryngeals change the quality, or "color," of an adjacent PIE short *e;
  • Contraction: laryngeals contract with a preceding vowel to give a long vowel of the same quality;
  • Vocalization: a laryngeal between consonants yields a vowel.

The following chart illustrates Laryngeal coloring.

Color   PIE   Result   PIE   Result
                 
e   *h₁e   *h₁e   *eh₁   *eh₁
a   *h₂e   *h₂a   *eh₂   *ah₂
o   *h₃e   *h₃o   *eh₃   *oh₃

The chart below shows the laryngeal contraction that follows coloring.

PIE   Color   Contraction
         
*eh₁   *eh₁   *ē
*eh₂   *ah₂   *ā
*eh₃   *oh₃   *ō

The vocalization of laryngeals differed according to language, as shown in the following chart.

PIE   Greek   Latin   Sanskrit
             
*dʰh₁s-   és-pʰatos   fānum < fas-no-   iṣ-ṇya-
*sth₂-tó-   sta-tó-s   sta-tu-s   stʰi-ta-
*dh₃-ti-   dó-si-s   da-tiō   di-ti-

After coloring and contraction, the laryngeals themselves were subsequently lost in all languages except Hittite. The following chart compares the outcomes of some PIE roots in Hittite and Latin.

PIE   Coloring   Hittite   Latin
             
*h₁es-ti   *h₁es-ti   ēš-zi 'is'   est 'is'
*h₂ent-   *h₂ant-   hant- 'forehead'   ante 'before'
*h₃erbʰ-   *h₃orbʰ-   harapp- 'be separated'   orbus 'orphan'

The table below gives some typical examples of the sequence of changes leading from PIE forms containing laryngeals to their remnants in other daughter languages.

PIE   Color   Contraction   Result
             
*dʰeh₁-mṇ   *dʰeh₁-mṇ   *dʰē-mṇ   Gk. (aná)-tʰēma
*peh₂-s-   *pah₂-s-   *pā-s-   Lat. pās-tor
*deh₃-rom   *doh₃-rom   *dō-rom   Gk. dō-ron

Vowels

As with the PIE stop inventory, the PIE vocalic system was originally assumed to be quite robust. The original assumption was that it contained all the "continental" vowels -- *a, *e, *i, *o, *u -- together with their lengthened counterparts -- *ā, *ē, *ī, *ō, *ū. Upon further investigation, it was found that the evidence for PIE *a is in fact sparse. The advent of laryngeal theory in turn allowed for even greater simplification, since both PIE *a and *o could be assumed to derive from earlier PIE *eh₂ and *eh₃, respectively. The lengthened vowels could likewise be derived from laryngeal contraction. Thus the PIE vowel system seemed to devolve into merely *e plus the semivowels *i and *u. This position seems so extreme, however -- there are no extant languages with solely one vowel -- that most historical linguists take the core PIE vowels to be *e, *a, *o (the latter two being rarer than the first), plus the semivowels *i, *u. The lengthened grades are typically seen as the result of laryngeal contraction, though there does seem to be evidence from patterns of vocalic alternation (ablaut) that some long vowels were original in PIE.

Resonants

The resonants of PIE are the typical *r, *l, *n, *m. Each of these can function as consonant, beginning or ending a syllable, or as forming the nucleus of a syllable, like a vowel. In the latter role they are often denoted *ṛ, *ḷ, *ṇ, *ṃ. As an example, compare the first l- of the English word little, which as a consonant begins the first syllable, to the second -l-, which as a vowel forms the nucleus of the second syllable.

Given the ability of the laryngeals to vocalize between consonants, it is occasionally convenient to think of the laryngeals likewise as resonants.

Affricates

PIE had the sole sibilant *s. In certain environments this may have become voiced, but this was an allophonic change, not phonemic.

Proto-Indo-European Phonology: a Summary

The basic idea of PIE phonology is to posit a phonological system of the parent language Proto-Indo-European, and to state explicitly different groups of rules, whereby the phonemes of PIE changed regularly into those of the various daughter languages. For instance, one set of rules should say how those phonemes changed into the phonemic inventory of Proto-Germanic; another should describe how the PIE phonemes changed into those of Proto-Italic; and so on. From there, one repeats the procedure, e.g. stating rules by which the phonemes of Proto-Italic developed into those of Latin. The Tocharianist of course desires to apply the same methodology to Tocharian A and B, first deciding how PIE phonemes became those of Proto-Tocharian, and how these latter became the phonemes seen in Tocharian A and Tocharian B themselves.

Lest the reader receive the impression that this is in some sense a merely linguistic pursuit devoid of application to matters of Tocharian society and culture, consider the following. In the early period of Tocharian studies, it was not clear what relative status to give to the two languages Tocharian A and Tocharian B. Scholars were not clear as to whether they are mere dialects, two separate languages in their own right, or if one is the linguistic ancestor of the other. It is primarily through studies of phonology that one attempts to decide the question: for the most part is has become clear that the two languages have phonological rules distinct enough that it is difficult to say one derives from the other. And in many instances it is quite difficult to imagine that they were mutually intelligible at the time they were spoken. (However assertions of this sort are notoriously dubious, since there are ancient references that Old English and Old Norse were mutually intelligible, something that rarely occurs to modern scholars as they attempt to learn the two languages.) At present there is general concensus that Tocharian A and Tocharian B are in fact two distinct languages, likely spoken concurrently by different groups of speakers. This conclusion must be taken into account, then, when one discusses the curious fact that the Tocharian A documents found thus far are all translations of foreign Buddhist literature, while Tocharian B shows at least some documents of native Tocharian composition. If one were to look at a similar situation in the present day, noting that Latin is used almost solely as a liturgical language, while Italian has a robust native literature, one might surmise that as Italian descends from Latin, so must Tocharian B from Tocharian A. But this is not borne out by linguistic inquiry. One must ask then what societal conditions would lead to the Tocharian A speakers writing solely liturgical documents, while Tocharian B speakers left documents on a much wider variety of matters of daily life?

Moreover, in terms of scientific inquiry, laryngeal theory has provided the greatest historical linguistic instance of scientific prediction. Saussure in essence developed the initial idea of laryngeals as a means to explain certain irregularities in Sanskrit root formations: in particular, some roots take a linking -i- between root and suffix, while others do not, without any obvious underlying pattern. Saussure hypothesized that if there were PIE consonants obeying certain rules, then these consonants would explain the resultant situation in Sanskrit. This theory actually preceded the discovery of Hittite, and so such consonants were relegated at the time to the status of mere formal speculation. But with the subsequent decipherment of Hittite, scholars realized that Hittite preserved Saussure's hitherto unattested consonants!

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following text is a continuation of the previous Tocharian A excerpt from the Buddhist Puṇyavanta-Jātaka.

Note the use in verse 20 of näṃ, a shortened form for naṣ-äṃ, the third person singular present of the copula, followed by the enclitic pronoun, here 'is for them'. Such constructions with copula and pronoun are common ways of representing possession in Indo-European languages, for example Lat. mihi nōmen est... 'to me is the name...', i.e. 'I have the name...'.

Verse 21 is somewhat problematic, with scholarly opinion divided as to whether one should read kälpitär 'should attain (for oneself)' or käl(y)itär 'should exist'. The form amok 'skill' is unfortunately of no help, being the same in nominative and oblique. The reading kälpitär is presented in the selection given below, following the text of Krause & Thomas (Tocharisches Elementarbuch). The translation however gives the rendering according to Lane, and so appropriate to a reading käl(y)itär. See the grammatical notes accompanying the gloss for more details.

The reading selection illustrates in verse 22 the typical Indo-European use of the neuter accusative of an adjective in the role of an adverb, here kāsu 'carefully'. Since masculine and neuter have fallen together in Tocharian, this neuter accusative adverb has form identical with the nominative singular masculine.

15 - Śilpavāṃ träṅkäṣ : amok wrasaśśi pukaṃ pruccamo, kyalte : Kuma -- -- --

  • Śilpavāṃ -- noun; masculine singular nominative of <Śilpavāṃ> Shilpavant (name of a prince) -- Shilpavant
  • träṅkäṣ -- verb suppletive base present 1; 3 singular active of <träṅk-> say -- says # The verb träṅk- is used for the (base) present stem, weñ- being employed for all other tenses and moods.
  • amok -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <amok> art, skill -- Skill
  • wrasaśśi -- noun; masculine plural genitive of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- of men
  • pukaṃ -- substantive adjective 3; masculine singular locative of <puk> all, every, whole -- altogether
  • pruccamo -- adjective 4; masculine singular nominative of <pruccamo> excellent, superior -- (is)... the best (thing)
  • kyalte -- conjunction; <kuyalte> because, for -- for
  • Kuma -- noun; singular locative of <kuma...>... (name of a type of metrical verse) -- in kuma...-meter

16 - kāsu ñom-klyu amoktsāp kälyme kälyme sätkatär.
        yärkā yāmäl mäskatär, potal kropal wrasaśśi.

  • kāsu -- adjective 3; masculine singular nominative of <kāsu> good -- good
  • ñom-klyu -- noun 3 2; <ñom> name + noun 6 3; masculine singular nominative of <klyu> fame -- The... fame
  • amoktsāp -- substantive adjective 1; masculine singular genitive of <amokäts> artist, artisan -- of the artisan
  • kälyme kälyme -- noun 1 2 /3.2; mf sg obl of <kälyme> direction, path, path to heaven -- in all directions # The repetition has a distributive function, somewhat akin to 'direction after direction'.
  • sätkatär -- verb base present 3; 3 singular mediopassive of <sätk-> spread -- spreads
  • yärkā -- noun 3 1; alternating singular perlative of <yärk> reverence -- with reverence
  • yāmäl -- verb suppletive base gerundive 2; masculine singular nominative of <yām-> make -- to be treated
  • mäskatär -- verb present 3; 3 singular mediopassive of <mäsk-> be located, be -- He is
  • potal -- verb gerundive 2; masculine singular nominative of <pot-> flatter -- (is) to be respected
  • kropal -- verb gerundive 2; masculine singular nominative of <krop-> gather -- to be received
  • wrasaśśi -- noun; masculine plural genitive of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- by men

17 - pāsmāṃ niṣpal lo näkṣäl ; wär por lāś lyśi mñe kärṣneñc.
        amok nu mā näknäṣträ, niṣpalis śkaṃ amok tsmār.

  • pāsmāṃ -- verb present participle mediopassive; masculine singular nominative of <pās-> guard -- guarded
  • niṣpal -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- property
  • lo -- adverb; <lo> away -- ...
  • näkṣäl -- verb gerundive 2; masculine singular nominative of <näk-> perish, destroy -- (is) to be made vanish
  • wär -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <wär> water -- water
  • por -- noun 2 1; alternating singular nominative of <por> fire -- fire
  • lāś -- noun 7; masculine singular nominative of <wäl> king -- kings # Equivalent to lāṃś.
  • lyśi -- noun 5 3; masculine plural nominative of <lyäk> thief -- (and) thieves
  • mñe -- noun; oblique of <mñe> certitude, assurance (?) -- (one's) resources (?)
  • kärṣneñc -- verb present 6; 3 plural active of <kärṣt-> cut off -- cut off
  • amok -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <amok> art, skill -- skill
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- But
  • -- adverb; <> no, not -- not
  • näknäṣträ -- verb present 10; 3 singular mediopassive of <näk-> perish, destroy -- does... vanish
  • niṣpalis -- noun 3 2; alternating singular genitive of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- of property
  • śkaṃ -- enclitic particle; <śkaṃ> and, also, and also -- and
  • amok -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <amok> art, skill -- skill
  • tsmār -- noun 1 2; alternating singular nominative of <tsmār> root -- (is) the root

18 - kospreṃ kospreṃ śkaṃ ne amokäts amokṣiṃ wram pyutkāṣtär, täprenäk täprenäk päñ pärkowäntu mäskaṃtr-äṃ.

  • kospreṃ kospreṃ -- interrogative adverb; <kospreṃ> how much?, how far? -- (in just the same measure) as # Skt. kiyat
  • śkaṃ -- enclitic particle; <śkaṃ> and, also, and also -- And
  • ne -- enclitic particle; <-ne> (indefinite marker), (relative marker) -- ...
  • amokäts -- substantive adjective 1; masculine singular nominative of <amokäts> artist, artisan -- an artist
  • amokṣiṃ -- adjective 1 1; masculine singular oblique of <amokṣi> artistic -- artistic
  • wram -- noun 2 1; alternating singular oblique of <wram> thing, matter -- an... object
  • pyutkāṣtär -- verb causative subjunctive 10; 3 singular mediopassive of <pyutk-> make come into being, produce -- creates # Note the use of the subjunctive in the subordinate clause.
  • täprenäk täprenäk -- adverb; <täpreṃ> so (much) + emphatic particle; <-k> (emphatic particle), indeed, even -- (just) so # Note the relative-correlative structure: kospreṃ kospreṃ... täpreṃ täpreṃ... 'as much as..., so much...'.
  • päñ -- numeral indeclinable; <päñ> five -- five
  • pärkowäntu -- noun 3 2; masculine plural nominative of <pärko> advantage, rise -- the... advantages
  • mäskaṃtr-äṃ -- verb present 3; 3 plural mediopassive of <mäsk-> be located, be + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- are for him

20 - sas pärko näṃ : wāwleṣu wram pyutkäṣṣ-äṃ ; wät ; amokäṣ tatmu kācke mäskatr-äṃ ; trit : wrassäṣ ortune kälpnāträ ; śtärt : ākläṣlyes ; pänt śkaṃ : akäṃtsune-pät-kälpāluneṣi pärko mäskatr-äṃ .

  • sas -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <sas, säṃ> one -- One
  • pärko -- noun 3 2; masculine singular nominative of <pärko> advantage, rise -- advantage
  • näṃ -- verb suppletive present 2; 3 singular active of <nas-> be + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- ... # Shortened form representing naṣ-äṃ 'is for them'. The stem nas- is employed in the present; ṣ- in the imperfect; tāk- in the subjunctive.
  • wāwleṣu -- verb preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <wles-> perform -- having done
  • wram -- noun 2 1; alternating singular oblique of <wram> thing, matter -- the thing
  • pyutkäṣṣ-äṃ -- verb causative present 8; 3 singular active of <pyutk-> make come into being, produce + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- arises for him
  • wät -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <wät> second -- a second (is that)
  • amokäṣ -- noun 3 2; alternating singular ablative of <amok> art, skill -- out of skill
  • tatmu -- verb preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <täm-> beget, produce -- having created
  • kācke -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <kācke> joy -- a (sense of) pleasure
  • mäskatr-äṃ -- verb present 3; 3 singular mediopassive of <mäsk-> be located, be + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- (there) is
  • trit -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <trit> third -- a third (is that)
  • wrassäṣ -- noun; masculine plural ablative of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- from men
  • ortune -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <ortune> friendship -- glory
  • kälpnāträ -- verb base present 6; 3 singular mediopassive of <kälp-> attain -- he acquires
  • śtärt -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <śtärt> fourth -- a fourth (is that he acquires)
  • ākläṣlyes -- substantive adjective 1; masculine plural oblique of <ākälṣäl> (one) to be taught, student -- pupils
  • pänt -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <pänt> fifth -- a fifth
  • śkaṃ -- enclitic particle; <śkaṃ> and, also, and also -- and
  • akäṃtsune-pät-kälpāluneṣi -- noun 3 2; alternating of <akäṃtsune> possession + adverb; <pät> over, beyond (?) + gerundive 2 abstract adjective 1; masculine singular nominative of <kälp> attain -- of possession or acquisition
  • pärko -- noun 3 2; masculine singular nominative of <pärko> advantage, rise -- the advantage
  • mäskatr-äṃ -- verb present 3; 3 singular mediopassive of <mäsk-> be located, be + pronoun suffix; <-m, -äm> (pronominal suffix for 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons pl.) us, you, them -- is for him

20 - waṣt lmāluneyis ñäkcy ārkiśoṣis śkaṃ tsmār nāṃtsu amok . tämyo täm śāwes käṣṣiśśi taṃne wewñu : Śuriṣinaṃ

  • waṣt -- noun 1 2; alternating singular oblique of <waṣt> house -- a house
  • lmāluneyis -- verb suppletive abstract; alternating singular genitive of <läm-> sit -- Of establishing # The stem ṣäm- is employed in the (base) present forms; läm- elsewhere.
  • ñäkcy -- adjective 1; masculine singular oblique of <ñäkci> godly, heavenly -- divine
  • ārkiśoṣis -- noun 3 2; alternating singular genitive of <ārkiśoṣi> world -- of the... world
  • śkaṃ -- enclitic particle; <śkaṃ> and, also, and also -- and
  • tsmār -- noun 1 2; alternating singular nominative of <tsmār> root -- the root
  • nāṃtsu -- verb suppletive preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <nas-> be -- being # The stem nas- is employed in the present; ṣ- in the imperfect; tāk- in the subjunctive.
  • amok -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <amok> art, skill -- skill
  • tämyo -- adverb; <tämyo> by this, from this, therefore -- therefore
  • täm -- demonstrative adverb; neuter singular oblique of <säm, sām, täm> the; he, she, it, they -- this
  • śāwes -- adjective 1; masculine plural oblique of <śāwe> (only plural) big -- great # The adjective tsopats 'big' is used in the singular; śāwe 'big' in the plural.
  • käṣṣiśśi -- noun 6 1; masculine plural genitive of <käṣṣi> teacher -- of (=by) the... teachers
  • taṃne -- adverb; <taṃne> so -- ...
  • wewñu -- verb suppletive preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <weñ-> say -- has been said # The verb träṅk- is used for the (base) present stem, weñ- being employed for all other tenses and moods.
  • Śuriṣinaṃ -- noun; singular locative of <Śuriṣin> (name of a type of metrical verse) -- (in shurishin-meter)

21 - amok neṣā kälpitär, tmäṣ niṣpalntu kropitär.
        kākropuṃt nu niṣpalntu ṣakkats śtwar-pāk yāmiträ :

  • amok -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <amok> art, skill -- skill # Possibly nominative (which has the same form), a reading more likely if kälpitär is instead read as kälyitär. G. Lane follows the latter reading, so that nominative is appropriate. See below on kälpitär.
  • neṣā -- adverb; perlative of <neṣ> earlier, prior -- First
  • kälpitär -- verb base subjunctive 5; 3 singular mediopassive optative of <kälp-> attain -- should exist # The text is unclear. If the reading is kälpitär, then a translation along the lines of the other occurrences in this text is appropriate: 'should attain (for oneself)'. The subject would then be the same indefinite person in the following verbs, and amok should be the oblique object. The reading käl(y)itär, however, is also possible. This would then be the corresponding optative of the root käly- 'stand, be located' (5th subjunctive class). This is the reading chosen by G. Lane, translated as 'should exist', and then amok is to be taken as the nominative subject.
  • tmäṣ -- adverb; <tmäṣ> thereupon, then -- then
  • niṣpalntu -- noun 3 2; alternating plural oblique of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- property
  • kropitär -- verb subjunctive 5; 3 singular mediopassive optative of <krop-> gather -- one should collect
  • kākropuṃt -- verb preterite participle; feminine plural oblique of <krop-> gather -- collected
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- But
  • niṣpalntu -- noun 3 2; alternating plural oblique of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- property
  • ṣakkats -- adverb; <ṣakk> certainly + particle; <ats> (emphasizing particle), even, indeed -- indeed
  • śtwar-pāk -- numeral; masculine/feminine of <śtwar> four + noun 3 2, 5 1; alternating singular oblique of <pāk> part -- four part(s)
  • yāmiträ -- verb suppletive base subjunctive 2; 3 singular mediopassive optative of <yām-> make -- one should make (into)

22 - ṣom pāk waṣtaṃ wärpitär, wunyo wlesant wleṣitär,
        särki ñātse pälkoräṣ, śtärcäṃ kāsu tāṣiträ.

  • ṣom -- numeral; masculine singular oblique of <sas, säṃ> one -- One
  • pāk -- noun 3 2, 5 1; alternating singular oblique of <pāk> part -- part
  • waṣtaṃ -- noun 1 2; alternating singular locative of <waṣt> house -- at home
  • wärpitär -- verb subjunctive 5; 3 singular mediopassive optative of <wärp-> enjoy -- one should enjoy
  • wunyo -- numeral; masculine paral instrumental of <wu, we> two -- with two (parts)
  • wlesant -- noun 3 1; alternating plural oblique of <wles> service, work, action -- works
  • wleṣitär -- verb subjunctive 2; 3 singular mediopassive optative of <wles-> perform -- one should perform
  • särki -- adverb; <särki> thereupon, later -- Later
  • ñātse -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <ñātse> hardship, danger -- distress
  • pälkoräṣ -- verb suppletive abstract; alternating singular ablative of <pälk-> see -- having seen # The stem läk 'see' is used in present finite and nonfinite forms, as well as the imperfect; pälk- 'see' is used for the subjunctive stem, imperative, and preterite.
  • śtärcäṃ -- numeral; masculine singular oblique of <śtärt> fourth -- the fourth
  • kāsu -- adverb; masculine singular nominative of <kāsu> good -- carefully # Used as a neuter substantive, the nominative and accusative (oblique) forms are the same (i.e. they are the usual masculine nominative singular form). The neuter accusative may then be used adverbially.
  • tāṣiträ -- verb subjunctive 2; 3 singular mediopassive optative of <tā-> set, lay -- one should put... (away)

23 - sas : wär tkanac wles, wät nu : śemäl pāṣäl, trit : kuryar,
        śtärt nu : śemäl tsmāṣlune, pänt : -- -- --, ṣkäṣt : tālune .

  • sas -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <sas, säṃ> one -- One
  • wär -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <wär> water -- (is) water
  • tkanac -- noun 5 3; feminine singular allative of <tkaṃ> earth -- for the earth
  • wles -- noun 3 1; alternating singular nominative of <wles> service, work, action -- work
  • wät -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <wät> second -- the second
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- ...
  • śemäl -- noun; masculine singular nominative of <śemäl> cattle, livestock -- cattle
  • pāṣäl -- verb gerundive 1; masculine singular nominative of <pās-> guard -- to be pastured
  • trit -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <trit> third -- the third
  • kuryar -- noun; singular nominative of <kuryar> commerce -- trade
  • śtärt -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <śtärt> fourth -- The fourth
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- however
  • śemäl -- noun; masculine singular oblique of <śemäl> cattle, livestock -- cattle
  • tsmāṣlune -- verb causative subjunctive 10 abstract; alternating singular nominative of <tsäm-> grow -- rearing
  • pänt -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <pänt> fifth -- the fifth
  • ṣkäṣt -- numeral; masculine singular nominative of <ṣkäṣt> sixth -- the sixth
  • tālune -- verb abstract; alternating singular nominative of <tā-> set, lay -- putting (away)

24 - waṣt lmālunyaṃ tosäs ṣäk ritwo kusne pākasyo
        niṣpal päñ-wäknā kroptär, cami wles yäṣ kälymeyā

  • waṣt -- noun 1 2; alternating singular oblique of <waṣt> house -- a house
  • lmālunyaṃ -- verb suppletive abstract; alternating singular locative of <läm-> sit -- In establishing # The stem ṣäm- is employed in the (base) present forms; läm- elsewhere.
  • tosäs -- demonstrative pronoun; feminine plural oblique of <säs, sās, täṣ> this, this here -- these... (things) # The translation departs some from Lane's.
  • ṣäk -- numeral indeclinable; <ṣäk> six -- six
  • ritwo -- verb base preterite 1 preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <ritw-> coalesce -- having provided
  • kusne -- relative pronoun; masculine singular nominative of <kusne> which -- whoever
  • pākasyo -- noun 3 2, 5 1; masculine plural instrumental of <pāk> part -- by parts
  • niṣpal -- noun 3 2; alternating singular oblique of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- property
  • päñ-wäknā -- numeral indeclinable; <päñ> five + noun 3 1; alternating singular perlative of <wkäṃ> manner, type -- in five ways # wäknā here is an editorial conjecture in Krause-Thomas, not found in Lane's edition.
  • kroptär -- verb present 2; 3 singular mediopassive of <krop-> gather -- gathers # kroptär here is an editorial conjecture in Krause-Thomas, not found in Lane's edition.
  • cami -- demonstrative pronoun; masculine singular genitive of <säm, sām, täm> the; he, she, it, they -- of him
  • wles -- noun 3 1; alternating singular nominative of <wles> service, work, action -- the work
  • yäṣ -- verb present 1; 3 singular active of <i-> go -- goes
  • kälymeyā -- noun 1 2 /3.2; mf sg perl of <kälyme> direction, path, path to heaven -- aright

25 - taṃne kropmāṃ niṣpalntu ykoṃ oṣeñi śamaṃtär,
        mäṃtne -- -- -- -- -- ne lyālyoryoṣoṣ pat nu.

  • taṃne -- adverb; <taṃne> so -- Thus
  • kropmāṃ -- verb present 2 participle mediopassive; feminine plural nominative of <krop-> gather -- collecting # The present mediopassive participle is undeclined for the feminine gender. The participle here agrees with niṣpalntu (alternating gender), with the mediopassive sense of 'collecting' as in English 'dust collecting on the shelves'.
  • niṣpalntu -- noun 3 2; alternating plural nominative of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- property
  • ykoṃ -- adverb; <ykoṃ> by day -- by day
  • oṣeñi -- adverb; <oṣeñi> by night -- by night
  • śamaṃtär -- verb base present 4; 3 plural mediopassive of <tsäm-> grow -- thrive
  • mäṃtne -- conjunction; <mäṃtne (mätne)> as, so as, so as to -- So
  • ne -- enclitic particle; <-ne> (indefinite marker), (relative marker) -- ...
  • lyālyoryoṣoṣ -- verb preterite participle; <lyā-> wipe away -- having wiped away # The form is unclear.
  • pat -- postposed conjunction; <pat> or -- or
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- ...

26 - moknac niṣpal mā tāṣäl, mā śu ypeyā mskantāsac,
        mā empeles omskeṃsac, mā pe tampewātsesac.

  • moknac -- adjective; masculine singular allative of <mok> old -- For an old (man)
  • niṣpal -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <niṣpal> domain, holdings -- property
  • -- adverb; <> no, not -- not
  • tāṣäl -- verb gerundive 1; masculine singular nominative of <tā-> set, lay -- (is)... to be laid up
  • -- adverb; <> no, not -- not
  • śu -- preverb; <śu> over -- over
  • ypeyā -- noun; alternating singular perlative of <ype> land -- the land
  • mskantāsac -- verb present 3 participle active; masculine plural allative of <mäsk-> be located, be -- for those who are
  • -- adverb; <> no, not -- not
  • empeles -- adjective 2 4; masculine plural oblique of <empele> awful -- (for) the terrible
  • omskeṃsac -- adjective 1; masculine plural allative of <omäskeṃ> evil -- the evil
  • -- adverb; <> no, not -- not
  • pe -- conjunction; <pe> also -- and
  • tampewātsesac -- adjective 1; masculine plural allative of <tampewāts> powerful -- for the powerful

27 - yaläṃ wramm ats skam yāmiṣ, mā yaläṃ wram mar yāmiṣ.
        yaläṃ wram ypant wrasom nu pälkäṣ mäṃtne sälpmāṃ por.

  • yaläṃ -- verb suppletive base gerundive 1; masculine singular oblique of <yām-> make -- to be done
  • wramm -- noun 2 1; alternating singular oblique of <wram> thing, matter -- A thing
  • ats -- particle; <ats> (emphasizing particle), even, indeed -- ...
  • skam -- adverb; <skam> always -- always
  • yāmiṣ -- verb suppletive base subjunctive 2; 3 singular active optative of <yām-> make -- one should... do
  • -- adverb; <> no, not -- not
  • yaläṃ -- verb suppletive base gerundive 1; masculine singular oblique of <yām-> make -- to be done
  • wram -- noun 2 1; alternating singular oblique of <wram> thing, matter -- a thing
  • mar -- prohibitory particle; <mar> no, not -- not
  • yāmiṣ -- verb suppletive base subjunctive 2; 3 singular active optative of <yām-> make -- one should... do
  • yaläṃ -- verb suppletive base gerundive 1; masculine singular oblique of <yām-> make -- to be done
  • wram -- noun 2 1; alternating singular oblique of <wram> thing, matter -- a thing
  • ypant -- verb suppletive base present 3 participle active; masculine singular nominative of <yām-> make -- (In) doing
  • wrasom -- noun; masculine singular nominative of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- one
  • nu -- conjunction; <nu> now, even, anyway -- ...
  • pälkäṣ -- verb base present 1; 3 singular active of <pälk-> shine -- appears
  • mäṃtne -- conjunction; <mäṃtne (mätne)> as, so as, so as to -- as
  • sälpmāṃ -- verb base present 1 participle mediopassive; masculine singular nominative of <sälp-> glow -- flaming
  • por -- noun 2 1; alternating singular nominative of <por> fire -- a... fire

28 - ṣñi ṣñaṣṣesā ortāsā -- -- eṃtsu cwal ārlā,
        puk ṣñaṣṣesaṃ ywārckā säm kayurṣṣ oki nuṣ spānte.

  • ṣñi -- reflexive pronoun; singular genitive of <ṣñi> (genitive only, reflexive for all numbers and persons) my, your, their, his (own), her (own), its (own) -- one's # Other forms of this pronoun are not extant.
  • ṣñaṣṣesā -- noun 6 4; masculine plural perlative of <ṣñaṣṣe> relation, relative -- Through... relatives
  • ortāsā -- noun 6 3; masculine plural perlative of <ort> friend (?) -- through glories (?)
  • eṃtsu -- verb base preterite participle; masculine singular nominative of <ents-> seize -- having seized
  • cwal -- noun; singular oblique of <cwal> beginning (?) -- at birth # Found only in the phrase cwal ārlā.
  • ārlā -- noun; singular perlative of <āral> end (?) -- (and) death
  • puk -- indeclinable adjective; <puk> all, every, whole -- Always # puk is often indeclinable when used as an adjective (in contrast to its use as a substantive).
  • ṣñaṣṣesaṃ -- noun 6 4; masculine plural locative of <ṣñaṣṣe> relation, relative -- relatives
  • ywārckā -- postposition with locative; <ywārckā (ywārśkā)> between, among, in the middle of -- among
  • säm -- demonstrative pronoun; masculine singular nominative of <säm, sām, täm> the; he, she, it, they -- he
  • kayurṣṣ -- noun 6 3; masculine singular nominative of <kayurṣ> bull -- a bull # The final consonant is doubled before an initial vowel, particularly before enclitics.
  • oki -- enclitic particle; <oki> like, as -- like
  • nuṣ -- verb causative present 8; 3 singular active of <nu-> roar -- bellows
  • spānte -- adverb; <spānte> confidently -- confidently

29 - wawuräṣ el wärporäṣ, mäṃtne āṣāṃ, sam pkaśśäl,
        wlaluneyis akälyme kalkaṣ wrasom kuprene,
        yomnāṣ lame ñäktaśśi yātluneyo sne nākäm.

  • wawuräṣ -- verb suppletive absolutive; masculine singular ablative of <wäs-> give -- Having given # The stem wäs- is employed in the preterite; e- is employed in all other forms.
  • el -- noun 3 1; alternating singular oblique of <el> gift -- a gift
  • wärporäṣ -- verb absolutive; masculine singular ablative of <wärp-> enjoy -- (and) having received (one)
  • mäṃtne āṣāṃ -- conjunction; <mäṃtne (mätne)> as, so as, so as to + indeclinable adjective; <āṣāṃ> worthy -- as (is) fitting # Skt. yatʰārham
  • sam -- adjective with commitative; masculine singular nominative of <sam> same (as) -- (a man is) like (i.e. equal) # Skt. sama
  • pkaśśäl -- substantive adjective 3; masculine singular commitative of <puk> all, every, whole -- to all
  • wlaluneyis -- verb abstract; masculine singular genitive of <wäl-> die -- of death
  • akälyme -- postposition with genitive; <akälyme> under the control of -- in the direction
  • kalkaṣ -- verb suppletive subjunctive 5; 3 singular active of <kälk-> go -- go
  • wrasom -- noun; masculine singular nominative of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- a man
  • kuprene -- conjunction; <kuprene> when, if -- if
  • yomnāṣ -- verb subjunctive 6; 3 singular active of <yom-> attain -- he should reach
  • lame -- noun; singular oblique of <lame> place, location -- the place
  • ñäktaśśi -- noun 5 1; masculine/feminine plural genitive of <ñkät> god -- of the gods
  • yātluneyo -- verb base abstract; singular instrumental of <yāt-> be able, be capable -- by prospering
  • sne -- preposition; <sne> without -- without
  • nākäm -- noun 3 1; alternating singular oblique of <nākäm> blame -- blame

30 - tämyo amok ñi pälskaṃ pukaṃ pruccamo wrasaśśi.

  • tämyo -- adverb; <tämyo> by this, from this, therefore -- Therefore
  • amok -- noun 3 2; alternating singular nominative of <amok> art, skill -- skill
  • ñi -- pronoun; masculine singular genitive of <näṣ, ñuk> I -- my
  • pälskaṃ -- noun; alternating singular locative of <pältsäk> thought, opinion -- in... opinion
  • pukaṃ -- substantive adjective 3; masculine singular locative of <puk> all, every, whole -- altogether
  • pruccamo -- adjective 4; masculine singular nominative of <pruccamo> excellent, superior -- (is) the best (quality)
  • wrasaśśi -- noun; masculine plural genitive of <wras(om)> (living) creature, man -- of men

Lesson Text

15 Śilpavāṃ träṅkäṣ : amok wrasaśśi pukaṃ pruccamo, kyalte : Kuma -- -- --

16 kāsu ñom-klyu amoktsāp kälyme kälyme sätkatär.
        yärkā yāmäl mäskatär, potal kropal wrasaśśi.


17 pāsmāṃ niṣpal lo näkṣäl ; wär por lāś lyśi mñe kärṣneñc.
        amok nu mā näknäṣträ, niṣpalis śkaṃ amok tsmār.


18 kospreṃ kospreṃ śkaṃ ne amokäts amokṣiṃ wram pyutkāṣtär, täprenäk täprenäk päñ pärkowäntu mäskaṃtr-äṃ. 20 sas pärko näṃ : wāwleṣu wram pyutkäṣṣ-äṃ ; wät ; amokäṣ tatmu kācke mäskatr-äṃ ; trit : wrassäṣ ortune kälpnāträ ; śtärt : ākläṣlyes ; pänt śkaṃ : akäṃtsune-pät-kälpāluneṣi pärko mäskatr-äṃ . 20 waṣt lmāluneyis ñäkcy ārkiśoṣis śkaṃ tsmār nāṃtsu amok . tämyo täm śāwes käṣṣiśśi taṃne wewñu : Śuriṣinaṃ

21 amok neṣā kälpitär, tmäṣ niṣpalntu kropitär.
        kākropuṃt nu niṣpalntu ṣakkats śtwar-pāk yāmiträ :


22 ṣom pāk waṣtaṃ wärpitär, wunyo wlesant wleṣitär,
        särki ñātse pälkoräṣ, śtärcäṃ kāsu tāṣiträ.


23 sas : wär tkanac wles, wät nu : śemäl pāṣäl, trit : kuryar,
        śtärt nu : śemäl tsmāṣlune, pänt : -- -- --, ṣkäṣt : tālune .


24 waṣt lmālunyaṃ tosäs ṣäk ritwo kusne pākasyo
        niṣpal päñ-wäknā kroptär, cami wles yäṣ kälymeyā


25 taṃne kropmāṃ niṣpalntu ykoṃ oṣeñi śamaṃtär,
        mäṃtne -- -- -- -- -- ne lyālyoryoṣoṣ pat nu.


26 moknac niṣpal mā tāṣäl, mā śu ypeyā mskantāsac,
        mā empeles omskeṃsac, mā pe tampewātsesac.


27 yaläṃ wramm ats skam yāmiṣ, mā yaläṃ wram mar yāmiṣ.
        yaläṃ wram ypant wrasom nu pälkäṣ mäṃtne sälpmāṃ por.


28 ṣñi ṣñaṣṣesā ortāsā -- -- eṃtsu cwal ārlā,
        puk ṣñaṣṣesaṃ ywārckā säm kayurṣṣ oki nuṣ spānte.


29 wawuräṣ el wärporäṣ, mäṃtne āṣāṃ, sam pkaśśäl,
        wlaluneyis akälyme kalkaṣ wrasom kuprene,
        yomnāṣ lame ñäktaśśi yātluneyo sne nākäm.


30 tämyo amok ñi pälskaṃ pukaṃ pruccamo wrasaśśi.

Translation

15 Shilpavant says: "Skill of men is altogether the best (thing); for (in kuma...-meter):
16 The good fame of the artisan spreads in all directions.
He is to be treated with reverence, (is) to be respected, to be received by men.
17 Guarded property is to be made vanish; water, fire, kings (and) thieves cut off (one's) resources.
But skill does not vanish, and of property skill (is) the root.
18 "And (in just the same measure) as an artist an artistic object creates, (just) so the five advantages are for him. 19 One advantage, having done the thing, arises for him; a second (is that) having created out of skill (there) is a (sense of) pleasure in him(?); a third (is that) he acquires glory(?) from men; a fourth (is that he acquires) pupils; and a fifth is for him the advantage of possession or acquisition. 20 Of establishing a house and of the divine world the root being skill, therefore this of (=by) the great teachers has been said (in shurishin-meter):
21 "First skill should exist, then one should collect property,
But collected property indeed one should make (into) four part(s):
22 One part one should enjoy at home; with two (parts) one should perform works.
Later, having seen distress, the fourth one should put carefully (away).
23 "One work (is) water for the earth; the second, cattle to be pastured; the third trade;
The fourth, however, rearing cattle; the fifth... ; the sixth putting (away) (?).
24 In establishing a house, whoever, having provided these six things,
gathers property by parts in five ways, of him the work goes aright.
25 "Thus collecting, possessions by day and by night thrive.
So -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- or having wiped away (?).
26 For an old (man) property (is) not to be laid up, not for those who are over the land (?),
Not for the terrible, the evil, and not for the powerful.
27 "A thing to be done one should always do; a thing not to be done one should not do.
(In) doing a thing to be done one appears (as) a flaming fire.
28 Through one's relatives, through glories (?) -- -- -- having received at birth (and) death (?).
Always among relatives he bellows like a bull, confidently.
29 "Having given a gift (and) received (one), as (is) fitting, (a man is) like (i.e. equal) to all.
If a man go in the direction of death,
He should reach the place of the gods by prospering without blame.
30 Therefore skill, in my opinion, (is) altogether the best (quality) of men."

Grammar

6. Sandhi

As with most languages, Tocharian sounds at the moment of utterance are subject to rules of euphonic combination, also known by the Sanskrit term sandhi. The idea is simply that a given sound may change in any given utterance according to the particular phonetic environment in which it occurs. During the pronunciation of a given sound, the mouth may already be preparing itself for the following sound, and hence may change the sound under consideration; or the mouth may still be at the point of articulation of the previous sound, and this may affect the sound under consideration. This process commonly occurs in English, for example when the final voiced labio-dental fricative [v] of have [hæv] becomes the unvoiced counterpart [f] in the phrase I have to go -- more phonetically, I hafta go. This is a result of the mouth already preparing to say the following unvoiced t while still pronouncing the last consonant of have -- the [v] is devoiced to [f] as a result of this anticipation.

Such changes are generally very regular within a particular language. Sanskrit is perhaps the pinnacle of this, where the changes appear to have been grammaticalized after a time (certain rules of sandhi were less regular in the Vedic period than in the Classical period). While the Tocharian system is not nearly as ornate as the system of Classical Sanskrit, it does obey certain regularities of its own. These are frequently applied in the context of poetry where the number of syllables is essential to the meter. Outside of the poetic context, such euphonic combination is less frequently applied.

Generally the final vowels i, e, u, o are changed to their nearest equivalent semivowel before a following vowel. The syllabic resonants, that is the liquids and nasals reinforced by the epenthetic vowel ä -- är, äl, än -- become their fully consonantal equivalents.

Semivowel Examples   Before Sandhi   After Sandhi
         
-i > -y   A ñi anapär   ñy anapär
-e > -y   A sne āñu   sny āñu
         
-u > -w   B su eru   sw eru
-o > -w   B po akālkänta   pw akālkänta
         
-är > -r   A āṣtär akmalṣi   āṣtr akmalṣi
-äl > -l   B eṅkäl aknātsaññe   eṅkl aknātsaññe
-än > -n   A poñcäṃ ārkiśoṣṣis   poñcn ārkiśoṣṣis

Some of the rules, however, do not apply equally or in all instances in both languages. For example, the change -e > -y is rare in Tocharian B, the -e generally contracting with the following vowel in this language. The change -o > -w is often accompanied by the change a- > ā- in Tocharian B: nano alyek > nanw ālyek.

Two vowels of the same basic type generally contract to the respective simple vowel.

Like-Vowel Examples   Before Sandhi   After Sandhi
         
a + a > a, ā   B āsta arkwina   āst=arkwina
a + ā > ā   A śla āñcālyi   śl=āñcālyi
ā + a, ā > ā   A mā appärmāt   mā=pärmāt
         
i + i > i   A āñmaṣi ime   āñmaṣ=ime
e + e > e   B te epiṅkte   t=epiṅkte
         
o + o > o   A wiyo oki   wiy=oki

When the following vowel is dissimilar from the preceding vowel, the preceding vowel generally disappears if it does not become a semivowel according to the previous discussion. A notable exception to this is o, which has various differing results when it does not change to the semivowel -w. These results are summarized in the following table.

Unlike-Vowel Examples   Before Sandhi   After Sandhi
         
a + i > i, a   B warsa ite   wars=ite
a + e > a, e   B -mpa eṣe   -mp=eṣe
a + o > o   A śla oko   śl=oko
a + ai > ai   B tarya aiśamñenta   tary=aiśamñenta
a + au > au   B emprenma aurtsesa   emprenm=aurtsesa
         
ā + e > ā   B mā eṅsate   mā=ṅsate
ā + ai > āy   B mā aiśeñcañ   mā=yśeñcañ
         
e + a > a, ā, e   B śle alyeṅkäts   śle=lyeṅkäts
e + ā > ā   A sne ālak   sn=ālak
e + i > i   B poyśiñe ikeś   poyśiñ=ikeś
e + o > o, e   B te oṅkor   t=oṅkor
e + ai > ai   B te aikemar   t=aikemar
e + au > au   B wpelme auñento   wpelm=auñento
         
o + a > o   A tunṅkyo aśśi   tunṅkyo=śśi
o + ā > ā   A tunṅkyo āriñc   tunṅky=āriñc
o + e > o   B yärpo entwe   yärpo=ntwe
o + ai > oy   B po aiśeñcai   po=yśeñcai

Consonant sandhi is less widespread than its vocalic counterpart. In general, final consonants may assimilate to the point of articulation of the following initial consonant, so that for example a dental consonant may become palatal before a following palatal.

Initial-Consonant Examples   Before Sandhi   After Sandhi
         
Dental   B ñ no   n no
         
Palatal   A ālakäṃ caṃ   ālakäñ caṃ
    B śaul ñi   śauly ñi
         
Velar   B postäṃ ka   postäṅ ka

In addition, one finds that a final consonant is occasionally doubled before a following initial vowel. In Tocharian A this generally occurs before enclitics. The complementary process is also seen, where an initial consonant is doubled after a preceding final vowel. See the following chart.

Consonant-Doubling Examples   Before Sandhi   After Sandhi
         
C + V > CC + V   A tmäṣ aci   tmäṣṣ aci
    B poñ āppai   poññ āppai
         
V + C > V + CC   B entwe ka   entwe kka
    B welñenta ceṃts   welñenta cceṃts
7. Case

Case, more specifically morphological case, signifies the mechanism whereby changes to the ending of a noun, adjective, or pronoun serve to denote its grammatical role in a particular utterance. This survives in a relatively small way in modern English, particularly with the addition of 's to denote the genitive singular, or s' to denote the genitive plural, or s to denote nominative or oblique plural. Here the terms nominative, genitive, and oblique are all names of cases in modern English. Some, like the nominative and genitive, still largely carry the form and/or function of their historical predecessors in Proto-Indo-European; the other, the oblique, by contrast is an amalgam of historically distinct cases whose forms merged to give the modern representative. Much the same state of affairs holds in the Tocharian languages.

Speaking loosely, the nominative is the case of the grammatical subject of a clause, or of something equated with the subject. Thus English she is nominative, since this is the form of the feminine pronoun which one uses for the grammatical subject: she walked home yesterday. The genitive is often explained as the "possessive case", since this is a common function represented by the marker 's and s' in English, but this is a great oversimplification. The case denotes very general relationship or qualification. Consider the relations denoted by 's in the following phrases:

  1. Lincoln's presidency;
  2. gold's luster;
  3. Lincoln's assassination;
  4. Booth's assassination;
  5. Lincoln's top hat.

The first and second show what many would call "possession," but this is usually for lack of a better term, since 'presidency' and 'luster' are not commodities one can buy at the local store. The third denotes the object of the action represented by assassination, the fourth denotes the subject. Only the last actually denotes possession. The oblique denotes in English the object of a verb or preposition, such as me in the following sentences: He hit me; He gave me the book; He gave the book to me.

Proto-Indo-European possessed a much more robust case system than that of modern English. PIE, by most reconstructions, had eight cases: nominative, accusative, instrumental, dative, ablative, genitive, locative, vocative. These cases survived intact only in the earliest exemplars of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family; in other families, the forms of different cases fell away and their roles were adopted by the forms of other cases, perhaps aided by the use of prepositions or postpositions (compare English me and to me above). This same process occurred within the history of the Tocharian languages, so that only three of the original PIE cases survived as morphological entities in Tocharian. However the use to postpositions in conjunction with one of these cases became so widespread that it appears to have led to the generation of new cases, different in form -- and sometimes in function -- from the original PIE cases. In this way Tocharian developed a two-tiered case system, the remnants of the PIE cases being called primary, and the newly developed cases called secondary.

7.1. Primary Cases

Tocharian retains only three of the original Indo-European cases: the nominative, genitive, and accusative, this last generally called the oblique case in the literature because it forms the basis for the secondary cases discussed below. Tocharian B additionally retains a vocative case. The nominative has generally undergone numerous changes which obscure the relation between the Tocharian endings and the original Indo-European endings, and even when the oblique shows some of its original PIE color, terminating in a nasal, this turns out to be a false friend -- since final consonants other than liquids and the voiced dental stop were generally lost in the earliest stages of the Tocharian language family, the nasal element of many oblique endings must in fact come from a PIE suffix preceding the ending, and not the ending itself. This is a large clue to the origin of many Tocharian nominal patterns lying with the extension of the original PIE n-stems. The genitive shows a variety of endings, which at times go back to PIE genitive endings, but possibly also to dative endings. This latter possibility is bolstered by the fact that the Tocharian genitive case often serves many of the roles of the PIE dative case.

The following chart shows the original PIE cases and their survival in the primary cases of Tocharian.

PIE Case   Function   English Example   Survives in Tocharian
             
Nominative   subject   she sees him   Nominative
Accusative   direct object   she sees him   Oblique
    directed motion   she throws it across the room    
Instrumental   thing by means of which   she sees him with her eyes    
    accompaniment   she is going with him    
Dative   indirect object   she give a book to him   Genitive
Ablative   source   she comes from New York    
Genitive   relation   her look was enchanting   Genitive
    possession   her car was red    
Locative   stationary position   she called me at home    
Vocative   direct address   O, my Lord!   Vocative
             

The blank spaces in the rightmost column indicate that the given PIE case did not survive in the primary cases of Tocharian. Most of the functions however are taken up in the secondary case system, to be described later.

7.1.1 Declension Types

Due to the large number of phonological changes between Proto-Indo-European and the Tocharian languages, the original PIE declensional types have undergone a heavy restructuring. The result is a large degree of variation between declensional classes. But across the board, Tocharian nouns fall into two broad types based on the formation of the plural:

Type (a)   nominative plural           different from           oblique plural;
Type (b)   nominative plural           same as           oblique plural.

Given these two basic types, some further tendencies may be pointed out. In both languages, nouns of Type (a) generally have singular forms which differ in the nominative and accusative. Likewise, Type (b) nouns generally have singular nominative and oblique forms which are the same. Thus we have the following tendencies:

i.   nom. pl. different from obl. pl.           ==>           nom. sg. different from obl. sg.
ii.   nom. pl. same as obl. pl.           ==>           nom. sg. same as obl. sg.

But this certainly does not always hold true.

7.1.2 Primary Case Endings

The singular nominative and oblique in both Tocharian A and B lack an explicit ending. Human nouns provide the exception, where the oblique singular is marked by -ṃ. This lack of an overt marker led in Tocharian A to a nearly uniform equivalence of nominative and oblique forms. In Tocharian B, stem alternations prevented this equivalence, except when the nouns derived from original PIE *o-stem masculines and from PIE neuters.

The genitive singular shows AB -i, the reflex of the PIE dative, in nouns denoting kinship and proper names. In other situations, the genitive singular generally shows A -ys B -ntse, reflexes of PToch. *-nse.

The vocative only survives in Tocharian B. The form of the vocative varies widely across declensional types.

The nominative and oblique dual in Tocharian always maintain the same form in both Tocharian A and Tocharian B.

We may consider nominative and oblique plural forms according to type. Type (a) plurals in Tocharian A always have oblique ending A -s. The nominative shows A after a stem-final vowel, or A -i after a stem-final consonant (which may be palatalized as a result). Type (a) plurals in Tocharian B always have oblique ending B -ṃ. The nominative shows the ending B -i for Tocharian B e-stems, the ending B for stems in other vowels, and the ending B -i for stems ending in a consonant (which is always palatalized as a result).

Type (b) nominative and oblique plurals generally have A (zero) B -a. A stem change generally accompanies these endings:

Type (b)   Toch. A Sg.   Toch. A Pl.           Toch. B Sg.   Toch. B Pl.
                         
Nominative   pältsäk   pälskant           palsko   pälskonta
Oblique   pältsäk   pälskant           palsko   pälskonta
                         

The genitive plural in Tocharian A nouns of Type (b) is A -śśi. Tocharian A frequently employs the genitive singular ending in the plural. Tocharian B has the ending B -ts. Alongside this Tocharian B uses B -ṃts, an ending probably originally restricted to nouns of Type (a).

7.1.3 Primary Case Reference Paradigms

The following tables show the primary case forms for the nouns A yuk B yakwe 'horse' and A oṅk B eṅkwe 'man'. Note that the latter, being human, shows the ending -ṃ in the oblique.

    Toch. A Sg.   Toch. A Pl.           Toch. B Sg.   Toch. B Pl.
                         
Nominative   yuk 'horse'   yukañ           yakwe   yakwi
Genitive   yukes   yukaśśi           yäkwentse   yäkweṃts
Oblique   yuk   yukas           yakwe   yakweṃ
                         
                         
Nominative   oṅk 'man'   oṅkañ           eṅkwe   eṅkwi
Genitive   oṅkis   oṅkaśśi           eṅkwentse   eṅkweṃts
Oblique   oṅkaṃ   oṅkas           eṅkweṃ   eṅkweṃ
                         

7.1.4 Preview of Declension Classes

As with many of the other Indo-European languages, the nominal inflection of the Tocharian languages can be divided into several broad classes. Each of these, in turn, often has further subclasses. Given the structure mentioned above, it is not surprising that the division into classes is based mainly on the structure of the endings of the nominative and oblique plural.

This is convenient from a synchronic point of view, since in terms of endings there are few other markers that are sufficiently thoroughgoing as to allow their use as a means of classification. From the standpoint of Indo-European linguistics, this classification system is unfortunate, inasmuch as it often cuts across the typical divisions into PIE *o-stems, *i-stems, *n-stems, etc. However this classification system does highlight the fact that, for example, the nominative singular forms of nouns vary to a large degree, and do not provide much information as to the actual inflection of a given noun.

As a preview of coming attractions, and for convenient reference, the following chart lists the basic declension classes and their primary distinguishing features.

Noun Class   Type   Case   Toch. A Plurals   Toch. B Plurals
I   (b)   Nom.   -ā, -wā, -u   -a, -wa
        Obl.   -ā, -wā, -u   -a, -wa
                 
II   (b)   Nom.   -ṃ, -mnā-   -na, -nma
        Obl.   -ṃ, -mnā-   -na, -nma
                 
III   (b)   Nom.   -nt, -ntu   -nta, *-ntwa
        Obl.   -nt, -ntu   -nta, *-ntwa
                 
IV   (a), (b)   Nom.   (r)i, (r)e   (er)a, (är)ñ
        Obl.   (r)äs, (r)es   (er)a, (är)ñ
                 
V   (a)   Nom.   -i, -ñ   -i
        Obl.   -s   -ṃ
                 
VI   (a)   Nom.    
        Obl.   -s   -ṃ
                 
VII   (a)   Nom.       -ñc
        Obl.       -ntäṃ

As one can see from the chart, the division into classes follows primarily according to the forms found in Tocharian B, as for example in Class VII. Class IV contains only kinship nouns with stem in -r-. Some scholars ascribe to Class VIII the nouns which do not fall into the above classes.

8. Adjective Structure
8.1. Adjective Endings

The plural of Tocharian A adjectives are Type (a) in the masculine, and either Type (a) or Type (b) in the feminine. The plurals of Tocharian B adjectives are Type (a) in the masculine and Type (b) in the feminine. The singular of both Tocharian A and B adjectives can be either Type (a) or Type (b). The dual of Tocharian A and B adjective always have identical nominative and oblique forms.

The feminine of adjectives is generally signaled by a suffix A -yā- B -ya- placed between stem and ending. This suffix is present in all forms of the feminine singular. The plural however is not as uniform. All Type (a) forms in Tocharian A and some paradigms in Tocharian B retain the singular stem in the plural. Another tendency in both languages, however, is to use the masculine singular nominative or oblique form as the basis for a Type (b) paradigm.

The above description of adjectives is depicted in the following two tables.

Toch. A Adj.   Masc. Type   Masc. Stem           Fem. Type   Fem. Stem
                         
Singular   (a)   [base]           (a)   [base]-yā-
    (b)   [base]           (b)   [base]-yā-
                         
Dual   (b)   [base]           (b)   [m/f]
                         
Plural   (a)   [base]           (a)   [base]-yā-
                    (b1)   [base]
                    (b2)   [m.sg.nom/obl]
                         
Toch. B Adj.   Masc. Type   Masc. Stem           Fem. Type   Fem. Stem
                         
Singular   (a)   [base]           (a)   [base]-ya-
    (b)   [base]           (b)   [base]-ya-
                         
Dual   (b)   [base]           (b)   [m/f]
                         
Plural   (a)   [base]                
                    (b1)   [base]-ya-
                    (b2)   [m.sg.nom/obl]

In the tables above, [base] stands for the basic stem as found in the dictionary entry. [m/f] denotes the fact that either the masculine or feminine stem may be used. [m.sg.nom/obl] represents the fact that either the nominative or oblique form (not stem) of the masculine singular may be used as the new stem for certain forms.

The nominative singular has no marker for any gender in either Tocharian A or Tocharian B. The oblique singular adds a nasal to the basic nominative form, though in Tocharian B this undergoes the change PToch *-aN > B -ai.

The genitive singular masculine ending is A -(y)āp B -epi (though B -pi appears after a vowel). Occasionally Tocharian B employs the ending B -e < PIE *-os in the genitive masculine. The genitive singular feminine ends in A -e B -ai.

The nominative plural masculine of Tocharian A shows A -e, A , A -i after a stem-final consonant (which may be palatalized as a result), or just simple palatalization of a final consonant without addition of an overt ending. Tocharian B shows the ending B -i for Tocharian B e-stems, the ending B for stems in other vowels, or simple palatalization of the final consonant.

The oblique plural has a more irregular formation. In general Tocharian B adds a nasal to the stem. Tocharian A for the most part shows the ending A -s in the masculine, but this is generally added to the nominative form, not to the stem.

The following tables summarize the above.

Adj. Endings A   Masc.   Fem.
         
Nom. Sg.   [base]-(zero)   [base]-yā--(zero)
Gen.   [base]-(y)āp   [base]-yā--e
Obl.   [base]-(N)   [base]-yā--(N)
         
Nom. Pl.   [base]-e, (V), (C'), (C')-i    
Gen.        
Obl.   [m.pl.nom]-s    
         
Adj. Endings B   Masc.   Fem.
         
Nom. Sg.   [base]-(zero)   [base]-ya--(zero)
Gen.   [base](C)-epi, (V)-pi, -e   [base]-ya--ai
Obl.   [base]-ai   [base]-ya--ai
         
Nom. Pl.   [base](e)-i, (V), (C')    
Gen.        
Obl.   [base]-(N)    

In the tables above, N stands for a nasal, V stands for a vowel, C for a consonant, and C' for a palatalized consonant. (zero) denotes the absence of an ending, while a blank space denotes the lack of a succinct, overarching pattern.

8.2. Adjective Classes

Adjectives are divided into four main classes. This division follows the Tocharian B forms of the masculine singular. The distinction of the forms is inherited from the Proto-Indo-European structure of the forms, so that there is a fairly clean correspondence between Tocharian adjective types and distinct PIE formations.

There are four adjective classes. These may be split into two basic groups: thematic and athematic classes. Adjective Class I is thematic. This means in PIE terms that the suffix preceding the ending included a vowel, such as in PIE *o-stem formations: PIE *medʰ-i(y)o-s gives Lat. medius, Grk. mésos, Skt. madʰya-. The remaining three adjective classes are athematic, characterized by the lack of such a vowel in the suffix before the ending. Each athematic class is distinguished based on the PIE athematic suffix leading to the Tocharian formation: PIE *-n-, *-nt-, or *-s-. The following chart illustrates the Tocharian adjective classes.

Adjective Class   Case   Toch. B Plural   PIE
             
I   Nom.   -i   -oi
(thematic)   Obl.   -eṃ   -o-ns
             
II   Nom.     -n-es
(athematic)   Obl.   -(nä)ṃ   -n-ṇs
             
III   Nom.   -ñc   -nt-es
(athematic)   Obl.   -ntäṃ   -nt-ṇs
             
IV   Nom.   -ṣ   -s-es
(athematic)   Obl.   -ṣäṃ   -s-ṇs

Note that a vowel may be part of the PIE ending, even though it is not a part of the suffix, in an athematic form. The thematic/athematic distinction refers to the root suffix, and not to the ending.

9. Present System

The present system of verbs comprises both finite verb forms (the present indicative verb tense) and non-finite forms (the present participle, gerundive, and infinitive). Both the indicative and participle have separate formations for active and mediopassive voices.

The verbs of the two Tocharian languages show several variations in present formation. These different formations are characterized by the suffixes, and sometimes infixes, which are applied to the basic verbal root. Some of these affixes function in a manner analogous to various types in the other ancient Indo-European languages. It is therefore convenient to distinguish those which have their origin in the common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, and those which are new formations generated within Tocharian.

9.1. Present Classes

The distinction of the various classes of present conjugation in Tocharian have their origins in different stem formations in Proto-Indo-European itself. Several different types of primary PIE formations have made their way into Tocharian. The root athematic verbs remain in the present CLASS I, as in Tocharian A swiñc 'they rain' < PIE *suh₂-énti, while the root thematic presents remain in CLASS II: B akem 'we lead' < PIE *h₂eǵ-o-mes, cf. Lat. agimus. In two of the Tocharian present classes, the thematic vowel *-o- has replaced the thematic *-e- and been extended throughout the entire paradigm. These are most clearly illustrated in Tocharian B: CLASS III lipetär 'is left over' < PIE *lip-o-tor; CLASS IV osotär 'dries' < PIE *as-o-tor.

The nasal-infixing presents are also well-represented in Tocharian. CLASS VI contains verbs with a nasal infix before a root-final laryngeal, such as AB musnātär 'lifts up', cf. Ved. muṣṇā́ti 'steals'. CLASS VII contains other nasal-infixed stems such as B piṅkeṃ 'they paint' < PIE *pi-n-g-, cf. Lat. pingunt.

Other classes contain suffixed roots. For example, CLASS VIII contains the thematic s-suffix *-se / o-: A nämseñc 'they bow down to, they revere', cf. Gk. némō 'I pay'. CLASS IX contains verbs with the *-sḱe / o-suffix, as in B aiskau 'I give'.

CLASS XII contains verbs derived from nominal items by variations on the PIE *-ye / o-suffix. For example, B lareññentär 'they love' < PToch. *lāren-yä-, cf. Toch. AB lareñ (pl.) 'dear'.

The remaining classes are either of uncertain origin or Tocharian extensions of these basic types. CLASS V perhaps contains verbs with a final laryngeal *-H- or with the suffix -eh₂- found in the Latin first conjugation. CLASS X seems to be a Tocharian extension by *-sḱe / o- of stems already ending in a nasal or nasal followed by a laryngeal, such as the verbs of CLASS VI. Similarly, CLASS XI contains verbs whose stems already ended in the *-se /o-suffix found in CLASS VIII, but which were further extended by the *-sḱe / o-suffix. The present classes of Tocharian are outlined in the following table.

Present Class   Type   Affix   Toch. A   Toch. B   Comparanda
                     
I   athematic   *-(zero)   pälkiñc   palkeṃ   Gk. pʰlégō, Lat. fulgeō
II   thematic   *-e / o   pärtär   paräṃ   Skt. bʰárati, Gk. pʰéretai
III   thematic   *-o   wikatär   wiketär   Skt. vijáte, OHG wīhhan
IV   thematic   *-o   plantatär   plontotär    
V   athematic   *-H-, -eh₂   śwāṣ   śuwaṃ   Eng. chew, OE cēowan
VI   athematic   *-n-H   knāṣ   katnaṃ   Gk. skídnēmi
VII   athematic   *-n       piṅkeṃ   Lat. pingunt
VIII   thematic   *-se / o   arsamäs   ersem(o)    
IX   thematic   *-sḱe / o       aiskau    
X   thematic   *-n(H)-sḱe / o   tämnäṣtär   tänmastär    
XI   thematic   *-se / o-sḱe / o   āksisam   aksáskau   Lat. aiō
XII   thematic   *-ṇ(H)-ye / o   tuṅkiññant   āñmantär    
9.2. Present Endings

The present tense may also function as a future, akin to English I am going to the grocery store tomorrow and Spanish Voy mañana al mercado, and in that sense more proper terminology for the present tense would be non-past. More frequently, however, Tocharian employs the subjunctive as a future tense. The subjunctive nevertheless uses the same endings as the present tense. The non-past endings of Tocharian verbs are given in the following table.

Non-Past   Active A   Active B           Mediopassive A   Mediopassive B
                         
1 Sg.   -m   -u / w           -mār   -mar
2   -t   -t           -tār   -tar
3   -s   -ṃ           -tär   -tär
                         
3 Dual       -teṃ                
                         
1 Pl.   -mäs   -m           -mtär   -mtär
2   -c   -cer           -cär   -tär
3   -y(ñc)   -ṃ           -ntär   -ntär
                         
Pres. Ppl.   -ant   -eñca           -māṃ   -mane
Grnd.   -l   -lle                
Pres. Infin.   -tsi   -tsi                

The participle and infinitive are only employed with the present stem. The gerundive, however, is employed with either the present or subjunctive stem.

The dual form is rarely encountered.

The Indo-European heritage of the Tocharian endings is quite evident in the mediopassive, where the same marker *-r is found as in Latin, e.g. Lat. tingit 'touches' vs. tingitur 'is touched'.

9.3. Non-Past Reference Paradigms

The following chart shows the present forms for the verb AB läk- 'see'. Since the subjunctive also employs the non-past endings, these forms are given as well.

Non-Past   Present A   Present B           Subjunctive A   Subjunctive B
Active                        
1 Sg.   lkām   lkāskau           *pälkām   lakau
2   lkāt   lkāst(o)           *pälkāt   lkāt(o)
3   lkā   lkāṣṣäṃ           *pälkā   lka
                         
1 Pl.   lkāmäs   *lkāskeṃ           *pälkāmäs   lkām(o)
2   lkāc   *lkāścer           *pälkāc   lkācer
3   lkeñc   lkāskeṃ           *pälkeñc   lakaṃ
                         
Ppl.   lkānt   lkāṣṣeñca                
Grnd.   lkāl   lkāṣṣälle           *pälkāl   lkālle
Infin.   lkātsi   lkātsI                
                         
Mediopassive                        
1 Sg.   lkāmār   *lkāskemar           pälkāmār   lkāmar
2   lkātār   lkāstar           pälkātār   lkātar
3   lkātär   lkāstär           pälkātär   lkātär
                         
1 Pl.   lkāmtär   *lkāskemt(t)är           pälkāmtär   lkāmt(t)är
2   lkācär   *lkāstär           pälkācär   lkātār
3   lkāntär   *lkāskentär           pälkāntär   lkāntär
                         
Ppl.   lkāmāṃ   lkāskemane                

The forms with asterisks, of which there are clearly quite a few, are unattested. And AB läk- is actually one of the best attested Tocharian verbs!

Note some of the important inequivalences between the Tocharian languages regarding the stems employed in verb formation. In particular the Tocharian B present indicative of AB läk- shows the *-sk- causative formation, but without any change in meaning. Tocharian A, by contrast, does not use this formation in the simple present. Likewise, the form with stem-final long -ā- provides the present in Tocharian A, while it provides the subjunctive in Tocharian B. Tocharian A actually employs a completely different root in the subjunctive.

10. Agglutination

The Tocharian languages are exceptionally beautiful and unique among the ancient Indo-European languages for the way in which they freeze frame an show an intermediate phase in a shift from the PIE synthetic system to a new (from a PIE point of view) agglutinative system.

We may characterize the difference between synthetic and agglutinative languages broadly as follows. A synthetic language is one in which form denotes function; by contrast, an agglutinative language is one in which form fits function. More specifically, the major ancient Indo-European languages are generally classic examples of synthetic languages. For example, Latin distinguishes grammatically a nominative case and a genitive case. In the first declension, we have the following endings:

Latin 1st Decl.   Singular   Plural
         
Nom.   -a   -ae
Gen.   -ae   -ārum

Thus Latin has an ending for each case and number, i.e. an ending for nominative and genitive, each singular and plural. But note that the ending is different for singular and plural, both in the nominative and in the genitive. There is no single 'nominative ending'. Moreover, the nominative plural ending is the same as the genitive singular ending! Thus, given the Latin form nautae, out of context, one cannot say if the intended meaning is 'sailors' (as subject) or 'of the sailor'. In the context of an utterance such complete ambiguity is rarely felt, but nevertheless possible (as any modern student of Latin is well aware!). Thus in a synthetic language like Latin the form denotes the grammatical function, but not uniquely.

Moreover, in synthetic languages like Latin, the ending may change slightly depending on the form of the stem to which it is applied. For example, the accusative singular of Lat. rex 'king' is rēgem, but the accusative singular of Lat. turris 'tower' is turrim.

Agglutinative languages, however, show in some sense a more rigid matching between form and function. Tocharian exhibits this agglutinative tendency in the secondary cases of nouns (to be discussed more fully in the next lesson). For example, Tocharian A employs the ending -aśśäl to denote the comitative, i.e. to denote accompaniment. This ending is employed any time the sense of accompaniment is desired; the form does not alter depending on whether the noun is singular or plural. The one function is denoted by this one form. Thus, if one wants to construct a form meaning 'with the horse', one takes the noun A yuk 'horse', arrives at the singular oblique (incidentally also yuk), and then applies the comitative ending: hence yukaśśäl 'with the horse'. If one wants to arrive at a form denoting 'with the horses', then one follows an analogous procedure: yuk 'horse' becomes yukas (obl. pl.) 'horses', and finally yukasaśśäl 'with the horses'. The point is that the secondary case suffix is invariant. Comitative is comitative is comitative. The same applies to all other secondary case endings.

Many modern languages the world over function according to this type of agglutinative structure, for example Japanese and Finnish. Tocharian however is the unique instance of an Indo-European language exhibiting this structure. What is all the more beautiful, however, is the fact that Tocharian appears to be in the process of changing from synthetic to agglutinative structure. This too is clear in the nouns (or perhaps it is more accurate to say this is mostly restricted to the nouns). First and foremost, the primary cases still function according to the general PIE synthetic structure, so that nominative, genitive and oblique case endings change depending on the stem to which they are applied. But one finds examples where the Tocharian languages are beginning to treat the primary cases in a manner analogous to the secondary cases.

This change is particularly apparent with the genitive. The genitive, though a primary case and therefore synthetic, still in some sense allows its case marker to 'distribute' over the entire noun phrase. In Latin one says tōtīus mundī 'of the entire world', where both tōtīus and mundī are genitive singular forms, redundantly marking the fact that the noun phrase as a whole is in the genitive. Though Tocharian may parallel such constructions, one also finds A poñcäṃ saṃsāris 'of the entire world' -- here the -is of saṃsāris is the proper synthetic case marker of the genitive; but rather than redundantly mark 'entire' with a genitive ending, Tocharian employs the oblique instead. That is, the Tocharian speaker understands the noun + (synthetic) genitive ending structure in the same fashion as the secondary case construction noun-oblique + secondary case ending. Thus the group inflection typically employed with secondary cases begins to be employed with the primary cases as well. This however is not uniformly applied, suggesting that Tocharian is still in a process of converting from synthetic to agglutinative structure in the nouns.