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 7

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Early Buddhism

Basic Tenets

Buddhism proposes a theory of salvation. (Conze 1993) The need for such salvation arises from a sober account of the world in which we find ourselves, in which any accomplishment or personal gain must of necessity be temporary. This idea, coupled with the notion of rebirth --- in which we must start the same process of pointless aspiration and fleeting gain all over again --- leads to a necessarily gloomy perspective on the process of life. A notion of salvation, a way to break out of this despairing cycle, therefore comes as a welcome alternative. The Buddha's teachings outline not only this sober account of reality, but a straightforward process by which to emerge from its confines.

The first link in the chain of salvation is the realization that this world view comes not from any inherent reality, but rather from the human manner of constructing the mental representation of the universe. Reality as perceived consists of a sequence of moments, dharmas (a sense unrelated to that of "law"). Beyond that, Buddha's teachings presuppose no more fundamental reality. The dissatisfaction we endure arises from mental constructs, often termed 'cravings' or 'desires'. The Buddha outlines the Four Noble Truths:

  • the truth of misery;
  • the truth that misery originates within the individual through the desire for pleasure or being or nonbeing;
  • the truth that this desire can be eliminated;
  • the truth that this elimination occurs by following a methodical Way or Path.

The particular way in which cravings arise and lead to dissatisfaction or misery is envisaged as a chain of existence. The Buddha's law of dependent origination asserts that every mode of existence supposes a prior mode of existence. This creates a chain, which the Buddha describes as composed of 12 links:

  • ignorance;
  • karmic predispositions;
  • consciousness;
  • form and body;
  • the five sense organs and the mind;
  • contact;
  • feeling-response;
  • craving;
  • grasping for an object;
  • action toward life;
  • birth;
  • old age and death.

Through this chain we account for the rise of misery.

In order to break the mental shackles which confine us, therefore, Buddhist doctrine proceeds to a discussion of the manner in which we have built up our particular construction or perception of the universe. By understanding this construction, we may then disassemble it piece by piece, thereby attaining freedom from this confining despair. Meditation largely codifies this process of disassembly. The purpose of meditation is threefold (Conze 1993):

  • to withdraw the sense from the external stimuli which one uses to define oneself;
  • to shift attention from the sensory world to a subtler realm as a manner of calming the mind;
  • to attain perception of reality beyond the senses and the pervasive emptiness which remains.

Buddhist doctrine does not subscribe to a necessary notion of self; specifically it distinguishes no enduring soul. There is a self in a pragmatic and moral sense, as the subject of action. But the objects with which people identify themselves (wealth, status, body, etc.) are impermanent, so the self cannot be permanent. Human existence is the composite of the Five Aggregates (Skt. skandhas):

  • physical form (Skt. ru:pa);
  • sensation (Skt. vedana:);
  • conception (Skt. sam.jn'a:);
  • mental disposition (Skt. sam.ska:ras);
  • consciousness (Skt. vijn'a:na).

A person is in a state of continual change, with no enduring self. This recognition of the lack of a self which persists leads to a natural question when confronted with the doctrine of sam.sa:ra 'rebirth': if there is no enduring self, what persists to be reborn? The Buddha draws the analogy with a flame, which at every moment changes form, while still remaining the same flame.

The individual's psychophysical being must evolve in order for escape from sam.sa:ra to be possible; if not, the individual would remain in continual transitory existence like the flame. To escape the cycle of rebirth, knowledge of its existence is insufficient. One must also pass through a process of purification by attaining karmic merit. The Buddha describes such meritorious action in the Eightfold Way:

  • right views;
  • right aspirations;
  • right speech;
  • right conduct;
  • right livelihood;
  • right effort;
  • right mindfulness;
  • right meditational attainment.

Salvation consists in shedding the delusion of the ego and thereby the cycle of rebirth. This extinction is what is meant by the term Skt. nirva:n.a 'dying out' (as of a flame).

Social Structure

In India at the time of the Buddha, religious mendicants commonly wandered the countryside, either espousing their own particular worldview or searching for a teacher (Skt. guru) to provide spiritual guidance. During the rainy season these mendicants generally suspended their wanderings and retired to various retreats near villages. The Buddha followed in general the same practice along with his disciples. But evidently after the Buddha's death, his followers tended to build their own separate huts and gather at the new and full moons to recite the pra:timoks.a, affirming their commitment to monastic discipline.

This persistent gathering of the Buddha's followers ultimately provided the nucleus for the sam.gha, the 'congregation' of monks in the Buddhist tradition. The congregation contained two basic types of monks:

  • Wandering monks: certain of the Buddhist monks maintained their wandering ways and continued to venture into the countryside. These wanderings proved important for the further spread of the doctrine to such places as Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.
  • Sedentary monks: the lay people typically offered monks the necessities of life in the effort to gain merit (good karma). Eventually such donations came to include tracts of land where the monks could maintain a more permanent residence (vihara). From here the monks could in turn tend to the spiritual guidance of the nearby population.

The sam.gha laid the groundwork for the systematic preservation and spread of the Buddhist doctrine.

Ultimately however the sponsorship of king As'oka brought to Buddhism a more universal appeal and sturdy support. Buddhist monasteries increased in size and number, and formed a launching point for missionaries to other regions, as well as centers of learning for spiritual leaders from faraway lands. In fact As'oka's reign (274--236 BCE) provides the only certain date in the early history of Buddhism. Traditional accounts state that the death of the Buddha occurred 100 years before A'soka, but modern scholarship generally pushes that date even earlier. Whatever the gap of time between As'oka and the Buddha, As'oka's promotion of Buddhist doctrine converted what had been to then a religious sect into a full-fledged Indian religion which extended its reach to all corners of the subcontinent and beyond.

The original organization of the sam.gha was democratic. The immediate and practical cause for this was the fact that the Buddha himself designated no leader for the group of disciples upon his passing. It was incumbent upon each disciple to follow the path as laid out by the Buddha, and no disciple had particular authority over the rest. Adding to the philosophical impetus for the lack of designating a successor was a general cultural affinity for democratic governing in that particular region.

The lack of a central religious authority contributed to the early division of the religion into a number of sects (generally thought to be eighteen). Typically each sect had its own canon. Most were either unwritten, or the written documents were lost after the general collapse of Buddhism in India around 1200 CE. The canons which do survive generally have done so either through a stroke of luck or through their preservation in a Buddhist tradition outside of the Indian subcontinent. We may attempt to understand earlier forms of the Buddhist canon by comparing the remnants in the various surviving traditions: ff we compare the same text in two different traditions, or languages, where they agree word for word we may be assured that this particular part of the canon derives from an era antedating the division of those two sects. We do not at present, however, have the capacity to arrive at what would have been the original statements of the Buddha himself; we cannot even be sure in what language they would have been uttered.

The standards which the sam.gha serves to uphold form the pillar of Buddhist doctrine known as vinaya, literally 'that which leads', but in context 'monastic discipline': this body of knowledge outlines the rules to which the monks must adhere and the punishments for infractions. Buddhist teaching divided into two main classes, dharma 'law' and vinaya 'monastic discipline'. The former became the subject of constant efforts of interpretation and re-interpretation, and for this maintains a somewhat shifting character across time and across sects. Vinaya, by contrast, shows little variation over the course of time. The pra:timoks.a forms the heart of the vinaya, containing around 250 rules. The pra:timoks.a shows far less variation across sects than other principal Buddhist texts. The major categories are as follows. (Conze 1993) First we find the 4 gravest sins leading to expulsion from the monastic order:

  • sexual intercourse;
  • theft;
  • murder;
  • exaggeration of one's miraculous powers.

There follow 13 offenses leading to suspension:

  • 5 concerning sexual misconduct;
  • 2 concerning the construction of huts;
  • 6 concerning dissensions within the monastic order.

We then encounter 2 sexual offenses "punishable according to the circumstances", followed by 30 offenses which "involve forfeiture" of the right to share in garments of the monastic order and which could have a negative impact on the offender's rebirth:

  • handling of gold or silver;
  • involvement in trading activities;
  • personal appropriation of goods destined for community use.

A list of 90 offenses which lead to an unfavorable rebirth includes

  • lying;
  • slandering;
  • "teach[ing] the scriptures word by word to an unordained person";
  • telling the laity of offenses committed by monks.

The remaining offenses include destroying vegetation, drinking alcohol, having a chair or bed with legs higher than 8 inches, followed by 4 offenses requiring confession, 13 rules of decorum, and 7 rules for settling disputes.

Rules are to be recited every two weeks, with a pause following each to allow for individual monks to confess infractions. The Skandhaka provides the foundation for monastic administration, treating admission into the order, the timing of recitations, etc. Issues were discussed before a general assembly of monks. Any solution was read thrice; silence denoted assent, while further discussion prompted further arbitration, either by a special group chosen from among the monks or by elders of another monastery. Over the course of time, however, a monastic hierarchy developed. The abbot headed administrative affairs and had final say in the goings-on of the monastery.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following excerpt continues the Tocharian B text B107 (THT 107) from the previous lesson.

5 - -- s.ad.ap-s.alywe-malkwerne

a:jivike upage tane tam-mem. ynemane s'em cau-k yke-ne.
       

  • s.ad.ap-s.alywe-malkwerne -- noun; locative singular <s.ad.ap-s.alywe-malkwer> (name of a meter of 4 by 18 syllables) -- in sadap-salywe-malkwer-meter
  • a:jivike -- noun; masculine nominative singular <a:jivike> a Jainist religious mendicant -- The mendicant
  • upage -- noun; masculine nominative singular <upage> Upaga, a proper name -- Upaga
  • tane -- adverb; <tane, tne> here, there -- ...
  • tam-mem. -- demonstrative pronoun; neuter ablative singular <sam(p), som(p), tam(p)> that (one) -- from there
  • ynemane -- verb present participle mediopassive; masculine nominative singular <i-> go, travel -- going
  • s'em -- verb preterite VI; 3 singular active <käm-> come -- came
  • cau-k -- demonstrative adjective; masculine oblique singular <su, sa:(u), tu> the; he, she, it + particle; <k(ä)> (emphasizing particle) -- that
  • yke-ne -- noun; alternating locative singular <i:ke> place, location; position -- to... place

6 - päksemane on`korn'ai lya:ka ta:ka a:ktike lau ma: s. masa.
       

  • päksemane -- present participle mediopassive; masculine nominative singular <päk-> (medp.) become ready for eating, cook, boil, ripen (intrans.); (act.) make ready for eating, cook, boil, ripen (trans.) -- (While) cooking
  • on`korn'ai -- noun; feminine oblique singular <on`karn'o, on`korn'o> porridge, rice gruel -- the porridge
  • lya:ka -- verb preterite I; 3 singular active <läk-> see, look at, catch sight of; visit -- he looked at
  • ta:ka -- verb preterite I; 3 singular active <nes-> be, exist; (as auxiliary with past ptcple) have -- (and) was
  • a:ktike -- adjective; indeclinable <a:ketke, a:ktike> wonderful; (subst.) wonder, wonderful thing -- astonished
  • lau -- adverb; <lau> (with verbs of rest) afar; (with verbs of motion) far; very -- at all
  • ma: -- particle; <ma:> (simple negation and prohibition) not, no; (quasi-prefix) un- -- not
  • s. -- enclitic conjunction; <s.pä> and (conjoins both clauses and words) -- and
  • masa -- preterite I /III; 3 sg act <i-> go, travel -- did... move

7 - palska toyna s.otruna s'a:stär-mpa s.e ra:mate istak s'arsa :
       

  • palska -- preterite I; 3 singular active <pälsk-> think about, consider -- He considered
  • toyna -- demonstrative adjective; feminine oblique plural <sem., sa:m., tem.> this (one) -- these
  • s.otruna -- noun; neuter oblique plural of <s.otri> sign, mark, (manifestation of) action -- signs
  • s'a:stär-mpa -- noun; neuter commitative singular <s'a:stär> (sacred) book, shastra -- with the shastra
  • s.e -- adverb; <s.e, sana> (numeral adj.) one; same; some; (preposition/adverb) together -- ...
  • ra:mate -- verb preterite I; 3 singular mediopassive <ra:m-> compare -- (and) compared
  • istak -- adverb; <istak> suddenly -- (and) suddenly
  • s'arsa -- verb preterite I; 3 singular active <kärs-> know, understand, recognize -- he understood

8 - se ta: s'uwam. on`korn'ai snai olyapo ais'amn'e su yinma:s.s.äm..

  • se -- demonstrative pronoun; masculine nominative singular <se, sa:, te> this -- He who
  • ta: -- demonstrative pronoun; feminine oblique singular <se, sa:, te> this -- this
  • s'uwam. -- verb present V; 3 singular active <s'u-> eat (at); consume, devour -- eats
  • on`korn'ai -- noun; feminine oblique singular <on`karn'o, on`korn'o> porridge, rice gruel -- porridge
  • snai -- preposition; <snai> without -- without
  • olyapo -- adverb; <olyapo> (adv.) more; (conj.) rather (than) -- equal
  • ais'amn'e -- noun; neuter oblique singular <ais'amn'e> wisdom -- wisdom
  • su -- demonstrative pronoun; masculine nominative singular <su, sa:(u), tu> the; he, she, it -- ...
  • yinma:s.s.äm. -- verb present X; 3 singular active <yäm-> achieve, obtain; reach -- will obtain # Note vocalism in first syllable: -ä- replaced by -i- in palatal context

Lesson Text

5 -- s.ad.ap-s.alywe-malkwerne

a:jivike upage tane tam-mem. ynemane s'em cau-k yke-ne.
       
6 päksemane on`korn'ai lya:ka ta:ka a:ktike lau ma: s. masa.
       
7 palska toyna s.otruna s'a:stär-mpa s.e ra:mate istak s'arsa :
       
8 se ta: s'uwam. on`korn'ai snai olyapo ais'amn'e su yinma:s.s.äm..

Translation

5 -- in sadap-salywe-malkwer-meter:

The mendicant Upaga going from there came to that place.
6 (While) cooking he looked at the porridge (and) was astonished and did not move at all.
7 He considered (and) compared these signs with the shastra, (and) suddenly he understood:
8 He who eats this porridge without equal will obtain wisdom.

Grammar

31. Demonstrative Pronouns & Adjectives

The Tocharian languages display a wide range of demonstrative pronouns and adjectives. In general, all demonstratives display three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. The neuter gender, however, occurs only with pronominal use. That is, when a demonstrative functions as an adjective, it takes either the masculine or feminine gender in agreement with the noun it modifies. For example, a noun which is historically neuter in PIE --- and hence of alternating gender in Tocharian --- takes a masculine demonstrative adjective in the singular, feminine in the plural. This restriction of the (synchronic) neuter gender solely to pronominal use parallels the use of lo in Spanish.

Generally speaking the neuter forms of the demonstrative begin with t-, while the masculine and feminine forms show the dental sibilant s-; Tocharian shares this distinction with the major branches of Indo-European, e.g. Greek, Indo-Iranian, Italic, but with the notable exception of Anatolian. Outside of the nominative singular, however, the feminine shows a stem beginning with t-; the masculine stem shows c-, perhaps palatalization of a prior *t-.

The morphology of Tocharian demonstratives shows a somewhat agglutinative structure. In particular, in Tocharian A we find the genitive formed by appending -i to the form of the oblique. For example: singular Obl. A cam, Gen. A cami; plural Obl. A cesäm, Gen. A cesmi. This final -i may have its origin in PIE datives such as that found in Skt. tasmai, which may account for the use of the genitive case in a dative sense among pronouns in Tocharian. (See Section 17.4.1, Lesson 4.) We also find the importation of nominal endings, such as Gen. A tmis < *täm-is and B tuntse < *tu-ntse.

The following table displays the paradigms of the anaphoric deictics: A säm, sa:m, täm B su, sa:(u), tu 'the; he, she, it'. Tocharian employs these pronouns as adjectives to modify a noun already introduced in the narrative (as English the). When employed as pronouns, they serve the role of the English third person pronouns he, she, it, or in the plural they.

Anaphoric   A Masc.   A Fem.   A Neut.           B Masc.   B Fem.   B Neut.
                                 
N Sg.   säm   sa:m   täm           su   sa:(u)   tu
G   cami   temi   tmis           cwi, cpi   ta:y   tuntse
Obl.   cam   ta:m   täm           ce(u), cau   ta:(u)   tu
                                 
N Pl.   cem   tom               cey, cai   tom.    
G   cesmi   toma:s's'i               cem.ts   tom.ts    
Obl.   cesäm   tosäm               cem.   tom.    

The next table illustrates the paradigms of the proximal deictics: A säs, sa:s, täs. B se, sa:, te 'this'. The proximal deictics refer to something close by from the point of view of the speaker, as English this. This certainly may refer to physical proximity: given the phrases this book and that book, the deictic this in English points to the object closer to the speaker. The proximal deictic may also refer to something closer in a narrative sense: given an English sequence the former... the latter, the proximal deictic plays the role of English the latter, i.e. it points to something closer or more recent in the speaker's narrative.

Proximal   A Masc.   A Fem.   A Neut.           B Masc.   B Fem.   B Neut.
                                 
N Sg.   säs   sa:s   täs.           se   sa:   te
G   cas.i                   cwi, cpi   ta:y   tentse
Obl.   cas.   ta:s.   täs.           ce   ta:   te
                                 
N Pl.   ces.   tos.               cey, cai   toy    
G   cessi                   cem.ts        
Obl.   cesäs   tosäs               cem.   toy    

Note in the above that the Tocharian A proximal deictic displays a morphological palatalization of the final -s.. That is, the final sibilant undergoes palatalization everywhere outside of the masculine and feminine nominative singular. For example, masculine singular Nom. s, but Obl. cas.; feminine singular Nom. sa:s, but Obl. ta:s..

Tocharian B also possesses another proximal deictic: B sem., sa:m., tem. 'this (one)'. Tocharian B employs this deictic as a pronoun only. The following table illustrates the paradigm.

Proximal   B Masc.   B Fem.   B Neut.
             
N Sg.   sem.   sa:m.   tem.
G   cwi, cpi   ta:y   tentse
Obl.   cem.   ta:m.   tem.
             
N Pl.   cey, cai   to(y)na    
G   ceynam.ts, cainam.ts   to(y)nam.ts    
Obl.   ceyna   to(y)na    

The last table provides the paradigm for the distal deictics: A sam., sa:m., tam. B samp, somp, tamp 'that'. These deictics complement the proximals, referring now to an object more distant from the speaker, as English that. In a narrative sequence the former... the latter, the distal deictic plays the role of English the former, referring to the more distant or older element of the narrative.

Distal   A Masc.   A Fem.   A Neut.           B Masc.   B Fem.   B Neut.
                                 
N Sg.   sam.   sa:m.   tam.           samp   somp   tamp
G   cani       tanis           cwimp        
Obl.   cam.   ta:m.   tam.           comp   tomp   tamp
                                 
N Pl.   cem.                   ceymp, caimp   toymp    
G   cesni                   cempam.ts        
Obl.   cesäm.   tosäm.                   toymp    

We may attempt to reconstruct the evolution, for example, of the proximal deictic as follows (Pinault 2008).

    PIE   PToch   PToch   A   B
Masculine                    
N Sg.   *só   *sæ       sa-   se
Acc.   *tó-m   *tæ   *cæ   ca-   ce
                     
N Pl.   *tóy   *tæy   *cæy   ce-   cai
Acc.   *tó-ns   *tæns   *cæns   *cay!s > ces   cem.
                     
Feminine                    
N Sg.   *séH2 > *sa(H2)   *sa:       sa:-   sa:
Acc.   *téH2-m   *tå   *ta:   ta:-   ta:
                     
N Pl.   *téH2-es   *tå       to-   to-
Acc.   *téH2-ns   *tå       to-   to-

We find two major features in the historical evolution of the pronoun. Firstly, we note the palatalization in the weak cases of the masculine. This likely derives from an effort to distinguish between masculine and neuter forms: e.g. the neuter nominative and accusative singular would be PIE *tó-d > *tæ > A ta- B te. We find the model for such morphological palatalization in adjectival paradigms, e.g. masculine singular nominative B -tstse, but accusative (oblique) B -cce (cf. Section 13.2, Lesson 3). Secondly we note in the feminine accusative the replacement of *tå with *ta:. The final vowel is likely adopted from the feminine nominative singular *sa:. As regards the motivation of such a switch, we note that this avoids confusion with the neuter plural PIE *té-H2 > *tå; moreover, this engenders a dichotomy between singular theme vowel a: and plural theme vowel o.

32. Noun Classes I, II, and III

Noun classes I, II, and III all represent nouns with plurals derived from an original PIE neuter plural *-H2 > *-a > PToch *-a:. Class I collects nouns whose plural reflects a zero- or *u-suffix before the declensional ending, while classes II and III collect *n- and *nt-stem nouns, respectively. Each class contains further subdivisions based on the particular reflexes encountered. The following chart displays the endings characterizing the subdivision.

Class   Subclass   A Pl.   B Pl.
             
I   1   -a:   -a
    2   -u, -wa:   -wa
             
II   1   -m.   -na
    2   -mna:-   -nma
             
III   1   -nt   -nta
    2   -ntu    

For a discussion of the historical origins of these endings, see Section 27.1 in Lesson 6. In addition to historical neuter (Tocharian alternating gender) nouns, these classes also contain a number of feminine nouns. The nouns A p(u)käl (p(u)kul) B pikul fem. 'year', A was.t B ost alt. 'house' illustrate the declension of class I.

    A I.1   B I.1   A I.2   B I.2
                 
N Sg.   p(u)käl (p(u)kul)   pikul   was.t   ost
G   p(u)klis   pikulntse   was.tis   ostantse
Obl.   p(u)käl (p(u)kul)   pikul   was.t   ost
Instr.   *p(u)kulyo   --   was.tyo   --
Perl.   p(u)kla:   pikultsa   was.ta:   ossa
                 
Adj.   *p(u)kuls.i   pikuls.e   was.tas.i   ostas.s.e
                 
N Pl.   pukla:   pikwala   was.tu   ostwa
G   pukla:kis (pukla:s's'i)   pikwalam.ts   was.twis   ostwam.ts
Obl.   pukla:   pikwala   was.tu   ostwa
Instr.   pukla:yo   --   was.tuyo   --
Perl.   pukla:ka:   pikwalasa   was.twa:   ostwasa
                 
Adj.   pukla:s.i   pikwalas.s.e   was.twa:si   ostwas.s.e

The nouns A wram alt. 'thing', B n'em alt. 'name', B as'iya fem. 'nun' illustrate the declension of class II. Note with feminine beings the suffix -na generally attaches to the stem-final -a-.

    A II   B II   B II
             
N Sg.   wram   n'em   as'iya
G   wramis   n'emantse   as'iyantse
Obl.   wram   n'em   as'iyai
Instr.   wramyo   --   --
Perl.   wrama:   n'emtsa   as'iyaisa
             
Adj.   wrams.i   n'emas.s.e    
             
N Pl.   wramäm.   n'emna   as'iyana
G   wramnis (wramna:s's'i)   ne'mnam.ts   as'iyanam.ts
Obl.   wramäm.   n'emna   as'iyana
Instr.   wramänyo   --   --
Perl.   wramna:   n'emnasa   as'iyanasa
             
Adj.   wramäm.s.i   n'emnas.s.e    

The nouns A yärk B yarke alt. 'veneration', A oko alt. 'fruit' illustrate the declension of class III.

    A III.1   B III.1   A III.2
             
N Sg.   yärk   yarke   oko
G   yärkes   yärkentse   okoyis
Obl.   yärk   yarke   oko
Instr.   yärkyo   --   okoyo
Perl.   yärka:   yarkesa   okoya:
             
Adj.   yärkas.i   yärkes.s.e   okos.i
             
N Pl.   yärkant   yärkenta   okontu
G   yärkäntwis   yärkentam.ts   okontwis
Obl.   yärkant   yärkenta   okontu
Instr.   yärkantyo   --   okontuyo
Perl.   yärkäntwa:   yärkentasa   okontwa:
             
Adj.   yärkäntwa:s.i   yärkentas.s.e   okontwa:s.i
33. Gerundive

The Tocharian gerundive plays a role similar to the formation of the same name in Latin and Greek. The gerundive denotes an adjective formed productively from a verbal stem. For example, in Latin the verb de:le:re 'destroy, wipe out' provides the stem for the gerundive found in Cato's famous refrain Cartha:go de:lenda est --- literally 'Carthage is to-be-destroyed', but in sense 'Carthage must be destroyed'. That is, the Latin gerundive is a verbal adjective conveying a sense of necessity; similarly with the Greek gerundives in -téos: e.g., lutéos estí 'he is to-be-loosed,' 'he must be loosed.'

The Tocharian construction derives ultimately from an *l-participle such as that found in past tense formations in Russian. The following chart illustrates the declension.

Gerundive   A Masc.   A Fem.           B Masc.   B Fem.
                         
N Sg.   -l   -lyi           -lye, -lle   -lya
G   -lya:p               -lyepi    
Obl.   -läm.   -lya:m.           -lye, -lle   -lyai
V                   -lyu (subst. -lya)    
                         
N Pl.   -lye   -lam.           -lyi   -llona, -lyana
G                        
Obl.   -lyes   -lam.           -lyem.   -llona, -lyana

The new twist which Tocharian adds to the gerundive concerns the verbal stem. In particular, whereas in Greek and Latin the gerundive suffix (Gk. -téos, Lat. -ndus) attaches exclusively to the present stem of the verb, the Tocharian gerundive may be formed to either the present or subjunctive stem. The difference in stem betrays a difference in sense between the two gerundive formations. Tocharian may employ either type of gerundive in either attributive or predicate constructions, and likewise as substantive.

  • Present Stem, the so-called Gerundive I: denotes necessity in positive sentences and prohibition in negative sentences, akin to the Latin and Greek gerundives. Consider the following examples. Attributive: A yaläm. wramm ats skam ya:mis. ma: yaläm. wram mar ya:mis. 'One should always do the thing to be done, one should not do the thing not to be done', from A ya:m- 'do', present stem ya-; B kärsanälyem. wäntarwane 'in things which one must know', from B kärs- 'know', present stem kärsana-. Predicate: A mänt yäl n'i 'how is it to be done by me?', from A ya:m- 'do', present stem ya-; B k(u)se wesän' tannem. yamas.älle 'what is thereby to be done by us?', from B ya:m- 'do', present stem ya:mäsk-. Substantive: A a:käls.äl B akals.älle 'student', literally '(the one) to be taught', from AB a:kl- 'learn, (caus.) teach'; B preks.allene waya:re-ne 'they led him to the questioning', from B prek- 'ask', present stem preks.-.
  • Subjunctive Stem, the so-called Gerundive II: denotes possibility. Consider the following examples. Attributive: A ma:kis käka:lya:m. k(u)leyac 'to a woman accessible to many', literally 'to a woman able-to-be-gone-to for many', from A i- 'go,' subjunctive stem kälk-; B ma wär tärkalye ikene 'in a place impermeable to water', literally 'in a place unable to be passed through by water', from B tärk- 'release', subjunctive stem tärk-. Predicate: A wsa:lu yetweyntu was.lam. s.en'c-äm 'robes and jewelry are able to be worn by them', from AB wäs- 'clothe', subjunctive stem was.-; B säk s'le läkle aka:lk postäm. ... ma: källalle 'luck, as with suffering, (is) not able to be attained after a wish', from B kälp- 'attain', subjunctive stem källa:-. Substantive: A wina:sam-ci yna:n'm ya:mläm. 'I praise you, worthy treasure', literally 'I praise you, (you thing) able to be worthily made', from AB ya:m- 'make', subjunctive stem ya:m-; B mäksu no s.ama:ne ... aletsai as'iyaimem. s.an' s.arsa tra:skalye tsa:ltalye en'ci:trä 'whichever monk takes from a nun with his own hand hard (and) soft (food)...', literally '... takes (the thing) able to be chewed (and) able to be chewed...', from B tresk- 'chew' and B tsa:lt- 'chew', subjunctive stems tra:ska:- and tsa:lta:- respectively.

Note the use of the genitive to denote the agent of actions described by gerundives, e.g. A mänt yäl n'i 'how is it to be done by me?' and B k(u)se wesän' tannem. yamas.älle 'what is thereby to be done by us?' As the Tocharian genitive forms of the pronoun likely derive from an original PIE dative, this usage apparently parallels that encountered in Greek and Latin: e.g. Gk. O:phele:téa soi he: pólis estí (Lat. Urbs tibi adiuvanda est) 'You must serve the city.'

Tocharian further extends the gerundive to a verbal abstract, often simply termed the abstract, by means of the suffix A -une B -(än')n'e. Tocharian attaches the suffix to both the gerundives I and II, leading to abstracts I and II, but with little distinction in meaning. For example, A kälpna:lnyac (for kälpna:luneyac, allative) (I) vs. kälpa:lune (II), both 'attainment', from AB kälp- 'attain'; B tsreln'e (I) vs. tsra:ln'e (II), both 'separation', from B tsär- 'be apart'.

Because of their derivation from verbs, verbal abstracts can take substantives as complements. If the underlying verb is intransitive, this complement always appears in the genitive case: B s'ak wäntarwam.ts spärka:ln'e 'the disappearing of ten things'. If the underlying verb is transitive, the complement may appear either in the oblique case or in the genitive case: A tsärk-rape ya:mluneyo (obl.) 'the making (of) lute-music'; A tsopatsäm. wsokoneyis ynes' ya:mluneya: (gen.) 'through the open making of great joy.'

34. Preterite

The preterite in Tocharian is a simple past tense. It denotes past completed action, with generally perfective verbal aspect. That is, the action is viewed as a completed whole, with no reference to any internal time structure. In this sense, compare English walked (perfective, no internal time structure) to was walking (imperfective, with the possibility of further subdividing the internal time structure). All classes of preterite formation employ the same non-past endings. Only stem formation distinguishes the classes.

34.1. Preterite Class I

Class I exhibits the archetypical Tocharian preterite formation. The Indo-European origin of this class lies with verbs containing a root-final laryngeal. As these formed root aorists in PIE, the laryngeal came to stand at the end of the stem, and by regular sound change PIE *H > PToch *a:, thus leaving a stem ending in -a:. In PIE terms, those verbs which formed root aorists were typically those whose bare root was non-durative (or perfective, depending on terminology). This required additional marking to derive a durative stem, such as what would be needed to form a present. A common PIE derivational technique infixes an *-n-, i.e. inserts an *-n- before the final consonant of the root. This leads in Tocharian to a common correspondence between Class I preterites and CLASS VI presents, the latter stemming from nasal infixing of verbs with root-final laryngeals in PIE.

Take as an example the PIE root *kwreiH2- 'buy'. If we form a root aorist from the zero grade, the third person singular mediopassive gives PIE *kwriH2-to > Gk. priato, the attested Homeric aorist. In Tocharian, this would yield PIE *kwriH2-to > PToch *käry!a:-tæ > B *kärya:te, the expected form given the attested first person plural B kärya:mte. The corresponding present tense form B kärna:stär belongs to the present CLASS X, showing the expected nasal infix, cf. Skt. kri:n.i:te and OIr. crenaid, followed by the *-sk'- suffix: *kwri-n-H2-sk'e/o- > PToch *kärna:-sk-.

The Tocharian forms also exhibit consonantal alternation due to an original pattern of ablaut. Specifically, the active singular forms (and only the active singular) derive from original *e-grades, while the remaining forms derive from *0*-grade. The *e naturally leads to palatalization of the preceding consonant. For example, third person singular active A s'ärs B s'arsa < PToch *s'ärsa < *kers-a-t, but mediopassive A kärsa:t < PToch *kärsa:- < *kr.s-a-.

In Tocharian A some verbs display yet a different pattern of ablaut. In particular, they show *o-grade in the active plural, and *0*-grade elsewhere. For example the root A kälk- (part of the suppletive paradigm of AB i- 'go') exhibits the following pattern.

    Preterite           Subjunctive        
Active   A   PToch   PIE   A   PToch   PIE
3 Sg.   kälk   *-0*-   *-0*-   kalkas   *-æ-   *-o-
3 Pl.   kalkar   *-æ-   *-o-   kälken'c   *-0*-   *-0*-

As illustrated in the chart above, the ablaut pattern of the preterite reverses that found in the subjunctive CLASS v.

The paradigm of PIE *keH2u-dhe /o- > PToch *ka:ut- > A kot- B kaut- 'split off, break', cf. Lat. cu:do: 'beat, pound', illustrates the conjugation of Class I preterites.

Pret. I   A   B   PToch   PIE
Active                
1 Sg.   kota:   kauta:wa   *kauta:-wa:   *-wa < *-uH2 < *-H2u
2   kotas.t   kauta:sta   *kauta:-sta:   *-sta < *-stH2e
3   kota   kauta   *kauta:-0*   *-(a)-t < *-t
                 
1 Pl.   kotmäs   kauta:m(o)   *kauta:-mV    
2   kotas   kauta:s(o)   *kauta:-st(?)    
3   kotar   kauta:re   *kauta:-ræ   *-ro
                 
Mediopassive                
1 Sg.   kote   kauta:mai   *kauta:-(m)ai   *-H2e-i
2   kotte   kauta:tai   *kauta:-tai   *-tH2e-i
3   kotat   kauta:te   *kauta:-tæ   *-to
                 
1 Pl.   kotamät   kauta:mt(t)e   *kauta:-my!ätæ+   *-medhH2
2   kotac   kauta:t   *kauta:-tä   *-dhuwe
3   kotant   kauta:nte   *kauta:-ntæ   *-nto
                 
Ppl.   ka:kotu   kakautau        

Note in the paradigm for Tocharian B that the stress remains on the stem-terminal -a:-; were that not the case, the vowel would have weakened to a simple -a-.

As the above illustrates, this particular formation spread beyond those roots with original root-final laryngeal. In the Proto-Tocharian period, stem-final PToch *-a: has come to be regarded as a preterite marker by itself, and so is applied to verbs which would otherwise not employ the marker based on historical phonological grounds.

34.2. Preterite Class II

The marking of Class II preterites differs between Tocharian A and B. Each however employs a type of marking familiar from the classical languages Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. Class II is generally restricted to the preterite of causative verbs, whose present stem carries the causative marker A -s- B -sk-, and which had an original short root vowel, hence a Tocharian root vowel ä, i, or u.

Tocharian A forms Class II preterites by means of reduplication. This evidently harkens back to reduplicated aorists of the type found in Sanskrit aji:janat, from the causative janayati 'bring into being'. In general reduplication in Indo-European is a process by which the initial consonant (cluster) of a root is copied and tacked on to the beginning of the root. A vowel is placed between the copied consonant(s) and the original root-initial consonant(s); this vowel may be either the same as the root vowel, or a fixed vowel which does not change with differing root vowels. For example the root PIE *deH3 'give' shows in Greek both present reduplication, dido:mi, as well as perfect reduplication, dedo:ka (all Greek verbs with present reduplication employ the vowel -i- in the reduplicated syllable, those with perfect reduplication invariably employ -e-). Latin perfects, when reduplicated, occasionally display vowel harmony: present spondeo: 'I vow', perfect spospondi:. Sanskrit shows, in addition to those just mentioned, a type of reduplication (the so-called intensive) in which the entire root, including final consonant(s), is reduplicated: kram- 'to stride', intensive cam.krami:ti, cam.kramyate. Such wholesale copying of the root rarely occurs in the Indo-European family outside of Sanskrit.

The reduplication found in Tocharian A poses some interesting challenges for historical linguists. In particular, comparison of the reduplicated preterite A s'as'ärs of the root AB kärs- 'know' (causative: 'make know') to the reduplicated preterite participle B s'es's'arsu suggests that the reduplicated syllable employed the vowel PIE *o > PToch . Though *o-grade is the expected ablaut grade in PIE perfects, as in Gk. leloipa from the root lip-, reduplication of the *o-vocalism is rare in Indo-European (the example of Lat. spospondi: by no means displays a prevalent or even common vocalism in Latin reduplication). This form moreover suggests that the palatalization of the reduplicated consonant(s) is a secondary process, since there was no front vowel to trigger palatalization on purely phonetic grounds. Compare A käl- 'endure', with preterite kakäl.

Tocharian B forms Class II preterites by means of palatalization and lengthened grade of the root vowel. This lengthened grade possibly derives from contraction of the reduplicated syllable with the root syllable, and so this would imply that the two Tocharian languages ultimately employ the same reduplicated preterite formation. Such reduplication and subsequent contraction (in one of the daughter languages) parallels evidence from Germanic: the preterites Goth. haihait vs. OE he:t, if the latter is in fact the result of contraction. Such examples however are few in Germanic, and the strong tendency toward word-initial accent likely played a crucial role in such developments in Germanic. Tocharian lacks similar stress patterns.

A more likely scenario is that Tocharian B Class II preterites derive from an original PIE perfect formation in long-*e:, of the type found in Lat. le:gi: (from lego: 'I read') and se:di: (from sedeo: 'I sit'). This has the added benefit of providing a direct source of palatalization: *ke:rs-a- > PToch *s'ærs-a:- > *s'a:rsa:-, the last step following from a-umlaut in Proto-Tocharian. This provides a contrast in the instance of the root B kärs- between the third person singular base (Grundverb) preterite PIE *kers-t > B s'arsa (from Class I) and the corresponding causative PIE *ke:rs- > B s'a:rsa; the sole distinction resides in the root vowel. Note that, in contrast to Class I, in Class II this long-*e:-grade is found throughout the paradigm, not only in singular active forms.

Below the partial paradigm of A käl- 'endure' and the full paradigm of B mäsk- (caus.) 'exchange' illustrate the preterite Class II conjugation.

Pret. II   A   B
Active        
1 Sg.   *kakla:wa   mya:skawa
2   kakla:s.t   mya:skasta
3   kakäl   mya:ska
         
1 Pl.       mya:skam(o)
2       mya:skas(o)
3   kakla:r   mya:skare
         
Mediopassive        
1 Sg.       mya:skamai
2       mya:skatai
3   *kakla:t   mya:skate
         
1 Pl.       mya:skamt(t)e
2       mya:skat
3   *kakla:nt   mya:skante
         
Ppl.       memisku

Note in the Tocharian B paradigm that stress falls on the root syllable; the lack of stress on the stem-final *-a:- causes its reduction to -a-. Contrast this with the stem-final stress in Class I.

34.3. Preterite Class III

In preterite Class III a long-time friend to students of Greek and Sanskrit makes its appearance: the sigmatic aorist (so named because the marker is PIE *-s-, in Greek the letter sigma). But as with everything in Tocharian, the story is not so simple. This preterite is indeed sigmatic, but only partially so: in the active, the *-s- appears only in the third person singular; however the *-s- occurs throughout all of the mediopassive forms. This holds equally true for both languages. The forms of A prak- B prek- 'ask' (cf. Skt. pr.cchati) illustrate the paradigm.

Pret. III   A   B
Active        
1 Sg.   prakwa:   prekwa
2   prakäs.t   prekasta
3   prakäs   preksa
         
1 Pl.   prakmäs   prekam
2   *prakäs   *prekas
3   prakär   prekar
         
Mediopassive        
1 Sg.   präkse   parksamai
2   präksa:te   parksatai
3   präksa:t   parksate
         
1 Pl.   präksa:mät   parksamt(t)e
2   präksa:c   parksat
3   präksa:nt   parksante
         
Ppl.   papräku   pepärku

The alternation in the root vowel, A a B e, of the active forms points back to PToch . This in turn points back to either PIE *e: or *o. The former however invariably leads to palatalization of the preceding consonant whenever possible. This palatalization is in fact observed in Tocharian A in those roots which employ *-s-, supporting the association of these forms with an original aorist formation. The mediopassive forms derive from zero or *e-grade vocalism.

Nevertheless we find a small group of verbs which follow the above pattern of *e:-grade ablaut and third person singular *-s-, but which lack the *-s- and suggest *o-vocalism (i.e. there is no palatalization) in the mediopassive. For example, consider the following forms.

Pret. III   A   PIE
Active        
3 Sg.   n'akäs   *ne:k'-s-t
3 Pl.   n'akär   *ne:k'-r.
         
Mediopassive        
3 Sg.   nakät   *nok'-to
3 Pl.   nakänt   *nok'-n.to

The *o-vocalism and lack of *-s- suggest the PIE perfect. The preterite Class III therefore contains the remnants of both the PIE aorist and the PIE perfect. This is similar to the situation found in the Latin perfect: compare Latin perfect di:xi: (from dico: 'I say') with Gk. aorist édeiksa 'I showed'; but Latin perfect didici:, the reduplicated perfect of present disco: < *di-dk'-sk'- 'learn' (an original reduplicated present).

Class III preterites are generally associated with presents of CLASSES VIII, IX, and X, and occasionally of CLASSES I and II. CLASS i subjunctives frequently form Class III preterites.

34.4. Preterite Class IV

Class IV preterites show the stem suffix AB -s.s.-, augmented by the Class I marker -a:-, by this time felt to be a general preterite marker: AB -s.s.a:-. Class IV preterites include few base verbs, the majority of the formations being built to causatives. Tocharian A contains few examples of preterites of this class: A lala:ks.a:wa:, from A läk 'see', causative 'show'. The verbs A win-a:s- 'revere' B ya:m- 'do, make' illustrate the paradigm.

Pret. IV   A   B    
Active            
1 Sg.       yamas.s.a:wa   (ya:ms.awa)
2       yamas.s.asta   (ya:ms.asta)
3   wina:s.a:-m.   yamas.s.a   (ya:ms.a)
             
1 Pl.       yamas.s.am(o)   (ya:ms.am(o))
2       yamas.s.as(o)   (ya:ms.as(o))
3   wina:s.a:r   yamas.s.are   (ya:ms.are)
             
Mediopassive            
1 Sg.       yamas.s.amai   (ya:ms.amai)
2       yamas.s.atai   (ya:ms.atai)
3       yamas.s.ate   (ya:ms.ate)
             
1 Pl.       yamas.s.amt(t)e   (ya:ms.amt(t)e)
2       yamas.s.at   (ya:ms.at)
3       yamas.s.ante   (ya:ms.ante)
             
PPl.       ya:mu    
34.5. Preterite Class V

Class V preterites exhibit the stem suffix AB -n'(n')-. Few verbs belong to this class. To this suffix is appended the general preterite marker AB -a:-. The primary example is the root AB we- 'say' (which, in Tocharian A, has a suppletive paradigm, the present tense being supplied by tränk-). The paradigm is as follows.

Pret. V   A   B
Active        
1 Sg.   wen'a:   w(e)n'a:wa
2   wen'a:s.t   w(e)n'a:sta
3   we (wen'a:-m.)   wen'a
         
1 Pl.   wen'a:mäs   wen'a:m
2   wen'a:s   wn'a:s
3   wen'a:r   w(e)n'a:re
         
Mediopassive        
1 Sg.        
2        
3       (kwipen'n'ate)
         
1 Pl.        
2        
3        
         
PPl.   wewn'u   wewen'u

There are few documented mediopassive forms. The form supplied above belongs to the root B kwip- 'be ashamed'. In Tocharian A, when CLASS XII presents form Class V preterites, the imperfect and preterite formations fall together.

34.6. Preterite Class VI

Preterite Class VI comprises the so-called thematic preterites, i.e. those with the thematic vowel *e/o > *y!ä/æ. In fact, only two roots pertain to this class: AB lä-n-t- 'leave' and B käm- 'come'. Their forms are as follows.

Pret. VI   A   B   PIE
Active            
1 Sg.   lca:   latau    
2       lat    
3   läc   lac   *H1ludh-e-t
             
3 Du.       ltais    
             
1 Pl.       ltem(o)   *H1ludh-omV
2       latso    
3   lcär   latem.   *H1ludh-o-nt
             
PPl.   laltu   ltu    
             
1 Sg.       kamau    
2       kamt(o)    
3       s'em(o)   *gwe:m-e-t
             
1 Pl.       kmem(o)   *gwm-omV
2            
3       kamem.   *gwm-ont
             
PPl.   kakmu   kek(a)mu    

Note that in Tocharian A the stem naturally arrived at in the third person singular, PIE *H1ludh-e-t > PToch *läc(ä) > A läc-, was then generalized throughout the paradigm and the usual preterite endings employed: first person singular lca:, third plural lcär.

Tocharian B, by contrast, shows the use of non-past endings, e.g. B -u, -m.. Moreover the form s'em(o), with the 'moveable-o', appears to derive from an original long *e:-grade, in contrast to the zero-grade of other forms.

35. Perlative & Locative
35.1. Perlative

The Tocharian perlative case, marked by A -a: B -sa, expresses a similar range of meaning to the English prepositions by and through. In its most basic sense, this carries a purely spatial or temporal connotation, as with English "One if by land..." or "wading through water". However the Tocharian languages extend this to mark personal agents and even manner of action, as with English "the homework was assigned by the teacher" and "through guile he escaped notice", respectively. The following list distinguishes some of the major uses of the Tocharian perlative.

  • True Perlative: The basic sense of the perlative denotes motion through a (planar) expanse, and by extension time. Consider the following examples: A tkana: epreram. B kem.tsa eprerne 'on land and in the in the sky' (more literally 'over' or 'through land'); A pän' kursärwa: a:rs.la:syo rarkusa:m. tkana: kälk 'for five miles he passed through a land strew with snakes'; B swese kentsa swa:säs.s.asta 'you have let rain a rain over the earth'; A propmahur lapa: ta:- B pra:pmahur a:s.tsa ta:- 'set the diadem on the head'; A s'twar man'sa: B s'twer men'tsa 'for four months' (literally 'through four months'); B ma:ka lyakursa 'four times'.
  • Locative Use of the Perlative: The perlative may denote simply the place on, at, or in which something occurs; this extends likewise to time. Consider the following examples: A n'emis.im. pran`ka: yes. 'he went on the jewel-island' (literally 'through, upon the jewel-island'); A yam.tra:ca:res was.ta: lokit yes. 'he went as a guest into the mechanic's house'; A tkana: kla: B kem.tsa kla:ya 'fell on the ground'; A tsara: ents- B s.arsa en`k- 'take by the hand'; A tam.ne-pras.ta 'at such time'; A pras.t pras.ta: 'from time to time'.
  • Instrumental Use of the Perlative: Tocharian may employ the perlative to denote the inanimate instrument by which an action is performed. Tocharian A generally employs the Instrumental case in this role, though one occasionally finds the perlative: A A:rs'i-käntwa: ritwäs.s.i 'to write in the A:rs'i-tongue'. The majority of the examples come from Tocharian B: B antapi keni:nesa kem. teksa 'he touched the ground with both knees'; B s.an' s.arsa 'with (one's) own hand'.
  • Agent: Tocharian A employs the perlative for rational agents, the instrumental for any other type of agent (inanimate objects): A ma: poryo tska:m.sam.tär ma: wäryo sikam.tär ma: la:n'csa: pärtsi ya:ten'c ma: penu lyäksa: kärna:tsi ya:ten'c 'by fire they will not be burned, by water they will not be washed away, by kings they will not be able to be snatched up, nor by thieves will they be able to be stolen.' Italics denote the instrumental case, boldface marks the perlative case (cf. Section 30.1, Lesson 6). Tocharian B, lacking an instrumental case, employs the perlative in either situation. Consider the following examples: B yessa-k ya:m.s.älle 'to be done by you'; B ce(u) s.ama:nentsa s.ama:nents a:ksas.älle 'by such a monk is it to be announced to the monks'
  • Manner: Tocharian employs the perlative to describe the way or manner in which an action occurs. Consider the following examples: A tämne-wäkna: B te-yäknesa 'in this way'; A mänt-wäkna: B mäkte-yäknesa 'in what way?'. In Tocharian B this extends to numeral expressions: B käntenma yältsenma tmanenmasa 'by the hundreds, thousands, (and) ten-thousands'; Tocharian A by contrast employs the instrumental for such expressions (cf. Section 30.1, Lesson 6).

Tocharian B also employs the perlative in several situations where Tocharian A prefers the use of a different case. The following lists some of the differences in usage between the languages.

  • With Participles and Adjectives: Tocharian B commonly employs the perlative in complements to participles and adjectives. For participles, consider B po krentaunasa kekenu 'provided with all the virtues'; in such instances Tocharian A typically employs the instrumental. For adjectives, consider B kektsentsa skwassu... ma: palskosa 'fortunate in body... not in spirit'; here Tocharian A prefers the instrumental. Consider also B men`kitse es'nesa 'lacking eyes'; here Tocharian A prefers the ablative.
  • Expressions of Fear: Tocharian B often employs the perlative with the verb B pärsk- 'be afraid, fear' to denote the source of the fear: B pärskau s'aultsa 'afraid for (one's) life'. Tocharian B also employs in this role the ablative of the thing feared, or the genitive of the person.
  • Expressions of Emotion: Tocharian B often employs the perlative with expressions of emotion: B mi:wi ce(u) saksa 'shook on account of happiness'; B katkaun'aisa kaln'i s'ais.s.e 'the world resounded with joy'. Tocharian B also employs the causal in such expressions (cf. Section 30.2, Lesson 6); Tocharian A generally employs the instrumental (Section 30.1).
  • Expressions of Price: Tocharian B employs the perlative to denote the price of an item: B s.alywe kärya:mte s'wer s.an`k ok tom ysa:resa 'we bought oil: four pounds for eighty pounds (of) grain'.
  • Standard of Comparison: Tocharian B frequently uses the perlative to mark the standard against which something is compared. Consider the following examples: B Sumersa tapre 'higher than Sumeru'; B kaum. men'äntsa lak(u)tsa 'brighter than Sun (and) Moon'; B cisa la:re 'dearer than you'. Tocharian A regularly, and Tocharian B occasionally, employ the ablative case to mark the point of reference in comparisons.
35.2. Locative

The Tocharian locative case, marked by the suffix A -am. B -ne, corresponds roughly to the meaning denoted by the English prepositions in, on, or at. The locative denotes, aptly enough, the location or position at which some action occurs: e.g. "Sitting on the dock of the bay...", "That'll happen in your dreams", "Let's meet at my house." This naturally extends to temporal considerations as well: "I'll come on the morrow...", "Make sure you get it to me on time", "The package should arrive at noon." We list below some of the major uses of the locative in Tocharian.

  • Of Place Where: The locative case responds to the question "where? at what place?" Consider the following examples: A yokmam. klyantär 'they are standing at the gate'; A lakeyam. orto s.mäs. 'He sits right upon the bed'; B tarnene stmau 'standing on the apex'; B olyine s.amäm. 'sits in a boat'. The locative may sometimes straddle the border between marking the destination of motion (hence like English into) or the area in which motion takes place (like English through): e.g. A epreram. yäs. 'goes in the air', with the sense either of 'goes into the air' or 'goes through the air'; B yai kauc iprerne 'he went high in(to) the air'.
  • Of Place to Where: The locative case may answer the question "to where? to what place?" Consider the following examples: A wärtam. yäs. 'went into the woods'; B wartone lac 'went out into the woods'; A ksaluneyam. ytsi 'to enter into death'; B kseln'ene ynu:ca 'entering into death'; B rine s'em 'came into the city'; B nauntaine kla:ya 'she fell on the street'.
  • Of Metaphysical Motion: The above senses of the locative denoting location or destination need not refer solely to physical motion. Tocharian employs the same constructions when the motion is metaphysical. Consider the following examples: A Bha:dra:nam. tun`k ka:pn'une 'love (and) affection for Bhadra:'; B pa:tär ma:tärne tän`wassu 'fond of father (and) mother', or more literally 'lovingly disposed towards father (and) mother'; B s'wa:tsi yokstine ymassu 'mindful of eating (and) drinking', or more literally 'thinking on eating (and) drinking' or 'looking towards eating (and) drinking'.
  • Of Time: The above senses extend by analogy to location or destination in time. Consider the following examples: A ta:m pras.tam. B ce(u) prekene 'at the time'; A s.pät kom.sam. 'in seven days'; A wikis.pätin'cinäs s.pät kom.sam. 'in the twenty-seventh week'; B s.kas men'antse ne 'on the seventh (day) of the month'; A wu: ks.am.sam. 'in two blinks of an eye'; B s.eme ks.anne 'in the blink of an eye'.
  • Superlative Constructions: Tocharian generally employs the locative in superlative constructions to denote the group among which the entity in question particularly stands out. Consider the following examples: A pu:k pn'intwam. tpär 'highest among all virtues'; A p(u)kam. pruccamo 'best of all', literally 'excellent among all'; B n'aktem. s'a:mnane s'pa:lmem. 'best among gods (and) men'.