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Tadbhava (IPA: [tɐdbʱɐʋɐ], lit. "arising from that") is the Sanskrit word for one of three etymological classes defined by native grammarians of Middle Indo-Aryan languages, alongside tatsama and deśi words.[1] A "tadbhava" is a word with an Indo-Aryan origin (and thus related to Sanskrit) but which has evolved through language change in the Middle Indo-Aryan stage and eventually inherited into a modern Indo-Aryan language. In this sense, tadbhavas can be considered the native (inherited) vocabulary of modern Indo-Aryan languages.

Tadbhavas are distinguished from tatsamas, a term applied to words borrowed from Classical Sanskrit after the development of the Middle Indo-Aryan languages; tatsamas thus retain their Sanskrit form (at least in the orthographic form). This can be compared to the use of borrowed Classical Latin vocabulary in modern Romance languages. Both tadbhavas and tatsamas are also distinguished from deśi ("local") words, a term applied to words that have a non-Indo-Aryan source, typically Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, or Tibeto-Burman.[2] In the modern context, the terms "tadbhava" and "tatsama" are applied to Sanskrit loanwords not only in Indo-Aryan languages, but also in Dravidian, Munda and other South Asian languages.[3]

Tadbhavas in Indo-Aryan languages[edit]

Modern Indo-Aryan languages have two classes of words inherited from Sanskrit. The first covers words which have come to these languages from Old Indo-Aryan through Prakrit and Apabhraṃśa; these are the inherited tadbhava words, showing an unbroken chain of language evolution from Old Indo-Aryan to the modern form. A second class of Sanskrit-derived words in modern Indo-Aryan languages covers words which have their origin in Classical Sanskrit and which were originally borrowed into Prakrit or Apabhraṃśa as tatsamas but which, over the course of time, changed in form to fit the phonology of the recipient language; such words are often called ardhatatsamas or semi-tatsamas by modern linguists.[2] These stand apart from the tatsamas, which are borrowings left relatively unchanged from Sanskrit.

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

Tadbhavas in Odia languages[edit]

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

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

Tadbhavas in other South Asian languages[edit]

In the context of Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, and Tibeto-Burman languages of South Asia, the terms "tatsama" and "tadbhava" are used to describe words which have been borrowed from Sanskrit either unmodified ("tatsama") or modified ("tadbhava"). Tadbhava as used in relation to these languages, therefore, corresponds more accurately with the categories of tatsama and semi-tatsama used in relation to the vocabulary of modern Indo-Aryan languages. All Dravidian languages contain a proportion of tadbhava and tatsama words, possibly exceeding over half of the vocabulary of literary Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam, with Tamil being less Sanskritised.[3] Because of their non-Indo-Aryan origin, the native, inherited vocabulary of Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, and Tibeto-Burman languages of South Asia would be classified as "deśi".

See also[edit]


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