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Saddaniiti (Saddaniti) is the most elaborate of classical Pali grammars. It is available in various scripts, including Roman script. There are also printed editions in Burmese and Thai orthographies. There is a Burmese nissaya, however, there is currently no complete translation in English or any European language. Therefore, any attempt to study the classic is full of interesting challenges.

This study is an effort by the Yahoo! Pali Group to conduct an in-depth survey of Saddaniiti, and offer the results online. It is structured to provide a platform for discussing the grammatical and linguistic concepts covered in Saddaniiti, allowing every participant to contribute his or her understanding and opinions to the group.

This website serves as a register for the study. It documents the discussion by organising links under the relevant pages. By clicking on the links provided on each of the pages below, you can browse the highlights of the group discussion, and proceed beyond. In addition, each page also attempts to present a keynote summary of the contents and concepts in this classical work.

This site is maintained by Ong Yong Peng 王永平.


Methods of Study

Given the vast extent of Saddaniiti, its study has to be carried over an extended period of time. With no exception, this study is expected to take several years. The mode of delivery is mailing list. Participants can choose to receive messages in their mailboxes or view the messages in the online archive. There is no established schedule for this study, however multiple threads may surface at certain time to discuss different passages of the text. There will be minimum coordination.

The mammoth task of studying Saddaniiti will be broken down into small passages or excerpts from the text for review and discussion. Key concepts in each passage will be investigated and the examples therein analysed and interpreted. Flexibility in the approach of the study shall allow participation which suit individual pace and schedule.

Methods of Participation

This study is open for participation to all members of the Yahoo! Pali Group. Members are encouraged to contribute to the analysis and understanding of Saddaniiti through active discussion via the group's mailing list interface. Members are also referred to Yahoo! Terms of Service, Yahoo! Groups Guidelines, and Yahoo! policies on copyright and privacy.

Members are encouraged to lead the discussion on any passages from the classic. Information on this anchor page should assist any individual to prepare and organise for private study and group discussion. The intention is to complete the first section Padamaalaa before proceeding to the later sections. However, members may selectively contribute to any passage within Padamaalaa.

The message archive is public, and available for viewing at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pali/



Original Pali

The primary text used for this study is the version available on CSCD or tipitaka.org (or CST4).

Key References
  1. Steven Collins, A Pali Grammar for Students
    Silkworm Books (2007)
    A large percentage of the example sentences in the Saddaniiti are translated in this book.
  2. Helmer Smith ed., Saddaniiti
    Pali Text Society (5 volumes in 3 bound copies, 2001)
    A cross reference for CSCD edition. It includes tables and indices for easy reference.



This online study commenced on 19/20 December 2008.


The following list of contributors is not organised in any order:

Jim Anderson, George Bedell, P G Dave, Jon Fernquest, Nina van Gorkom, Lennart Lopin, Mahinda Palihawadana, Joop Wibier, Ong Yong Peng


Saddaniiti is a classical Pali grammar written in the 12th century CE by the venerable author Aggavamsa from the region of Pagan, Myanmar. It is the most voluminous of classical Pali grammars, and the most important of all Burmese works on Pali grammar. This treatise is known to utilise earlier works like Paa.nini's Ashtadhyayi. There is also Indian influence in its presentation, the work was written in the form of niiti (as given in its title), which arranges its material as a collection of maxims or rules.

Saddaniiti opens with the introductory verses Ganthaarambhakathaa, which is followed by three main sections: Padamaalaa, Dhaatumaalaa and Suttamaalaa. Each section contains several paricchedas (chapters) discussing various aspects of Pali grammar. There are a total of 28 paricchedas.

The Author

Aggavamsa (勝種) lived in the 12th century CE, and was the preceptor and tutor to king Narapatisithu (1167-1204). He completed the celebrated Saddaniiti (語法論) in 1154.

The Title

Saddaniiti is a compound made up of the following words:

Saddaniiti: (lit.) Instruction on Words



Ganthaarambhakathaa (Introductory Verses)

2009: 1-6 | 7-8 | 9-13


1. Savikara.naakhyaatavibhaaga [ 2009: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 ]

2. Bhavatikriyaapadamaalaavibhaaga [ 2008: 01 ]

3. Paki.n.nakavinicchaya

4. Bhuudhaatumayanaamikaruupavibhaaga

5. Okaarantapulli`nganaamikapadamaalaa



25. Aakhyaatakappa

[ 2009: Intro | 865-866 | 867 | 868 | 869 | 870 | 871 | 872 ]