The Sanskrit first person pronoun अहम् (Romanized: Aham) can be found in Maharashtri Prakrit as 𑀅𑀳𑀁 (ahaṃ), 𑀅𑀳𑀅𑀁 (ahaaṃ), 𑀳𑀁 (haṃ).

It is even present in some languages derivative of Maharashtri Prakrit such as: Jain Maharastri Prakrit: 𑀅𑀳𑀅𑀁 (ahai̯aṃ), 𑀳𑀁 (haṃ)

So, the question, where is it in Marathi? The accepted first person pronoun in Marathi would be मी (Mi), which seems to derive from Old Marathi 𑘦𑘲 (mī). Where did Aham go, and where did Mi come from?

1 Answer 1


First, some words on the Indogermanic first person singular pronoun: It is suppletive, this means that there are two different stems in it. The nominative is from a different stem than the oblique cases, it is ich in High German, ego in Latin and aham in Sanskrit. The accusative is mich in High German, me in Latin, and mām or in Sanskrit.

It seems that in Marathi the oblique stem also took over the nominative resulting in a simplification and regularisation of the formerly irregular paradigm.

  • thank you, this is a relevant and useful answer. Could you tell me some more examples in Indo Aryan languages if thats ok?
    – Mr Jangoon
    Mar 1, 2023 at 14:10
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    @MrJangoon — Examples: in Romani “I” (1st p. sg. pronoun) is me, Assamese মই (moi) and Hind: मैं (ma͠i) are both from instr. case, Sanskrit máyā “by me”), Nepali म (ma), Oriya ମୁଁ (mum̐), Sinhalese මම (mama) from Sanskr. मम (mama) gen./dat. of Sanskrit अहम् (aham).
    – Yellow Sky
    Mar 1, 2023 at 16:46
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    Outside Indo-Aryan languages, another parallel is Celtic, which also completely lost the nominative of the first person singular pronoun, ending up with only descendants of Proto-Celtic *mī reflected in the attested languages. Mar 1, 2023 at 17:02

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