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in ancient Indian grammar and later in comparative historical grammar as well, a class of compound words; also, a word belonging to this class. Tatpurushas are also referred to as determinative, attributive, appositive, and subordinating compounds. In these compounds the meaning of the last constituent is modified by the first constituent; consequently, the interrelationship of the constituents is similar to case-governed relationships.
In some languages, for example, in Sanskrit, the first constituent of a tatpurusha may be both a word stem and a case form. Examples are Sanskrit svarga-gati (“the way to heaven”) and vane-cara (“the one living in the forest”), Russian krovoprolitie (“bloodshed”; from prolitie krovi, “shedding of blood”) and vodoprovod (“water conduit”; from to, chto provodit vodu, “that which conducts water”), German Königshaus (“king’s house”), and English doorknob.