In Sanskrit, the meaning is conveyed through the concept of a distinctive semantic relationship, which is called Kāraka, and the marker Vibhakti, which is determined by Kāraka. So the word-order has no meaning, except in special cases.
However, in case of a compound (samāsa) that consists of a semantic combination of a word (pada) and a word, there is a posterior relationship that can be called a word order between the constituents. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the word-order relation of compound constituents in terms of Pūrvanipāta and ‘Upasarjana’.
Pāṇini defined more than 100 grammatical rules related to the compound in Aṣṭādhyāyī. Of these, the rules governing the word-order in relation to the above concepts are given in P. 2.2.30-P. 2.2.38. According to these rules, the word-order of the constituents of a compound is basically determined by the operation in grammar (Kārya) of Upasarjana, which is called Pūrvanipāta. Upasarjana is a name (Saṁjñā) for those that will be presented as a prathamā-vibhakti in all the Compound-rules (Samāsa-śāstra), and has the feature of preceding in order in a compound. This name is also closely related to the ‘relation of predicate and subject’ (Viśeṣaṇa-viśeṣya-bhāva), because it also implies Guṇa, i.e., apradhāna, in terms of etymology. So it precedes in order in a compound. While the above rules have a restrictive effect on a compound by ‘apūrvanipāta’ and ‘paranipāta’, it is confirmed that such restrictions also act optionally.
As a result, it has been confirmed that the positional relationship of the compound constituents is also controlled by the intention of the Speaker (Vivakṣā).
The review of the rules on word-order can be meaningful for the analysis of compounds that are unlikely to be understood without the help of the annotations.