In this paper I examine the meaning of the expression nāmarūpassa avakkanti, focusing on the syntax of ava-√kram in the Pāli Canon. I conclude the following. Although it is difficult to get an unequivocal understanding of the expression because of the characteristics of the Pāli Canon, the syntax of ava-√kram strongly suggests that the expression refers to conception that is “the descent of nāmarūpa-” (the genitive is subjective). However, there remains the possibility that it does not mean conception, but “the descent of nāmarūpa- [into a living being].” While we cannot exclude the possibility that the expression means “a descent [of viññāṇa- or something which is not referred to] into nāmarūpa-” (the genitive is objective), this is not supported by the syntax of ava-√kram. This paper also contains a brief comparison of Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese parallels.