Imatges de pàgina
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mark s under the it of ^, called Virama (see rule 9), indicates it consonantal stop, that is, the absence of any vowel, inherent or otherwise, after the consonant.

a. The other vowels, if written after a consonant, take the place of the inherent a. They assume two forms, according as they are initial or not initial. Thus, ik is written ^s, but ki is written S.

b. Observe here, that the short vowel f i, when initial, is written in its right place, but when not initial, is always written before the letter after which it is pronounced. Hence, in order to write such a word as iti, the letters would have to be arranged in Sanskrit thus, iit ^fiT.

c. It is difficult to assign a reason for this peculiarity. The top of the noninitial fit, if written in its right place, might occasionally interfere with a subsequent compound letter, but this tells both ways; as in the word fff^ tarhi, where the t would come more conveniently in its right position. Possibly the peculiarity may be intended to denote a slight drawing back of the breath, in the pronunciation of short i0" or it may be merely a method of marking more decidedly the difference between the short and the long vowel. In the Bengali character this artifice for distinguishing more forcibly between the length of vowel sounds is not confined to i.

3. The long vowels T d and t i, not initial, take their proper place after a consonant. The vowels w, u, ri, ri, Iri, not initial, are written under the consonants after which they are pronounced; as, w ku, ^r ku, f hi, I kri, ig klri; except when u or u' follows r, r, in which case the method of writing is peculiar; thus, ^ ru, ^ ru.

a. The vowels ri, fr, Iris and Iris are peculiar to Sanskrit. See rule 11. e. Jflri only occurs in the root Tjp^,' to make,' and its derivatives.

b. The long T£ Iri is not found except in technical grammatical phraseology; strictly it has no existence, and is useless except as contributing to the completeness of the alphabetical system.

c. The vowels e and ai, not initial, are written above the consonants after which they are pronounced; thus, * ke, % kai. The vowels o and au (which are formed by placing ^ and * over T so, like T d, take their proper place after their consonants; thus, zft ko, it kau.

OF THE METHOD OF WRITING THE CONSONANTS.

4. The consonants have only one form, whether initial or not initial. And here note this peculiarity in the form of the Deva nagari letters. In every consonant, except those of the cerebral

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mark x under the k of ^rar, called Virama (see rule 9), indicates a consonantal stop, that is, the absence of any vowel, inherent or otherwise, after the consonant.

a. The other vowels, if written after a consonant, take the place of the inherent a. They assume two forms, according as they are initial or not initial. Thus, ik is written ^, but ki is written fa.

b. Observe here, that the short vowel ft, when initial, is written in its right place, but when not initial, is always written before the letter after which it is pronounced. Hence, in order to write such a word as iti, the letters would have to be arranged in Sanskrit thus, iit jfx.

c. It is difficult to assign a reason for this peculiarity. The top of the noninitial ft, if written in its right place, might occasionally interfere with a subsequent compound letter, but this tells both ways; as in the word irff tarhi, where the » would come more conveniently in its right position. Possibly the peculiarity may be intended to denote a slight drawing back of the breath, in the pronunciation of short i J or it may be merely B method of marking more decidedly the difference between the short and the long vowel. In the Bengali character this artifice for distinguishing more forcibly between the length of vowel sounds is not confined to i.

3. The long vowels T O and t i, not initial, take their proper place after a consonant. The vowels u, u, ri, ri, Iri, not initial, are written under the consonants after which they are pronounced; as, ^r bu, M ku, ^r kri, » kri, klri; except when u or it follows T. r, in which case the method of writing is peculiar; thus, ^ ru, TE ru.

a. The vowels ri, ri, Iri and Iri are peculiar to Sanskrit. See rule II. e. 7&lri only occurs in the root Tjtj, ' to make,' and its derivatives.

b. The long Iri is not found except in technical grammatical phraseology; strictly it has no existence, and is useless except as contributing to the completeness of the alphabetical system.

c. The vowels e and ai, not initial, are written above the consonants after which they are pronounced; thus, ^| ke, % kai. The vowels o and au (which are formed by placing ^ and * over T a), like T a, take their proper place after their consonants; thus, *ft ko, it kau.

OP THE METHOD OF WRITING THE CONSONANTS.

4. The consonants have only one form, whether initial or not initial. And here note this peculiarity in the form of the Deva nagari letters. In every consonant, except those of the cerebral

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class, and in some of the initial vowels, there is a perpendicular stroke; and in all the consonants without exception, as well as in all the initial vowels, there is a horizontal line at the top of the letter. In two of the letters, v dh and vt bh, this horizontal line is broken; and in writing rapidly, the student should form the perpendicular line first, then the other parts of the letter, and lastly the horizontal line. The natives, however, sometimes form the horizontal line first.

OF THE COMPOUND C0NS0NANT8.

5. Every consonant is supposed to have the vowel V a inherent in it, so that it is never necessary to write this vowel, excepting at the beginning of a word. Hence when any simple consonants stand alone in any word, the short vowel *i a must always be pronounced after them; but when they appear in conjunction with any other vowel, this other vowel of course takes the place of short« a. Thus such a word as <MHil<JI would be pronounced kaldnatayd, where long ^t d being written after I and y takes the place of the inherent vowel. But supposing that instead of kaldnatayd the word had to be pronounced kldntyd, how are we to know that kl and nty have to be uttered without the intervention of any vowel? This occasions the necessity for compound consonants. Kl and nty must then be combined together thus, 9, fR, and the word is written JffOT. And here we have illustrated the two methods of compounding consonants; viz. 1st, by writing them one above the other; 2dly, by placing them side by side, omitting in all, except the last, the perpendicular line which lies to the right. Observe, however, that some letters change their form entirely when combined with other consonants. Thus t, when it is the first letter of a compound consonant, is written above the compound in the form of a semicircle, as in the word Wt kurma; and when the last, is written below in the form of a small stroke, as in the word Wfvj kramena. So again in tit * ksha and 91 jna the simple elements cj ^ and »T *T are hardly traceable.. In some compounds the simple letters slightly change their form;

* Sometimes formed thus of, and pronounced ky in Bengali. In Greek and Latin it often passes into f and x: compare ^Ttsjtu, dexter, 6t(i0(. But not always: compute KT€tvo>, kshanomi; y6uv, ksham (kshmd); oculus, aksM.

t This compound is sometimes pronounced gya or nya, though it will be more convenient to represent it by its proper equivalent jiia.

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