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THE Sanscrit language is written in the character called Devanāgari. The following are the Devanāgar letters, with their eduivalents in the Roman character. _
vOwELs, DIPHTHONGS, AND SEMI-vOwELS.
। SHORT TLONG* IMPROPER DIPHTHONGs | PROPBR DIPHTHONGS STEMII। WOWEI.S. WOWEI,S. CALLETD G.UNA_ CAILLEIO WRIDD'HI. VOWELS. | •_...... Not .. Not ____ Not. _____ Not, | hitial ial. |hift i्रं Initial rङ्गं,i. Initial, I्र1. च्य a | च्मा ॥ 7 इ f a | ई 'ी नः ।। ट ` e | ये * at | य y | उ , u | ऊ .. ā | स्रो `ौ 0 औ ौ aa| व g or mp । | _ •7 | | *ः, | चतृ = ?”a चक्षुः * ?’, अर् ar। अाग् 07r । र ?” । | | ल / CONSONANTS. । _ COERERE- CORRE- ." NASAI, SWM| cos्रैः ‘ं" SPONL)ING | SIP0NIDING $ँ HOL, CAILLEID ___ ___ _______ NASAILS. l SIIB1LANTS. _ T | ANusw? RA. Initial Final । or call५०d Medial. Wisargall. | Gutturals,| क % ख /k/ |ग g घ g/| डं ??० ह / : / | * ?a Or ?7a Palatals, | च c/ छ् c//|ज j मतः.j/ | न fi श।। 8/ य / । Cerebrals,|ट ! ठ ।// |ड d ढ d/| ण n प 8/ र r_ | Dentals, | तं “ य // |द d ं ध d/| न ? स S ल / | _ | Labials, |प p फp/ |ब () भ b/ | म m व। १; Or १५: । |
Observe that ar and ār are not distinct letters, but have been inserted amongst the diphthongs for reasons that will be afterwards apparent. That the semi-vowels have been placed in both Tables, as falling under the first, in their relation to i, a, ?’i, Iri ; under the second, in their relation to.j, d, d, ८. That / at the end of a word stands for Wisargah (:). That when n is found before the semi-wowels y, o, r, l, the sibilants sh, 8/, s, and the aspirate h। in the middle of a word, it represents the symbol Anuswāra ; and that m at the end of a word always represents the same symbol. That the vowels चतृ and चमूं will be represented by ri। and r, as distinguished from रि ri and री rं, which represent the consonant r combined with the vowels i and Z. Lastly, that the palatal sibilant शा will be represented by sh, as distinguished from sh, which represents the cerebral sibilant ष.
ON THE METHOD OP W IRITING THE WOWELS.
The vowels assume two forms, according as they are initial or not initial. Thus, ik is written इक्, but ki is written कि; short i, when not initial, being always written bgfore the consonant affer which it is pronounced. Short a is never written, unless it begin a word, because it is supposed to be inherent in every consonant. Thus, a/% is written अक , but Ka is written क ; the mark ऽ under the final k being used to shew that it has no a inherent in it. The vowels ad, ā, and ri, rं, not initial, are written under the consonants after which they are pronounced ; as कु, कू, ku, kā ; कृ, कृ, kri kri.* # The Sanscrit is said to possess another wowel, wiZ. ल्ठ lri, which has not been given, as it only occurs in one word in the language. The only use ofintroducing it in a Table like the abowe, is to shew the perfection of the Devanāgari alphabet ; for without it, we have no corresponding vowels or diphthongs to the semi-vowel ल ! ; but, with it, the last line of the Table may be filled up thus,
SHORT. I,0NG. GUNA. WRIIOD'HI. SBMI-W0WEI,.
लट lri | लृ ८r | स्रल a! | साल al | ल ।
* When, however, u follows र it is written thus, रू ru ; and when n follows र्, thus, रू r7.
ON THE CO MPOUND CONSONANTS.
Every consonant is supposed to have short a inherent in it, so that it is never necessary to write short a except at the beginning of a word. Hence, when any of the above simple consonants are seen standing alone in any word, short a must always be pronounced after them ; but when they are written in conjunction with any other vowel, this vowel of course takes the place of short a. Thus, Such a word as कलानतया would be pronounced Kalānatayā. The guestion then arises, how are we to know when consonants have to be pronounced together, without the intervention of any vowel ; as, for instance, kl and n८y in the word /klantyā ? This occasions the necessity for compound consonants : kl and ?a4y must then be combined together thus, झा, नय, and the word is written ज्ञानया. And here we have illustrated the two methods of compounding consonants, viZ. lst, 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.
Almost all compound letters are in this way resolvable into their component parts. There are two, however, which are not So, viZ. घञ् /ks/a and ज्ञ jnd. The last is commonly pronounced gya, and may therefore be represented by these letters. The following compound letters, being of very freguent occurrence, and not always obviously resolvable into their parts, are given with a view to attract the first attentiom of the student. He may afterwards study the list in Prof. Wilson's Grammar.
क् Kta, as in the word उन्कं aktam ; मै rma, as in the word कूर्मे /kārma. And here remark, that when । r is the first letter of a compound consonant, it is written above in the form of a semicircle ; when it is the dasf letter, it is written below in the form of a small stroke, as क्र Kra in the word क्रमेण kramena. Again, `श्च shc/id, as in ततश्व tadas/ic/ia. Here remark, that श Sometimes changes its form to श्र, when combined with another consonant. च tra, as in तच datra ; च chcha, as in अन्यच anyachc/a ; ष्ट shta, as in वृष्ट /ंrishta ; द्य dya, as in सद्य adya ; ज्ञ ddha, as in बुडि Duddht; भ्य ८/ya, as in तेभ्य: tebhya/ ; क्व tta, as in : su/rittamā/ ; व्य tyo, as in व्याध tyad/a ; ह्न dica, as in द्वार a/nāra ; स्य &ya, as in तस्य tasya ; स्त sta ; मय mkya ; ज्ञ dbha ; ख्य k//a ; इं ?t ka ; ङ्गः nga ; च fic/ia ; राड ngla ; न nta. _
PRONUNCIATION OR' THE WOWELS.
The following English words, written in the Sanscrit character, will furnish the best clue to the pronunciation of the vowels.
4 as in रोमन् , “ Roman"; a as in लास्त् , “ last "; i and i as in the first and last syllables of इन् वलीद् , “ invalid"; a as in पुम् , “ push "; a as in रूद्, “ rude "; ri as in ऋल्, “ rill "; r as in शगृन् , “ chagrin"; e as in टर् , “ ere"; o as in सो, “ so"; ai as in ऐल् , “ aisle"; au as ou in स्रीर्, “ our"; ar and ar as in the words " inward,” “ regard.”
Since short a is inherent in every consonant, the student should be careful to ac५uire the correct pronunciation of this letter. There are a few words in English which will afford examples of its Sound, Such as Hooman, temperance, hatsbandman, tolerable. But in English this Sound is often represented by ad, as in fion, 8am ; or by o, as in done, son ; or even by the other vowels ; as by e in her, cermal ; by i in bird, sir. The perfection of the Devanāgari alphabet, as compared with the Roman, is at once apparent. Every vowel in Sanscrit has one invariable sound, and the beginner can never be in doubt what pronunciation to give it, as in English, or whether to pronounce it long or Short, as in Latin.
PRONUNOIATION O F THE CONSONANTS.
The consonants are in general pronounced as in English. But g is always pronounced hard, as in gice : th is not pronounced as in English, but is only t aspirated, and, when rapidly enunciated, hardly distinguishable from d. The same remark applies to the other aspirated letters. The true sound of th is exemplified by the word anthill; so also p/, by aphill, which might be written उफिल् . The cerebral class of consonants only differs from the dental in being pronounced with a duller and deeper Sound. Each class of consonants has its own nasal ; thus the sound in/ं would be written in Sanscrit इङ्; the sound inc/, ञ्च् ; the word ander अण्डर् ; the dental n would be written in the word country, pronounced as in Ireland ; the sound imp would be written इम्य् . So, also, three of the classes have sibilants peculiar to them. Thus the final sibilant of the word ततस् taras, when combined with the word च c/ia, must he written। ततश्च /atashc//t ; when combiued with टीका tikā, must be written ततष्टीका tatashtikā ; when combined with तं /am, must be retained ततस्तं ta/astam. So also each of the letters, /, /, r, !, o, is plainly referrible to its particular class. The ह h is pronounced from the throat, and therefore allied to the guttural class. The य y belongs to the palatal class, and in Bengali is always corrupted into j. The ग् is allied to the cerebral letters ड and ढ , and in Bengali these letters are often hardly distinguishable from r in sound. The ल ! is evidently a dental. The व, although partly dental, belongs to the labial class ; and is So allied to च ), that, in Bengali, it is always pronounced like O, and, in Sanscrit, is often interchanged with it.*
+ It may here be remarked, that although the column of nasals in the Table of Consonants (p. I) has reference to the sibilants, aspirate, and semi-vowels, as well as to the other consonants ; yet the mark Anuswara (') is the proper nasal of these letters, and must always take the place of any other nasal that may be combined with them in the same word. Thus the preposition सम् and the participle स्मृत, when united in one word, are written संस्मृत: सम् and हार् , सैंहाग्; सम and रागः, सेणग :f and go on. But in every one of these cases the Anuswara takes the sound of the masal of the class to which the following letter belongs- Thus संस्मृत is sounded as if written सन् स्मृत; संहार् as if written सङ्ग् हारं; संलाप as if written सन् लाप. For the sake of brevity, however, the Anuswāra is, in many books, written as the representative of the nasal of any letter, and not merely of the
aspirate, semi-wowels, and sibilants.
* In Sanscrit, howover, the letter व is always pronounced either like t or tn s like o when it stands by itself or as the first member of a compound consomant; as in वा ca, व्याध tgadha ; like to, when it forms the lust member of a compound consonant, as in द्वारं ’lutiru
f सञ्चान्, “an universal monarch,” and सम्यक्, “ properly,” are the only words which violate this rule.