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§ I. Sanskrt or the refined language, is the language of Devas or gods, and the alphabet in which it is written is called Devanagarî, or that employed in the cities of gods.
(a) The correct name for the Sanskpt alphabet is Daivanagari sometimes abbreviated into Nagari. Perhaps in the word Devanàgari we have a history of the times when the Aryans entered and settled in Northern India. The Aryans who were much fairer in colour than the aborigines of India are the Devas referred to in the name Devanagari (from face to shine, those of a brilliant complexion); and Nagari means the Aryan settlements within the precincts of which the sacred language was spoken.
(6) The Sanskrt language is generally written in different parts of the conntry, in that alphabet wbich is used for the Vernacular (6.g. Bengáli, Marathi &c.). That character, however, in which the sarliest monuments are written (such as the inscriptions containing the edicts of As'oka) and which is employed throughout Upper India is generally considered to be the real Devanagarf,
संस्कृत नाम देवी वागवाख्याता महर्षिभिः | Dandin.
§ 2. The Devanagarî alphabet consists of forty-two letters or varyas, nine vowels or swaras, and thirty-three consonants or vyanjanas. *
(a) These express nearly every gradation of sound, and every letter stands for a particular and invariable sound.
no names, as in Greek, for
Note::- This explains why there are the different letters of the alphabet.
* Thus given by Papini:-
Consouants:-हयवरट । लण् । जमङगनम् । झभा । घढधष् । जबगडद खकठथचटतव । कपम् । शपसर् । हल् ।
The alphabet, it will be seen, is divided into 14 gections by Pániui, which are called S'ivasútrani, or the sútras reveale:l by Siva. Each section ends with an indicatory letter called '57' which is not to be counted among the letters of the alphabet. These
Its' serve an important porpose in Sanskrt grammar as they enable the grarumarians to express several letters, or grops of letters, in a very convenient and condensed form. For any letter, with the following 57 alded to it, is not only expressive of itself but of all letters that intervene between it and this इ.1: e. g. अण् means अ, इ, उ, इक
इ, उ, ऋ, ल, &c. Similarly अल् means technically the whole alphabets, 37 any vowel, and many consonant; you a semivowel, a soft consonant, at a hard consonant, 31 soft uzaspirate, 19 a soft aspirate, &c. Each of these significant terms is technically called a 'gerant.'
Since short vowels include the long and the protracted vowels ( See § 3. a.) another 1, 'T' is generally employed to mark a
§ 3 The nine primary vowels consist of five simple rowels, viz. , T, 3, #, and, and four dipthongs, viz. , ,
एऐ ओ and भौ.
(a) A vowel may be fit or short, it or long, and ga or protracted, ( also calle i prolated by some ) according t:) the. uine required to pronounce it.* The Powels are thus dirided into
(1) Short vowels अ ३, इ, उ u, ऋ, ल !;
(2) Long vowels 3 â, f î, 5 ù, e s', q e, à ai, spt 0, it au; and
( 3 ) Protracted vowels आ ३ ३ 3, ई ३i 3, ऊ ३ 3, क ! ४, ल. ३13, ए ३es, ऐ ३ ai 8, ओ३03, and औ ३ u 3.
V. B. As the Plata or protractel vowels are not commonly to be met with in classical Sanskit, the vowels are usually giren as thirteen, represented by the thirteen signs given above en ler (1) and ( 2 ).
(b) Each of these vowels may be again of two kinds, HET or nasalised, and 37 TITI or without a nasal sound.
(c) Vowels are also further discriininate: into उशत्त or acute, अनुदान grave, and Fita or circumflex. उदात्त is
particular vowel: e. g. 37 means 37, 3 and 347 $, but 32 means ap only; so $1 means $ and nothing else,
* GREAT: Pán. I. 2. 27. The crowing of the cock in the morning represents in its throe stages these three kinds of vowels. The time required to pronounce a short vowel is called a mátrá. A long vowel has two mátrás and a pluta vowel three.
1 मुखमासिकावचनोनुनासिकः | Pin. 1. 1. 8.
that which proceeds from the upper part of the rocal organs, VIETTY that which proceeds from their lower part, while prita arises out of a mixture of these two.* But these are ignored in classical Sanskrt. They are narked only in Vedic works; the Uda'tta is left unmärked; the Anuda'tta is marked with a horizontal line underneath; and the Svarita has a perpendicular stroke above it. E. g. p****:, &c. Ķg. V. 61. 2. THAT A o #1 &c. Rg. X. 78. 4. *** : &c. Ķg. X. 145. 4.
३ Thus there are eighteen different modifications of each of the rowels भ, इ, उ, ऋ, and twelve of ल, ए, ऐ, ओ end औ; for there is no long ! and the last four have not their corresponding short vowels.
§ 4. The consonants are divided into spars'a or mutes ( those involving a complete closure or contact and not an approximate one of the organs of pronunciation), Antastha or intermediate (i. e. the Semivowels,) and ushman or sibilants.
These are represented by thirty-three syllabic signs arranged as below:
(1) कवर्ग or the group कु-k, ख kh,
गg, gh,ri, (2) for the group T-sh, tj,
झ jh, म् , (a)mates
(3) टवर्ग or the group - , th, d,
dh, q ņ, (4) want or the group 5-7t, uth, & d,
dh, tn. (5) gaf or the group 9—9P, ph, & b,
म् bb म् m. • उचैरदानः । नीचैरनुदात्तः । समाहारः स्वरितः। Pan. I. 2. 29. 31.
These are also callel the five classes designated as Kavarya, Chwarga. Tavırga, Tavargı and Pavarga respectively, (6) Semivowels---TY, Tr, a!, TV,
Besides these we have two more characters occurring in the Vela, viz. f and os? (often substitute for 3 and t; as fão for ईडे, मोडior मीदुबे. &.) In Marathi s is generally substituted for the final site of Sanskrt words.
§ 5. The first two letters of the five classes and the sibilants are called surds or hard consonants. The rest are called sonants or soft consonants.
§ 6. In addition to the characters given above there in Sanskợt two nasal sounds:—the one called Anuswara is de
i. a dot placed above the letter after which it is to be pronounced, e. g. ; the other, calleil Anuna'sika, is denoted by vi. e. a dot within a semicircle placed above the letter after which it is to be pronounce e. g. #
(a) And a sort of hard breathing known as Visarga (ge. nerally called Visarjanîya by Sansk:t grammarians). It is denoted by the sign : i. e. two vertical dots placed after the letter after which it is to be pronouncel. In pronunojation it is a hariler aspirate than 7. The Visarga is not an original character but only a substitute for a final & s or gr.
(b) Jihvàmùliya (farm) and Upadhmánîya (3Tarafra) are terms given to a sort of hali Visarga, when pronounced before क्यफ्
u, and T, respectively. It is written symbolically as