Hindi - use of ardhachandra and special letters ऎ - कॆ - कॊ

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by jakubisek, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. jakubisek Member

    I would like to ask
    1) what is the function of the "ardhachandra" diacritic in Devanagari script. I see it used in transcribing English words (does it have other use?) where it is apparently used sometimes for English "a" and sometimes for "e" (I found it used in rendering of English "Catalan" and "genetics" in Devanagari). So what is its oficial proper usage? Is it used for any mid-front or mid-low vowel that is short? Or for long as well?

    2) What are the "twisted" versions of Devanagari "e", "o", "ai" and "au" letters such as
    ऎ कॆ कॊ and the like? They have their own keys on the keyboard, so they seem to be understood as different characters from the ordinary "e", "o", "ai", "au". Contrary to that, they can be found in texts on the internet used where the ordinary ones normally stand. (like in the genitive postpositions "ke", "ko"!) So what is this?
  2. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ Your questions, jakubisek, especially the second one with "twisted" versions, aren't all that clear to me: could you give some examples?
  3. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    These might also be used to represent Indian languages that have sounds not represented by Devanagari proper.

    See for an example search: Comments on ‘Consensus on Kashmiri additions for Devanagari’ (N3727 L2/09-389)

    Some of them may not be used at all.

    Search "Proposal to Deprecate    "

    Excerpt from 'Proposal to Encode Additional Short Vowel Characters for Devanagari'

    See the proposal for more details.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2013
  4. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Hello jakubisek,

    1) You gave it an interesting name, ardhachandra. This sign, (ँ), is called chandrabindu and I read that this sign without the dot, ''bindu'' is simply called ''chandra''. When used in Hindi, it doesn't represent any specific sound, it is used rather to signalize that the ''aa'' sound has a different phonetic value from a Hindi ''long aa'' - ranging from English ''o'' like in ''for'' to ''aw'' like in ''law''.

    2) Those ''twisted'' signs aren't generally used in Hindi.

    Please do consult the thread below where these and other questions are discussed at length and in detail:

    [h=1]Devanagari script: additional signs[/h]
    I hope you are going to find it interesting.
  5. jakubisek Member

    Thanx for the answers and the link to earlier thread. I found the answer there:
    " where Marathi uses ऍ for /æ/ (as in 'man'), HU uses it for a completely different sound /ɛ/ (as in 'men'). Similarly, Marathi uses ऑ for /ɔ/ (as in 'caught') while HU uses it for /ɒ/ (as in 'ball' and, you are right, modern ). So, in Hindi usage of Nagri, 'beck and call' would strictly speaking be 'बॅक ऐन्ड कॉल​'."
  6. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I'm glad the previous contributions have proven to be of assistance.

    Since you are interested in this topic, here is an explanation by Dr. Rupert Snell, a well-known expert on Hindi:

    As Englishman, he knows what he's saying!

    *In the old thread it was not necessary to point it out since our friend HindiUrdu knew it, but to avoid any misunderstanding, let me clarify that only H (Hindi) uses it, not U (Urdu). I only hope that I'm not going to be attacked for stating the facts!
    **I'd still insist on defending the decorum of the legal profession.

    With regard to the 'twisted' signs there is also an answer, otherwise I may refer you to the Sticky Thread on transliteration. These signs are designed to convey the short variations of ''e'' and ''o''.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  7. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    ^ Is the part in bold your comment or what Snell said? I think lawyer and liar would be differentiated if the chandra is used. For example, लॉयर would be "lawyer" while लायर would be "liar".

    Also, is there a specific part of your post that the * is referring to?
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  8. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Thank you Wolverine9 for the questions, I have edited my post so that all is clear now. The part in bold is Snell's comment, not mine. My comments marked with stars are referring to the previous post, which I have quoted in my post, after editing.
  9. jakubisek Member

    Well, I think what Snell had in mind is the fact that these crescented letters (with chandra, without bindu) are:
    1) not used consistently (the chandra will often be just left out when writing or typing)
    2) pronounced identically as those chandra-less ones, by many speakers, anyway

    Who of you folks is used to pronounce them or hear them pronounced differently in Hindi and who as identical?

    And how does Urdu spell lier, lawyer, coffee and kaafii ?
  10. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    It's good you are back.

    In Urdu, all these sounds are spelt with alif, that means a long aa آ.
    لائر، لائر (none of them an Urdu word, just transliteration), کافی for both coffee and kaafii.
  11. jakubisek Member

    Fast reply ke liye shukriyaa :)

    I'm looking forward the day the two phonemes will merge in English too and there'll be no more hypocrisy anymore...
  12. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    jakubisek, if I may, there is no question of hypocrisy, which we don't like to mix into language matters. And at least in Urdu, if you are interested, thanks is shukriyah. no long aa at the end. Also, in case you have an interest for modern languages, it is kaa shukriyah, not ''ke liye''.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013

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