[INDOLOGY] The alphabet found in the Lalitavistara

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at umich.edu
Fri Nov 1 21:19:47 EDT 2019


The traditional Marathi charts of the Alphabet [called मुळाक्षरे] also end
in ह, ळ, क्ष, ज्ञ.

[image: image.png]
Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies

[Residence: Campbell, California, USA]


On Fri, Nov 1, 2019 at 4:58 PM Harry Spier via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear list members,
> "A Primer in Grantha Characters" relating devanagari to grantha
> characters has after h  what I think is  vedic l followed by kSa for
> 51 characters .
>
> A chart I have relating  Sharada characters  to devanagari (I no
> longer recall the source and I have no title page for it ) has   kSa
> tra jJa SNa STa STha after h .(I'm using Kyoto-Harvard
> transliteration).
>
> Harry Spier
>
> On 11/1/19, Richard G. Salomon via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info>
> wrote:
> > Many documents containing the "alphabet" in Devanagari and other scripts,
> > ancient and modern, have kṣa, jña, and/or tra added in various
> combinations
> > (one, two, or all three), at the end, after ha, because these are graphic
> > ligatures, in the sense that they are (no longer) obviously combinations
> of
> > their component graphs. The criteria are graphic, not phonetic (although
> > coincidentally jña is phonetically distinct in most languages dialects
> from
> > j-ñ). You can see some or all of these special graphs in various Indian
> > primers for teaching reading to children.
> >
> > The position of the ligatures at the end of the "alphabet" is part of a
> > general pattern in script history whereby "extra" characters get added –
> > understandably – at the end of the standard sequence. This is why,
> > for example, our alphabet has v-w-x-y-z at the end; these were not part
> of
> > the character sets in the scripts from which "Latin" is developed, going
> > back to the Phoenician (and ultimately even to proto-Canaanite) script,
> > which ended with t.
> >
> > Rich Salomon
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Nov 1, 2019 at 2:20 AM Martin Joachim Kümmel via INDOLOGY <
> > indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> >
> >> Dear Madhav and colleagues,
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> in NW Indo-Aryan, old *kṣ* developed into a new phoneme, a retroflex
> >> affricate *ṭṣh*, and I have long been wondering if this might be one
> >> factor relevant for the special status of this akṣara. Although lack of
> l
> >> might also have been an originally NW feature, I am not sure this would
> >> still be relevant at the time, and for the other peculiarities, I don’t
> >> see
> >> how they might be explained as NW.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> All the best,
> >>
> >> Martin
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Joachim Kümmel
> >>
> >> Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Philosophische Fakultät
> >>
> >> Institut für Orientalistik, Indogermanistik, Ur-und Frühgeschichtliche
> >> Archäologie
> >>
> >> Seminar für Indogermanistik
> >>
> >> Zwätzengasse 12, D-07743 Jena, Germany
> >>
> >> Tel. +49-(0)3641-9443-81 Fax -82 Sekretariat -80
> >>
> >> E-mail: martin-joachim.kuemmel at uni-jena.de
> >>
> >> Homepage: http://www.oriindufa.uni-jena.de/k%C3%BCmmel_martin.html
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> *Von:* INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> *Im Auftrag von
> >> *Madhav
> >> Deshpande via INDOLOGY
> >> *Gesendet:* Donnerstag, 31. Oktober 2019 18:25
> >> *An:* Indology <indology at list.indology.info>; Bharatiya Vidvat
> parishad <
> >> bvparishat at googlegroups.com>
> >> *Betreff:* [INDOLOGY] The alphabet found in the Lalitavistara
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Dear Colleagues,
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>      As I have been reading the Lipiśālāsandarśana-Parivarta of the
> >> Lalitavistara [p. 89, P. L. Vaidya edition], some interesting features
> of
> >> the alphabet popped up for me.  The Alphabet omits *r̥* and *l̥*, but
> >> includes *ai, au*, and *aḥ*. Among the consonants, it adds *kṣ *at the
> >> end after *h*.  The version of this passage as given in the
> >> Bauddhāgamārthasaṅgraha [ed by P. L. Vaidya] also omits *l*, while it is
> >> included in the version of Lalitavistara edited by Vaidya himself.  I
> >> wonder if there are textual variants about this.  I don't know what this
> >> alphabet represents.  The omission of *r̥ *and *l̥ *goes along the
> >> phonologies of Prakrits, but the inclusion of *ai, au*, and *aḥ* goes in
> >> the direction of Sanskrit.  The addition of *kṣ *and the possible
> >> omission of *l *point to something else that I cannot figure out.  Any
> >> suggestions and references are welcome.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Madhav M. Deshpande
> >>
> >> Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
> >>
> >> University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
> >>
> >> Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> [Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
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