`real' Sanskrit vs `conversational' Sanskrit

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at umich.edu
Fri Apr 18 10:49:23 UTC 1997

	The basic distinction seems to be between north and south Indian
pronunciation.  The south Indian pronunciation handles these as sequences
of a short 'a' followed by i/y or u/v.  This is what makes a word like
vaiyaakara.na indistinguishable from vayyaakara.na.  This is evidenced by
errors in the manuscripts of this kind.  In the Hindi speaking area, these
are pronounced often as ae and ao, similar to vowels in the English words
'at' and 'mall'.  Thus the word 'maithi(la)' in north Indian pronunciation
often sounds like 'Kathy'.  These differences also become evident when for
instance a south Indian person speaks Hindi.  In these respects, the
pronunciation of the Maharashtrian Sanskrit users is more like their
southern neighbors (though in terms of the current political trends in
Maharashtra, we do not like to admit that We the Aryans have anything to
do with our Dravidian neighbors to the south!).
		Madhav Deshpande
On Fri, 18 Apr 1997, Richard Barz wrote:

> I've been away and am late in the conversational Sanskrit discussion so I'm
> sorry if my question has already been dealt with, but I'd very much like to
> hear from Sanskritists familiar with the current Sanskrit pronunciation in
> various parts of India how the vowels "ai" and "au" are pronounced in the
> different areas.
> Richard Barz
> Richard.Barz at anu.edu.au

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