The vowel .r/ri in Sanskrit and Hindi

g.v.simson at g.v.simson at
Fri May 9 13:04:15 UTC 1997

>Would you agree with the statement:
>'Most Hindi speakers pronounce the vowel .r as if it were the ri in rip.'
>If you do then when do you think this change from the vowel sound .r to ri
>began to take place and is their a similar variation in Sanskrit?
>Dr Peter G Friedlander

In Buddhist Sanskrit (as attested in manuscripts from Central Asia and from
Gilgit), Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit and Epigraphical Hybrid Sanskrit .r and
ri are very often confused; see F. Edgerton, Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit
Dictionary, 3.94,95, and Th. Damsteegt, Epigraphical Hybrid Sanskrit,
Leiden 1978, p. 22 f. This shows that the pronounciation of .r as ri must
have been common already in the first centuries AD, but it may be much
older, though perhaps not accepted by the Panini tradition.

Georg v. Simson

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