Pronunciation of word final "a" in sanskrit

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at BIGFOOT.DE
Thu May 27 21:11:47 UTC 1999

> Date:          Wed, 26 May 1999 09:13:25 -0700
> From:          Swaminathan Madhuresan <smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM>

> I really meant Tamil Nadu and Kerala; You might have noticed
> a tendency among Karnataka and A.P. high classes to disassociate themselves
> from things Dravidian. All pervading Sanskrit impact in Karnataka
> and A.P. may be the reason why word-final "a"s are dealt the same
> way as the North.

But only in personal names: this should be noted. A word like
'kumaara', 'viira' or 'prasaada' retains the final 'a' when it is
used as a non-name; but in personal names we can see 'Mahaaviir' and
'Raamprasaad'. I have also not seen '' without the final
vowel when used as the name of the divinity.

Old Kannada, like Telugu and Tamil, not only preserved the '-a' but
also added a further suffix (manu.sya.m, mara.m, etc.); later this
was softened by adding -u (manu.syanu, maravu), and in modern Kannada
the ending usually disappears altogether (manu.sya, mara). But the
'-a' remains, both in orthography and in pronunciation.


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