h after t and d in S. Indian transliterations

Allen W Thrasher athr at LOC.GOV
Fri Jun 16 14:22:35 UTC 2000

I notice that South Indian publications when using Anglicisations or
informal Romanizations of Sanskrit terms often add h after d dental
and possibly t dental.  Why is this?  Could it be that since English t
and d are alveolar rather than really dental and so are in between
Indic dentals and retroflexes, the h brings the tongue forward against
the teeth and so to the Dravidian speaker represents a dental better,
whereas an English dental would sound closer to a retroflex?

Allen Thrasher

Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.

Senior Reference Librarian       101 Indendence Ave., SE
Southern Asia Section               LJ-150
Asian Division                            Washington, DC 20540-4810
Library of Congress                     U.S.A.
tel. 202-707-3732                       fax 202-707-1724
Email: athr at loc.gov

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Library of Congress.

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