Sanskrit words with -ks-
Allen W Thrasher
athr at LOC.GOV
Thu Apr 21 23:59:49 UTC 2005
I may have misremembered, or maybe there were various experimental attempts to adapt Western notation before it settled down on the pattern you mention. Some of the books I looked at may have been early 20th or even 19th c. I think I have some notes of the matter, and will try to find them.
What did they do about z, if anything? Maybe this was what jJa was used for.
I have a marvellous little booklet in Marathi on the Theory of Relativity, in which in the mathematical equations Modi letters are used where Hebrew letters are used in the original.
The whole question of imitating of other aspects of Western typography is interesting. In the 19th century there were experiments in using boldface in Indian scripts where the West would use italics. Nowadays, of course, there are Nagari Italic fonts. There was also the occasional use of oversize initials at the beginning of a chapter or section, on the model of Western large capitals. I seem to recall even seeing a few that were further ornamented ("historiated"). I have the impression the Gujaratis did this the most, but it didn't persist as far as I've noticed.
Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Senior Reference Librarian
Southern Asia Section
Library of Congress
Jefferson Building 150
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4810
athr at loc.gov
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress.
>>> Allen W Thrasher 04/18/05 8:15 PM >>>
>>> mmdesh at UMICH.EDU 04/16/05 8:03 AM >>>
In my Marathi school books of Algebra in Pune around 1959-60, we
always had "a + ba + ka + Da" and "kS + ya". Obviously, the Marathi
authors and translators were trying to stay close to "a+b+c+d" amd
"x+y". I never saw "jJa" though. It was always "kSa + ya" in my
books. Interestingly, they never used "ksa", but always "kSa". The
Marathi/Devanagari rendering of loan-words like "box" does use "ksa".
--- In ScholarlyServices at yahoogroups.com, "Allen W Thrasher" <athr at l.
> A curiosity is that in some 19th and 20th century printed books on
mathematics (I have examined ones in Marathi, Hindi, and Sanskrit in
Devanagari), the conjunct kSa is used as the equivalent x as the
unknown in an equation, or to label a point in a geometrical
illustration. The conjunct jJa is used as equivalent to y, and I
forget what is done for z. This is perhaps because of the habit in
some Devanagari areas of adding these two conjuncts at the end of the
alphabet in teaching it. Is there any reason for the latter
practice except that they are quite unpredictable and unsystematic
compared to other conjuncts? Does anyone know how far back it goes?
> Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
> Senior Reference Librarian
> Southern Asia Section
> Asian Division
> Library of Congress
> Jefferson Building 150
> 101 Independence Ave., S.E.
> Washington, DC 20540-4810
> tel. 202-707-3732
> fax 202-707-1724
> athr at l...
> The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the
Library of Congress.
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