"da ṇḍa", "halanta", "vir āma", "pūrṇa-vi rāma" and "ardha-virāma"

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at GMAIL.COM
Thu Apr 1 12:13:29 UTC 2010

"halanta" is a compound word of "hal"+"anta", meaning "ending in hal".  And
"hal" is a technical term from Paninian grammar that is a special shorthand
code meaning "the consonants".  So "hal-anta" means "ending in a
consonant".  The term originally applied to speech, but has been transferred
to apply to writing, meaning the little subscript stroke or dash that
removes the vowel from a syllable sign.

"Daṇḍa" just means "stick" and refers to the vertical bar or stick-like
stroke that markes the end of a piece of text.  Rather like a semicolon.
Two daṇḍas mark a more definite ending, more like a full stop.  But their
usage is not set in stone.  Some manuscript scribes don't use them at all,
others use them in haphazard ways.  Etymologically, "daṇḍa" may be cognate
with the Greek word "δένδρον, dendron" meaning a tree (and Skt. dāru, etc.


On 1 April 2010 01:05, Mrinal Kaul <mrinalkaul81 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
> Can someone make the distinction among the following terms clear with some
> more historical elucidations in the context of Sanskrit language? What has
> been the practice as far as Sanskrit (and not Hindi) is concerned and how it
> it different from Hindi construction? Is "virāma" also used in Hindi
> language as synonymous to "daṇḍa" ? And as far as Sanskrit language is
> concerned if "virāma" or "daṇḍa" (?) is synonymous to "halanta" then why do
> we use "daṇḍa" after putting the "halanta" to the last consonant of the word
> in a sentence? I think I am in a real confusion. I would really appreciate
> if someone could make a distinction amongst the following terms;
>  "daṇḍa", "halanta", "virāma", "pūrṇa-virāma" and "ardha-virāma"
> Thank you very much in advance.
> Yours sincerely,
> Mrinal Kaul

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list