Gary Tubb tubb at UCHICAGO.EDU
Mon Feb 15 05:42:10 UTC 2010

I am tempted to add, in the section on mispronunciations, an entry on 
"vaaraaNasii" (as the name of the city), with a note to the effect that, 
for the same reasons as given for "mahaabhaarata" and "raamaayaNa," the 
third syllable in this name is the least appropriate place to apply a 
stress accent.  But I have been struck over the years by the frequency 
with which many people I respect as experts on Banaras habitually 
lengthen and stress the vowel in the third syllable---so much so that I 
wonder whether they might be following some local tradition unknown to 
me, despite the official spelling of the name.  Are they?  Is there any 
good reason to make the third "a" vowel in "Varanasi" long?

Gary Tubb, Professor and Chair
Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations
The University of Chicago

Dominik Wujastyk wrote:
> "Common misconceptions and misnomers"
> After a chat with my colleague Thomas Kintaert yesterday, I've added a
> section to the FAQ with the above title.  The current subsections are:
>    - 1 Wrong translations<>
>       - 1.1 ārtava<>
>    - 2 False friends<>
>    - 3 Common errors<>
>       - 3.1 How to pronounce Mahābhārata and
> Rāmāyana<>
>    - 4 Common confusions<>
>       - 4.1 Kālī and
> Kali<>
>       - 4.2 Karma and
> Kāma<>
> But you can put what text or headings you like there.
> I thought this might encourage us to share our pet annoyances :-)
> Dominik

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