INDOLOGY FAQ. Re. Varanasi

Gary Tubb tubb at UCHICAGO.EDU
Mon Feb 15 14:49:05 UTC 2010


I should have been clearer.  I was referring to the way that native 
speakers of English often pronounce the name of the city, Varanasi.  And 
I had two features in mind: the stressing of the penultimate syllable, 
and the related pronouncing of the vowel in that syllable as more like a 
Sanskrit long "a" than a Sanskrit short "a".  By "more like" I'm 
thinking of quality more than quantity.


Ashok Aklujkar wrote:
> Gary,
> Are you sure the persons concerned were not referring to the rivers Vara.naa
> and Asi (sometimes in a dvandva) that give rise to the name Vaaraa.nasii?
> First you speak of "stress accent," then you employ "lengthen and stress,"
> and finally you speak only of "long." This puzzles me. Pl clarify which
> specific phonetic feature you have in mind.
> To turn to other irritating things, "Hindi" and "Hindu," misspelling of
> "Gandhi" as "Ghandhi" or "Ghandi".
> ashok aklujkar

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