order of letters

Elena Bashir ebashir at UCHICAGO.EDU
Wed May 19 14:02:07 UTC 2010

This would seem to be an important issue for electronic dictionaries - 
in connection sorting and searching.

On 5/19/2010 8:38 AM, Herman Tull wrote:
> I am putting together some simple rules for first year students.  In 
> dealing with the order of the letters, there is the ever present 
> confusion over the placement of anusvAra and visarga.  I notice that 
> Monier Williams and Macdonell are consistent in their placement of the 
> anusvara (placing it after the vowels when it precedes the semi-vowels 
> or the sibilants).  But, they seem not to agree on the placement of 
> the visarga.  Macdonell follows the rule that he states in his student 
> grammar (p. 3), that the visarga follows the vowels when it precedes 
> "k" and "p" and that it when it precedes a sibilant it is placed in 
> the consonantal order of the sibilants.  E.g., on p. 17 of his 
> dictionary he has an article for antaH-ka... and then on p. 18 he has 
> the article for antaH-sa...
> Monier-Williams, on the other hand, combines this all into one article 
> (p. 43, "antaH"), and so does not distinguish between visarga before 
> "k" and "p" on the one hand, and before the sibilants on the other, 
> treating all of it as if it precedes "antar" (which seems incorrect, 
> since antaH-sa would not precede antar according to the rule).
> A small matter (especially with the advent of the electronic 
> dictionary), perhaps, but can anyone shed light on this?
> Herman Tull 

E. Bashir, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Urdu
Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations
The University of Chicago, Foster 212
1130 E. 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
Phone:  773-702-8632
Fax:    773-834-3254

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