Joint Letters

Dipak Bhattacharya dbhattacharya200498 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Mar 5 14:51:29 UTC 2012

query has some assumptions that do not hold for Sanskrit. The Sanskrit grammars
deal with phonemes but not with written letters. Joint phonemes will be the
correct phrase. There is nothing on ligatures in Sanskrit grammar that
necessarily belong to scripts. The concept of ligature grew in the first
saṃyogais the accepted term for
consonantal conjunct. If we go by the akṣara concept every akṣara is a
combination of consonant/s and a vowel, hence joint too. 
orthography goes by its own law of akṣara.
This has been touched in some of the nineteenth century grammars of Sanskrit. In
writing, the final a is understood but not the other vowels. Hence
kapāla = कपाल. There is
one ligature here but it is not recognized in Sanskrit grammar as saṃyoga. In
the क्ताof vaktā one
gets a more complex ligature.  The –kt-
is a saṃyoga.
I hope the position is clear.

 From: Harsha Dehejia <harshadehejia at HOTMAIL.COM>
Sent: Saturday, 3 March 2012 6:31 PM
Subject: [INDOLOGY] Joint Letters

I am researching the tradition of joining two letters.
1. In the bhashas it is calledjodakshara. What is the Sanskrit word for this?
2. Is this in any way related to joining two images as in Ardhanari or Harihara?
3. What is the semantic impact of joining two letters or images?
Kind regards.
Prof. Harsha V. Dehejia
Ottawa, ON., Canada.

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