[INDOLOGY] Question on Diacritical Marks

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at uni-muenchen.de
Thu Sep 15 11:09:05 UTC 2016

(With apologies for the belatedness of these thoughts – I have been away from reading this list for a while.)

(a) Though I sympathize with Dominik’s plea for using an Indian script, it of course is true, as Patrick Olivelle wrote, that there is no such thing as ‘Sanskrit script’. As an advocate of stronger South Indian studies, I must object to this British legacy of favouring a North Indian script. :-)

(b) Robert Goldman’s consideration is important. Using transliteration is a way of opening up our specialized field of studies to colleagues in other disciplines.

(c) What surprises me a bit is that apparently nobody (or did I miss this?) has pointed out that there are very serious philological reasons for transliteration. I am sure that everybody will agree that there is a difference between karaṇa and kāraṇa, bhava and bhāva, etc. I am not sure about how to avoid confusion without diacritics.

(d) To Adheesh Sathaye: ಧೇರ್ ಇಸ್ ನೋ ರೀಸನ್ ಟು ಫೀರ್ ಫೋರ್ ಆರ್ ಮೆಂಟಲ್ ಸ್ಯಾನಿಟಿ. In other words: आय् ह्याव् बिकम् यूज्ड् टु इट्।


Prof. Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
Institute of Indology and Tibetology
Department of Asian Studies
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (University of Munich – LMU)
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