Re: [INDOLOGY] names of devanāgarī penstrokes

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at
Tue Jan 26 14:53:51 UTC 2021

Dear Matthew,

     I have not seen such names for the penstrokes in Sanskrit, but you
will need to look for them in the vernacular languages.  For example,
Marathi has such names.  When you add ा to क to write का, you are adding a
काना. When you are adding ि to क to write कि, you are adding a वेलांटी.
When you are adding an अनुस्वार, the dot is called a टिंब. I am attaching a
chart of these from the 1857 Grammar of Marathi by Dadoba Pandurang:

[image: image.png]

Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India

[Residence: Campbell, California, USA]

On Tue, Jan 26, 2021 at 6:15 AM Matthew Kapstein via INDOLOGY <
indology at> wrote:

> Dear friends,
> Is there a system of proper terms used for the penstrokes of devanāgarī
> or other Indic scripts?
> In particular, is there a standard term for the horizontal
> overbar/overline/headline used in written and printed devanāgarī? We
> sometimes see daṇḍa  not only for the punctuation mark, but for the
> right-hand vertical bar in kha, ga and other letters. And some ligatures do
> have distinct names that are well known, e.g. repha.
> Modern Hindi work on typography does sometimes have śirorekhā
> for the headline, but I suspect that this is a recent calque from English
> and not a traditional scribal term.
> However, I am uncertain about it and wish to verify the traditional usage.
> any light will be appreciated,
> Matthew
> Matthew Kapstein
> Directeur d'études, émérite
> Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris
> Numata Visiting Professor of Buddhist Studies,
> The University of Chicago
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> indology-owner at (messages to the list's managing
> committee)
> (where you can change your list options or
> unsubscribe)

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list