Re: [INDOLOGY] names of devanāgarī penstrokes

Arlo Griffiths arlogriffiths at
Sun Jan 31 12:07:09 UTC 2021

I found this thread very interesting. I am sure there is material here for a fairly large-scale comparative research (and a nice conference), because data such as those offered by Madhav from Marathi are certainly far from common knowledge among Indologists, and the fact that character-component-naming is a pronounced feature of the way Indic writing has been received and transmitted in Southeast Asia is probably unknown to most members of this list, while it may be of interest to some of them. Giving some examples just for island Southeast Asia:

  *   see all the names for vowel markers in the final column of the final table at <>
  *   see the names for various markers mentioned at <>

Speaking of Batak script, if any insightful colleague is able to help me grasp what might be systemic rationale behind the (to me extremely surprising) manner in which virāma (Batak: pangolat) interacts with vowel markers in transcribing closed syllables such as tep, top, tip, illustrated in the section 'Diacritic reordering for closed syllables' on that Wikipedia page, I shall be extremely grateful. I have been pondering it for a few years now and haven't gotten anywhere.

Arlo Griffiths
GRIFFITHS Arlo – DHARMA project ERC n° 809994<>
The DHARMA project ERC n ° 809994 has been launched on May 1st 2019. It is a 6-year project (2019-2025) financed on an ERC Synergy Grant 2018 through the European Union’s Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020.

From: INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at> on behalf of Camillo Formigatti via INDOLOGY <indology at>
Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2021 5:17 PM
To: indology at <indology at>
Cc: Matthew Holford <matthew.holford at>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] names of devanāgarī penstrokes

Dear Matthew,

I believe that the short answer is that there is still no in-depth study of the terminology you mention which is based on sources that precedes the introduction of print. I am working precisely on a study of Sanskrit terminology in early print and if you want, I can tell you more off list. (Incidentally, I would consider rephā as a term rather defining the sound and only by extension used to define the written sign for ra.)

Best wishes,



Dr Camillo A. Formigatti

Information Analyst – FAMOUS Project

Bodleian Libraries

The Weston Library

Broad Street, Oxford


Email: camillo.formigatti at<mailto:camillo.formigatti at>

Tel. (office): 01865 (2)77208<>


in Oxford University’s

Gardens, Libraries and Museums<>

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Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2021 5:00 PM
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Subject: INDOLOGY Digest, Vol 96, Issue 28

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