[INDOLOGY] Sanskrit sandhi and pronounciation

rajam rajam at earthlink.net
Fri Aug 5 02:07:39 UTC 2022

> On Aug 4, 2022, at 5:26 PM, Harry Spier via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> First, thank you for the many clear english and other languages sandhi examples.  I don't know how you all answer so quickly and with perfect spelling.  Presumably from years of typing up lectures or answering students emails..
> Secondly, I want to explain to my  sanskrit chanting but non-sanskrit knowing, non-linguistic audience how and why in the different mantras the word namaḥ is spelled and pronounced differently. Its easy to explain how namaḥ becomes namas in the phrase namas te .
> But with the other pronounciations there are some complications to explain.
> 1) 
> namaḥ śivāya is overwhelmingly written namaḥ śivāya and rarely as namaś śivāya or  namaśśivāya . In GRETIL there is  namaḥ śivāya 193 times, namaś śivāya 8 times, and  namaśśivāya 0 times. But I've only heard the written  namaḥ śivāya chanted as  nama śivāya and never as namaha śivāya (i.e. with the visarga pronounced).. I had always assumed that what was happening was that the written  namaḥ śivāya was being chanted as if it was the sandhi transformed namaśśivāya . 
> How do Indians pronounce namaḥ śivāya when they chant it in a hymn or in a mantra? 

Well … Tamilians pronounce it as namaccivāya (நமச்சிவாய). 


> 2) Is there a way to explain the process how namaḥ nārāyaṇāya becomes namo nārāyaṇāya  that would be understandable to someone who wasn't a linguist or a sanskritist. An explanation that would be understandable, but  deeper than just stating the rule: aḥ becomes o before voiced consonants.
>  Thanks again,
> Harry Spier
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