Dear Matthew,

More information on the names of Devanagari penstrokes in:


Dick Plukker

Op 26-1-2021 om 15:14 schreef Matthew Kapstein via INDOLOGY:
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 Kapstein
Directeur d'études, émérite
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

Numata Visiting Pro
fessor of Buddhist Studies,
The University of Chicago

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