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The wonder that was India

The wonder that was India

Every Indian language has a complex phonetic system and contains phonemes which to the average speaker of English seem almost exactly the same, but to the Indian ear are completely different. Only after long practice can the hearing be trained to recognize these differences, or the vocal organs to pronounce them accurately. The scripts of Indian languages reproduce these sounds, but they can be expressed in Roman script only by means of numerous diacritical marks below or above the letters. It is assumed that most the readers of this book will not be students of Indian languages, and therefore a simplified system of alliteration has been used, which gives some idea of the approximate sound. Words in classical languages are transliterated according to the simplified system mentioned above. Place-names in general follow the present-day official spellings of the governments of the countries of South Asia, as given in Bartholomew's World Travel Map, India, Pakistan, and Ceylon, 1970. Proper names of nineteenthand twentieth-century Indians are given in the spelling which they themselves favoured. Diacritical marks have been placed over the long vowels in such names, in order to give some ideas of the correct pronunciation. Exceptions are made only in the case of a ·very few Anglicized words, like Calcutta and Bombay. Only three letters with diacritical marks are normally used: a, z,and u. These distinguish long from short vowels. In most Indian languages e and o are always long, and therefore do not need. diacritics.

Author: S. A. A. RIZVI

Pages: 486

Issue By: eBook 707

Published: 2 years ago

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