Devanagari script

Even though a descendent of the Brahmi script, Devanagari has evolved into a highly cursive script. Many languages in India, such as Hindi and Sanskrit, use Devanagari and many more languages throughout India use local variants of this script. Hindu scriptures are written in Devanagari, a fact illustrated by the etymology of the name. Together it implies a script that is both religious as well as urbane or sophisticated.

As you look at the following alphabet please keep in mind the following special symbols of transcription. Note that in order to see the special letters, you'll need an Unicode font on your computer. To indicate the same consonant followed by another vowel, additional strokes are added to the letter, like in the follwing example:. In addition, a few other "diacritics" are used at the end of words. When a consonant ends a word, it is necessary to indicated that the last letter has no vowel.

To do so, a diagonal line, called viramais drawn under the letter. Letters with the virama are called halanta letters. To indicate just the consonant clusters, the letters are fused together in a variety of ways, a process called samyoga meaning "yoked together" in Sanskrit. Sometimes the individual letters can still be discerned, while other times the conjunction creates new shapes. The range of possibilites is quite high, and I will only give brief examples to illustrate the concept.

Languages and Scripts of India. Quick Facts.Show All Collapse All. It impresses me for many reasons, for instance:.

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Note that this article will discuss the Devanagari Script as it is adapted for the Hindi language. In order to appreciate the significance of the ordering of letters in Devanagari, some background information is necessary. Next, consider the ordering of the same 25 consonants in the Devanagari script, from left to right:.

Note that if you read the chart from left to right and top to bottom, it corresponds to the ordering of the letters in Devanagari! This is remarkable because this has been the ordering of the Devanagari script for centuries. This fact is a testament to the advanced state of the study of phonetics in ancient India. The manner of articulation of vowels can be classified according to many categories, but we will discuss two particular categories:. Monophthongs are vowels pronounced as a single, pure sound, whereas diphthongs are vowels pronounced as two adjacent sounds glided together within the same syllable.

Once again, note that the ordering corresponds to the ordering in the table, if the table is ordered from left to right and top to bottom. Devanagari is also used to write other languages, such as Nepali and Marathi, and is the most common script used to write Sanskrit. Several other languages have scripts which are related to Devanagari, such as Bengali, Punjabi, and Gujarati. The Devanagari script represents the sounds of the Hindi language with remarkable consistency.

Whereas many letters of the English alphabet can be pronounced many different ways, the letters of the Devanagari script are pronounced consistently with a few minor exceptions.

Thus, Devanagari is relatively easy to learn. Devanagari is not actually an alphabet, but a so-called alphasyllabary. An alphasyllabary is a writing system which is primarily based on consonants, and in which vowel symbols are requisite yet secondary. In order to suppress the inherent vowel, one of two methods is required: a diacritical mark called a halantor a ligature, called a conjunct.

In order to indicate a vowel other than the inherent vowel, diacritical marks called maatraas are used.Home News Alphabets Phrases Search. It impresses me for many reasons, for instance:.

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Note that this article will discuss the Devanagari Script as it is adapted for the Hindi language. In order to appreciate the significance of the ordering of letters in Devanagari, some background information is necessary.

Next, consider the ordering of the same 25 consonants in the Devanagari script, from left to right:. Note that if you read the chart from left to right and top to bottom, it corresponds to the ordering of the letters in Devanagari! This is remarkable because this has been the ordering of the Devanagari script for centuries. This fact is a testament to the advanced state of the study of phonetics in ancient India.

The manner of articulation of vowels can be classified according to many categories, but we will discuss two particular categories:.

devanagari script

Monophthongs are vowels pronounced as a single, pure sound, whereas diphthongs are vowels pronounced as two adjacent sounds glided together within the same syllable. Once again, note that the ordering corresponds to the ordering in the table, if the table is ordered from left to right and top to bottom. Devanagari is also used to write other languages, such as Nepali and Marathi, and is the most common script used to write Sanskrit.

devanagari script

Several other languages have scripts which are related to Devanagari, such as Bengali, Punjabi, and Gujarati. The Devanagari script represents the sounds of the Hindi language with remarkable consistency. Whereas many letters of the English alphabet can be pronounced many different ways, the letters of the Devanagari script are pronounced consistently with a few minor exceptions.

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Thus, Devanagari is relatively easy to learn. Devanagari is not actually an alphabet, but a so-called alphasyllabary. An alphasyllabary is a writing system which is primarily based on consonants, and in which vowel symbols are requisite yet secondary. In order to suppress the inherent vowel, one of two methods is required: a diacritical mark called a halantor a ligature, called a conjunct.

In order to indicate a vowel other than the inherent vowel, diacritical marks called maatraas are used. For vowels independent of consonants, there exist full letters to transcribe vowels.

The Beauty That Is Sanskrit - Abhinav Seetharaman - [email protected]

Hindi has 11 vowels. The independent form is used when the vowel letter appears alone, at the beginning of a word, or immediately following another vowel letter. The dependent form is used when the vowel follows a consonant.

The following table lists the vowel in its independent form, and its description. The best way to learn the pronunciation is to learn from a native speaker.One of its more notable characteristics is the convention that a consonantal symbol lacking diacritics is read as the consonant followed by the letter a —that is, the a is implied rather than written as a separate character. Vowels follow the same general order, with simple vowels followed by original diphthongs.

The precise realizations of particular sounds differed from area to area in Old Indo-Aryan and continue to do so in modern pronunciations. According to early descriptions, however, the quality of the vowel segments differed in various traditions of Vedic recitation. The modern Sanskrit pronunciation shows regional differences as well. As noted above, a consonant symbol designates by default a consonant followed by a ; an angled substroke is used to indicate that a consonant symbol stands for a consonant without any vowel.

Combinations of consonant symbols are used to represent sound clusters. The precise positioning and shapes of some of these depends on whether the consonant in question has a central stroke, a right stroke, or neither.

devanagari script

In addition, the symbol for r is different depending on whether the combination does or does not begin with this consonant. Moreover, there are special symbols and some variants for particular clusters.

In modern printing, for instance, ligatures of the type ktawith a conjunct form of the first consonant symbol followed by the full symbol for the second consonant, are frequently used instead of single symbols of the type. In addition, there are variant symbols for single sounds that have a more old-fashioned look; e.

A horizontal substroke regularly marks a low-pitched syllable. In the broadest notation, a syllable pronounced on a normal high tone is left unmarked, a horizontal subscript marks a low-pitched syllable, and a vertical superscript marks a svarita syllable—e. The phonological systems of some modern languages require symbols not needed for others. Such details concerning spelling conventions in various modern Indo-Aryan languages are best considered along with other aspects of these languages.

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Sindhi, for instance, is written in a Persianized form of Arabic script, but it also is sometimes written in the Devanagari or Gurmukhi scripts. The Devanagari script, in which classical Sanskrit and modern Hindi are written, is of this type, and the Mycenaean writing system, a form of Greek writing in use in the 2nd millennium bce and quite independent of the later Greek alphabet, was syllabic in structure.Devanagari also known as Nagari script is an alphasyllabary meaning a combination of consonants and vowels alphabet used in classical Sanskrit texts.

It is a system of writing that uses cursory symbols with square outlines and round shapes. This style of writing is written and read from left to right. One of the oldest surviving Sanskrit texts using Devanagari was written by Patanjali, who also wrote the Yoga Sutras. Devanagari script is artful: it uses sharp, straight lines as well as curves to represent 47 characters, and uses no capital letters.

The script is thought to be used for more than languages, and is an alphabet used in both Nepal and India. Toggle navigation Menu. Home Dictionary Tags Lineage Sanskrit. Definition - What does Devanagari mean?

Many fundamental texts regarding yoga are written in Devanagari.

The Devanagari Script

Do you suspect one of your chakras is out of balance? Here's a quiz to help you figure out which one. Yogapedia explains Devanagari One of the oldest surviving Sanskrit texts using Devanagari was written by Patanjali, who also wrote the Yoga Sutras. Share this:. Related Terms. Related Articles. The Yogic Practice of Losing Control.

Unlocking the Stress in Your Body. How to Release Anxiety Using Breath. What are the four Vedas? What is a japa mantra? What are karma and destiny? More of your questions answered by our Experts. Related Tags. Philosophy Scriptures Yoga Sutras Sanskrit.

Misspellings: Devonagari. Synonyms: Nagari. Latest Articles.It was developed in ancient India from the 1st to the 4th century CE [1] and was in regular use by the 7th century CE. The orthography of this script reflects the pronunciation of the language. Hence, Devanagari denotes from the abode of divinity or deities. For example, the mid 8th-century Pattadakal pillar in Karnataka has text in both Siddha Matrika script, and an early Telugu-Kannada script; while, the Kangra Jawalamukhi inscription in Himachal Pradesh is written in both Sharada and Devanagari scripts.

Sharada remained in parallel use in Kashmir. An early version of Devanagari is visible in the Kutila inscription of Bareilly dated to Vikram Samvat i. Under the rule of Songtsen Gampo of the Tibetan EmpireThonmi Sambhota traveled to India to marry a Nepali princess and find a writing system suitable for the Tibetan language.

Thus he invented the Tibetan scriptbased on the Nagari used in Kashmir. He added 6 new characters for sounds that did not exist in Sanskrit. Other scripts closely related to Nagari such as Siddham Matrka were in use in Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan and other parts of East Asia by between 7th to 10th-century. Most of the southeast Asian scripts have roots in the Dravidian scripts, except for a few found in south-central regions of Java and isolated parts of southeast Asia that resemble Devanagari or its prototype.

Devanagari Script Unicode Entity Codes

The Kawi script in particular is similar to the Devanagari in many respects though the morphology of the script has local changes. The earliest inscriptions in the Devanagari-like scripts are from around the 10th-century, with many more between 11th- and 14th-century. According to the epigraphist and Asian Studies scholar Lawrence Briggs, these may be related to the 9th-century copper plate inscription of Devapaladeva Bengal which is also in early Devanagari script.

According to anthropologists and Asian Studies scholars John Norman Miksic and Goh Geok Yian, the 8th-century version of early Nagari or Devanagari script was adopted in Java, Bali Indonesiaand Khmer Cambodia around 8th or 9th-century, as evidenced by the many inscriptions of this period.

The letter order of Devanagari, like nearly all Brahmic scripts, is based on phonetic principles that consider both the manner and place of articulation of the consonants and vowels they represent. The vowels and their arrangement are: [36]. The table below shows the consonant letters in combination with inherent vowel a and their arrangement.

Table: Consonants with vowel diacritics. Vowels in their independent form on the left and in their corresponding dependent form vowel sign combined with the consonant ' k ' on the right. ISO [49] transliteration is on the top two rows. A vowel combines with a consonant in their diacritic form.

As mentioned, successive consonants lacking a vowel in between them may physically join together as a conjunct consonant or ligature. When Devanagari is used for writing languages other than Sanskrit, conjuncts are used mostly with Sanskrit words and loan words. Native words typically use the basic consonant and native speakers know to suppress the vowel when it is conventional to do so.

While standardised for the most part, there are certain variations in clustering, of which the Unicode used on this page is just one scheme. The following are a number of rules:. The pitch accent of Vedic Sanskrit is written with various symbols depending on shakha. The following letter variants are also in use, particularly in older texts.

A variety of Unicode fonts are in use for Devanagari. The form of Devanagari fonts vary with function. According to Harvard College for Sanskrit studies: [73]. Uttara [companion to Chandas ] is the best in terms of ligatures but, because it is designed for Vedic as well, requires so much vertical space that it is not well suited for the "user interface font" though an excellent choice for the "original field" font.

Santipur OT is a beautiful font reflecting a very early [medieval era] typesetting style for Devanagari. Sanskrit [75] is a good all-around font and has more ligatures than most fonts, though students will probably find the spacing of the CDAC-Gist Surekh [61] font makes for quicker comprehension and reading. The Google Fonts project has a number of Unicode fonts for Devanagari in a variety of typefaces in serif, sans-serif, display and handwriting categories.

There are several methods of Romanisation or transliteration from Devanagari to the Roman script. The Hunterian system is the " national system of romanisation in India " and the one officially adopted by the Government of India. A standard transliteration convention was codified in the ISO standard of Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India.

Sanskrit is an Old Indo-Aryan language. Sanskrit is traceable to the 2nd millennium BCE in a form known as Vedic Sanskritwith the Rigveda as the earliest-known composition.

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The body of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of philosophical and religious texts, as well as poetrymusicdramascientifictechnical and other texts. In the ancient era, Sanskrit compositions were orally transmitted by methods of memorisation of exceptional complexity, rigour and fidelity.

It continues to be widely used as a ceremonial and ritual language in Hinduism and some Buddhist practices such as hymns and chants. Sound and oral transmission were highly valued qualities in ancient India, and its sages refined the alphabet, the structure of words and its exacting grammar into a "collection of sounds, a kind of sublime musical mold", states Biderman, as an integral language they called Sanskrit.

Sound was visualized as "pervading all creation", another representation of the world itself; the "mysterious magnum" of Hindu thought. The search for perfection in thought and the goal of liberation were among the dimensions of sacred sound, and the common thread that weaved all ideas and inspirations became the quest for what the ancient Indians believed to be a perfect language, the "phonocentric episteme" of Sanskrit.

The term prakrta literally means "original, natural, normal, artless", states Franklin Southworth. The purifying structure of the Sanskrit language removes these imperfections.

Sanskrit belongs to the Indo-European family of languages. It is one of three ancient documented languages that arose from a common root language now referred to as Proto-Indo-European language : [20] [46] [47]. Other Indo-European languages related to Sanskrit include archaic and classical Latin c. Colonial era scholars familiar with Latin and Greek were struck by the resemblance of the Sanskrit language; both in its vocabulary and grammar; to the classical languages of Europe.

William Jones remarked:. The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common sourcewhich, perhaps, no longer exists.

shiva related Sanskrit Documents in Devanagari script

There is a similar reason, though not quite so forcible, for supposing that both the Gothick and the Celtick [sic], though blended with a very different idiom, had the same origin with the Sanscrit; and the Old Persian might be added to the same family. In order to explain the common features shared by Sanskrit and other Indo-European languages, the Indo-Aryan migration theory states that the original speakers of what became Sanskrit arrived in the Indian subcontinent from the north-west sometime during the early second millennium BCE.

Evidence for such a theory includes the close relationship between the Indo-Iranian tongues and the Baltic and Slavic languagesvocabulary exchange with the non-Indo-European Uralic languagesand the nature of the attested Indo-European words for flora and fauna.

According to Thomas Burrow, based on the relationship between various Indo-European languages, the origin of all these languages may possibly be in what is now Central or Eastern Europe, while the Indo-Iranian group possibly arose in Central Russia. It is the Indo-Aryan branch that moved into eastern Iran and the south into the Indian subcontinent in the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE.

Once in ancient India, the Indo-Aryan language underwent rapid linguistic change and morphed into the Vedic Sanskrit language. The pre-Classical form of Sanskrit is known as Vedic Sanskrit. No written records from such an early period survive if they ever existed. However, scholars are confident that the oral transmission of the texts is reliable: they were ceremonial literature where the exact phonetic expression and its preservation were a part of the historic tradition. The Rigveda is a collection of books, created by multiple authors from distant parts of ancient India.

These authors represented different generations, and the mandalas 2 to 7 are the oldest while the mandalas 1 and 10 are relatively the youngest. According to Renou, this implies that the Vedic Sanskrit language had a "set linguistic pattern" by the second half of the 2nd millennium BCE.

Vedic Sanskrit was both a spoken and literary language of ancient India. According to Michael Witzel, Vedic Sanskrit was a spoken language of the semi-nomadic Aryas who temporarily settled in one place, maintained cattle herds, practiced limited agriculture and after some time moved by wagon trains they called grama.

The treaty also invokes the gods Varuna, Mitra, Indra and Nasatya found in the earliest layers of the Vedic literature. The Vedic Sanskrit found in the Rigveda is distinctly more archaic than other Vedic texts, and in many respects, the Rigvedic language is notably more similar to those found in the archaic texts of Old Avestan Zoroastrian Gathas and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Jamison and Joel P. Brereton—Indologists known for their translation of the Rigveda —, the Vedic Sanskrit literature "clearly inherited" from Indo-Iranian and Indo-European times, the social structures such as the role of the poet and the priests, the patronage economy, the phrasal equations and some of the poetic meters.

For example, unlike the Sanskrit similes in the Rigvedathe Old Avestan Gathas lack simile entirely, and it is rare in the later version of the language.


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