There are 14 অ বর্গীয় (O borgiyo) letters in Bengali. But couldn't find out in book what they are. I know that there are 11 vowel letters in Bengali. But while looking for অ বর্গীয়, I just found that there are 14 vowel lettersEnglish Wikipedia Bangla Wikipedia. I suspect they are referring to অ বর্গীয়. Since their numbers are equal and every single book in Bangla says that there are 11 vowel letters.

In Wikipedia, I found a new letter ৡ. It is called দীর্ঘ ঌ according to Bangla Wikipedia (Unicode can't be detected in English Wikipedia properly). What does it mean? Even I haven't seen anyone using the letter. There was another similar letter which is ঌ. Generally, It is equivalent to "9" in English. But, the Bangla Wikipedia call it হ্রস্ব ঌ. Even I have never seen these kind of conjunctive earlier.

how do these letters work in Bangla? I wonder why there's no Bengali tag.


2 Answers 2


Well, the English Wikipedia article has the relevant bits of informations:

On long ri/li:

There also used to be two long vowels: "ৠ" ṝ (দীর্ঘ ৠ dirghô rri, "long rri") and "ৡ" ḹ (দীর্ঘ ৡ dirghô lli), which were removed from the inventory during the Vidyasagarian reform of the script due to peculiarity to Sanskrit.

And on short li:

Another grapheme called "ঌ" ḷ (or হ্রস্ব ঌ rôshshô li as it used to be) representing the vocalic equivalent of a dental approximant in Sanskrit but actually representing the consonant-vowel combination লি /li/ in Bengali instead of a vowel phoneme, was also included in the vowel section but unlike "ঋ", it was recently discarded from the inventory since its usage was extremely limited even in Sanskrit.

So, in order to simplify the Bengali script some rare letters of mostly theoretic usage in Sanskrit grammar have been removed from the alphabet as taught nowadays. The Devanagari script still has those letters.

  • 1
    Dental approximant in Sanskrit? Say what, Wikipedia? Mar 12, 2022 at 12:04

Before Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, there were 16 letters in Bengali. Later, Iswar Chandra said there's no use for ৡ and ৠ for a long time. Even more, every word could be pronounced without these letters: অ০, অঃ. So he removed these four letters.


ৠ it is pronounced like Rii. Same as ঋ. But that is long while ঋ is short.

ৡ it's pronounced like Lii. Nowadays we use ল্লি. And ঌ is Li. Long and short letters respectively. But ঌ is pronounced different from লি. আধুলী it was looking like আধু৯ called Adhuli. ল্লি can't be pronounced without any letter before it. পল্লী becomes পৡ called Polli.

They are changed to ল and ই-কার. Iswar Chandra didn't remove the letter ঌ (Li). But nowadays it's not used anymore.

enter image description here

References :

  1. https://bn.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%A7%A1
  2. https://bn.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%A6%AC%E0%A6%BE%E0%A6%82%E0%A6%B2%E0%A6%BE_%E0%A6%AC%E0%A6%B0%E0%A7%8D%E0%A6%A3%E0%A6%AE%E0%A6%BE%E0%A6%B2%E0%A6%BE%E0%A6%B0_%E0%A6%87%E0%A6%A4%E0%A6%BF%E0%A6%B9%E0%A6%BE%E0%A6%B8
  3. https://www.quora.com/Why-were-the-Bangla-letters-%E0%A6%8C-and-%E0%A7%A1-and-the-diacritics-%E0%A7%A2-and-%E0%A7%A3-made-and-how-do-I-use-them-and-why-arent-they-used-any-longer?share=1

For reading:

  1. বর্ণপরিচয় (Barna Poricoy) a book by Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar where he described all the phenomenon of Bangla letters.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.