wikipedia : Devnagari :- : "The avagraha (usually transliterated with an apostrophe) is a Sanskrit punctuation mark for the elision of a vowel in sandhi: एकोऽयम् ekoyam (< ekas + ayam) "this one". An original long vowel lost to coalescence is sometimes marked with a double avagraha: सदाऽऽत्मा sadātmā (< sadā + ātmā) "always, the self". Its main function is to show that a vowel is sustained in a cry or a shout:"

Do we have a similar feature in any other languages? How is the 'stretching' of a long vowel denoted in other languages ?

  • What's the definition of "sustained" in that quote: original vowel not dropped?
    – kaleissin
    Sep 27, 2013 at 12:39
  • No, as per rules of Sanskrit a vowel can not be omitted.
    – ARi
    Sep 27, 2013 at 12:41
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    @ARi: As I understand your question avagraha has two functions: (1) Marking vowel elision in sandhi, and (2) expressing a cry or shout. Also, you say function number two is the main function. Is that correct?
    – robert
    Sep 27, 2013 at 13:26
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    I (and I suspect others as well) don't understand what you mean by a 'shout' here. Sep 28, 2013 at 8:44
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    Yes, all that is fine. What I disagree with is that pluta is the main function of the avagraha symbol. The Wikipedia page you quoted from specifically says "In Hindi" -- you have removed it while quoting. Also, as @TKR said, it's about elongation (which can happen in a cry or shout, but elsewhere too), not shouting in particular. Oct 29, 2013 at 5:24

2 Answers 2


extract from google books

Music and musical thought in early India

The aspect of pluta is brought out here ........


Suau (Austronesian, PNG) has a particle indicating a continuing action, which is phonetically a long /e/ which can last for as long as a couple of seconds, and is written simply as eee--.

Abo   i   dalahai,  i   dalahai,  i   lau,  ie  sae,
then  he  take.off  he  take.off  he  go    he  go.up
  ie  sae,   ie  sae,   ie  sae,   ie  sae    eee--,  i   hekau.
  he  go.up  he  go.up  he  go.up  he  go.up  CONT    he  dim
"He was taking off, and going on, going up and up (x5) until he was out of sight."

Source: Russ Cooper (academia.edu)

  • The particle indicates continuing action but does not indicate a continuing sound such as "Aaaaaah" which can be written in sanskrit as AssssH, note a vowel can only be applied to a consonent in sanskrit.
    – ARi
    Oct 21, 2013 at 5:43

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