Questions tagged [indian-languages]

Questions about the sprachbund that covers both the Indic languages and the Dravidian languages, which are unrelated but share a lot of phonetic and phonological properties.

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What does the letter do ৡ in Bangla?

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 ...
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2 answers
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Transcription of Devanagari script

Indian languages have many similar sounds and Devanagari & IAST scripts uniquely distinguish these For Example (not comprehensive) — IAST (Devanagari) t (त) and ṭ (ट) th (थ) and ṭh (ठ) d (द) and ...
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2 votes
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Why is there such a dramatic shift in Tamil script during the 3rd to 5th AD?

I am relatively new to Lingustics.SE. I have no formal knowledge in Linguistics and I am unsure if this question is better suited for History.SE or here. Recently, I was reading about the Old Tamil ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Why did Modern Tamil reduce its alphabet from Middle Tamil to Old Tamil?

It is generally known that Modern Tamil (since around a century) totally simplified its alphabet from covering all Indic consonants to only consonants in Old Tamil (as written in Tolkāppiyam grammar ...
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7 votes
1 answer
133 views

Does the Bengali language have grammatical gender that's only optionally reflected in adjectives, or no grammatical gender at all?

I thought Bengali didn't have gender but did a quick Google search to check. I found pages saying that it does have gender and pages saying that it doesn't. I'm not just talking about chat pages with ...
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2 votes
1 answer
160 views

"h" in Sindhi - ھ vs ہ

In Urdu, ہ is called gol he and ھ is called docašmī he. However in Sindhi, there seems to be only one for both (choṭī he), which is officially ھ. (Please let me know if I'm wrong here) (Ref: Sindhi ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between these two nasalization constructs in Telugu, ఁ ం?

One is a half circle, one is a full circle, they both seem to nasalize the preceding vowel, but what is the difference in terms of IPA, or another way to describe it?
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why isn't தமிழ் spelt "Thamizh"? Or at least "Thamil"? [closed]

In South India, there is a language called தமிழ். To pronounce it, த is "tha", மி is "mi" and ழ் is "zh". To pronounce "zh", try to imitate a baby saying the ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Sound Changes From Proto Bengali to Bengali

What are the sound changes that occur from Proto Bengali to Bengali? In which order did they occur historically? Ex. PB Būdhā became B Buro PB Karisi became B koriš PB dahī became B doi
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1 vote
3 answers
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Which languages influenced the Hindustani language spoken in India as of today other than the West Asian languages?

The Hindustani language got influenced by West Asian languages like Persian, Arabic, Turkish etc. I wanted to know apart from the West Asian languages which other languages influenced the Hindustani ...
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1 answer
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In what ways did the Insular Indic languages morphologically diverge from Maharashthri Prakrit?

Maharashtri Prakrit is the antecedent southern zone language to all insular Indic languages. What are some characteristics, morphologically speaking, which differentiate these insular languages from ...
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4 votes
4 answers
335 views

Halegannada/Proto-South Dravidian Phonological Changes

What is the explanation behind the /p/ to /h/ phonological change from Halegannada to Kannada?
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5 votes
4 answers
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Does the Telugu script have near perfect phonemic orthography?

I was trying to find the proper term for when a language's alphabet has one to one correspondence between the letters written and the pronunciation for those letters. Turns out its called phonemic ...
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4 answers
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Are ~simba (Bantu) and ~simha (Indic) related?

Does Swahili (and hence cognates of other Bantu languages) simba have any relation to सिंह (~singh or ~simha in Hindi and Sanskrit respectively according to Wiktionary, please correct me if I am wrong)...
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  • 121
3 votes
1 answer
353 views

Did Brahmī use consonant conjuncts?

In many of the scripts descended from Brahmī, a consonant cluster like /kt/ is written as a ligature; but there happen to be no such combinations in the small samples I've seen of Brahmī itself. Are ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Why doesn't Hindi evolve to suit modern times?

Why doesn't Hindi have simple words to describe modern things like ‘Computer’, ‘Laptop’, or ‘Ice Skating’, ‘Go Carting’, ‘Amusement Park’, ‘Nightclub’ etc. Americans often tell me that they can almost ...
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1 vote
2 answers
197 views

Is it possible to detect onomatopoeic basis in indigenous languages?

I'm about to study the ding dong vs the pooh pooh theories of the origin of language. I would like to make a poll with questions like "What emotions do you associate with the word "ka:men"?" and ...
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3 votes
1 answer
177 views

N vs L in South Asian Languages

A little background first. My parents were debating whether lemon in bengali was pronounced nebu or lebu. So, I decided to do some research into this and found that in many South Asian languages words ...
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13 votes
4 answers
20k views

Are Tamil and Malayalam mutually intelligible?

I have read that Malayalam originates from Middle Tamil. This leads me to ask whether Tamil and Malayalam are mutually intelligible. Or perhaps just partly, or asymmetrically? I prefer either answers ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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How do Indian short form of names work in the USA?

I noticed many Indians choose to abbreviate their names when they are in a foreign country because it's difficult for foreigners to pronounce them, especially if they are longer. So when an Indian ...
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1 vote
3 answers
487 views

What is the difference between an alveolar trill and a syllabic alveolar trill?

I wanted to understand how to articulate the sound ṛ from IAST (transliteration system for indian languages). On Wikipedia i have found this explanation: ऋ पृ [ərə] (traditional) or [ri] (...
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3 votes
1 answer
106 views

What are the IPA equivalents for the special characters used to transscribe indian words?

When I try to read an article related to India (in particular indo-aryan languages) certain special characters emerge which I do not know how to pronounciate. For instance: Aṣṭādhyāyī of Pāṇini ...
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