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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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Exploiting commonalities to learn multiple languages (eg Indo-Aryan languages)

In India, in several states, three languages are taught compulsorily in schools, from classes 1 (6 year olds) to 8 (14 year olds): English, Hindi and another Indian language. Optional personal ...
Ishan Kashyap Hazarika's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
931 views

Why is Devanagari currently used for Sanskrit?

Sanskrit was originally an oral language. It began to be written in the Brahmi script and then over time, most of the Brahmi-derived scripts, Gupta, Siddham, Nagari, Devanagari, Purvi Nagari etc. were ...
Ishan Kashyap Hazarika's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
280 views

How many grammatical cases does Telugu have?

I can't figure out how many grammatical cases Telugu has: Wikipedia says 8 (Telugu grammar) Telugu itself says 8, but I'm not sure if they map 1-1 to linguistic cases (విభక్తులు/viḅaktulu) I found a ...
shreyasm-dev's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
185 views

How does lack of definite articles affect Malayalam? [In comparison to Germanic languages]

I am a (semi)-native Malayalam speaker from Kerala who has learned English and German. In Malayalam, an interesting phenomenon is that there is no definite article. It seems to me that indefinite ...
Babu's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
263 views

Where does the word 'Aranyam' (Sanskrit) derive from?

Aranyam basically means a forest / jungle. Where does the word 'Aranyam' (Sanskrit) derive from? Background I searched online but couldn't find any references for the word except a Hungarian word ...
Sriharsha C's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
122 views

What commonly used words, if any, does devanagari "म्क्ब्श" (mkbsha) actually occur in?

I was researching different writing systems when I came across a fact about Devanagari. the conjunct consonants of the script are fascinating yet confusing; evidently some of them may combine up to 5 ...
noah johnson's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
636 views

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 ...
Anonymous's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
269 views

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 ...
ShivCK's user avatar
  • 103
2 votes
0 answers
176 views

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 ...
WantARevolution's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
641 views

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 ...
Gōkúl NC's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
254 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
322 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 ...
Gōkúl NC's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
204 views

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?
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
113 views

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
marie kestrankova's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
499 views

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 ...
logdev's user avatar
  • 129
1 vote
1 answer
342 views

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 ...
Lahiru Premaratne's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
409 views

Halegannada/Proto-South Dravidian Phonological Changes

What is the explanation behind the /p/ to /h/ phonological change from Halegannada to Kannada?
Lahiru Premaratne's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

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 ...
AnkithD's user avatar
  • 171
2 votes
6 answers
3k views

Are ~simba (Bantu) and ~simha (Indic) related? [closed]

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)...
LHeng's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
1 answer
514 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 ...
Anton Sherwood's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
user1727119's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
207 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 ...
Probably's user avatar
  • 597
3 votes
1 answer
222 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 ...
Halbort's user avatar
  • 131
13 votes
4 answers
23k 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 ...
Fiksdal's user avatar
  • 858
7 votes
1 answer
6k views

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 ...
PixelPower's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
620 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] (...
meireikei's user avatar
  • 745
3 votes
1 answer
117 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 ...
meireikei's user avatar
  • 745