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12 votes

Are Tamil and Malayalam mutually intelligible?

I had both Malayalam and Tamil speaking colleagues and we often discussed languages. As a non speaker of either, they sounded exactly the same but with different accents, so I often asked a lot of ...
vin's user avatar
  • 611
10 votes

Why doesn't Hindi evolve to suit modern times?

I think your question was downvoted heavily because that's not how linguists approach languages and language change, as evidenced by the comments below your question. To someone who hasn't studied ...
prash's user avatar
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6 votes

Why doesn't Hindi evolve to suit modern times?

Sorry, I don't know much about Hindi so I can't give a very good answer to your question. However, I would like to challenge the premises a bit. There are many languages that are not "pure". It doesn'...
brass tacks's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Did Brahmī use consonant conjuncts?

Nice question. Apparently, the original Brahmī did have conjuncts similarly to its modern descents (Devanāgarī etc). So say open sources (e.g. here). If we look at the evidence provided by the oldest ...
Artemij Keidan's user avatar
6 votes

N vs L in South Asian Languages

There is an acoustic similarity between n and l, which have anti-resonances; this makes the consonants sound similar. This is a reasonable common sound change.
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
6 votes
Accepted

Which languages influenced the Hindustani language spoken in India as of today other than the West Asian languages?

The Hindustani language is Hindi-Urdu dialect continuum. It is derived regularly from older stages of Indo-Aryan (like Sanskrit). You have already noted the influence of Persian (which was a major one ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
6 votes

Halegannada/Proto-South Dravidian Phonological Changes

As @fdb already noted, this sound change is not rare cross-linguistically. It is typically not a one step process but a chain of sound shifts /p/ -> /pʰ/ -> /f/ or /ɸ/ -> /h/ (and finally /h/ -> ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
6 votes

Halegannada/Proto-South Dravidian Phonological Changes

Kannada is not unique in this. Indo-European *p becomes h in Armenian, as in hair "father".
fdb's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Does the Telugu script have near perfect phonemic orthography?

Before getting to the specifics of Telugu, it would be useful to review what it might mean for an orthography to be 100% perfectly phonemic. Based on how the notion "phonemic" is used in language ...
user6726's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

"h" in Sindhi - ھ vs ہ

Did you say different? My browser renders those "different" examples identically: They are definitely encoded differently, because a search for ه will only highlight one of the two: So ...
madprogramer's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between these two nasalization constructs in Telugu, ఁ ం?

The one like a circle is called sunna (anusvara in Sanskrit) and denotes a nasal consonant of the same place of articulation as the following consonant: రంగు (raṅgu) /raŋgu/ “color” పండు (paṇḍu) /...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
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6 votes

Why is Devanagari currently used for Sanskrit?

Even up to the 19th century, it was common for Sanskrit manuscripts to be transcribed and published in many writing systems, including the Perso-Arabic script. Devanagari was the first Indic script to ...
earlyinthemorning's user avatar
5 votes

Which languages influenced the Hindustani language spoken in India as of today other than the West Asian languages?

The problem with your question is that you are assuming that Hindustani was “spoken in India before any West Asians invaded it”. The fact is that Hindi/Urdu does not emerge as specific language before ...
fdb's user avatar
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5 votes

Why isn't தமிழ் spelt "Thamizh"? Or at least "Thamil"?

It is all because of the fact that the word "Tamil" got into English not from speakers of Tamil. It got into English from the Pali language and it is a cognate of the word Dravida. The Online ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 18.5k
5 votes

Does the Telugu script have near perfect phonemic orthography?

I wanted to write this as a comment, but it was too long. Anyway, I don't speak Telugu, I speak Kannada. While I can't tell you about the differences between what's indicated in the script and what's ...
prash's user avatar
  • 3,669
5 votes

Why is Devanagari currently used for Sanskrit?

As for when, Sanskrit was written in various scripts, according to Salomon (Indian epigraphy), and Devanagari was used for Sanskrit since the 7th century, and was only written in inscriptions from ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
4 votes
Accepted

Are ~simba (Bantu) and ~simha (Indic) related?

That is a coincidence, the two words are not related, neither are the Indo-European and Bantu languages. The Swahili simba 'lion' comes from the Proto-Bantu *ǹcímbá 'any of various wild felines or ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
  • 18.5k
3 votes

Does the Telugu script have near perfect phonemic orthography?

I cannot say Telugu is 100% phonetic, but close to. A deviation I can think of is, there are a couple of letters e.g., ర, ఱ in classical scripts, which are pronounced with same sound, but scripted ...
SastryT's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes

Transcription of Devanagari script

Does IPA distinguish like the way IAST does? Not quite The purpose of the IAST is to represent writing, with distinct letters for each distinct symbol in Devanagari. But the purpose of the IPA is to ...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 67.7k
3 votes

Does the Telugu script have near perfect phonemic orthography?

I am a Kannada speaker not Telugu (I can speak no Telugu at all), but due to historic sociolinguistic relations between the two languages, I think I can answer this fairly well. If you are asking do ...
vin's user avatar
  • 611
2 votes

Is it possible to detect onomatopoeic basis in indigenous languages?

Max Müller started the tradition of giving such silly names to theories of language origin in his 1861 Lectures on the Science of Language, which is available on line and which I recommend to you. ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
2 votes

Are ~simba (Bantu) and ~simha (Indic) related?

Indic languages are not related to the Bantu languages genetically; however, both Hindi/Urdu and Swahili were influenced by Arabic due to contact between speakers. Neither of these words arose through ...
DeLissaplitz Anonymous's user avatar
2 votes

Which languages influenced the Hindustani language spoken in India as of today other than the West Asian languages?

The perhaps obvious answer, if we speak of the ancestors of today's Indic languages relative to other Indo-Iranian and Indo-European languages, is that they were greatly influenced by the languages ...
Adam Bittlingmayer's user avatar
2 votes

Why did Modern Tamil reduce its alphabet from Middle Tamil to Old Tamil?

The article The Tamil Purist Movement by Kailasapathy details the development of this movement, and pins the movement to 1915 when the movement was officially launched by Vedachalam. You can call the ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
2 votes

Transcription of Devanagari script

The question (including the comment) has some misconceptions or misstatements, regarding Devanagari. Almost every Devanagari letter has a correspondence to some IAST letters. The Devanagari letter त ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
2 votes

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

You can compose fairly long conjuncts like ल्ग्म्ब्क्ष्र = lgmbkṣra, which is just a made-up sequence. Sanskrit allows some interesting clusters, whereas Hindi and other modern Indic languages have a ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
2 votes
Accepted

How many grammatical cases does Telugu have?

For Telugu, due to agglutination, the line between postpositions and case-affixes is blurred to the point where it's useless to count how many cases there are. The 8 number comes from trying to map ...
user42056's user avatar
1 vote

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

As noted in Monier-Williams' dictionary, araṇya (अरण्य) more generally means 'distant, foreign' and is derived from the verb r̩- 'go, move' etc. Raṇa 'battle' derives metaphorically from ran ~ raṇ '...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
1 vote

What does the letter do ৡ in Bangla?

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&...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar

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