13

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 questions. My answer is from what I have observed, not from a research paper of an Indologist (neither am I a linguist). They are to a large extent, having more ...


9

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 linguistics, I think it is a valid question, the problem is just that it's based on false assumptions. @sumelic has answered one aspect of the question, that of ...


8

Long Indian names are indeed shortened for informal/semi formal usage in India too. It is typically shortened to the first two syllables. For example Venkataraghavan usually becomes Venkat and in the example you used Raj for Rajendra. Male names which are thus shortened could be used for semi-formal usage too. Female names are shortened to form nicknames ...


6

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.


6

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 because it was the official language of the Moghul empire), Turkish (which was minor and mainly through Persian transmission), and Arabic (both through Persian ...


6

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 inscriptions, we effectively find some examples of consonantal conjuncts, but not as many as in Sanskrit Devanāgarī. This is easily explained if you think to ...


6

In the Wikipedia article on Sanskrit you can find all those special characters together with their IPA counterparts. By the way, these special characters are parts of the IAST, the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration.


6

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 what's going on? Arabic and related scripts type characters differently depending on their position in a word. Let's just consider the plain ﻩ (h) for a moment: ...


6

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) /paɳɖu/ “fruit” The one like a semicircle is arasunna (chandrabindu in Sanskrit) and it is not used anymore in the modern Telugu. In the old Telugu it denoted “...


5

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 Etymology Dictionary says: 1734, from Pali Damila, from Sanskrit Dramila, variant of Dravida Actually, I cannot understand why you think த is "tha". It is ...


5

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 description and orthography development, it would be a system where for each phonemes there is a unique and rule-governed orthographic sequence, and for each such ...


5

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 the 13th century. By this time India had already been invaded by many West Asians, beginning with the Achaemenid Persians, and later by Persian and Turkic ...


5

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 actually spoken in Telugu, I can tell you about that in Kannada. This might help you come up with analogous examples for Telugu. (1) Regional dialects may ...


5

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/ -> nothing; as observed in the evolution of the Celtic languages from Proto-Indogermanic). All the steps are frequently attested in isolation, e.g., /p/ -> /f/ from ...


5

Kannada is not unique in this. Indo-European *p becomes h in Armenian, as in hair "father".


5

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't mean that they haven't evolved. Acquiring loanwords is a form of language evolution. Obviously, many English people think of the English language first. ...


3

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 similar, including wildcat, lion, leopard, civet, genet'.


3

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 differently in classical literature. Examples: కురుచ, చిఱుత, చేరువ, చెఱువు. Interestingly, no composite letter exists with ఱ except itself like in గుఱ్ఱము. It is ...


2

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 Telugu letters represent the sounds to be uttered accurately such that there is not inconsistencies as with English spelling, then yes. The consonants always ...


2

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 mutual loans from Arabic, though; 'lion' in Arabic is 'أسد,' or ' 'asada.'


2

This is one of those areas in which the IPA (and its use by transcribers) gets a bit messy. The IPA transcription of an utterance is generally meant to be the phonetic representation of that utterance (leaving aside "phonemic transcriptions", which usually borrow symbols from the IPA set out of convenience), but very often the assumed phonology for the ...


2

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 that existed there before them, that is, substrate. There is some debate as to what the substrate languages actually are. The Dravidian languages and other ...


1

As described by you, Bengali has a meagre residue of the Indo-Aryan gender system. I do not see any problem with referring to “residual gender”. This, of course, is from a diachronic, not synchronic, perspective.


1

@Probably, by the looks of it, you are in for a lot of primary research, though, I'd suggest you consider flipping it upside down, for the following reasons: I would like to make a poll with questions like "What emotions do you associate with the word "ka:men"?" and compare whether these answers are closer to the true representation of the word rather ...


1

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. There is an interesting case of the influence of onomatopoeia on a phonological system in Stanley Newman's description of the wiyi verbs in The Yawelmani dialect ...


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