The word Sanskrit (संस्कृतम्) written in Devanagari.
|Native speakers||14,000 (2001)|
|Writing system||No native script.
Written in Devanagari, various Brāhmī- based alphabets, Thai in vocabularies, and Latin script
|Official language in|| India, Uttarakhand
one of the 22 scheduled languages of India
Sanskrit (संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam [sə̃skɹ̩t̪əm], originally संस्कृता वाक् saṃskṛtā vāk, "refined speech") is a historical Indo-Aryan language, the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and a literary and scholarly language in Buddhism and Jainism. Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand. Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies.
The corpus of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of poetry and drama as well as scientific, technical, philosophical and dharma texts. Sanskrit continues to be widely used as a ceremonial language in Hindu religious rituals and Buddhist practice in the forms of hymns and mantras. Spoken Sanskrit is still in use in some villages, a few traditional institutions in India and there are many attempts at further popularization.
The Sanskrit verbal adjective sáṃskṛta- may be translated as "put together, constructed, well or completely formed; refined, adorned, highly elaborated". It is derived from the root saṃ-skar- "to put together, compose, arrange, prepare", where saṃ- "together" (as English same) and (s)kar- "do, make".
The term in the generic meaning of "made ready, prepared, completed, finished" is found in the Rigveda. Also in Vedic Sanskrit, as nominalized neuter saṃskṛtám, it means "preparation, prepared place" and thus "ritual enclosure, place for a sacrifice".
As a term for "refined or elaborated speech" the adjective appears only in Epic and Classical Sanskrit, in the Manusmriti and in the Mahabharata. The language referred to as saṃskṛta "the cultured language" has by definition always been a "sacred" and "sophisticated" language, used for religious and learned discourse in ancient India, and contrasted with the languages spoken by the people, prākṛta- "natural, artless, normal, ordinary".
Classical Sanskrit is the standard register as laid out in the grammar of Pāṇini, around the 4th century BCE. Its position in the cultures of Greater India is akin to that of Latin and Greek in Europe and it has significantly influenced most modern languages of the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
The pre-Classical form of Sanskrit is known as Vedic Sanskrit, with the language of the Rigveda being the oldest and most archaic stage preserved, its oldest core dating back to as early as 1500 BCE. This qualifies Rigvedic Sanskrit as one of the oldest attestations of any Indo-Iranian language, and one of the earliest attested members of the Indo-European languages, the family which includes English and most European languages.
Sanskrit, as defined by Pāṇini, had evolved out of the earlier "Vedic" form. The beginning of Vedic Sanskrit can be traced as early as 1500–1200 BCE (for Rig-vedic and Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni). Scholars often distinguish Vedic Sanskrit and Classical or "Pāṇinian" Sanskrit as separate 'dialects'. Though they are quite similar, they differ in a number of essential points of phonology, vocabulary, grammar and syntax. Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, a large collection of hymns, incantations ( Samhitas), theological and religio-philosophical discussions in the Brahmanas and Upanishads. Modern linguists consider the metrical hymns of the Rigveda Samhita to be the earliest, composed by many authors over several centuries of oral tradition. The end of the Vedic period is marked by the composition of the Upanishads, which form the concluding part of the Vedic corpus in the traditional view; however the early Sutras are Vedic, too, both in language and content. Around the mid-1st millennium BCE, Vedic Sanskrit began the transition from a first language to a second language of religion and learning.
For nearly 2,000 years, a cultural order existed that exerted influence across South Asia, Inner Asia, Southeast Asia, and to a certain extent, East Asia. A significant form of post-Vedic Sanskrit is found in the Sanskrit of the Hindu Epics—the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The deviations from Pāṇini in the epics are generally considered to be on account of interference from Prakrits, or "innovations" and not because they are pre-Paninean. Traditional Sanskrit scholars call such deviations ārṣa (आर्ष), meaning 'of the ṛṣis', the traditional title for the ancient authors. In some contexts, there are also more "prakritisms" (borrowings from common speech) than in Classical Sanskrit proper. Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit is a literary language heavily influenced by Middle Indic, based on early Buddhist prakrit texts which subsequently assimilated to the Classical Sanskrit standard in varying degrees.
According to Tiwari (1955), there were four principal dialects of classical Sanskrit: paścimottarī (Northwestern, also called Northern or Western),madhyadeśī (lit., middle country), pūrvi (Eastern) and dakṣiṇī (Southern, arose in the Classical period). The predecessors of the first three dialects are even attested in Vedic Brāhmaṇas, of which the first one was regarded as the purest (Kauṣītaki Brāhmaṇa, 7.6).
As a spoken language
The 1991 and 2001, census of India recorded 49,736 and 14,135 persons, respectively, with Sanskrit as their native language. Since the 1990s, efforts to revive spoken Sanskrit have been increasing. Many organizations like the Samskrita Bharati are conducting Speak Sanskrit workshops to popularize the language.
Indian newspapers have published reports about several isolated villages, where, as a result of recent revival attempts, large parts of the population, including children, are learning Sanskrit and are even using it to some extent in everyday communication:
- Mattur in Karnataka
- Mohad, District: Narasinhpur, Madhya Pradesh
- Jhiri, District: Rajgadh, Madhya Pradesh
- Kaperan, District: Bundi, Rajasthan
- Khada, District: Banswada, Rajasthan
- Ganoda, District: Banswada, Rajasthan
- Bawali, District: Bagapat, Uttar Pradesh
- Shyamsundarpur, District: Kendujhar, Odisha
In official use
In the Republic of India Sanskrit is included in the 14 original languages of the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. The state of Uttarakhand in India has ruled Sanskrit as its second official language. In October 2012 noted social activist Hemant Goswami filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for declaring Sanskrit as a 'Minority' language, so that it could enjoy special protection as available to minorities under the Constitution of India.
Contemporary literature and patronage
The Sahitya Akademi has had, since 1967, an award for the best creative work written that year in Sanskrit. In 2009, Satyavrat Shastri became the first Sanskrit author to win the Jnanpith Award, India's highest literary award.
As a liturgical language
As the liturgical language of Hindus, it is used during worship in Hindu temples throughout the world. Also, in Newar Buddhism, it is used in all the monasteries as liturgical language. It is also popular amongst the many practitioners of yoga in the West, who find the language useful in understanding the Yoga Sutra.
In the Republic of India, in Nepal and Indonesia, Sanskrit phrases are widely used as mottoes for various national, educational and social organizations (much as Latin is used by some institutions in the West). For example:
- Republic of India: 'सत्यमेव जयते' Satyameva Jayate "Truth alone triumphs"
- Nepal: 'जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी' Janani Janmabhūmisca Svargādapi garīyasi "Mother and motherland are greater than heaven"
- Aceh Province: 'पञ्चचित' Pancacita "Five Goals"
Many of India's and Nepal's scientific and administrative terms are named in Sanskrit. The Indian guided missile program that was commenced in 1983 by DRDO has named the five missiles (ballistic and others) that it has developed as Prithvi, Agni, Akash, Nag and Trishul. India's first modern fighter aircraft is named HAL Tejas.
Origin and development
Sanskrit is a member of the Indo-Iranian sub-family of the Indo-European family of languages. Its closest ancient relatives are the Iranian languages Old Persian and Avestan.
In order to explain the common features shared by Sanskrit and other Indo-European languages, many scholars have proposed migration hypotheses asserting that the original speakers of what became Sanskrit arrived in what is now India and Pakistan from the north-west some time during the early second millennium BCE. Evidence for such a theory includes the close relationship of the Indo-Iranian tongues with the Baltic and Slavic languages, vocabulary exchange with the non-Indo-European Uralic languages, and the nature of the attested Indo-European words for flora and fauna.
The earliest attested Sanskrit texts are Brahmanical texts of the Rigveda, which date to the mid-to-late second millennium BCE. No written records from such an early period survive, if ever existed. However, scholars are confident that the oral transmission of the texts is reliable: they were ceremonial literature whose correct pronunciation was considered crucial to its religious efficacy.
From the Rigveda until the time of Pāṇini (fl. 4th century BCE) the development of the early Vedic language may be observed in other Vedic texts: the Samaveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda, Brahmanas, and Upanishads. During this time, the prestige of the language, its use for sacred purposes, and the importance attached to its correct enunciation all served as powerful conservative forces resisting the normal processes of linguistic change. However, there is a clear, five-level linguistic development of Vedic from the Rigveda to the language of the Upanishads and the earliest Sutras (such as Baudhayana).
Standardization by Panini
The oldest surviving Sanskrit grammar is Pāṇini's Aṣṭādhyāyī("Eight-Chapter Grammar"). It is essentially a prescriptive grammar, i.e., an authority that defines correct Sanskrit, although it contains descriptive parts, mostly to account for some Vedic forms that had become rare in Pāṇini's time.
Classical Sanskrit became fixed with the grammar of Panini (roughly 500 BC), and remains in use as a learned language until the present day.
Coexistence with vernacular languages
The term "Sanskrit" was not thought of as a specific language set apart from other languages, but rather as a particularly refined or perfected manner of speaking. Knowledge of Sanskrit was a marker of social class and educational attainment in ancient India and the language was taught mainly to members of the higher castes, through close analysis of Sanskrit grammarians such as Pāṇini and patanjali, who exhorted that one should speak proper Sanskrit at all times, and at least during ritual. Sanskrit, as the learned language of Ancient India, thus existed alongside the Prakrits (vernaculars), also called Middle Indic dialects, and eventually into the contemporary modern Indo-Aryan languages.
Over the centuries, the Prakrits underwent language change to a degree that vernaculars and Sanskrit ceased to be intercomprehensible and had to be learned as a separate language, rather than a distinguished or noble register of the popular language. This transition was completed by the Early Middle Ages ( Middle Indic), but a significant number of the elite remained fluent in Sanskrit, a situation directly comparable to the role of Latin in Medieval Europe.
Prakrits dominated in Magadh, the eastern part of India during the time of Buddha and Mahavira, one of which was likely the ancestor of Pali. Apparently in Gandhara the language remained particularly close to Sanskrit for a long time. Mahmud the Gazanavi used Sanskrit on his coins, and Sanskrit was in use as an official language during early Muslim rule in Kashmir.
Patronage and use by the upper classes
Many of the Sanskrit dramas suggest that it coexisted along with prakrits, spoken by multilingual with better education. Further support that this was the case is provided by Kalhanain his work Rajatarangini, who describes Samkaravarman(883–902) thus (Stein's trans.):
"Thus this [king], who did not speak the language of the gods but used vulgar speech fit for drunkards, showed that he was descended from a family of spirit-distillers".
kalyapālakule janma tattenaiva pramāṇitaṃ kṣīvocitāpabhraṃśokter daivī vāg asya nābhavat 5-206
This refers to the fact that the power had passed to the brothers of a queen, who was born in a family of spirit-distillers. Since Kalhana was writing a chronicle (and not a drama), and Samkaravarman lived not too long before his own time, his account suggests that around this time, it was common for Sanskrit to be spoken in noble families, where it was apparently learned by listening. Thus, Sanskrit speakers were also almost always multilingual.
Some kings patronized Sanskrit poets. Rashtrakuta King Amoghavarsha is said to have composed a Sanskrit text. Parmara King Bhoja (1010–1053) himself composed and supervised composition of Sanskrit texts. That suggests that Sanskrit was widely spoken and understood in that period by the elite.
In the medieval era, Sanskrit continued to be spoken and written, particularly by learned Brahmins for scholarly communication. This was a thin layer of Indian society, but covered a wide geography. Centers like Varanasi, paithan, Pune, and Kanchipuram had a strong presence of teaching and debating institutions, and high classical Sanskrit was maintained until British times.
Use of Sanskrit lingered on in Kashmir even during the Muslim period as is observed by use of Sanskrit on Muslim tombstones and in official documents.
There are a number of sociolinguistic studies of spoken Sanskrit which strongly suggest that oral use of Sanskrit is limited, with its development having ceased sometime in the past. Pollock (2001), says "most observers would agree that, in some crucial way, Sanskrit is dead". Pollock has further argued that, while Sanskrit continued to be used in literary cultures in India, Sanskrit was not used to express changing forms of subjectivity and sociality embodied and conceptualized in the modern age. Instead, it was reduced to "reinscription and restatements" of ideas already explored, and any creativity in Sanskrit was restricted to hymns and verses. He describes it in comparison with the "dead" language of Latin:
Both died slowly, and earliest as a vehicle of literary expression, while much longer retaining significance for learned discourse with its universalist claims. Both were subject to periodic renewals or forced rebirths, sometimes in connection with a politics of translocal aspiration... At the same time... both came to be ever more exclusively associated with narrow forms of religion and priestcraft, despite centuries of a secular aesthetic.
Hanneder (2002) and Hatcher (2007) contest Pollock's characterization, pointing out that modern works continue to be produced in Sanskrit:
On a more public level the statement that Sanskrit is a dead language is misleading, for Sanskrit is quite obviously not as dead as other dead languages and the fact that it is spoken, written and read will probably convince most people that it cannot be a dead language in the most common usage of the term. Pollock’s notion of the “death of Sanskrit” remains in this unclear realm between academia and public opinion when he says that “most observers would agree that, in some crucial way, Sanskrit is dead”—Hanneder (2002:294)
Hanneder (2009) argues that modern works in Sanskrit are either ignored or their "modernity" contested.
When the British imposed a Western-style education system in India in the nineteenth century, knowledge of Sanskrit and ancient literature continued to flourish as the study of Sanskrit changed from a more traditional style into a form of analytical and comparative scholarship mirroring that of Europe.
Public education and popularization
Adult and continuing education
Attempts at reviving the Sanskrit language have been undertaken in the Republic of India since its foundation in 1947 (it was included in the 14 original languages of the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution).
Many organizations like the Samskrta Bharati are conducting Speak Sanskrit workshops to popularize the language. The "All-India Sanskrit Festival" (since 2002) holds composition contests. The 1991 Indian census reported 49,736 fluent speakers of Sanskrit. All India Radio transmits news bulletins in Sanskrit twice a day across the nation. Besides, Sanskrit learning programmes also feature on the list of most of the AIR broadcasting centres. The Mattur village in central Karnataka claims to have native speakers of Sanskrit among its population. Inhabitants of all castes learn Sanskrit starting in childhood and converse in the language. Even the local Muslims speak and converse in Sanskrit. Historically, the village was given by king Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara Empire to Vedic scholars and their families. People in his kingdom spoke Kannada and Telugu(Tuluva). Another effort concentrates on the preservation of oral transmission of the Vedas. Shri Vedabharathi is one such organization based out of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh that has been digitizing the Vedas through voice recording the recitations of Vedic Pandits.
Samskrita Bharati is an organization working for Sanskrit revival. It is a tax exempt nonprofit organization with its headquarters in New Delhi, India. The International Centre, “Aksharam,” a complex located in Bangalore, India, is its international centre. It houses a research wing, a library, audio-visual lab, and staff quarters. It also has several state-units spread across the country both in the US and India. The US chapter is a registered nonprofit tax-exempt organization with its headquarters in San Jose, California.
The CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) of India has made Sanskrit a third language (though it is an option for the school to adopt it or not, the other choice being the state's own official language) in the schools it governs. In such schools, learning Sanskrit is an option for grades 5 to 8 (Classes V to VIII). This is true of most schools affiliated to the ICSE board too, especially in those states where the official language is Hindi. Sanskrit is also taught in traditional gurukulas throughout India.
In the west
St. James Junior School offers Sanskrit as part of the curriculum. Students from this school are fluent in both spoken Sanskrit and in chanting Sanskrit mantras. In USA, since Sep 2009, high school students have been able receive credits (as Independent Study or towards Foreign Language requirements) by studying Sanskrit, as part of the "SAFL: Samskritam as a Foreign Language" program coordinated by Samskrita Bharati.
A list of Sanskrit universities is given below in chronological order:
|1||1791||Sampurnanand Sanskrit University||Varnasi||Uttar Pradesh|
|2||1961||Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University||Darbhanga||Bihar|
|3||1962||Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha||Tirupati|
|4||1962||Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha||New Delhi||Central Govt|
|5||1970||Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan||New Delhi||Central Govt||Multi Campus|
|6||1981||Shri Jagannath Sanskrit Vishvavidayalaya||Puri||Odisha|
|7||1993||Sree Sankaracharya University
|8||1997||Kaviguru Kalidas Sanskrit University||Ramtek, ( Nagpur)||Maharashtra|
Rajasthan Sanskrit University
|10||2005||Shree Somnath Sanskrit University||Somnath-Veraval,
|11||2008||Maharshi Panini Sanskrit
Evam Vedic Vishwavidyalaya
|5||2011||Karnataka Samskrit University||Bangalore||Karnataka|
Within other universities
Besides this, many universities throughout the world train and employ Sanskrit scholars - either within a separate Sanskrit department, or within a broader focus area - for example, in South Asian studies/linguistics departments in universities across the West. For example, Delhi university has about 400 Sanskrit students, out of which about half are reading it in post-graduation programmes.
European scholarship in Sanskrit, begun by Heinrich Roth(1620–1668) and Johann Ernst Hanxleden (1681–1731), is regarded as responsible for the discovery of the Indo-European language family by Sir William Jones. This scholarship played an important role in the development of Western philology, or historical linguistics.
Sir William Jones, speaking to The Asiatic Society in Calcutta (now Kolkata) on 2 February 1786, said:
The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong, indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists.
According to Thomas R. Trautmann, after the 18th-century wave of "Indomania", i.e. enthusiasm for Indian culture and for Sanskrit, as exemplified in the positions of Orientalist scholars such as Sir William Jones, a certain hostility to Sanskrit and to Indian culture in general began to assert itself in Britain in the early 19th century. The hostility was manifest by a neglect of Sanskrit in British academia, as compared to other European countries, and was part of a general push in favour of the idea that India should be culturally, religiously and linguistically assimilated to Britain as far as possible. Traufmann considers that this British hostility to Sanskrit had two separate and logically opposite sources: one was "British Indophobia", which he calls essentially a developmentalist, progressivist, liberal, and non-racial-essentialist critique of Hindu civilization as an aid for the improvement of India along European lines. The other was race science, which was a theorisation of the English "common-sense view" that Indians constituted a "separate, inferior and unimprovable race".
Classical Sanskrit distinguishes about 36 phonemes. There is, however, some allophony and the writing systems used for Sanskrit generally indicate this, thus distinguishing 48 sounds.
The sounds are traditionally listed in the order vowels (Ach), diphthongs (Hal), anusvara and visarga, plosives (Sparśa) and nasals (starting in the back of the mouth and moving forward), and finally the liquids and fricatives, written in IAST as follows:
- a ā i ī u ū ṛ ṝ ḷ ḹ ; e ai o au
- ṃ ḥ
- k kh g gh ṅ; c ch j jh ñ; ṭ ṭh ḍ ḍh ṇ; t th d dh n; p ph b bh m
- y r l v; ś ṣ s h
An alternate traditional ordering is that of the Shiva Sutra of Pāṇini.
The vowels of Classical Sanskrit written in Devanagari, as a syllable-initial letter and as a diacritic mark on the consonant प् (/p/), pronunciation transcribed in IPA, IAST, and approximate equivalent in English:
|Letter||प्||IPA||IAST||English equivalent ( GA unless stated otherwise)|
|अ||प||/ɐ/ or /ə/||a||short near-open central vowel or schwa: u in bunny|
|आ||पा||/ɑː/||ā||long open back unrounded vowel: a in father ( RP)|
|इ||पि||/i/||i||short close front unrounded vowel: e in england|
|ई||पी||/iː/||ī||long close front unrounded vowel: ee in feet|
|उ||पु||/u/||u||short close back rounded vowel: oo in foot|
|ऊ||पू||/uː/||ū||long close back rounded vowel: oo in cool|
|ऋ||पृ||/r̩/||ṛ||syllabic alveolar trill: closest to er in butter in rhotic accents|
|ॠ||पॄ||/r̩ː/||ṝ||syllabic alveolar trill: closest to ir in bird in rhotic accents|
|ऌ||पॢ||/l̩/||ḷ||syllabic dental lateral approximant: le in turtle|
|ॡ||पॣ||/l̩ː/||ḹ||syllabic dental lateral approximant: longer le|
|ए||पे||/eː/||e||long close-mid front unrounded vowel: a in bane (some speakers)|
|ऐ||पै||/əi/||ai||a long diphthong: i in ice, i in kite (US, Canadian, and Scottish English)|
|ओ||पो||/oː/||o||long close-mid back rounded vowel: o in bone ( Scottish English)|
|औ||पौ||/əu/||au||a long diphthong: ou in house (Canadian English)|
The long vowels are pronounced twice as long as their short counterparts. Also, there exists a third, extra-long length for most vowels, called pluti, which is used in various cases, but particularly in the vocative. The pluti is not accepted by all grammarians.
The vowels /e/ and /o/ continue as allophonic variants of Proto-Indo-Iranian /ai/, /au/ and are categorized as diphthongs by Sanskrit grammarians even though they are realized phonetically as simple long vowels.
- There are some additional signs traditionally listed in tables of the Devanagari script:
- The diacritic ं called anusvāra, ( IAST: ṃ). It is used both to indicate the nasalization of the vowel in the syllable [◌̃] and to represent the sound of a syllabic /n/ or /m/; e.g. पं /pəŋ/.
- The diacritic ः called visarga, represents /əh/ ( IAST: ḥ); e.g. पः /pəh/.
- The diacritic ँ called chandrabindu, not traditionally included in Devanagari charts for Sanskrit, is used interchangeably with the anusvāra to indicate nasalization of the vowel, primarily in Vedic notation; e.g. पँ /pə̃/.
- If a lone consonant needs to be written without any following vowel, it is given a halanta/virāma diacritic below (प्).
- The vowel /aː/ in Sanskrit is realized as being more central and less back than the closest English approximation, which is /ɑː/. But the grammarians have classified it as a back vowel.
- The ancient Sanskrit grammarians classified the vowel system as velars, retroflexes, palatals and plosives rather than as back, central and front vowels. Hence ए and ओ are classified respectively as palato-velar (a+i) and labio-velar (a+u) vowels respectively. But the grammarians have classified them as diphthongs and in prosody, each is given two mātrās. This does not necessarily mean that they are proper diphthongs, but neither excludes the possibility that they could have been proper diphthongs at a very ancient stage. These vowels are pronounced as long /eː/ and /oː/ respectively by learned Sanskrit Brahmans and priests of today. Other than the "four" diphthongs, Sanskrit usually disallows any other diphthong—vowels in succession, where they occur, are converted to semivowels according to sandhi rules.
IAST and Devanagari notations are given, with approximate IPA values in square brackets.
|p प [p]||b ब [b]||t त [t̪]||d द [d̪]||ṭ ट [ʈ ]||ḍ ड [ɖ ]||c च [c͡ç]||j ज [ɟ͡ʝ]||k क [k]||g ग [ɡ]|
|ph फ [pʰ]||bh भ [bʱ]||th थ [t̪ʰ]||dh ध [d̪ʱ]||ṭh ठ [ʈʰ]||ḍh ढ [ɖʱ]||ch छ [c͡çʰ]||jh झ [ɟ͡ʝʱ]||kh ख [kʰ]||gh घ [ɡʱ]|
|m म [m]||n न [n̪]||ṇ ण [ɳ ]||(ñ ञ [ ɲ])||ṅ ङ [ŋ]|
|v व [ʋ]||y य [j]|
|l ल [l̪]||r र [ɽ]|
|s स [s̪]||ṣ ष [ʂ]||ś श [ɕ]||ḥ ः [h]||h ह [ɦ]|
The table below shows the traditional listing of the Sanskrit consonants with the (nearest) equivalents in English (as pronounced in General American and Received Pronunciation), French and Spanish. Each consonant shown below is deemed to be followed by the neutral vowel schwa (/ə/), and is named in the table as such.
/kə/; English: skip
/kʰə/; no equivalent
/ɡə/; English: game
/ɡʱə/; no equivalent
/ŋə/; English: ring
/cə/; no equivalent
/cʰə/; no equivalent
/ɟə/; no equivalent
/ɟʱə/; no equivalent
[ ɲə]; French: agneau, Spanish ñ
/ʈə/; English: stop
/ʈʰə/; no equivalent
/ɖə/; English: door
/ɖʱə/; no equivalent
/ɳə/; no English equivalent
| apico- Dental
/t̪ə/; French, Spanish: tomate
/t̪ʰə/; Aspirated /t̪/
/d̪ə/; English: this
/d̪ʱə/; Aspirated /d̪/
/n̪ə/; English name
/pə/; English: spin
/pʰə/; no equivalent
/bə/; English: bone
/bʱə/; no equivalent
/mə/; English: mine
/jə/; English: you
/ɽə/; no equivalent
/l̪ə/; French, Spanish: la
/ʋə/; English w
/ɕə/; similar to English: ship
/ʂə/; Retroflex form of /ʃ/
/s̪ə/; English: same
/ɦə/; English ahead
Vedic Sanskrit had pitch accent: Some syllables had a high tone, and the following syllable a falling tone, though through ellipsis a falling tone may occur elsewhere.
Classical Sanskrit ...