1 The letter ^ ya when joined to a previous consonant takes the form J as ^y kya.
* The letter ? ra when joined to a following consonant takes the form ', as vrfarka,
' When joined to a preceding consonant it is written ^, as 3 sra. The following forms
are peculiar: 3p Am, 3[ tra, 3f ttr«, 3f #fra, gf 0^/0, a rfra.
*Some compound consonants followed by the vowels $ u and $ u take slightly
altered forms :~
c As in Sanskrit, the short vowel ^ a when it follows a consonant is not expressed,
but is held to be inherent in every consonant unless its absence is specially indicated; for
instance ^ is ka not &. When the absence of ^ a has to be noted the mark % (called in
Bengali hasanta) is usei; thus ^ A, as shown in the above list of compound consonants.
$ t with hasanta is expressed by the character *>, as in sft* tabat, W$fa ehamttkfo.
' The sign *, called chandra-bindu (i.e., moon and drop), indicates that a nasal sound
is to be given to the vowel over which it stands, as §tf cild, tfft pach. It is represented
in transliteration by the sign " over the nasalised vowel.
' The characters for the numerals are these—
' The leading feature in Indian arithmetic being the division by four, the signs for
fractions are adapted thereto. The rupee is divided into 4 X 4 = 16 parts, called ana
which are thus designated (units of all kinds are also thus divided) :—
1 ana or fa i* 5 anas |/« 9 anas itA 13 anas V*
2 anas *}* 6 anas k'o 10 anas n<A 14 anas W»
3 anas e/o 7 anas i«/o 11 anas ««/• 15 anas W«
4 anas or \ |o 8 anas or \ n« 12 anas or \ W
As already stated, it is difficult to give completely accutote rules regarding the
pronunciation of the language. This is principally due to
• nonunCifttion* _ . ^M . • T_ j* *
the fact that there are not a suflicient number of signs
in the alphabet to represent the very complex vowel system. If we adopt a phonetic
systexq, of representing these sounds, we find that there are,—
Three a-sounds, viz., d, d and d.
Two e-sounds, viz., e and e.
Three o-sounds, #&, 0, 0, and 0.
For representing these eight sounds, it has onty four vowel signs, 0fe., the sign <*
transliterated a; the sign *t transliterated d; the sign ia transliterated e; and the sign
* transliterated 0.
I shall now proceed to take these vowel sounds, and to show how Bengali attempts
to record them in writing.
The sound which I call d, is that which we hear in the word'father.* It is
represented in Bengali character by the letter *It d.
The sound d is the sound of the a in' had' and' hai' In Bengali it is sometimes
represented by the letter 4 e. Thus off ek> pronounced dk, one; OT*r dekha, see, pro-
nounced ddkho; CW gOa, he went, pronounced gdlo. More often when it is deliberately