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Full text of "Linguistic Survey Of India Vol V Part I Indo Aryan Family Eastern Group"

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The sound which I call 6 is the commonest sound in the language. It is the sound
of the o in 'hod* and c hot/ It is represented by the letter a, when not at the end of
a word. Thus *m anal* fire, is pronounced onol. It has a Jong sound, like the aw in
1 awl,- which I represent by d> and which, as I have already said, is heard in the Eastern
With these preliminary remarks, I proceed to give a brief account of the method
of pronouncing Bengali, as spelled in the Bengali character. I shall in each case give
only the correct transliterated letters, and not the original Bengali ones.
The vowel a is usually pronounced as <5, in 'hot.' Einal a is not pronounced,
except after a double consonant, as in fabda, a sound, and in adjectives and Sanskrit
Passive Participles. Thus, cJMta, small; krita, done. It is also pronounced at the end
of verbal forms, as in karila, he did, but is not pronounced in such forms which end in
*, as karis, thou doest, m, as karilam, I did, or ra, as karilen* he did. When thus pro-
nounced at the end of a word, a is sounded like 5. Thus the above words are pronounced,
chhoto> krito9 and korilo, respectively. In the syllables ksha (khya) and &a9 a is pro-
nounced e, see above. In the Eastern Districts, a has often the sound of d, see above.
Medial a is sqjnetimes pronounced 0, as in haUa, he was, pronounced hoUd. The sound
of this o, not 5 or 6, is explained above. So ban, a forest, pronounced ten; baUte, to
speak, pronounced bolike*
The vowel a is usually pronounced like the a in * father/ When the syllable ya
appears in a word, it is pronounced 0, like the a in « had f or chai ' Thus, fflakha, see,
pronounced ddkho. On the other hand, in the colloquial language, the two syllables di,
are often, but not always, pronounced like e. Thus kbapte* to eat, is pronounced khete,
but not so gaite, to sing. Before a double consonant, and before a single consonant
which is pronounced as a double one, a is pronounced more or less like the d in fi had * or
« hat.' Thus p anchama fifty-five, pronounced ponchdmo ; vakya, a sentence, pronounced
The vowel e is usually pronounced as the a in * lane. Thus, dese, in a country. It
sometimes has the short sound of e or e described above. Thus, karilSn^ he did, pro-
nounced korilen. Sometimes, it has the sound of a in c had ' or ' hat. ' Thus dekha, see,
pronounced ddkhd. Eor the future, whenever e is pronounced e or e, I shall transliterate
it by &
The vowel 6 is usually pronounced as the second o in € promote.* Sometimes it
has the sound of the first o in < promote, ' or ofthe> in 'votre.' Thus khdyaila,
he lost, pronounced khowailo.
As regards single consonants,—
The letter ohh is pronounced as* in * this,1 by the vulgar, and in the Eastern
The letter^ y is pronounced.;, excejpt when it has a dot under it, thus CT ye, who,
pronounced /*, but *falt kariyd, having done, pronounced iorfy& ^ In future, when it is
necessary, I shall transcribe a y which is pronounced as /, thus, J. The two syllables
NQStfiya, are pronounced as wa. Thus, ^3Ąt Jiaoyd, being, is pronounced howa.
The letter t? is always, when not compounded \vith another consonant, pronounced
ft. Indeed, the same character is used for both Sanskrit 6 and Sanskrit t?. Thus
varva* colour, is pronounced borno. The sound of t> or w being thus lost from the
alphabet, Bengali has to represent it by the Utters gyd> as just explained.