Devnagri Script
 
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Devanāgarī (देवनागरी) is a script used to write several Indian languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Nepali, and sometimes Punjabi. Devanagari is a form of alphabet called an abugida, as each consonant has an inherent vowel (a), that can be changed with the different vowel signs. It is a close descendant of the Brāhmī script that has been traced back to 500 BC. The Brahmi script is believed by the majority of scholars to have evolved from a Semitic script such as the Eastern Aramaic alphabet. There is, however, a generally unaccepted theory according to which the Brahmi script is derived from the Indus script that goes back to at least 2600 BC. Many other Indian languages are written using other scripts in the Brahmic family.

The name Devanagari comes from the Sanskrit words Deva (god), and Nagari (city); together they mean, literally, the script of the "City of the Gods", where this city is the body of the individual. The philosophy behind it is that when one meditates on the specific sounds of the Devanagari alphabet, the written forms appear spontaneously in the mind. The compound really functions as a bahuvrihi. "Devanagari" is the most common transliteration of the name of script. Others are "Devnagri" and "Devanagri".

Devanagari is written from left to right. In Sanskrit, words were written together without spaces, so that the top bar is unbroken, although there were some exceptions to this rule. The break of the top line primarily marks breath groups. In modern languages, word breaks are used. Devanagari has no case distinction, i.e. no majuscule and minuscule letters.

Sanskrit spelling was phonetic but with historical changes, the spelling of modern languages written in Devanagari may only be partly phonetic in the sense that a word written in it can only be pronounced in one way, but not all possible pronunciations can be written perfectly. Devanagari has 34 consonants (vyanjana), and 12 vowels (svara). A syllable (akshara) is formed by the combination of zero or one consonants and one vowel.

The transliterations in the following tables follow the popular National Library at Calcutta romanization. The ITRANS notation is a lossless transliteration scheme of Devanagari into ASCII that is widely used on Usenet. In ITRANS, the word Devanagari is written as "devanaagarii".

Symbols of Devanagari

All the vowels in Devanagari are attached to the top or bottom of the consonant or to an AA vowel sign attached to the right of the consonant, with the exception of the I vowel sign, which is attached on the left. In the Devanagari vowel table below, the "Letter" column contains the symbol used when a vowel occurs without a consonant, the "Vowel sign" column contains the symbol used when a vowel is attached to a consonant, and the "Vowel with [p]" column show an example of the vowel symbol, attached to the "p" consonant. The "Unicode name" column contains the name given in the Unicode specification for the vowel, and the "IPA" column contains the International Phonetic Alphabet character(s) corresponding to the Hindi pronunciation of the Devanagari character.

Devanagari vowels
Letter Vowel sign Vowel with [p]   Unicode name IPA
  (pa) A ə
पा (pā) AA ɑ
ि पि (pi) I ɪ
पी (pī) II i
पु (pu) U ʊ
पू (pū) UU u
पृ (pṛ) VOCALIC R ri
पॄ   VOCALIC RR  
पॢ   VOCALIC L  
पॣ   VOCALIC LL  
पॅ   CANDRA E  
पॆ   SHORT E  
पे (pe) E e
पै (pai) AI ɛ
पॉ   CANDRA O  
पॊ   SHORT O  
पो (po) O o
पौ (pau) AU ɔ

 

Other modifier symbols
Symbol Symbol with [p] Unicode name Function
प् VIRAMA Called halant; suppresses the inherent vowel.
पँ CANDRABINDU Nasalizes vowel
पं ANUSVARA Nasalizes vowel
पः VISARGA Adds voiceless breath after vowel
प़ NUKTA Used to indicate sounds borrowed from Persian (e.g., ph + nukta = f)
पऽ AVAGRAHA  

When no vowel is written, 'a' is assumed. To specifically denote the absence of a vowel, a halant (also called virama) is used.

Devanagari consonants
Letter Unicode name Transliteration IPA
KA k k
KHA kh kh
GA g g
GHA gh gɦ
NGA ŋ
CA c
CHA ch h
JA j
JHA jh ɦ
NYA ɲ
TTA ʈ
TTHA ṭh ʈh
DDA ɖ / ɽ
DDHA ḍh ɖɦ / ɽɦ
NNA ɳ
TA t
THA th h
DA d
DHA dh ɦ
NA n
PA p p
PHA ph ph
BA b b
BHA bh bɦ
MA m m
YA y j
RA r ɾ
LA l l
LLA ɭ
VA v v
SHA ś ɕ
SSA ʂ
SA s s
HA h h

Among these, ळ is not used in Hindi. The entire set is used in Marathi.

Devanagari digits are written as follows:

Devanagari numerals
0 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9

Devanagari in Unicode: The Unicode range for Devanagari is U+0900 .. U+097F.

    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
900  
910  
920  
930   ि
940  
950  
960  
970   ॿ

 

 

 
 
Hindi Vedic Civilization Sanskrit

Above article originally from Wikipedia. The text on above article is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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