Page:Sanskrit Grammar by Whitney p1.djvu/44

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

Sanskrit j includes in itself two degrees of alteration, one corresponding to the alteration of k to c, the other to that of k to ç (see below, 219). The c is somewhat more common than the j (almost as four to three). The aspirate ch is very much less frequent (a tenth of c), and comes from the original group sk. The sonant aspirate jh is excessively rare (occurring but once in RV., not once in AV., and hardly half-a-dozen times in the whole other language); where found, it is either onomatopoetic or of anomalous or not Indo-European origin. The nasal, ñ, never occurs except immediately before — or, in a small number of words, also after (201) — one of the others of the same series.

43. Hence, in the euphonic processes of the language, the treatment of the palatals is in many respects peculiar. In some situations, the original unaltered guttural shows itself — or, as it appears from the point of view of the Sanskrit, the palatal reverts to its original guttural. No palatal ever occurs as a final. The j is differently treated, according as it represents the one or the other degree of alteration. And c and j (except artificially, in the algebraic rules of the grammarians) do not interchange, as corresponding surd and sonant.

44. The palatal mutes are by European scholars, as by the modern Hindus also, pronounced with the compound sounds of English ch and j (in church and judge).

a. Their description by the old Hindu grammarians, however, gives them a not less absolutely simple character than belongs to the other mutes. They are called tālavya palatal, and declared to be formed against the palate by the middle of the tongue. They seem to have been, then, brought forward in the mouth from the guttural point, and made against the hard palate at a point not far from the lingual one (below, 45), but with the upper flat surface of the tongue instead of its point. Such sounds, in all languages, pass easily into the (English) ch- and j- sounds. The value of the ch as making the preceding vowel “long by position” (227), and its frequent origination from t + ç (203), lead to the suspicion that it, at least, may have had this character from the beginning: compare 37 d, above.

45. Lingual series: ट् , ठ् ṭh, ड् , ढ् ḍh, ण् . The lingual mutes are by all the native authorities defined as uttered with the tip of the tongue turned up and drawn back into the dome of the palate (somewhat as the usual English smooth r is pronounced). They are called by the grammarians mūrdhanya, literally head-sounds, capitals, cephalics; which term is in many European grammars