Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Sanskrit (Saṃskṛt)

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_508-1

Introduction

Sanskrit, written in Devanagari meaning “city of gods” script, falls under alphasyllabary writing system where letters are written as a unit, consisting of consonant-vowel sequences. Unlike most of the European languages, there are no capital letters in Sanskrit – each letter represents one sound [ 6]. The alphabets are so organized that they are arranged according to the structure of the mouth, covering the area between glottis and lips. It is important that both the articulators – active and passive – are to be positioned in their designated places for the production of sounds so that the accuracy in pronunciation is to be maintained. In Sanskrit, alphabets are divided into two parts: the swara “vowels” and the vyanjana “consonants.” The literal meaning of vyanjana is decoration or adornment, while swara means accent, tone, and sound. The vowel sounds are [ə], [a:], [i], [i:], [u], [u:], [r], [r:], [l], [l:], [e:], [a:i], [o], [a:u], [aŋ], [ə~], and [əh] (Table 1).
Table 1
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Humanities & Social Sciences – Languages & LiteratureShri Mata Vaishno Devi UniversityKatraIndia