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Devanagari Script (lesson 0!)

Part-3: Suport Vowels 

The support vowel concept is somewhat unique to Indian languages. A support vowel adds a specific sound to the normal vowel in a syllable. Hence the resulting syllable will sound a little different. Interestingly, the sound added by the support vowel is almost equivalent to the sound of a consonant. Yet, a subtle difference will be heard.

We saw in the first part that two of the short vowels actually have the sound of consonants (r and l). This may appear somewhat confusing to the student since a vowel is normally associated with a sound that is typically one of 'a,e,i,o,u'. But as far as Sanskrit is concerned, the concept of the vowel is that it gives life to a consonant, meaning thereby that consonants cannot be meaningful by themselves in any syllable. More on this will be found in the section dealing with phonetics.

The visarga is seen typically at the end of most masculine names

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Hear examples of support Vowels Real Media  MP3 file

Next Section  Generic form of a Consonant

Previous Section  Long Vowels

Start of this Lesson



Short Vowels

Long Vowels

Support Vowels

Generic form of a Consonant






Semi Vowels, Sibilants etc.

Consonant Vowel combinations

Conjunct characters

Writing methods for Conjuncts

Conjuncts with "ra"

List of Conjuncts

Similar looking Aksharas

Vedic symbols

Rarely used Aksharas



Listening Practice

  Message of the Gita

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