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Re: < Pronunciation >

In article <2lo3v5$4vk@ucunix.san.uc.edu> maruvada@hpax.cup.hp.com (Satish V Maruvada ) writes:

	   I don't know if this is the right forum for my question but here it
	   is. This morning my room mate and I were watching TV when an english
	   song which was playing had the name 'nirvana'.

	   My friend started laughing and said that it was 'nirvan' and not
	   'nirvana'. I asked him about 'Rama', Krishna, Shiva, Ravana and
	   moksha. He said that it was Ram, Krishn, Shiv Ravan and Moksh
	   respectively. I'm confused and tried telling him that may be out in
	   the north (where he hails), it may be pronounced that way, but in
	   the south it's different. 

	   My question is : What is the right pronunciation ? And how are these
	   words prononunced in Samkskrit ?

	   Will any knowledgeable netter please help ?

Ask him how he would spell those words using Devanagari script, the
script in which Sanskrit is written.  In all the cases you mentioned,
the final character is an unembellished consonant.  Therefore, by
default, it is pronounced as if it was followed by a short "uh".  (For
example, the Devanagari alphabet of unembellished consonants begins
"kuh" "khuh" "guh" "ghuh" "nguh".)

To eliminate the pronunciation of this "default vowel" would require
that the consonant be embellished (by "breaking it's leg," if you will
pardon my colloquial Marathi.)  This is what is done when consonants
are to be combined without intervening vowels.

This short "uh" sound is usually written using a trailing A when
unembellished Sanskrit consonants are written in Roman script.

Therefore, the word that is pronounced "RAAMuh" is written "rama"
                                       "KRISHNuh"          "krishna"

As far as I know, all of the words you mentioned are pronounced, by
default, in Sanskrit, as if they ended with an unembellished
consonant.  (In certain contexts, this may not be so.)
Milind S. Pandit			| pandit@ssd.intel.com
Operating Systems Engineer		|
Intel Supercomputer Systems Division	| I don't speak for Intel.

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