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Re: < Pronunciation #

In article q65@ucunix.san.uc.edu, rsn@aloha.EECS.Berkeley.EDU (Sekhar Narayanaswami) writes:
>In article <2pn3fm$qgo@ucunix.san.uc.edu>, wenode@chester.cms.udel.edu
>(Vinod Arekar) writes:
>|> About pronunciation of the word RAMAYANA:
>|> I dont know why this fuss about ramAyana or ramAAyana.
>|> First of all, IT'S RAMAYAN, and not RamayanA
>|> Adding 'a' in the end of Hindu names (Ram, Ravan, Lakshman etc.)
>|> is the 'english thing' which started because the british could
>|> not accept the names like Indr(a) which are difficult to pronounce
>|> if written without the 'a' (of course, the british never did anything
>|> to improvise the words like colonel and lieutenant, but that is beside
>|> the point).
>This is pretty much blatantly incorrect.  The reason it is rAmAyana is
>because in Sanskrit, unlike Hindi, the final "a" IS pronounced, whereas
>Hindi has changed over the course of many years to the point where
>the final "a" of a word is not pronounced.  If you study any of the vedas
>or the old Sanskrit Scriptures, you will see that this is the case.
>The devanagiri script for the two is the same, but in Sanskrit, a
>"halanth" is needed to silence the final "a", where it is not in hindi.
>So when read in sanskrit, the names are rAma, lakshmana, ravana, mahAbhArata,
>etc.  The final "a" is dropped in Hindi pronunciations.  I tend to feel
>that the Sanskrit pronunciation is more correct, since all these
>words are originally Sanskrit words, but that may also have to do
>with the fact that I'm from South India, and most south Indian
>Languages (malayalam, tamil) have retained that final "a" sound.
>However, I also tend to think that there is no "correct" pronunciation.
>One pronunciation has evolved into something different over the
>years, and one has stayed the same.  But it's certainly not 
>something the englished forced on us.

Well, some explanation is required.

Many Indian languages have the concept of half-consonents.
There are half and full consonents, and ones with "matra"
(the "a" in the end, pronounced as in art).

There's this difference...

				I	II	III
Most SouthIndians	       Ram	Rama	Rama		
Many others 		       Ram      Ram	Rama

	I   = Half consonent m
	II  = Full consonent m
	III = Full m, with "matra"

I belong to the "many others", and so when I say "Ramayana" is wrong,
I mean the last n WITH a matra is a wrong pronunciation.
I should have explained this in my 1st posting. Sorry.
All of us, I think, will agree that the last "a" is  for making the "n"
a full consonent, and not to be pronounced as in "art".

The pronunciation of Ram as RamA (A as in Art), I think, was a 
British influence.

On a lighter note, here's a question for those who retain
the last "a"...
(As far as I know, the t in the end is a FULL consonent)


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