World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Visarga

Article Id: WHEBN0021460080
Reproduction Date:

Title: Visarga  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Sanskrit, Kannada Braille, Sinhalese Braille, Tamil Braille, Burmese Braille
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Visarga

Visarga (IAST: visarga) (Sanskrit: विसर्गः Tamil-aytam) meaning "sending forth, discharge". In Sanskrit phonology (śikṣā), visarga (also called, equivalently, visarjanīya by earlier grammarians) is the name of a phone, [h], written as:

Transliteration Symbol
IAST
Harvard-Kyoto H
Devanagari

Visarga is an allophone of /r/ and /s/ in pausa (at the end of an utterance). Since /-s/ is a common inflectional suffix (of nominative singular, second person singular, etc.), visarga appears frequently in Sanskrit texts. In the traditional order of Sanskrit sounds, visarga together with anusvāra appears between vowels and stop consonants.

The precise pronunciation of visarga in Vedic texts may vary between Śākhās. Some pronounce a slight echo of the preceding vowel after the fricative, for example aḥ will be pronounced [ɐhᵄ], and iḥ will be pronounced [ihⁱ].

Types of Visarga

According to Sanskrit phonologists, the visarga has two allophones, namely जिह्वामूलीय (Jihvāmūlīya or the gutteral visarga) and उपध्मानीय (Upadhmānīya or the fricative visarge). It is in fact the latter which we commonly find in writing resembling the punctuation mark of colon or as two tiny circles one above the other. This form is retained by most Indian scripts to date. The former is pronounced before the letters क, ख, प and फ. e.g. तव पितामहः कः | (Who is your grand father?) पक्षिणः खे उत्पतन्ति |(Birds fly in the sky) भोः पाहि (Sir, save me) तपःफलम् (Result of penances) etc. The Jihvāmūlīya visarga is written as two crescent-shaped semi-circles one above the other, facing the top and bottom respectively. This mode of showing the grammatical rule pertaining to the Jihvāmūlīya is still extant in the Telugu script while the allophone was completely lost in all other Indian scripts.

Tamil

Tamil akh

In Tamil, the visarga is called āytam, written ஃ. Apart from a modern use as a diacritic to write foreign sounds, it is archaic and employed only in idiomatic and fossilized words such as அஃது(adhu - "there"), இஃது (idhu - "here") etc. It is mentioned in the earliest available Tamil grammatical treatise, Tolkāppiyam (1:1:2), where it is categorized as an allophone (cārpezuttu "dependent sound"). As stated by Krishnamurti (Krishnamurti:2003 p154 [1] ) "The properties of āytam, as described by Tolkāppiyam, were: (1) it occurred after a short vowel and before a stop (voiceless), and its place of articulation is like that of the stop. In other words, ஃ assimilates to the following voiceless stop".

Burmese

In the Burmese script, the visarga (variously called ရှေ့ကပေါက် shay ga pauk, ဝစ္စပေါက် wizza pauk, or ရှေ့ဆီး shay zi and represented with two dots to the right of the letter as ◌း), when used with joined to a letter, creates the high tone.

Japanese

The Visarga mark used by Motoori.

Motoori Norinaga invented a mark for visarga which he used in a book about Indian orthography.

References

  1. ^ Krishnamurti, Bhadriraju (2003). The Dravidian Languages. Cambridge Language Surveys.  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.