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chunk 78: Exotic letters found only in this website

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exotic symbols
About hyphens.
The moondot shows nasalization.
Spelling of wordfinal s in this website.

(@exoticsymbols) (@exo)

exotic symbolsmmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ C+ 1480

Up to the 19th century, Sanskrit sentences were written, basically, with an alphabet of fifty letters, and no spaces and no punctuation. Since, some punctuation has been introduced, but I think it's far from perfect. So in this website I use some punctuation signs that you won't see anywhere else. They are intended to make things easier for first grade students. Most of them are useless for students in higher grades, so those can safely ignore them.


In devanAgarI script, it is customary to use spaces after all words that do not end in consonants and are not a former. Here I try to use spaces after all words and hyphens after all formers.


Using hyphens to separate the parts of a compound is an utter abomination. It's just not part of Indian Culture. Well, I do use them anyway sometimes, because my students find them helpful.

orthodox flycrap

When a word ends in as, e or o and the next word starts with a, the a disappears of the pronunciation more often than not. In those cases, some people write an avagraha or an apostrophe where the a used to be. This helps students a lot. I do that too, putting an apostrophe (') where the a used to be.

heterodox flycrap

Sometimes I write (') where an a used to be in places where current custom does not allow doing so.


Sometimes I write "::" or ":" in the middle of a hiatus. I'm not sure yet if this is useful for my students or not, and if I decide not, all colons will disappear suddenly from my website any time. So, just ignore them.

moondot a.k.a. squiggle a.k.a. candrabindu

I use a squiggle (~) to mean that the previous sound is nasalized. That is seldom done in Sanskrit print. Instead, they often show the nasalization of a sound by writing a topdot on it.

Another weird thing that I do in this website is that sometimes I spell with s or r at the end words that usually are spelled with H. Read Spelling of wordfinal s in this website for the small details.

1525 letters. -- 37000exoticletters.bse 2 -- popularity 1

1460 how to spell Sanskrit

(@hyphen) (@hyp)

About hyphens.mmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ C- 1481

In old times Sanskrit was written without spaces --

doSairetaiHkulaghnAnAMvarNasaGMkarakArakaiH | utsAdyantejAtidharmAHkuladharmAzcazAzvatAH ||

The modern custom of book publishers makes spaces compulsory after words that end in a vowel, a topdot or a dotdot, unless the space would break a compound --

doSairetaiH kulaghnAnAM varNasaGMkarakArakaiH | utsAdyante jAtidharmAH kuladharmAzca zAzvatAH ||

For some reason that escapes me, Westerners that use Roman letters to write Sanskrit add spaces after every word, unless the space would break a compound --

doSair etaiH kulaghnAnAM varNasaGMkarakArakaiH | utsAdyante jAtidharmAH kuladharmAz ca zAzvatAH ||

And as far as I know no one uses hyphens after the wordfinal letter that is inside a compound, this way --

doSair etaiH kula-ghnAnAM varNa-saGMkara-kArakaiH | ut-sAdyante jAti-dharmAH kula-dharmAz ca zAzvatAH ||

Yet, I do that sometimes, because I have verified that these hyphens make reading easier for my students.

Also, I am in the habit of writing a hyphen after a nounbase, just to clarify that this is a nounbase that has not yet gotten its sup added. For instance, in --

azva- + @calling suazvas eGhra azva

the first azva- has hyphen because it is a nounbase that has not yet received a sup affix,

the azvas is a word because it has already gotten su,

and the second azva has no hyphen because it is full word that has already received a su (even though it was erased later).

Similarly, in --

brahman- + Gas + loka- + subrahmasya + lokas supodhA brahman + lokas nalopaHprA brahmalokas

the first brahman- is a nounbase, because it has not yet gotten Gas,

the second brahman is a word, because it first got Gas, then lost it.

1320 letters. -- 37000exoticletters.bse 55 -- popularity 2

87 /kRt, /taddhita, @compound too (are [@nounbase]s).

1480 exotic symbols

(@moondot) (@moo)

The moondot shows nasalization.mmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ M- C+ 1482

The moondot sign is written on top of a letter to mean that it is nasalized.

Examples --

U~ = nasalized U, like the one in rule U~

l~ = nasalized l, usually made by rule torli, as in --

pUpAl~ lihanti makSikAH "flies lick cakes" ( from pUpAn )

It is called moondot or candrabindu because it looks like a half-moon with a dot on top. But as I type it here as ~, I should call it a "squiggle".

A vowel with moondot is not the same thing as a vowel with topdot.

The A with topdot, that I write AM, means an A followed by the M sound.

The A with moondot, that I write A~, means an A pronounced with some air going throught the nose.

As the moondot sign is sort of hard to find in keyboards and fonts, you will see the moondot misspelled as topdot more often than not.

573 letters. -- 37000exoticletters.bse 221 -- popularity 7

10 Parens show labels.

1258 /pums- "man"

1480 exotic symbols

1597 @Ashtadhyayidotcom /dhAtupATha.

(spellingofwordfinalsin) (spellinb)

Spelling of wordfinal s in this website.mmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ M- C- 1483

In this website, sometimes I type things like --

' When we add the s of su after azva- we get the word azvas, which means horse. '

By typing the word this way I'm going against a long tradition of grammar teachers, as they always write the words that are alone, and have s or r at the end, with an H instead --

' When we add the s of su after azva- we get the word azvaH, which means horse. '

It is because of this tradition that when you type kapiraplavatapunareva into inria reader, it tells you that the sentence is made by adding together kapiH + aplavata + punaH + eva. inria writes the final s and the final r of words as H in order to show respect to tradition.

I have a great respect for tradition. However, I have a greater respect for my students, so I don't do that replacing when I think that beginners might find it confusing. That's why I spell sometimes --

kapis + aplavata + punar + eva

My students already know that if they read aloud the word kapis followed by a pause, they must apply sasaju and kharava, no matter if I spell it as kapis or kapir or kapiH or kapiz. I do not need to spell the word always as kapiH to remind them of that every single time.

907 letters. -- 37000exoticletters.bse 427 -- popularity 1

1480 exotic symbols

manuscript spelling ←

chunk 78: Exotic letters found only in this website

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