Comparative Phonology; Or The Phonetic System Of The Indo-European Languages -- By: Benjamin W. Dwight

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 017:66 (Apr 1860)
Article: Comparative Phonology; Or The Phonetic System Of The Indo-European Languages
Author: Benjamin W. Dwight


Comparative Phonology; Or The Phonetic System Of The
Indo-European Languages

Benjamin W. Dwight

[Continued from Vol. XVI., p. 722.]

A Brief View Of The Sanskrit Consonants, In Their Relations To The
Other Classical Languages

The different classes of consonants, in the Sanskrit, are as follows:

(1) Gutturals. These are k, kb, g, gh, and n pronounced like our nasal n in ng and nk, as in sing and sink. This nasal n is found only before gutturals: as in the middle of a word, or at the end of a word in place of m, if that word is succeeded immediately by one beginning with a guttural. Κ is represented, in Greek, by κ, and in Latin by c (k) and q: as in Sansk. kapâlas, the skull; Greek, κεφαλή; and Lat. caput. Kh is represented, in Greek, by χ: as in Sansk. nak-has, a nail; Gr. ὄνυξ stem ὄνυχ (the ο being euphonic); and

so khan, to dig, Gr. χαὶνειν, pure stem χαν. G is equivalent to the same sound in Greek and Latin: as in Sansk. sthag, to cover; Gr. στέγω; Lat. tego. Gh, as in Sansk. gharma; Gr. θερμός; Lat. formus; Eng. warmth; is represented by the aspirates of different organs in other languages. In the case of laghu, light, it is represented, in Latin, by the labial v, in the word levis, light; while yet in the German leicht and English light, the original guttural form is preserved.

(2) Palatals. These are ch, chh, j, jh, and n. This class of consonants may be viewed as derivative from the preceding, and but as a mere softened form of it. They occur only before vowels and weak consonants, as semivowels and nasals; while before strong consonants they fall back at once into the class of gutturals from which they came. In the various cognate languages, we find this class of letters represented oftenest by gutturals; next, by labials, on account of the mutual etymological sympathy so apparent in various languages between gutturals and labials; next in frequency, by some t-sound, as this is the initial element of the palatal sounds generally; and, last of all, by the sibilants. Thus compare

Sanskrit

Greek

Latin

panchan, five.

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