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Schwa Deletion in Hindustani

In Hindustani, and many other Indo-Aryan languages, oftentimes the words may not be pronounced as they are written. For example, the word एक is pronounced ēk even though it is written ēka. The a sound is often called Schwa. In Hindustani word-final schwas get deleted. In addition to that, schwas between two syllables also get deleted. For example, the word for 'piece of news' is xabar ख़बर. In the plural, it is xabrēñ ख़बरें. This also occurs at the end of morphemes in a word; for example, फिसलना is pronounced phisalnā and not phislanā because, phisal is one morpheme and -nā is another.

July 23, 2018



When the final schwa (short vowel) is dropped the explicit virāma / "halant" should be used, like this एक् , right? However is it is often absent as dropping the schwa is a standard practice in Hindi. But that is not the case with Sanskrit

  • 1387

Correct. What the poster is talking about is implicit schwa deletion in Hindi (a practice that is absent in Sanskrit). You use the halant when you want to delete the vowel where it would not otherwise be deleted (or to make conjuncts).

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