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Where are the halants?

As I practice Hindi I'm learning words such as "kitaab" (book) but the last consonant doesn't have the halant, or the "hush stroke", making the word seem to read "kitaaba". Maybe I missed something, but I think it might be some sort of graphic mistake because the halant is suppose to be put under the consonant.

November 15, 2018

1 Comment


Good question. It is not a mistake, किताब is correct.

Halant in the last consonant are actually implicit in Hindi.

This can also apply inside of words like आदमी ādmī, where the अ after the द is not pronounced as आद and मी are two separate morphemes of the word.

Another example is that the Indian city of कानपुर (Kanpur) is pronounced as Kānpur, not Kānapura. So, writing it as कान्पुर् would be very wrong as कान and पुर are two distinct units.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwa_deletion_in_Indo-Aryan_languages for more info.

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