Halant - can it be called a "Linguistic Zero" (Panini)?

From: N. Ganesan (naa.ganesan@gmail.com)
Date: Wed Apr 28 2010 - 12:20:47 CDT

  • Next message: JAGANADH G: "Re: [indic] Halant - can it be called a "Linguistic Zero" (Panini)?"

    A question for linguists. In Indian scripts,
    there is a sign called halanta
    which is used to delete an
    inherent vowel /a/ in an Indic syllable.

    For example, in any Indic script,

    A syllable with /a/ + Halant = A "pure" consonant (with /a/ "killed")
    [ka] + Halant = [k]

    Usually, in early Brahmi, the halant "vowel-killer" sign is like a macron
    above any consonant syllable. In Tamil, halant is a dot (bindu) above
    of on the side a syllable, which is same as bindu for zero
    in Khmer inscriptions.

    My question: Can we call Indic Halanta (the "killer" of vowel,/a/)
    a form/kind of "Linguistic Zero" of PaaNini?

    N. Ganesan

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