Page:A Grammar of the Urdū Or Hindūstānī Language in Its Romanized Character.djvu/29

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11. Thus we see that the Urdū native Alphabet (the Persian) contains three semi-vowel letters that may be either consonants, vowels, or diphthongs; and that there are three vowel-signs to mark either a short or a long vowel or a diphthong, as (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (ra), (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (), (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (rai); (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (ri), (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (), '(Symbol missingUrdu characters) (re)[1]; (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (ru), (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (), (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (rau). The literæ tenues (soft letters) Alif ((Symbol missingUrdu characters)), Wāw ((Symbol missingUrdu characters)), and Ye are consonants if initial, as (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (at), (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (it), (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (ut); (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (wat), (Symbol missingUrdu characters) ('wut); (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (yat) (Symbol missingUrdu characters), (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (yit), (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (yut).

12. Besides these expedients for distinguishing the vowels, diphthongs and semi-vowels, the Arabs invented certain diacritical signs for notifying the proper pronunciation of letters, viz. three applicable to consonants and three to vowels. The consonantal are (1) the Tashdīd ((Symbol missingUrdu characters)) to show that the letter is to be doubled; (2) the Jazm or Sukūn ((Symbol missingUrdu characters)) to show that the letter ends a syllable without a vowel after it, (as (Symbol missingUrdu characters) karm—not karam); and (3) the Waṣl ((Symbol missingUrdu characters)) placed over the initial (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (al) to show that the (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (l) is to be joined (in sound) to the previous word, e.g. (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (fi-l-ḥāl) 'instantly.' The vowel signs are Hamza ((Symbol missingUrdu characters)) to show the vowel is initial in a syllable, as (Symbol missingUrdu characters)(jur(Symbol missingsymbol characters)at) 'valour'; Maddha ((Symbol missingUrdu characters)) that it is long, as (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (qur(Symbol missingsymbol characters)ān); and Tanwīn ((Symbol missingUrdu characters) , or (Symbol missingUrdu characters)) that to a final vowel should be added in pronunciation, e.g. (Symbol missingUrdu characters)=itttfāqaṉ by chance,' (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (fauraṉ) 'at once.'


  1. (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (ya), medial or final, if not preceded by its homogeneous vowel (Symbol missingUrdu characters) (i), is regarded as a diphthong, and = ai as in French, e.g. 'les' =' lait.'