This page covers the rest of the Bengali alphabet not discussed in Bengali Consonants, Part One. These consonants are more complex in the sense that these consonants have other forms in addition to the usual forms as described in Part One. In addition, some of these consonants appear only in special positions in a word. Here are classes as well. The following table gives an overview of these consonants.
|অন্তঃস্থ বর্ণ (ontostho borṇo, /ɔntɔstʰo bɔɾno/), Approximants||য, র, ল|
|উষ্ম বর্ণ (uṣmo borṇo, /uʃmo bɔɾno/), Fricatives||শ, ষ, স, হ|
|তাড়িত বর্ণ (taṛito borṇo, /t̪aɽito bɔɾno/), Flapped letters||ড়, ঢ়|
|অন্যান্য বর্ণ (onynanyo borṇo, /onnanno bɔɾno/), Others||য়, ৎ, ঃ|
অন্তঃস্থ বর্ণ (Approximants)[edit | edit source]
|Consonants||য (z/y)||র (r)||ল (l)|
য[edit | edit source]
য is the first consonant in the approximant class. It used to be the palatal approximant /j/, but in present-day Bengali, it is generally pronounced /d͡ʒ/, an affricate. When it comes after a consonant in a conjunct, it is changed to the য-ফলা (zo-phola, /d͡ʒɔ pʰɔla/), ্য, as in বাক্য (bakyo, /bakko/, "sentence"). As য, it is pronounced /d͡ʒ/, while as ্য, its effect is only to double the previous consonant sound.
(A) য : যান, (zan, /d͡ʒan/, "vehicle"), যত্ন (zot̪no, /d͡ʒɔt̪nɔ/, "care"), যজ্ঞ (zojño, /d͡ʒoggo/, "a Vedic religious ceremony") etc.
(B) য-ফলা : সত্য (sotyo, /ʃot̪t̪o/, "truth"), মাণিক্য (maṇikyo, /manikko/, "jewel") etc.
(By the way, ত্ন and জ্ঞ are examples of conjuncts. ত্ন is ত্ + ন্ + অ (/t̪nɔ/), while জ্ঞ is জ্ + ঞ্ + অ (/ggɔ/).)
র[edit | edit source]
র (ro /ɾ/) is the second approximant. It is generally pronounced like American butter. Like য, it has other forms as well, the "রেফ" (reph, /repʰ/), an upper diagonal line running above a word, as in বর্ণ. When র is the first consonant of a conjunct, it changes to a reph. So বর্ণ is just ব্ + অ + র্ + ণ্ + অ, where র্ is the reph. When it is the last consonant in a conjunct, it becomes the র-ফলা (ro-phola, /rɔ pʰɔla/), ্র, as in শত্রু ('śotru, /ʃot̪ru/, "enemy").
(A) র : রঙ, (rông, /rɔŋ/, "color"), রান্না, (ranna, /ran̪n̪a/, "cooking"), রানি, (rani, /ran̪i/, "queen"), রাজা, (raja, /raɟa/, "king") etc.
(B) রেফ : কর্তব্য, (kôrtobbo, /kɔrt̪obbo/, "duty"), শর্ত, (shôrto, /ɕɔrt̪o/, "conditions (as in terms and conditions)") etc.
(C) র-ফলা : প্রদীপ, (prodip, /prod̪ip/, "lamp"), প্রতীক, (protik, /prot̪ik/, "symbol or sign (that refers to something else)"), স্রোত, (shrot, /ɕrot̪/, "current (of water)") etc.
ন্ন is another conjunct. It is a conjunct of two ন-s, ন্+ন্+অ. Also notice স্র. It is actually স with a র-ফলা, স্ + র্ + অ.
ল[edit | edit source]
ল is the third approximant, which is pronounced like English L /l/. It doesn't have any other forms. When it becomes a part of a conjunct, it actually retains its form other than becoming shortened, as in বল্কল, (bolkol. /bɔlkɔl/, "bark of tree") and কল্লোল, (kôllôl, /kɔllol/, "roaring wave" or "loud and confused noise" or "great joy"). Here are two more conjuncts, ল্ক, which is ল্ + ক্ + অ, and ল্ল which is ল্+ল্+অ. These conjuncts are easier to remember because ল্ক looks just like a small ল sitting on top of a ক. Similarly ল্ল looks like a ল on top of another ল. There are many other simple conjuncts like this in Bengali which offer a visual aid to the reader about their composition.
ল : লবণ, (loboṇ, /lɔbɔon/, "salt"), জল, (jol, /dʒɔl/, "water"), ফল, (phol, /pʰɔl/, "fruit"), তরল, (torol, /t̪ɔɾol/, "liquid"), প্রবাল, (probal, /pɾobal/, "coral"), প্রবল, (probol, /pɾobol/, "foreceful, intense") etc.
উষ্ম বর্ণ (Fricatives)[edit | edit source]
|Consonants||শ (sh)||ষ (ṣ)||স (s)||হ (h)|
|Pronunciation||/ʃ/ or /s/||/ʃ/ or /s/||/ʃ/ or /s/||/h/ (unvoiced) at the beginning or end of a word.
/ɦ/ (voiced) in the middle of a word.
Bengali has four উষ্ম বর্ণ-s, i.e., fricativs. These are summarised in the table above. When a fricative consonant is pronounced, the airflow from the lungs is impeded by the tongue to produce the sound, but only partially, so that a somewhat 'hissing' sound is formed. Now, some of these fricatives are sibilants, which means they have an intense, high-frequency sound (like whistling), (e.g. English sip, zip, ship etc), while the non-Sibilants lack this characteristic. In Bengali, শ, ষ and স are sibilants, while হ is not. Also, শ, ষ and স are usually pronounced as /ʃ/. They are pronounced as /s/ before dental consonants. In most loanwords from languages other than Sanskrit, স is generally pronounced as /s/ in educated speech.
Examples[edit | edit source]
শহর (śohor, /ʃɔɦor/, "city"), শক্ত (śokto, /ʃɔkt̪o/, "hard"), শতাব্দী (śotabdi, /ʃɔt̪abd̪i/, "century"), শোয়া (śōẏa, /ʃo̯a/, "to lie down"), শব্দ (śobdo, /ʃɔbd̪o/, "sound"), শব (śob, /ʃɔb/, "dead body"), শান্তি (śanti, /ʃant̪i/, "peace, tranquillity")
(conjuncts: ক্ত = ক্ + ত, ব্দ = ব্ + দ, ন্ত = ন্ + ত, (kto = k + to, bdo = b + do, ntô = n + to) )
সত্য (sotyo, /ʃot̪t̪o/, "truth"), সাত (sat, /ʃat̪/, "seven"), সোনা (sōna, /ʃona/, "gold"), সুখ (sukh, /ʃukʰ/, "happiness"), সাদা (/sada, ʃad̪a/, "white"), সহজ (sohoj, /ʃɔɦodʒ/, "easy"), সূর্য (sūrzo, /ʃurdʒo/, "sun"), স্বপ্ন (swopno, /ʃɔpnno/, "dream"), সাহায্য (sahazyo, /ʃaɦadʒːo/, "help")
(conjuncts: স্ব = স্ + ব, প্ন = প্ + ন, (swo = s + bo, pno = p + no))
কষ্ট (kôsṭo, /kɔsʈo/, "sorrow, trouble, pain"), ষষ্ঠ (shôsṭo, usually /ɕɔsʈʰo/, sometimes /ɕɔʂʈʰo/, "sixth")
হাসি (hasi, /haʃi/, "smile; laugh"), হাঁস (hãs, /hãʃ/, "duck"), হাসপাতাল (haspatal, /haʃpat̪al/, "hospital"), হাত (hat, /hat̪/, "hand")
তাড়িত বর্ণ (Flapped letters)[edit | edit source]
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
Bengali alphabet — English Wikipedia