Marathi Phonology
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Marathi Phonology

The phoneme inventory of the Marathi language is similar to that of many other Indo-Aryan languages. An IPA chart of all contrastive sounds in Marathi is provided below.

Vowels

Vowels in native words are:

Vowels
Front Central Back
High i i: u u:
Mid e ? o
Low a

There are no nasal vowels.

Like other alphasyllabaries, Devanagari writes out syllables by adding vowel diacritics to consonant bases. The table below includes all the vowel symbols used in Marathi, along with a transliteration of each sound into Latin script and IPA.

Devanagari ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Transliterated a ? i ? u ? ? e ai o au a? a?
IPA /?/ /a/ /i/ /i:/ /u/ /u:/ /ru/ /e/ /?i/ /o/ /?u/ /?m/ //
Pronunciation

Marathi furthermore contrasts /?i, ?u/ with /ai, au/.

There are two more vowels in Marathi to denote the pronunciations of English words such as of /æ/ in act and /?/ in all. These are written as ⟨⟩ and ⟨?⟩.

Marathi retains several features of Sanskrit that have been lost in north-Indian Sanskrit-based languages such as Hindi and Bengali, especially in terms of pronunciation of vowels and consonants. For instance, Marathi retains the original Sanskrit pronunciation of ⟨⟩ [], ⟨?⟩ [?i], and ⟨?⟩ [?u]. However, as was done in Gujarati, Marathi speakers tend to pronounce ? ? somewhat similar to [ru], unlike most other Indic languages which changed it to [ri] (e.g. the original Sanskrit pronunciation of the language's name was sa?sk?tam, while in day-to-day Marathi and Gujarati it is sa?skrut. In other Indic languages, it is closer to sanskrit). Spoken Marathi allows for conservative stress patterns in words like (rama) with an emphasis on the ending vowel sound, a feature that has been lost in Hindi.

Consonants

Consonants[1]
Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal plain m n ? (?) (?)
murmured m? n?
Stop voiceless p t t?s ? t k
aspirated p? t? t k?
voiced b d d?z~z ? d ?
murmured b? d? d?z?~z? d
Fricative s ? ? ?
Approximant plain ? l ? j
murmured l? (j?)[2]
Flap/Trill plain ? [3]
murmured

The table below includes all the consonant bases onto which vowel diacritics are placed. The lack of a vowel diacritic can either indicate the lack of a vowel, or the existence of the default, or "inherent", vowel, which in the case of Marathi is the schwa.

Unlike most Indian languages, the Marathi language has multiple pronunciations for certain consonants (?, ?, ? and ?). This generally applies to pronunciations that were imported from Persian or English, but were tied to the existing Devanagari alphabet. The letter ⟨?⟩ may represent /d/ (, jag 'world'), as well as /dz?/ (?, z?g? 'place'). It is not possible to determine which pronunciation is to be used without knowing the word or the context, unlike Hindi, where ⟨⟩ was added to represent /z?/. This pronunciation inconsistency is one of the most prominent difficulties for Marathi learners.

? ? ? ? ?
ka
/k?/
kha
/k/
ga
//
gha
//
?a
(//)
? ? ? ? ?
ca
/t/ or /ts?/
cha
/t/
ja
/d/ or /dz?/
jha
/d/ or /dz/
ña
/j/
? ? ? ? ?
?a
//
?ha
//
?a
//
?ha
//
?a
//
? ? ? ? ?
ta
/t?/
tha
/t/
da
/d?/
dha
/d/
na
/n?/
? ? ? ? ?
pa
/p?/
pha
/p/ or /f?/
ba
/b?/
bha
/b/
ma
/m?/
? ? ? ? ?
ya
/j?/
ra
/r?/
la
/l?/
va
//
?a
//
? ? ? ?
?a
//
sa
/s?/
ha
//
?a
//
k?a
/k/
jña
//

A defining feature of the Marathi language is the frequent substitution of the consonant ? (la) in Sanskrit words with the retroflex lateral flap ? (?a). For instance, (ku?a) for the Sanskrit (kulam 'clan') and (kama?) for Sanskrit (kamalam 'lotus'). ? is possibly an import in Marathi from Dravidian languages, although it may also have originated from Vedic Sanskrit.

Example of consonant-vowel combination

The combination of the vowels with the d-series

Script Pronunciation (IPA)
? /k?/
/ka/
/ki/
/ki:/
/ku/
/ku:/
/kru/
/ke/
/k?i?/
/ko/
/k?u?/
/k?m/
/k(?)/

Consonant clusters

In Marathi, the consonants by default come with a schwa. Therefore, will be 't?y?ce', not 'ty?ce'. To form 'ty?ce', one should add to ?, which would yield .

References

  1. ^ Colin Masica, 1993, The Indo-Aryan Languages
  2. ^ In Kudali dialect
  3. ^ Masica (1991:97)

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Marathi_phonology
 



 

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