From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Tue Aug 22 2000 - 18:32:42 EDT

Chookij V. asked:

> Hi Hindi-experts again,
> Just want to know if usaully, only one nukta applied to only one consonant
> in the consonant cluster, Right ?
> and it can be one consonant of any consonants in the cluster, right ?
> Ex 1: Ka + Nukta + Virama + Ta --> 1 syllable
> Ex 2: Ka + Nukta + Virama + Ta + Nukta
> This one, the Nukta applied to "Ta" wouldn't be considered
> being applied to Ta because there is "Nukta" applied to Ka already.
> Right ?

I don't think this can be correct. The scope of a nukta ought to be
the immediate consonant it is applied to -- and not the syllable.

Consider a hypothetical syllable -qfa-. To represent that in
Devanagari you would need:

          Ka + Nukta + Virama + Pha + Nukta

    i.e. 0958 + 094D + 095E

Now, I don't know what happens during display of such a combination --
it could well be that a second nukta is suppressed during display. Someone
else is going to have to answer that. But I wouldn't consider it
valid to take the scope of the second nukta as the entire syllable.

> Ex 3: Ka + Nukta + Virama + Ta + Nukta + Virama + Sa
> This one, the Nukta applied to "Ta" with "Virama + Sa"
> wouldn't be considered as part of syllable "Ka + Nukta + Virama + Ta".
> Is this correct ?

If you don't restrict the scope of the Nukta to the immediately
preceding consonant, you have a scope ambiguity here -- which is
not the intention.

> It looks like only ONE nukta applied to ONLY one consonant in the cluster.
> Similar to Only one dependent vowel applied to the consonant cluster
> or only ONE candra or ONE bindu applied to each syllable.

The situations are different. The dependent vowel defines the phonological
peak of the syllable. And candra's or bindu's modify that syllablic peak.
That is not the same as the scope of modification of a Nukta.


> Chookij V.

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