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H

letter, alphabet and aspirate

H. This letter in the English language, as an aspirate, shows that the vowel following it must be pronounced with a strong guttural emission of Voice, as in hammer, house, humidity, helm, his tory, hyson ; hut in a few English words. it is quiescent, as in hour, honour. There is no letter h in the Tamil alphabet, and in foreign words introduced into it, the h is changed to g, q, or r; but this English letter is represented in the Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Sanskrit, Hindi, Mahrati, Bengali, Uriya, Telugu, Karnatica, and Malealam, though the sounds are mere modifications of the simple breathing. Two of the sounds derived from the Arabic are not very nicely distinguished in Indian pronunciation. One may be something harsher than the other, and so far it agrees with the strong Sanskrit aspirate, whilst the softer breathing of the Nagari alphabet, the' Visarga, or sign of the nominative case, may be regarded as peculiar. Sir William Jones distinguishes the harsher forms by an accent, as Ahmed. Gilchrist and Shakespear distinguish it by a dot underneath it ; Professor Wilson places the dot beneath the softer Arabic aspirate. In a suggested missionary alphabet, it

has been proposed to indicate the unmodified flatus by an apostrophe, as ve'ement for vehement. With the people on the line of the Indus river, the letters s, h, and z are permutable. Hind becomes Sind ; Zalim Sing becomes Halim Hing. The difficulties, however, as to -the letter h are not greater than in the Italian, where the initial li is quiescent before a vowel, and modifies the sounds of consonants. Colonel Tod says and h are permutable letters in the Bhakka ; and he supposes that Sam or Sham, the god of the Yamuna, may be the Ham or Hammon of Egypt. Ho also thinks it not unlikely that the Chaora, the tribe of the first dynasty of Anhalwara, is a mere corruption of Sawn, as the eh and s are perpetually interchanging. The Mahrattas cannot pronounce the eh ; with them Cheeto is Seeto.