Hindi nasalisation ___
Bindi and Tippi ___
In Hindi, nasalisation of vowels is represented by candrabindu,
but where a vowel matra has a portion above the line, only the dot
(anusvâra) is written. This is for reasons of space. Hence there is a question as to the appropriate transliteration of Devanagari
candrabindu and anusvâra.
In Hindi a nasalised vowel is indicated by candrabindu unless the vowel extends above the top line, when a dot alone is used. In this situation the two signs are allographs.
In Gurmukhi there are two signs for nasalisation, Bindi and Tippi ( bindii, .tippii). The rules for their use are [cf. Newton, 1898]:
The initial forms of u, uu take Bindi; u, uu after a consonant take Tippi; all other short vowels take Tippi; all other long vowels take Bindi.
Therefore Bindi and Tippi are allographs and should have the same transliteration.
The anusvaara which nasalises vowels in Sanskrit is shown either by a
dot or, before certain semivowels, candrabindu. This is not rigidly
enforced, but these two are allographs in this case.
The following table shows nasalisation in DEV (the dot is a scripteme and each column of examples shows allographs):
It may look as if the (full) nasalisation of vowels and semivowels is a single element of Indic scripts, having two allographs (dot and candrabindu). However, they do contrast in the Vedic language. If 'M' stands for whatever transliteration is chosen for candrabindu, and 'N' that chosen for the dot, we have triiMrapi < triin api, where triiNrapi would be ambiguous.
When the dot is an allograph of a class nasal, that nasal would be the appropriate transliteration (as in the LC Tables).
One use of the SIN scripteme Saññaka is to form ligatures of
half-nasal consonant + voiced class consonant. Transliteration is
often m_breve + ba, and n_breve + others. This seems to approximate to the pronunciation.
Gunasekhara calls the half-nasals the 'faint sounds' of the five class nasals. One would therefore expect these to be transliterated as modifications of the full nasals. However, this is pedantic and it is simpler to transliterate Saññaka as n_breve in all conjuncts where it means a half nasal.
TEL has an old half-nasal Arasunna [or other names]. This is an independent character, which also may be transliterated n_breve. It appears in the LC Tables as n_candrabindu or m_candrabindu, according to context. The connection with candrabindu is mysterious.