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Sandhi | Learn Sanskrit Online

Sandhi

Introduction

The pages here contain information on all of Sanskrit's sandhi rules. Before proceeding, please review the terms below. If these terms are unfamiliar to you, please review the unit on Sanskrit sounds.

General terms

Term
Definition
point of pronunciation
The location of the tongue when we pronounce a letter.
soft palate
The soft and fleshy part at the back of the mouth
hard palate
The hard and bony part in front of the soft palate.
retroflex
a name given to sounds that require you to bend your tongue ("-flex") backward ("retro-").
teeth
I hope you know what these are!
lips
I hope you know what these are!

Terms for vowels

Term
Definition
similar
Two vowels are similar when — well, when they're similar! See the lesson on simple vowels for examples.
dissimilar
Two vowels are dissimilar when they're not similar! See the lesson on simple vowels for examples.
short vowel
A vowel that is pronounced as short as possible. No compound vowels are short vowels.
long vowel
A vowel that is produced for exactly twice the length of a short vowel.
simple vowel
A sound that is produced by a single type of vowel (like an a-vowel, i-vowel, or so on).
compound vowel
A vowel sound that is produced by two different types of vowels (like an a-sound and an u-sound).
strength
A quality that describes the presence of the a-sound that the vowel contains. Due to changes in the earliest parts of Sanskrit, e and o hide this fact.
weak
The first of the three vowel strengths.
medium
The second of the three vowel strengths.
strong
The third of the three vowel strengths.

Terms for consonants

Term
Definition
stop
A consonant that is produced by stopping and quickly releasing air in the mouth.
tongue consonant
A consonant in cavarga, ṭavarga, or tavarga.
nasal
A consonant that is produced by stopping air in the mouth and redirecting air through the nose.
semivowel
A consonant that sounds like a vowel (ya, ra, la, va)
"s"-sound
An unvoiced "hissing" sound (śa, ṣa, sa)
varga
A Sanskrit word that refers to a class or division of sounds. See below for the actual divisions.

Division into vargas

Varga
Letters
kavarga
ka kha ga gha ṅa
cavarga
ca cha ja jha ña
ṭavarga
ṭa ṭha ḍa ḍha ṇa
tavarga
ta tha da dha na
pavarga
pa pha ba bha ma
yavarga
ya ra la va
śavarga
śa ṣa sa ha