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10. Under A

Under A, it is to be noticed that the modes of indicating a vowel combined with a preceding consonant are as follows:

a. The short अ a has no written sign at all; the consonant-sign itself implies a following अ a, unless some other vowel-sign is attached to it (or else the virāma: 11). Thus, the consonant-signs as given above in the alphabetic scheme are really the signs of the syllables ka, kha, etc. etc. (to ha).

b. The long आ ā is written by a perpendicular stroke after the consonant: thus, का , दा , हा .

c. Short इ i and long ई ī are written by a similar stroke, which for short i is placed before the consonant and for long ī is placed after it, and in either case is connected with the consonant by a hook above the upper line: thus, कि ki, की ; भि bhi, भी bhī; नि ni, नी .

The hook above, turning to the left or to the right, is historically the essential part of the character, having been originally the whole of it; the hooks were only later prolonged, so as to reach all the way down beside the consonant. In the MSS., they almost never have the horizontal stroke drawn across them above, though this is added in the printed characters: thus, originally Kioriginal.png ki, Kīoriginal.png ; in the MSS. Kimss.png, Kīmss.png; in print कि, की.

d. The u-sounds, short and long, are written by hooks attached to the lower end of the consonant-sign: thus कु ku, कू ; डु du, डू . On account of the necessities of combination, du and  are somewhat disguised: thus, Du sanskrit.png, Duu sanskrit.png; and the forms with र r and ह h are still more irregular: thus, रु ru, रू ; हु hu, हू . e. The -vowels, short and long, are written by a subjoined hook, single or double, opening toward the right: thus, कृ kṛ, कॄ kṝ; दृ dṛ, दॄ dṝ. In the h-sign, the hooks are usually attached to the middle, thus: हृ hṛ, हॄ hṝ.

As to the combination of  with preceding r, see below, 14 d.

f. The -vowel is written with a reduced form of its full initial character: thus, कॢ kḷ; the corresponding long has no real occurrence (23 a), but would be written with a similar reduced sign.

g. The diphthongs are written by strokes, single or double, above the upper line, combined, for ओ o and औ āu, with the ā-sign after the consonant: thus, के ke, कै kāi; कोko, कौ kāu.

h. In some devanāgarī manuscripts (as the Bengālī alphabet), the single stroke above, or one of the double ones, is replaced by a sign like the ā-sign before the consonant, thus: Sanskrit-grammar-alt-ke.png ke, Sanskrit-grammar-alt-kāi.png kāi; Sanskrit-grammar-alt-ko.png ko, Sanskrit-grammar-alt-kāu.png kāu.