61. As to the character of this sibilant

The ष् ṣ. As to the character of this sibilant, also, there is no ground for real question: it is the one produced in the lingual position, or with the tip of the tongue reverted into the dome of the palate. It is, then, a kind of sh-sound; and by European Sanskritists it is pronounced as an ordinary sh (French ch, German sch), no attempt being made (any more than in the case of the other lingual sounds: 45) to give it its proper lingual quality.

a. Its lingual character is shown by its whole euphonic influence, and it is described and classed as lingual by all the Hindu authorities (the APr. adds, i. 23, that the tongue in its utterance is trough-shaped). In its audible quality, it is a sh-sound rather than a s-sound; and, in the considerable variety of sibilant-utterance, even in the same community, it may coincide with the sh of some among ourselves. Yet the general and normal sh is palatal (see below, 63); and therefore the sign ṣ, marked in accordance with the other lingual letters, is the only unexceptionable transliteration for the Hindu character.

b. In modern pronunciation in India, ṣ is much confounded with kh; and the manuscripts are apt to exchange the characters. Some later grammatical treatises, too, take note of the relationship.