42. Palatal series

Palatal series: च् c, छ् ch, ज् j, झ् jh, ञ् ñ.

The whole palatal series is derivative, being generated by the corruption of original gutturals. The c comes from an original k — as does also, by another degree of alteration, the palatal sibilant ç (see below, 64). The j, in like manner, comes from a g; but the Sanskrit j includes in itself two degrees of alteration, one corresponding to the alteration of k to c, the other to that of k to ç (see below, 219). The c is somewhat more common than the j (almost as four to three). The aspirate ch is very much less frequent (a tenth of c), and comes from the original group sk. The sonant aspirate jh is excessively rare (occurring but once in RV., not once in AV., and hardly half-a-dozen times in the whole other language); where found, it is either onomatopoetic or of anomalous or not Indo-European origin. The nasal, ñ, never occurs except immediately before — or, in a small number of words, also after (201) — one of the others of the same series.