59. Spirants

Spirants. Under the name ūṣman (literally head, steam, flatus), which is usually and well represented by spirant, some of the Hindu authorities include all remaining sounds of the alphabet; others apply the term only to the three sibilants and the aspiration — to which it will here also be restricted.

a. The term is not found in the Paninean scheme; by different treatises the guttural and labial breathings, these and the visarga, or all these and anusvāra, are also (in addition to the sibilants and h) called ūṣman (see APr. i., 31 note). The organs of utterance are described as being in the position of the mute-series to which each spirant belongs respectively, but unclosed, or unclosed in the middle.