50. The numerical relation

The numerical relation of the labials are a little peculiar. Owing to the absence (or almost entire absence) of b in Indo-European, the Sanskrit b also is greatly exceeded in frequency by bh, which is the most common of all the sonant aspirates, as ph is the least common of the surd. The nasal m (notwithstanding its frequent euphonic mutations when final: 212 ff.) occurs just about as often as all the other four members of the series together.

a. From an early period in the history of the language, but increasingly later, b and v exchange with one another, or fail to be distinguished in the manuscripts. Thus, the double root-forms bṛh and vṛh, bādh and vadh, and so on. In the Bengal manuscripts, v is widely written instead of more original b.