44. The palatal mutes

The palatal mutes are by European scholars, as by the modern Hindus also, pronounced with the compound sounds of English ch and j (in church and judge).

a. Their description by the old Hindu grammarians, however, gives them a not less absolutely simple character than belongs to the other mutes. They are called tālavyapalatal, and declared to be formed against the palate by the middle of the tongue. They seem to have been, then, brought forward in the mouth from the guttural point, and made against the hard palate at a point not far from the lingual one (below, 45), but with the upper flat surface of the tongue instead of its point. Such sounds, in all languages, pass easily into the (English) ch- and j- sounds. The value of the ch as making the preceding vowel “long by position” (227), and its frequent origination from t + ç (203), lead to the suspicion that it, at least, may have had this character from the beginning: compare 37 d, above.