38. The sonant aspirates

The sonant aspirates are (in the opinion of most), or at least represent, original Indo-European sounds, while the surd aspirates are a special Indian development. The former are more than twice as common as the latter. The unaspirated (non-nasal) mutes are very much more frequent (5 times) than the aspirates (for the special frequency of bh and the original gh, see 50 and 66); and among them the surds are more numerous (2½ times) than the sonants. The nasals (chiefly n and m) are nearly as frequent as the surd non-aspirates.

We take up now the several mute series.