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This article contains Indic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks or boxes, misplaced vowels or missing conjuncts instead of Indic text.

The Harvard-Kyoto Convention is a system for transliterating in ASCII the Sanskrit language and other languages that use the Devanāgarī script. It is predominantly used informally in e-mail, and for electronic texts.

Contents

History and naming of the term

The 7-bit transliteration for Sanskrit has been referred to as Harvard-Kyoto since 1990. However, the correct term should be Kyoto-Harvard Convention instead. In compounds, the shorter member precedes the longer one, following Otto Behaghel's 'law of growing members' (Gesetz der wachsenden Glieder)[1]. In this case, both Kyoto and Harvard consist of two syllables. However, Kyoto is metrically shorter (kyoo-to, 2+1) than Harvard (har-vard, 2+2) and, in addition, has less characters. Kyoto, being the shortest member, should thus precede Harvard. This would also acknowledge Kyoto as the place where the system was devised in 1990. Even more correctly though would be to call it the Leiden-Kyoto-Harvard Convention, since the Kyoto version was largely based on the system developed in 1984 by Andrea van Arkel at Leiden, the Netherlands, for digitizing the Paippalada Samhita, one of the two recensions of the Atharvaveda[2].

Vowels

a A i I u U e ai o au

Sonorants

R RR lR lRR

Anusvāra/Visarga

अं अः
M H

Consonants

Velar
k kh g gh G
Palatal
c ch j jh J
Retroflex
T Th D Dh N
Dental
t th d dh n
Labial
p ph b bh m
Semi-vowel
y r l v
Fricative
z S s h

See also

References

  1. ^ Otto Behaghel: Deutsche Syntax, 3 Volumes(1923-1928).
  2. ^ Information from Michael Witzel (Harvard University, Cambridge), provided on the indology userlist.
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