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Q&A

What does the letter do ৡ in Bangla?

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There are 14 অ বর্গীয় (O borgiyo) letters in Bengali. But couldn't find out in book what they are. I know that there are 11 vowel letters in Bengali. But while looking for অ বর্গীয়, I just found that there are 14 vowel lettersEnglish Wikipedia Bangla Wikipedia. I suspect they are referring to অ বর্গীয়. Since their numbers are equal and every single book in Bangla says that there are 11 vowel letters.

In Wikipedia, I found a new letter ৡ. It is called দীর্ঘ ঌ according to Bangla Wikipedia (Unicode can't be detected in English Wikipedia properly). What does it mean? Even I haven't seen anyone using the letter. There was another similar letter which is ঌ. Generally, It is equivalent to "9" in English. But, the Bangla Wikipedia call it হ্রস্ব ঌ. Even I have never seen these kind of conjunctive earlier.

How do these letters work in Bangla?

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Before Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, there was 16 letters in Bengali. Latter, Iswar Chandra said there's no use of ৡ and ৠ for long time. Even, every word could be pronounced without these letters অ০, অঃ. So he removed these four letters.

Pronunciation :

ৠ it is pronounced like Rii. Same as ঋ. But that is long while ঋ is short.

ৡ it's pronounced like Lii. Nowadays we use ল্লি. And ঌ is Li. Long and short letters respectively. But ঌ is pronounced different from লি. আধুলী it was looking like আধু৯ called Adhuli. ল্লি can't be pronounced without any letter before it. পল্লী becomes পৡ called Polli.

They are changed with ল and ই-কার. Iswar Chandra didn't remove the letter ঌ (Li). But nowadays it's not used anymore also.

enter image description here

References :

  1. https://bn.wikipedia.org/wiki/ৡ
  2. https://bn.wikipedia.org/wiki/বাংলা_বর্ণমালার_ইতিহাস
  3. https://www.quora.com/Why-were-the-Bangla-letters-ঌ-and-ৡ-and-the-diacritics-ৢ-and-ৣ-made-and-how-do-I-use-them-and-why-arent-they-used-any-longer?share=1

For reading :

  1. বর্ণপরিচয় (Barna Poricoy) a book by Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar where he described all the phenomenon of Bangla letters.
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