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Re: Devanagari

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Saturday, June 19, 2004, 20:16
On Saturday, June 19, 2004, at 01:49 , Emily Zilch wrote:

> { 20040618,1245 | Ray Brown } "From Nagari was derived the > proto-Bengali script and the Devanagari ("Divine Hagari") scripts, > which in turn have given rise to other scripts including Nandinagari, > Oriya, Gujurati & Maihili. The Tibetan script also can be traced back > to Nagari." > > Don't you mean NAGARI or "City" Script & Devanagari or "Divine > City/City Script of the Gods"?
"Divine Hagari" was a typo for "Divine Nagari". I hadn't anglicized Nagari in my mail; but, yes, "na:gari:" is derived from the Sanskrit "na:gar" = 'city' and thus "na:gari:" is, as you say, the 'city script' meaning, I guess, the script of urbane [sic] city-dwellers as opposed to the other 'rustic' or 'non-urbane' Indic scripts. But "divine.......of the gods" is translating "deva-", the first part of the compound, twice. My understanding is that the first part is Sanskrit "deva" = 'heavenly'. But, I guess, "heavenly city-script" or "city-script of the gods" is much the same, i.e. claiming that this version of the Indic script is not only that of civilized city-dwellers but is also that of the gods themselves.
> I always rather enjoyed thinking of Nagari as the "City Script". Sounds > futuristic-scifi to me.
Maybe - but the notion of 'city' = 'refined, civilized, urbane' ~ 'country' = 'uncouth, loutish, unrefined' is very ancient. Probably harks back to the earliest human urban settlements. And, of course, the claim that your version of whatever is sanctioned by the gods or God is not only ancient but, alas, still alive - as though human beings can, so to speak, put God into their back pockets.
> A pain in the ass to write, mind you - written > the near opposite of most scripts, that is to say making up-strokes and > right-to-left strokes of the pen, adding the topmost last.
Ach! I've never seriously tried writing it - but sounds awkward enough. Ray =============================================== (home) (work) =============================================== "A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760