Accents

This document was written with the PWG accents. Parts of it may not apply to Monier-Williams Dictionary.

Sanskrit accents occur throughout the text, and are coded in the digitization. The display of accents takes the form of various decorations of the text. The visual form of these decorations depends on the choice of server display in the Preferences.

The interested reader may find extensive discussion of various representations of Sanskrit accents in the book Linguistic Issues in Encoding Sanskrit by Peter M. Scharf and Malcolm D. Hyman, published in 2011. A pdf version of the book may be found at sanskritlibrary.org, in the Publications section. Our display of accents aims to be consistent with those shown on page 162ff.

There are three types of accents:

The current display of accents is a compromise while the site is under development. Bohtlingk and Roth use the common system of marking accents with the vertical bar above a svarita vowel and a horizontal bar beneath an anudAtta vowel when they display continuous texts. On individual words such as headwords, however, they place a Devanagari 'u' above the udAtta vowel and vertical bar above an independent svarita vowel. The digital encoding of Bohtlingk and Roth's work marked udAttas, anudAttas, and svaritas, but did not distinguish independent from dependent svaritas. The current display, in both Devanagari and Roman, simply translates the encoding marks into available characters; it does no accent sandhi or interpretation. The characters selected are appropriate for isolated words, i.e. headwords in particular but use the uncommon Kashmiri marks: vertical bar above an udAtta vowel, hook above an independent svarita vowel. However, the same marks have been used admittedly inappropriately for the continuous Vedic texts. Please bear with us while we improve the display of the continuous Vedic passages.

The following table shows screen shots (made with Windows OS, using praja font, with Firefox browser); also shown are corresponding extracts of the scanned images.

accentslp1 roman deva scan
udātta aha/m
anudātta a\kzA
svarita anu^

With Devanagari display of Sanskrit, the accents are represented by the following unicode points:


Warning: The Devanagari display of the svarita generally requires the installation of the praja_Vedic font designed by Peter Freund; this is a non-free font which may be purchased at the Praja font order page If you obtain this font, you will need to install it according to the (easy) steps appropriate for your operating system. On Windows computers, you will also need to select the praja font as the default font for your browser. This browser installation is not required for Macintosh OSX.
On Windows PC (Vista), with praja font installed and active, IE9 and Firefox browsers present a more pleasing rendering of Devanagari than Chrome browser.
On Windows PC (Vista), the rendering of accents is better when the Times New Roman font is chosen for the browser display font.
On Macintosh PC, both Devanagari and Roman accents are well displayed with the praja font.