Wiktionary:About Bengali

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Bengali is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is the sole official language of Bangladesh and one of the 22 scheduled languages of India. Bengali is represented on Wiktionary by the code bn.

Format Edit

The basic format for entries is:


===Part of speech===
{{head|bn|part of speech}}

# [[definition]]

See টমটম for a well-formatted entry.

Scope Edit

There is no single widely accepted definition of the exact linguistic extent of ‘Bengali’, as there are various definitions subject to socio-cultural interpretations. On Wiktionary, the Modern Bengali language comprises the Western, the Eastern, and the North Central Bengali dialects. However, the following extreme Eastern dialects— Sylheti, Chittagonian, Rohingya, Bishnupriya Manipuri, and Chakma— are treated as full-fledged languages on Wiktionary, and thus not treated under the Bengali heading. North Bengali dialects are treated as a separate language, Kamta.

Diachronically, Modern Bengali is defined as being from 19th century until present. The earlier forms of the language are treated as separate languages, viz. Middle and Old Bengali. Classical Bengali, the literary, archaising register, is treated as Modern Bengali.

Spelling Edit

Modern Bengali has experienced some spelling reforms, including the removal of archaic letters (ৠ, ঌ, ৡ, ৱ) and the addition of three new letters (ড়, ঢ়, য়). Nevertheless, there exist variable spellings for many words. Some spellings are more faithful to the original form, while others are mostly affected either by the orthography of the etymon for a word, or sometimes by pseudoetymological association with another word. The rule of thumb, in general, is to have the simpler spelling variant (as prescribed by Bangla Academy or Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi) as the main entry, while the affected spellings are to be shown as alternative spellings. For example, the words পানি (pani) and পানী (pani) are both encountered commonly; the former is natural while the latter spelling is influenced by the spelling of its Sanskrit etymon. So, পানি is our main entry. Likewise, শুমার (śumar) is our main entry and not সুমার (śumar), given that the former spelling is more natural. However, an exception to this rule occurs when the more natural form is uncommon or obsolete: in such cases, the more common spelling, irrespective of whether it is an affected spelling, would be the main entry. For example, জখন (jokhon), which is the more natural spelling, is obsolete— therefore the affected spelling, যখন (jokhon), which is the only spelling used contemporarily, is the main entry. Likewise, the affected spelling সাধ (śadh), being the current spelling, is used instead of the "correct" form শাধ (śadh)— now obsolete.

Anusvara Edit

For words directly borrowed from Sanskrit (i.e. tatsama words), (ṅo) is preferred over () (anusvara) in the main entry. For example, সঙ্গীত (śoṅgit) is the main entry and সংগীত (śoṅgit) is an alternative spelling.

For words inhereted from Sanskrit (i.e. tadbhava words), () is preferred over (ṅo) when there's no vowel after /ŋ/. For example, রং (roṅ) is the main entry and রঙ (roṅ) is an alternative spelling. However, (ṅo) should always be used when there's a vowel after /ŋ/. Thus, রঙের (roṅer) exists and not রংএর (roṅer).

Dialectal variation Edit

Dialectal variants are treated as fullfledged entries, and thus, any dialectal form is not treated as an alternative form of another dialectal form. For instance, সমকে (śomke) and হমকে (homke) are both independent entries.

Many Standard Bengali forms are being written using pronunciation spellings, chiefly in India, to reflect the umlaut these words have undergone in the Rarhi dialect. However, such spellings are not universal: in Bangladesh, the original spelling is still commonly employed. Therefore, these pronunciation spellings are shown as alternative spellings, with the conservative spellings being reserved for the main entry. For example, মতো (motō) and ল্যাজ (lêj /⁠læj⁠/)— being respectively pronunciation spellings of মত (moto) and লেজ (lej)— are treated as alternative spellings.

Transliteration Edit

An overview of Bengali transliteration has been shown at Wiktionary:Bengali transliteration. Although the transliterations are automatically generated, some terms still need a manual transliteration since there are some exceptions to realize the inherent vowel in Bengali.

Pronunciation Edit

An overview of Bengali pronunciation has been shown at Appendix:Bengali pronunciation.

There is now Template:bn-IPA, which automatically generates IPA for Standard Western Bengali centered on Kolkata, from the রাঢ় (raṛh); and Standard Eastern Bengali centered on Dhaka, বঙ্গ (boṅgo). Other dialectal pronunciations are possible.

Note that one can force a corrected IPA using WT:BN TR, but this is to be used sparingly.

There are also audio recordings on Wikimedia, which are automatically captured by Template:bn-IPA for the two main pronunciations.

Resources Edit