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Subject: Re: Rani?
Author: তন্ময় ভট   (guest, 68.165.192.55)
Date: October 8, 2008 at 7:48:00 PM
Reply to: Rani? by Mel
Do you mean the Indian name Rani meaning queen (ultimately from Sanskrit rAj to rule, cognate with Latin rex. It may be through rAjnI -> raNNI -> rANI; or through rANA from the same root + feminine suffix I)? In that case, it would depend on the Indian language concerned: many Indian languages use it as a name, but pronounce it differently. Most of these languages are unstressed (i.e. stress is not a feature of a lexeme), so the difference between RAH-nee and rah-NEE would be nonexistent in the Indian context. What would be important in some languages is the nature of the n and the length of the ee. In Hindi, rANI would have an r like in English, an A like in English car, an N which is hard (retroflex), a sound nonexistent in English, and the I is long as in knee.

In another langauge, say Bengali, the vowels are all short, and the n becomes more like the English n. Other languages will have yet other pronounciations.

It is, indeed, sometimes spelt Ranee. Indian names are transcribed into Latin script in a variety of ways: their spelling in most Brahmi derived scripts is more constant, and except for Tamil, can most often be transliterated from one to the other.

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