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Subject: Re: Mirabai?
Author: তন্ময় ভট   (guest, 68.165.192.162)
Date: March 1, 2006 at 5:09:07 AM
Reply to: Re: Mirabai? by Kay
Actually, it is probably not the same term: can't be more specific without knowing which Indian language you are talking about (With more than 14 languages and over a couple of hundred mutually unintelligible dialects, it is a bit difficult: thus in some languages bAi means elder sister, not mother).

The problem is that many of these languages have two phonemes a b- and a bh- which differ in aspiration (i.e. not b- followed by -h- but b- with breathing out). Voiced aspirated consonants are missing in most Latin and Germanic languages I know, so they both become b- in English.

With that intro, the Sanskrit bhrAtR (cognate with brother, of course) gave rise to bhAi in many modern languages. I think this is the word you are talking about.

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