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Pronunciation of consonants. 3

ends the word. In most Arabic MSS. the dot of the
final mm is placed not in the middle but at the right
hand corner of the letter. This is sometimes the case
with the dots of final .3 and a also. Hence it is clear
that even these letters have really only one form each.
The only letters which have no final flourish are I .s
.3 J j 3 3 L 15. All but the two last of these nine letters
are incapable (except in the Shikdsteh or broken hand)
of being united with the letter which may immediately
follow in the same word.

§ 3. There are several difi'erent varieties of the
Persian character. The most important of these are
the Naskh, the Nasta‘lfq, and the Shikdsteh.‘ The first
and second of these are used in lithographing books,
while the third is a running hand commonly used in
letter-writing. But they are all mere varieties of the
character given in the Table above.

Pronunciation.

Too much attention cannot be paid to the ac-
quisition of a correct pronunciation. This is perhaps
of more importance than is even grammatical accuracy.

I. Consonants.

§ 4. All the letters in the Table are considered
to be consonants, though in practice we may say that
I, 3 and 5 are often used as vowels. They are, how-
ever, never called such, but are known as the weak
o letters, because their sound so readily melts into that
,of the vowel which immediately precedes them.

§ 5. The sound of most of the letters is suffi-
ciently indicated in the Table, though some call for
further elucidation. Alif has properly the sound of the
smooth breathing in Greek, 1'. e. the sound of the hiatus

1 Specimens of all three are iven in this Grammar. The
Reading Lessons to the end of the tories are in Naekh, and the
rest in Nasta‘lz‘q. The letters are in Printing from
metal types is still rare in Persia, most books being lithographed.
Hence the student will find a knowledge of all three kinds of
script necessary.

I 1*

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