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Sumit Tiwari
Inherent vowel in Bengali consonants

Hey everyone,

So I know that in Bengali, the inherent vowel "অ" is a part of each consonant, and when the consonant is pronounced, it's a bit like "awe" (written as "ô") rather than "o" (except in certain conditions, when it is pronounced as "o").

An example would be the word "কলকাতা", which is pronounced as "kôlkata".

Now my question is: why is the consonant ক pronounced as "kô", but the consonant ল not pronounced as "lô"? Why is "kôlkata" and not "kôlôkata"? Is there a reason why only the first consonant is pronounced with the inherent vowel, or am I being dumb?



May 6, 2019 10:40 PM
Comments · 5
Just  I saw your website sites .

I don't know how long time you are studying this language . I don't know your level .
But your questions is good . It's higher level or those who are studying honour level or major subject they know .
Bye the way let us your point .
Kolkata .

In linguistics, prothesis, or less commonly prosthesis is the addition of a sound or syllable at the beginning of a word without changing the word's meaning or the rest of its structure. A vowel or consonant added by prothesis is called prothetic or prosthetic.

Here adding " o "" before the kolkata in Bengali .

If  any vowel adding in the middle or end their will be another name and another systems.

May 7, 2019
First things is 

উপভাষা( dialect)
2) prothesis or vowel prothesis.

Also other reason but I am not discuss it details . Because it's not possible .
You can search on the website .
May 7, 2019
According to your name and title , I think you are Indian . I don't know maybe wrong .
Bye the way .

" Kolkata " consonant ক pronounced as "kô", but the consonant ল not pronounced as "lô"? Why is "kôlkata" and not "kôlôkata
It's pronounce like kôlikata ( depend on the places) kôlkata, it has means but 
kôlôkata" it has no meaning .
How become the name kolkata""কাল কাটা""

Then it's" কলকাতা"
That's mean 
কাল( yesterday )  কাটা( cutting) 
Also there is a story .
One reason that is 
""ভাষা মাধুয্য""
It's depend on place , person , pronunciation .
It's not only first letters may be in middle letters like 

We pronounced 

এখন.                        কখন( kakhôn)

May 7, 2019
Thanks again for your help Shibu.

I was able to find some information on this (source:, repeated here to make it easier to find for newcomers on iTalki. More information can also be found on the wiki page (

Another kind of inconsistency is concerned with the incomplete coverage of phonological information in the script. The inherent vowel attached to every consonant can be either [ɔ] or [o] depending on the context, but this phonological information is not captured by the script, creating ambiguity for the reader. Furthermore, the inherent vowel is often not pronounced at the end of a syllable, as in কম [kɔm] "less", but this omission is not generally reflected in the script, making it difficult for the new reader.
May 7, 2019

Thank you for the information Shibu. And yes, I am an Indian.

So based on your answer, there is no rule to determine when to pronounce the ô and when not to?

May 7, 2019
Sumit Tiwari
Language Skills
Bengali, English, German, Hindi, Marathi, Spanish, Turkish
Learning Language
Bengali, German, Spanish, Turkish