Hindi: Labial Consonants: प, फ, ब, भ, म

The fifth consonants — प, फ, ब, भ, म — are labial consonants (Wikipedia Labial consonants). Labial consonants are articulated with the lips. Labial consonants are easy to say because they are analogous with sounds in the English language. This group of five consonants corresponds with p, b, and m in English. The trick is saying प and फ, ब and भ, with the proper aspiration. Even if it is easy for me to create the sounds, I have to concentrate on not aspirating प and ब because my innate tendency is to aspirate everything.


pa, /p/


pha, /ph/

प is said with no aspiration, फ is said with aspiration.


ba, /b/


bha, /bh/

ब is said with no aspiration, भ is said with aspiration.


ma, /m/

म is a nasal consonant that sounds like the m in milk.

  Stop Nasal Approximant Fricative
  Unvoiced Voiced Unvoiced Voiced
  Unaspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated
Guttural
ka
/k/

kha
/kh/

ga
/g/

gha
/gh/
ṅa
/ŋ/
   
ha

/h,ɦ/
Palatal
ca
/c,ʧ/

cha
/chh/

ja
/ɟ,ʤ/

jha
hh/

ña
/ɲ/

ya
/j/

śa
/ɕ,ʃ/
 
Cerebral
ṭa
/ʈ/

ṭha
h/

ḍa
/ɖ/

ḍha
h/

ṇa
/ɳ/

ra
/r/

ṣa
/ʂ/
 
Dental
ta
/t̪/

tha
/t̪h/

da
/d̪/

dha
/d̪h/

na
/n/

la
/l/

sa
/s/
 
Labial
pa
/p/

pha
/ph/

ba
/b/

bha
/bh/

ma
/m/

va
/ʋ/
   

I am archiving this information about the alphabet on the Hindi page: kirkkittell.com/language/hindi. More information from Wikipedia:

Waking Up

(Photos on Flickr: Guadalupe Mountains National Park, 28-29 January 2005)

Four years ago today, I woke up.

It happened in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, at the top of Guadalupe Peak, in the far western corner of Texas. I was passing from Illinois to California to participate in a flaky internship for the X PRIZE Foundation that turned out to be a good thing after all. I don’t remember why I chose GMNP as a place to stop. I had never heard of it before. It’s not as popular as Carlsbad Caverns National Park, which is only 30 miles north on US-180/US-62. It’s not as striking at Big Bend National Park, five hours’ drive to the south, where I stayed the previous two nights.

How is not important. The point is this: watching the sun rise from Guadalupe Peak was important.

Sunrise from Guadalupe Peak

Now, I’m not sure how to describe the experience without sounding flaky myself. And really, I don’t care.

28 January 2005 was my first day experiencing the desert. I remember this. I remember the feeling hitting me on the stretch of TX-54 north of Van Horn, Texas. I had spent the previous two nights in Big Bend National Park, which is even more dessicated and isolated, but it was different; the first night I dealt with rain, the next day was rain and hail. A desert earns its reputation from being a dry, damned place. The experience is lost when you’re soaked.

On the 28th, I drove north from Big Bend to GMNP, up TX-118 to Alpine, US-90 to Van Horn, TX-54 north to US-62/US-180, which takes you right around the base of El Capitan. I remember the feeling of finally seeing the desert. I had been surrounded by it, but didn’t see it until then.

North to the Guadalupe Mountains

How do you miss something so big, so vast? I missed it because I was someplace else. On TX-54 my thoughts snapped back into place.

When I arrived at the park, I stopped at the visitors center to pick up a GMNP patch. Here I did something I don’t normally do: I asked the guy behind the desk, an older volunteer, what he would suggest that I see in only one day. I don’t like to ask for directions or suggestions. I like to wander in slowly opening concentric rings before blasting outwards. Call it luck that I opened up to the park volunteer when I did. He told me to wake up early, around midnight, hike to the summit of Guadalupe Peak in the dark, and watch the sun rise.

Where is he now? I don’t know. Thank you, wherever you are, whoever you are.

Early the next morning, 29 January 2005, I woke up late, sometime around 3:30am. It was difficult to sleep the night before. The wind coming down from the mountain into the campsite was incredible. Never before — and never since — have I ever had to load the inside of my tent with rocks to keep it on the ground. That’s how it was. The nylon sides fwap-fwap-fwapped constantly, loudly, pushing in and down to slap my face.

I was up and out, dressed and laced, a bit after 4am. The moon was high in the sky. With eyes adjusted for the night, the moon provided enough light to walk the strange trail without a flashlight. (I still packed a flashlight, a Mini Maglite, which I used once when I lost my nerve while walking through a stand of trees.) Some of the details I remember from this hike: I had two foils of cherry Pop-Tarts, one of which I opened after signing in at the base registry; I had two granola bars, Oreos, water; I had a wool blanket; I had my Moleskine and camera.

There isn’t much to say about the trail in the dark except to acknowledge the wind; rather, THE WIND. Hiking in the dark is strange. You are aware of the rocks underfoot, the general layout of the terrain, and the looming feel of the rest of the mountains across the canyon. You can’t see any of it, though. The outline of the landscape is there, but it’s more of a presence than an image. Without a clear view of what’s ahead, the remaining distance is a mystery as well. It is an alternate universe in which you can feel yourself straining but you can’t know where the effort is taking you.

At some point the world starts to change — so slowly that at first you don’t notice it, and then when you do notice it you’re not sure if it’s an effect of the exertion or if it’s real. In order to beat the sun to the top, I had to finish a 4.2 mile long, 3000-foot-plus elevation gain in about two hours. In the dark. In strange country. Et cetera. The approaching sun is something you feel long before you see it.

Favorite Colors

From here, it was almost a run to the top. I had no idea how much distance remained, but I wasn’t going to lose to the sun. I was moving fast, rounding a turn on the smooth white limestone, and there was a sign, one-way, Guadalupe Peak to the left, no distance indicated. I followed the sign and just a few steps later there was the peak and its summit marker, a monument oblivious to how astonishingly weird it is in its surroundings.

Summit Marker, Shades of Indigo

I won the race with the sun, albeit barely. There was enough time to set down my backpack and wander around the top, looking down over… well, Texas, because Guadalupe Peak is the top of Texas. This was different than Emory Peak two days before. For some reason, I wasn’t there at Emory Peak as much as I was there on Guadalupe Peak. Something was missing from the experience at Big Bend. I wasn’t awake yet. On Guadalupe Peak I had time alone to sit and think and wait, underneath a wool blanket and a fleece jacket and a sweatshirt and that tan button-up shirt which is symbolic of all of my wandering in the desert.

Quietly, the sun rose over Texas.

Guadalupe Peak Panorama

Quietly — so quietly I wouldn’t recognize it for years — I woke up.

How did I wake up? What does it even mean? It sounds fanatical, so let me explain.

Simply, it was an increased self-awareness that grew out of that moment. It was a break point. On one side, I could see what was — what already existed, what was in front of me. On the other side of the break, I began to see what could be instead of just what was. The world gained an extra dimension. On 28 January, there was a mountain and there was a sun. That day I would have been more likely to have seen the top of the mountain in the daylight because, well, because that’s how you see things, in the sunlight. On 29 January, I learned to consider different permutations for the same sun and mountain. The mountain peak you see in the dark will be the mountain peak you see in the light, but it requires a perspective shift to take advantage of other things, such as where you go to see it.

Four years later, I’m just starting to understand how to wield this. So I return to Guadalupe Peak in my memory from time to time to see if the lesson has changed, if things are different. These days, the lesson is different because I am trying to understand what I want to accomplish — the short term, the medium term, the long term. Now, thinking about that morning on Guadalupe Peak, I can think about the future without having to be so linear about it; that is, instead of thinking, “this is where I am, next stop is here, next stop is there,” the idea of progressing opens up. Where I am is an extension of where I’ve been and where I’m going.

I don’t understand it all yet. But I’m starting to see. And that’s my advantage.

As Kurt Vonnegut mentioned in Player Piano:

Almost nobody’s competent, Paul. It’s enough to make you cry to see how bad most people are at their jobs. If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind.

A Portrait of the Artist Beside a Pyramid of Some Sort, Possibly a Monolith

(Also, I returned to Guadalupe Peak in June 2008: Exploring the West Texas Desert: Maps and Photos)

Hindi: Dental Consonants: त, थ, द, ध, न

The fourth five consonants — त, थ, द, ध, न — are dental consonants (Wikipedia Dental consonants). Just like it sounds, the dental consonants are related to your teeth. Dental consonants represent half of the strange d’s and t’s, cerebral consonants are the other half. Of course, by strange, I mean strange to me. The dental consonants are articulated by placing the tip of your tongue against the back of your teeth, whereas the cerebral consonants are made with the tip of the tongue against the roof of your mouth. Comparing the dental unaspirated ta, त, with the cerebral unaspirated ṭa, ट, is that ट sounds deeper and rounder than त.


ta, /t̪/


tha, /t̪h/

त is said with no aspiration, थ is said with aspiration.


da, /d̪/


dha, /d̪h/

द is said with no aspiration, ध is said with aspiration.


na, /n/

न is the most common nasal consonant.

  Stop Nasal Approximant Fricative
  Unvoiced Voiced Unvoiced Voiced
  Unaspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated
Guttural
ka
/k/

kha
/kh/

ga
/g/

gha
/gh/

ṅa
/ŋ/
   
ha
/h,ɦ/
Palatal
ca
/c,ʧ/

cha
/chh/

ja
/ɟ,ʤ/

jha
hh/

ña
/ɲ/

ya
/j/

śa
/ɕ,ʃ/
 
Cerebral
ṭa
/ʈ/

ṭha
h/

ḍa
/ɖ/

ḍha
h/

ṇa
/ɳ/

ra
/r/

ṣa
/ʂ/
 
Dental
ta
/t̪/

tha
/t̪h/

da
/d̪/

dha
/d̪h/

na
/n/

la
/l/

sa
/s/
 
Labial
pa
/p/

pha
/ph/

ba
/b/

bha
/bh/

ma
/m/

va
/ʋ/
   

I am archiving this information about the alphabet on the Hindi page: kirkkittell.com/language/hindi. More information from Wikipedia:

Hindi: Cerebral Consonants: ट, ठ, ड, ढ, ण

The third five consonants — ट, ठ, ड, ढ, ण — are cerebral consonants (Wikipedia Cerebral consonants). Apparently, in most phonetic systems, these are known as retroflex consonants, but in this and other languages in the region they are called cerebral consonants. From my point of view, as an American, cerebral consonants require tongue placement similar to the palatal consonants. In palatal consonants, such as /j/, the flat part fo the tongue presses against the hard palate on the roof of your mouth. In cerebral consonants, from this position in articulating a palatal consonant, the tip of the tongue touches the roof of the mouth behind the point where palatal consonants are articulated. (I may be wrong — comments are welcome.)

The cerebral and dental d‘s and t‘s take some getting used to. I grew up with one d and one t in written English and no distinction between any of the different d‘s and t‘s in spoken English. But, in Hindi, there are four each: unaspirated cerebral; aspirated cerebral; unaspirated dental; aspirated dental.


ṭa, /ʈ/


ṭha, /ʈh/

ट is said with no aspiration, ठ is said with aspiration.


ḍa, /ɖ/


ḍha, /ɖh/

ड is said with no aspiration, ढ is said with aspiration.


ṇa, /ɳ/

ण is the first common nasal consonant, i.e., you’ll tend to see this one more than the previous two (ङ and ञ).

Stop Nasal Approximant Fricative
Unvoiced Voiced Unvoiced Voiced
Unaspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated
Guttural
ka
/k/

kha
/kh/

ga
/g/

gha
/gh/
ṅa
/ŋ/

ha

/h,ɦ/
Palatal
ca
/c,ʧ/

cha
/chh/

ja
/ɟ,ʤ/

jha
hh/

ña
/ɲ/

ya
/j/

śa
/ɕ,ʃ/
Cerebral
ṭa
/ʈ/

ṭha
h/

ḍa
/ɖ/

ḍha
h/

ṇa
/ɳ/

ra
/r/

ṣa
/ʂ/
Dental
ta
/t̪/

tha
/t̪h/

da
/d̪/

dha
/d̪h/

na
/n/

la
/l/

sa
/s/
Labial
pa
/p/

pha
/ph/

ba
/b/

bha
/bh/

ma
/m/

va
/ʋ/

I am archiving this information about the alphabet on the Hindi page: kirkkittell.com/language/hindi. More information from Wikipedia:

The Week in Project 365 Photos [2009-W04]

Twenty-five straight days of Project 365 and no sign of slowing down yet…

Building 1, NASA Johnson Space Center
My name is Kirk and I am addicted to making panoramas such as this. Look at this photo in full resolution. You can practically read the things on the desks. (Just kidding, Security.)
Building 1, NASA Johnson Space Center [2009-019]

Second Stage, Saturn V
Power.
Second Stage, Saturn V [2009-020]

Nassau Bay Villa
Sea green building; sunrise sherbet orange; soft twilight blue.
Nassau Bay Villa [2009-021]

Clear Lake at Night
Testing long exposures on Clear Lake at night. Or: freaking out the neighbors.
Clear Lake at Night [2009-022]

Clear Lake Never Looked So Good
I suppose calling it Murky Brown Lake didn’t have the same sort of charm.
Clear Lake Never Looked So Good [2009-023]

CAUTION LN2
Put this on your list of things not to screw with.
CAUTION LN2 [2009-024]

Centrifugal Force
Sometimes you get the urge to spin around with your coffee and take a photo of it? Totally normal, amiright?
Centrifugal Force [2009-025]

Hindi: Palatal Consonants: च, छ, ज, झ, ञ

The second five consonants — च, छ, ज, झ, ञ — are palatal consonants (Wikipedia Palatal consonants). Palatal consonants are articulated with the top, flat part of your tongue against the hard palate — the middle of the roof of your mouth. This is easier to understand if you slowly say the j in jump or the ch in change. When you start to form the j or ch, feel where the contact is between your tongue and palate. (It is useful to understand where the palatal consonants are articulated to better understand where the cerebral consonants are articulated. j and ch are common sounds for an American, but the Hindi cerebral consonants are not. Cerebral consonants are formed by curling the tip of your tongue backwards against the roof of your mouth, just behind where the top of your tongue was for a palatal consonant.)

ca, /c, ʧ/

cha, /ch, ʧh/

च is said with no aspiration, i.e., with no puff of breath when you say it. छ is the same, except said with aspiration. Think of the transliteration of च, which is just a c, as more equivalent to the English ch, i.e., not as in ceiling or cat. However, since I tend to aspirate ch, the ch in chair sounds more like छ.

ja, /ɟ,ʤ/

jha, /ɟh, ʤh/

ज is said with no aspiration, झ is said with aspiration. ज is like the j in judge.

ña, /ɲ/

ञ is a nasal consonant. You’ll never see it at the start of a word. You’ll never see it on its own. It seems to appear only rarely in text.

  Stop Nasal Approximant Fricative
  Unvoiced Voiced Unvoiced Voiced
  Unaspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated
Guttural ka /k/ kha /kh/ ga /g/ gha /gh/ ṅa /ŋ/     ha /h,ɦ/
Palatal

ca /c,ʧ/

cha /chh/ ja /ɟ,ʤ/ jha hh/ ña /ɲ/ ya /j/ śa /ɕ,ʃ/  
Cerebral ṭa /ʈ/ ṭha h/ ḍa /ɖ/ ḍha h/ ṇa /ɳ/

ra /r/

ṣa /ʂ/  
Dental ta /t̪/ tha /t̪h/ da /d̪/ dha /d̪h/ na /n/ la /l/ sa /s/  
Labial pa /p/ pha /ph/ ba /b/ bha /bh/ ma /m/ va /ʋ/    

I am archiving this information about the alphabet on the Hindi page: kirkkittell.com/language/hindi. More information from Wikipedia:

Hindi: Guttural Consonants: क, ख, ग, घ, ङ

When starting from the beginning in my Hindi studies, I learned an interesting concept about the arrangement of the Hindi alphabet: there is a reason the letters are in such an order. It is based on articulation of the consonants. I’m no linguist, but my understanding is that the consonants go in groups in this order: guttural; palatal; cerebral; dental; labial; approximant; fricative. Basically, but not entirely, this goes from the back of the throat (guttural) to the lips (labial). I’ll lay it out in steps.

The first five consonants — क, ख, ग, घ, ङ — are guttural consonants (Wikipedia Guttural). Guttural consonants are articulated in the throat. The first four are easy to say for a Midwestern American — most of them, of at least.


ka, /k/


kha, /kh/

क is said with no aspiration, i.e., with no puff of breath when you say it. That requires practice for me. When I say words like kite, I aspirate the k. ख is said with aspiration.


ga, /g/


gha, /gh/

Again, ग is said with no aspiration, घ is said with aspiration.


ṅa, /ŋ/

ङ is a nasal consonant. You’ll never see it at the start of a word. You’ll never see it on its own. You’ll rarely see it in text.

Stop Nasal Approximant Fricative
Unvoiced Voiced Unvoiced Voiced
Unaspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated Unaspirated Aspirated
Guttural
ka
/k/

kha
/kh/

ga
/g/

gha
/gh/

ṅa
/ŋ/

ha
/h,ɦ/
Palatal
ca
/c,ʧ/

cha
/chh/

ja
/ɟ,ʤ/

jha
hh/

ña
/ɲ/

ya
/j/

śa
/ɕ,ʃ/
Cerebral
ṭa
/ʈ/

ṭha
h/

ḍa
/ɖ/

ḍha
h/

ṇa
/ɳ/


ra
/r/


ṣa
/ʂ/
Dental
ta
/t̪/

tha
/t̪h/

da
/d̪/

dha
/d̪h/

na
/n/

la
/l/

sa
/s/
Labial
pa
/p/

pha
/ph/

ba
/b/

bha
/bh/

ma
/m/

va
/ʋ/

I am archiving this information about the alphabet on the Hindi page: kirkkittell.com/language/hindi. More information from Wikipedia:

The Week in Project 365 Photos [2009-W03]

Sunrise Towers.
Communication towers on Surf Court catch the first rays of sunlight.
Sunrise Towers [2009-012]

Goooooood morning, JSC!
Building 1 and Building 4S on the NASA Johnson Space Center campus glow in the early morning light
Goooooood morning, JSC! [2009-013]

Top of the Astrodome.
Looking at the skylights atop the Astrodome from the Reliant Center.
Top of the Astrodome [2009-014]

Bay House at Night.
The corridor in my apartment complex looks sinister in a 15-second exposure in the artificial light.
Bay House at Night [2009-015]

Clear Lake Panorama.
A panorama at sunset from the Lockheed Martin building on Space Park Drive. (This newer Clear Lake panorama looks better.)
Clear Lake Panorama [2009-016]

Saturday, My Room.
Ganesh stares at me every morning. Thanks, Amrut.
Saturday, My Room [2009-017]

St. Paul Cathedral, Nassau Bay, Texas.
Slowly but surely these ribs are becoming something. I bet this would freak Jonah out.
St. Paul Catholic Church, Nassau Bay, Texas [2009-018]

Hey, add me as a contact on Flickr. If you want to. No pressure.

The Week in Project 365 Photos [2009-W02]

You know what keeps me sane here in Houston? Not much. But I found something recently: the Project 365 group on Flickr. It’s a simple concept: take one picture every day and post it to the group.

Participating has been a surprising amount of fun so far, despite the short distance I cover during a given day; I live 1 km from work and I walk the same route every day, three times a week I go for a run, three times a week I go to the gym, once a week I go to the grocery store. Within those boundaries I only take my camera with me to work and back, so I have about a 1 km stretch twice a day along Space Park Drive to find a shot that moves me. I have not been disappointed so far. By looking for a view to share with the Project 365 group, I have to keep my eyes open every day along a well traveled trail — the kind of trail that would, generally, fail to keep my attention. Now the street has my full concentration. By transitive property, a little bit more of life has my full concentration. Through small, insignificant steps, I will extract myself from these doldrums yet.

So. Here are the photos that I took during week 2009-W02:

Condensate Window [2009-011]

The Tower, the Trees, the Night [2009-010]

2 + 1 [2009-009]

Glory [2009-008]

Before Sunrise, the Alley [2009-007]

The Ongoing Surprise [2009-006]

Shut up and get back in your cubicle [2009-005]

And, as a special New Years bonus, here are the other four photos from the first week in January:

Towboat at the End of Illinois [2009-004]

Dreary [2009-003]

Dirty [2009-002]

New Years in New Delhi [2009-001]

Connect with me on Flickr: kittell.

Also: I’m testing WordPress Flickr plugins on this post. See kittell.tumblr.com/post/69765284 if you have any opinions about Flickr plugins for WordPress that I can use here.

Your friendly neighborhood Twitter dealer

This morning, 33 prominent Twitter accounts were hacked, including our man Rick Sanchez from CNN. Kirk Kittell has the straight dope — haha, rimshot, etc. — on what transpired.

Image source: Ike Pigott.

Thanks to John Little for pointing out the image. Now I know why I had an influx of random Twitter subscribers this morning: I think that some people think @kittell will be their hookup.