SLP1 Transliteration

Padmini uses SLP1 transliteration internally. We use SLP1 for the following reasons:

  • Each sound is represented by exactly one character, which means we can more easily check a string’s sounds. Thus a string’s first sound is s[0], its last sound with s[-1], its penultimate sound is s[-2], and so on.

  • Each sound is represented in ASCII, which makes it faster and easier to write different sounds in a standard text editor. As illustration, Devanagari in particular renders horribly in my copy of Vim.

The full spec can be found here, but we repeat it below for convenience:

a A i I u U f F x X e E o O
aM aH
ka Ka ga Ga Na
ca Ca ja Ja Ya
wa Wa qa Qa Ra
ta Ta da Da na
pa Pa ba Ba ma
ya ra la va
Sa za sa ha

SLP1 also supports anudātta (\), udātta (/), and svarita (^) accents. For example, the first line of the Purusha Sukta is as follows in SLP1:

sa\ha/sra^SI/rzA\ pu/ru^z/aH

But because udātta accents are so frequent in the Ashtadhyayi, we do not write them down, since doing so would just make the derivation state harder to read. That is, we use only the \ (anudātta) and ^ (svarita) marks, and if a vowel does not have an explicit accent, it is udātta.