Ga (Indic)

Ga is the third consonant of Indic abugidas. In modern Indic scripts, ga is derived from the Brahmi letter ga, which is probably derived from the Aramaic Gimel.svg (gimel, /g/) after having gone through the Gupta letter Gupta allahabad g.svg.

Devanagari Bengali Gurmukhi Gujarati Oriya
Ga Ga Ga
Tamil Telugu Kannada Malayalam Sinhala
Thai Lao Tibetan Burmese Khmer
Baybayin Hanunoo Buhid Tagbanwa Lontara
Balinese Sundanese Limbu Tai Le New Tai Lue
Lepcha Saurashtra Rejang Javanese Cham
Tai Tham Tai Viet Kayah Li Phags-pa Siddhaṃ
  Siddhaṃ 'Ga'
Mahajani Khojki Khudabadi Syloti Meitei
𑅗 𑈊 𑈋 𑊼 𑊽
Modi Tirhuta Kaithi Sora Grantha
𑘐 𑒑 𑂏 𑃕 𑌗
Chakma Sharada Takri Kharoshthi Brahmi
𑄉 𑆓 𑚌 𐨒 Ga
Phonemic representation: /g/
IAST transliteration: ga
ISCII code point: B5 (181)

Āryabhaṭa numerationEdit

Aryabhata used Devanagari letters for numbers, very similar to the Greek numerals, even after the invention of Indian numerals. The values of the different forms of ग are:[1]

  • [gə] = 3 (३)
  • [gɪ] = 300 (३००)
  • गु [gʊ] = 30,000 (३० ०००)
  • गृ [gri] = 3,000,000 (३० ०० ०००)
  • गॣ [glə] = 3×108 (३०)
  • गे [ge] = 3×1010 (३०१०)
  • गै [gɛː] = 3×1012 (३०१२)
  • गो [goː] = 3×1014 (३०१४)
  • गौ [gɔː] = 3×1016 (३०१६)


The original Indic letter Ga is attested in three different forms. The first is in standard Brahmi,  , the second in the Brahmi variant Tocharian, also known as slanting Brahmi. The third form of Ga, in Kharoshthi (𐨒) was probably derived from Aramaic separately from the Brahmi letter.

Brahmi GaEdit

The Brahmi letter  , ga, is derived from the Aramaic  , G, and is related to the modern Latin G and archaic Greek Gamma.

Tocharian GaEdit

The Tocharian, also called slanting Brahmi, letter   is a variant of the Brahmi  .

Tocharian Ga with vowel marks
Ga Gi Gu Gr Gr̄ Ge Gai Go Gau

Kharoshthi GaEdit

Like its Brahmi counterpart, the Kharoshthi letter 𐨒 is also derived from the Aramaic  , and is thus related to G and Gamma, as well as the Brahmi ga.

Devanagari scriptEdit

Ga () is the third consonant of the Devanagari abugida. In all languages, ग is pronounced as [gə] or [g] when appropriate. Letters that derive from it are the Gujarati letter ગ and the Modi letter 𑘐.

Devanagari GgaEdit

Gga () is the character ग with an underbar to represent the voiced velar implosive [ɠ] that occurs in Sindhi. This underbar is distinct from the Devanagari stress sign anudātta. The underbar is fused to the stem of the letter while the anudātta is a stress accent applied to the entire syllable. This underbar used for Sindhi implosives does not exist as a separate character in Unicode. When the ु or ू vowel sign is applied to jja (ॻ), the ु and ू vowel signs are drawn beneath jja. When the उ ( ु) vowel sign or ऊ ( ू) vowel sign is applied to ja with an anudātta (ग॒), the उ ( ु) vowel sign or ऊ ( ू) vowel sign is first placed under ja (ग) and then the anudātta is placed underneath the उ ( ु) vowel sign or ऊ ( ू) vowel sign.[2]

Character Name उ ( ु) vowel sign ऊ ( ू) vowel sign
ॻ (Implosive ga) ॻु ॻू
ग॒ (Ga with anudātta) ग॒ु ग॒ू

An example of a Sindhi word that uses gga (ॻ) is ॻुड़ु (ڳُڙُ), which is of the masculine grammatical gender and means jaggery.[3]

Devanagari ĠaEdit

Ġa (ग़) is the character ग with a single dot underneath. It is used in Devanagari transcriptions of Urdu (غ) and other languages to denote the voiced velar fricative [ɣ].

Bengali scriptEdit

গ is used as a basic consonant character in all of the major Bengali script orthographies, including Bengali and Assamese.

Gurmukhi scriptEdit

Gagaa [gəgːɑ] () is the eighth letter of the Gurmukhi alphabet. Its name is [gəgːɑ] and is pronounced as /g/ when used in words. It is derived from the Laṇḍā letter ga, and ultimately from the Brahmi ga. Gurmukhi gagaa does not have a special pairin or addha (reduced) form for making conjuncts, and in modern Punjabi texts do not take a half form or halant to indicate the bare consonant /g/, although Gurmukhi Sanskrit texts may use an explicit halant.

Gujarati scriptEdit

Ga () is the third consonant of the Gujarati script. It is derived from 16th century Devanagari letter ga (ग) with the top bar (shiro rekha) removed. Like most Gujarati letters, it forms conjunct clusters with a half-form, where the vertical stem on the right is dropped and the remaining letter body appended to the following letter.

Thai scriptEdit

Kho khwai () and kho khon () are the fourth and fifth letters of the Thai script. They fall under the low class of Thai consonants. In IPA, kho khwai and kho khon are pronounced as [kʰ] at the beginning of a syllable and are pronounced as [k̚] at the end of a syllable. The previous two letters of the alphabet, kho khai (ข) and kho khuat (ฃ), are also named kho, however, they all fall under the high class of Thai consonants. The next letter of the alphabet, kho ra-khang (ฆ), correspond to the Sanskrit letter ‘घ’. Unlike many Indic scripts, Thai consonants do not form conjunct ligatures, and use the pinthuan explicit virama with a dot shape—to indicate bare consonants.

Kho KhwaiEdit

In the acrophony of the Thai script, khwai (ควาย) means ‘water buffalo’. Kho khwai corresponds to the Sanskrit character ‘ग’.

Kho KhonEdit

In the acrophony of the Thai script, khon (คน) means ‘person’. Kho khon (ฅ) represents the voiced velar fricative sound /ɣ/ that existed in Old Thai at the time the alphabet was created but no longer exists in Modern Thai. When the Thai script was developed, the voiceless velar fricative sound did not have a Sanskrit or Pali counterpart so the character kho khwai was slightly modied to create kho khon. During the Old Thai period, this sounds merged into the stop /ɡ/, and as a result the use of this letters became unstable. Although kho khon is now obsolete, it remains in dictionaries, preserving the traditional count of 44 letters in the Thai alphabet. When the first Thai typewriter was developed by Edwin Hunter McFarland in 1892, there was simply no space for all characters, thus kho khon was one of the two letters left out along with kho khuat.[4] Although kho khuat does not appear in modern Thai orthography, some writers and publishers are trying to reintroduce its usage.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ifrah, Georges (2000). The Universal History of Numbers. From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer. New York: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 447–450. ISBN 0-471-39340-1.
  2. ^ Everson, Michael (30 March 2005). "Proposal to add four characters for Sindhi to the BMP of the UCS" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 July 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  3. ^ Lekhwani, Kanhaiyalal. 1987 (1909). An intensive course in Sindhi. Mysore: Central Institute of Indian Languages; [New York]: Hippocrene Books. OCLC 18986594
  4. ^ "The origins of the Thai typewriter". Archived from the original on December 5, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  • Kurt Elfering: Die Mathematik des Aryabhata I. Text, Übersetzung aus dem Sanskrit und Kommentar. Wilhelm Fink Verlag, München, 1975, ISBN 3-7705-1326-6
  • Georges Ifrah: The Universal History of Numbers. From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2000, ISBN 0-471-39340-1.
  • B. L. van der Waerden: Erwachende Wissenschaft. Ägyptische, babylonische und griechische Mathematik. Birkhäuser-Verlag, Basel Stuttgart, 1966, ISBN 3-7643-0399-9
  • Fleet, J. F. (January 1911). "Aryabhata's System of Expressing Numbers". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland: 109–126. ISSN 0035-869X. JSTOR 25189823.
  • Fleet, J. F. (1911). "Aryabhata's System of Expressing Numbers". The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. 43: 109–126. doi:10.1017/S0035869X00040995. JSTOR 25189823.