Conjunct consonants

Welcome to this last chapter in the introduction to the Telugu alphabet, the introduction to the conjunct consonants. The conjunct consonants are fully in line with the rule we stated in the first chapter, that says:


Each character in Telugu has a primary and a secondary form.
The primary form is used when this symbol forms the base of a character,
the secondary form is used when it is combined into another base.


So in order to add another consonant to an existing consonant-vowel combination, just add the secondary form of that new consonant to the existing symbol.

Here is an example. This is the word 'amma', mother (see Vakyanirmanam lesson 2, exeercise 8):


This word consists of two characters:

amma syllables

The first letter is the single vowel 'a'. The second letter is a combination of two consonants and a vowel 'm-m-a', or combination of 'm' + 'ma':

mma syllable

Adding consonant symbols to existing symbols is pretty straight forward. There are no special forms or exceptions depending on the existing symbol. Just adding the secondary symbol of the consonant.

Here is a complete list of all consonants in primary and secondary form:


As you see in this list, most of the symbols do not change much in their secondary form. There are only 8 symbols that change significantly. Those are the ones marked. The rest is either transformed by removing the tick (talakattu) or it is used without any change.

Here is the complete example from above once again:

Mother is rocking the cradle


Where to go from here?

You perhaps are curious on how to recognize all these forms, but it is really not that difficult. Here are some hints and tricks on how to learn the alphabet...