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It has always struck me as interesting, or perhaps odd, that the root phonemes of Shiva, [sh]+[v], are the reverse of the root phonemes of Vishnu, [v]+[sh]. Is there any accounting for this?

  • These type of questions are entertained on this site I Think. – Triyugi Narayan Mani Apr 26 '18 at 18:10
  • @Sarvabhouma Apologies, I used the International Phonetic Alphabet of linguists. I have changed it to generic Anglicization: 'sh' & 'v'. – Rubellite Yakṣī Apr 26 '18 at 18:34
  • The question is on-topic. Don't worry. :) – Sarvabhouma Apr 26 '18 at 18:34
  • Don't worry about the troll, we have a few around. – Anisha Apr 26 '18 at 18:50
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    No. 'Shiva' is made with श ś (not ष ṣ ), and 'Vishnu' is made with ष ṣ (not श ś ) . श ś is a palatal Sh sound, and ष ṣ is retroflex Sh sound. In English alphabet there is no symbol for श and ष , so we write both as Sh, as using phonetic symbols like ś and ṣ always is not convenient. – user14995 Apr 27 '18 at 16:31
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Anurag Singh commented:

No. 'Shiva' is made with श ś (not ष ṣ ), and 'Vishnu' is made with ष ṣ (not श ś ) . श ś is a palatal Sh sound, and ष ṣ is retroflex Sh sound. In English alphabet there is no symbol for श and ष , so we write both as Sh, as using phonetic symbols like ś and ṣ always is not convenient.

For linguistic reference, in IPA श ś can be the voiceless postalveolar (nonretroflex) fricatives /ɕ/ or /ʃ/ while ष ṣ is the voiceless retroflex fricative, /ʂ/.

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