difference between ṁ and ṃ

1) I'm puzzled by "ṁ". Is that the same as "ṃ"?

from pali yahoogroups discussion 2/15/2011

Dear Frank,

Yes the two "m's" are the same. It's anusvaara (nasalization of a previous vowel) and the placement of the dot is sometimes variable. I'm not sure I understand your second point,but if you encounter a word like nekkhamma, the conjunct is composed of two characters -k- and -kh- there is no -h- standing by itself,

Best, Bryan

Well, it is not quite so simple as that. If a transcription font includes
under and over dotted "m", then it is possible that a distiction is made
between anusvaara and anunaasika. These two are often conflated, but the
difference is that the anunaasika (chandra-bindu) indicates nasalization of
the syllable vowel, while anusvaara represents the class nasal, not
nasalization of the vowel. This is important in Prakrits other than Pali.
Wikipedia has articles on both these which give more details.

Best wishes,
Dear Stephen,

Thanks very much for this clarification as I was previously unaware of this difference. In Stenzler (section 9 and 31b), he says that anunaasika appears "practically only to denote nasalization of an l," which is where one usually sees it. But Whitney (section 73a) distinguishes between the two as you have done, although he says that the "two are doubtless  originally and properly equivalent".

In any case, thanks for pointing this out,

Best wishes,