Update: 2019-11-29 02:30 AM -0500


Burmese Grammar 1899 :
Orthoepy (pronunciation) and orthography (spelling)


by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA), Tun Institute of Learning (TIL). 
Based on Burmese Grammar and Grammatical Analysis by A. W. Lonsdale, Education Department, Burma, British Burma Press, Rangoon, 1899. Start: 2008 Aug. Copied from photocopy of the ink-on-paper book by UKT and staff of TIL . Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL Research Station, Yangon, MYANMAR :  http://www.tuninst.net , www.romabama.blogspot.com

index.htm | Top

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UKT 191103: As the second video lecture watch the following in TIL HD-VIDEO and SD-VIDEO libraries in Phonetics section, by Dr. Jrgen Handke :
- PHO103-SpeechAnatomy<> / Bkp<> (link chk 191103)
- PHO104-AirstreamMech<> / Bkp<> (link chk 191103)

Preface and original TOC -- ch00.htm - update 2019Dec 

Introduction, Sentence {wa-kya.}, Clause {wa-kya.sa.l-hson:}, Phrase {wa-kya.pyak} -- ch01-1.htm - update 2019Dec  
The Myanmar akshara {mrm~ma ak~hha.ra}/ {mrm~mak~hha.ra} -- ch01-2.htm - update 2019Dec

Classification of Consonants according to vocal organs -- ch02.htm - update 2019Dec

The sounds of letters
  Vowels -- ch03-1.htm
  Consonants -- ch03-2.htm (still incomplete)

Formation of words (syllables)
  Changing the peak vowel -- ch04-1.htm
  Medials -- ch04-2.htm
  Coda consonants -- ch04-3.htm
  Syllables with conjunct consonants -- ch04-4.htm
  (Romabama vowels in rimes)
  Pali derived syllables with coda consonants -- ch04-5.htm
  Conjuncts including Kinsi {kn:si:} -- ch04-6.htm
    Tables of Pali conjuncts from MLC Myanmar Orthography 1986 (some tables still need to be filled)

Phonetic changes in Consonantal sounds -- ch05.htm

Tones and Abbreviations -- ch06.htm

The reader should note that Lonsdale wrote less than two decades after Burma lost her independence, and therefore the language and culture could still be expected to be unaltered by Western influence.

During the Second World War and Burma's brief independence in 1943-45, we as young school children were instilled with a strong love for our culture and language, while still retaining a respect towards other cultures and languages, such as English and Japanese.

Now a word about TIL's digitization of the book. I am using a photocopy of an old book which was already showing the effects of time, temperature and humidity and some of original words are not very readable. Though my able secretary Daw Khin Wutyi had done her best to remedy the situation, I have to guess what the original word or words were in many places. It would have been better if I could indicate the exact words which I had to deal with. But since it would effect the reading of the whole passage, I have not indicated the 'doctored' words.

To make my presentation more readable, in places in which I would like to insert my note, I have to break up the original paragraph. These places are indicated by the usual mark: [UKT ]

I am also trying to give the equivalent of Pali-Myan words to Skt-Dev in my work on A. A. Macdonell's A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary.
- MC-indx.htm (link chk 190929)
The usual devil I have to face is, of course, the paucity of some phonemes in Eng-Latin. See my Doggie's Tale.

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A bit of history in making that I have witnessed

UKT 180712: The Bur-Myan language and its usage have undergone changes due to political events during my life time. See videos on:

Declaration of Independence during WWII.
    - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML5lWWCfgRM 140125
  Or in Burma section in TIL HD-VIDEO and SD-VIDEO libraries
  - Bur-Indp-1942<> / Bkp<> (link chk 160914, 180712, 190930),
  - Note: only available in Research Station for TIL students: not available online on TIL website because of possible political reaction.

Burmese Independence ceremony under Japanese Rule 1942. General Aung San quoted this ceremony as Fake Independence. You can see Dr Ba Maw, Thakhin KoDawMhine, General AungSan (Minister of Defence in Japanese-military uniform), etc.
See Wikipedia: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Burma 160804, 191001
"ビルマ国 (Biruma-koku) (Bamar)
See: State of Burma in my notes

American (U.S.) 36th President Johnson (LBJ) and wife, welcome to General N Win and wife Daw Khin May Than in Sept 1966. The event is after the General had staged a Coup d'tat on 2 March 1962, and had introduced the Burmese Way to Socialism. The videos are in Burma section in TIL HD-VIDEO and SD-VIDEO libraries
- AmericanWelcome<> / Bkp<> (link chk 190930)
Highlights from the video :

Read also read The Burmese Way to Socialism
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_Way_to_Socialism 180712
"The Burmese Way to Socialism has largely been described by scholars as being xenophobic, superstitious and an "abject failure" and as turning one of the most prosperous countries in Asia into one of the world's poorest.[3] However, it may have served to increase domestic stability and keep Burma from being as entangled in the Cold War struggles that affected other Southeast Asian nations. [1]

With this little note of mine I salute those, among who are many of my relatives, who lost their lives preserving the sovereignty of the land of my fore-parents.

Burmese kings fought Britain in a series of wars, 1824-26, 1852 and 1885. Burma lost her independence and became a British colony on January 1, 1886. The country was liberated from Britain during World War II by Japan which granted her independence in 1943. The British reoccupied the country in 1945, but had to grant her independence in 1948. Although the short-lived independent Burma is now considered to be irrelevant, it was an internationally recognized sovereign country during WWII. It was recognized by Germany, Japan, and Italy - the Axis powers. That independent country with its own armed-forces fought the British and Americans during the War, and we as children were taught to hate the British colonists. Some viewed that episode in history as the Fourth Anglo-Burmese War, whereas the British-Burma colonial government in exile in India consider it to be just a rebellion. Whatever the case may be, it left many of us who had lived in that period confused.


UKT notes
Doggie's Tale
Fossilized killed consonants
State of Burma


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UKT notes

Doggie's Tale

Mnemonic The Doggie Tale:
Little doggie cringe in fear -- ŋ (velar),
Seeing Ella's flapping ears -- ɲ (palatal)
And, the Shepard's hanging rear -- ɳ (retroflex).
Doggie so sad he can't get it out
"What's that Kasha क्ष when there's a Kha ?
And when there's Jana ज्ञ what I am to do with Jha ?"

Note to digitizer: you can copy and paste the following:
Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
Ḍ ḍ Ḥ ḥ Ḷ ḷ Ḹ ḹ Ṁ ṁ Ṃ ṃ Ṅ ṅ Ṇ ṇ Ṛ ṛ Ṝ ṝ Ś ś Ṣ ṣ Ṭ ṭ ɕ ʂ
Instead of Skt-Dev ः {wic~sa.} use "colon" :
Root sign √
Skt-Deva : श ś [ɕ] /ʃ/; ष ṣ [ʂ] /s/; स s [s] /θ/;
Undertie in Dev transcription: ‿ U203F
IPA symbols: ɑ ɒ ə ɛ ɪ ɔ ʌ ʊ ʧ ʤ ʃ ɹ θ ŋ ɲ ɳ ʰ ʳ ʷ

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Fossilized killed consonants

-- UKT 111005, 121202

In the days when I was going to school as a child in the 1930s, the use of fossilized consonants shown below were quite common. Over these 60 years or so, Bur-Myan usage has slowly changed.

You'll see the vowel pronunciation change from {} to {w}.

You will see many of these old usages in A. W. Lonsdale work, and I am keeping them as they were for old time sake in memory of my ancestors who are no more. I am looking forward to the day when I will join them! As a Bur-Myan Buddhist we always get ready to pass away -- a trait not understood by the Western world.

{nhIk} <-- {nheik}
{rw.}   <-- {rw.}
{I.}      <-- {EE.} :
  short vowel {I.} has the same pronunciation with {I.}
{L-kan:} <-- {l:kan:}

Inset from p040 of Bennett's Burmese Spelling Book, 1862

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State of Burma

UKT 191001: As an academic and linguist, it is my duty to stay out of politics. Yet it is also my duty to show what I had experienced as child under the age of ten.

Many accounts given in the Wikipedia article below are known personally to me, and also known through my sister-in-law, Daw Than Khin, who had worked as a lower division clerk in the Foreign Service department of Dr. Ba Maw's administration.

Some members of the first cabinet in Dr. Ba Maw's administration had been house-guests in my home during the war years, when U Aung Din, brother of Thakin Mya (Deputy Prime Minister), and one of my parents' close friends, got married to one of my mother's old students in Kungyangon. U Aung Din, whom I called U Lay Gyi "younger uncle" was instrumental in installing my intense love for the land where I was born, and its culture particularly the Myanmar akshara. Incidentally, together with Dr. Ba Maw, one of my close cousins Emma Ba Yoke was imprisoned in Japan. She was married to U Nyunt Han, son of Dr. Ba Han (brother of Dr. Ba Maw).

See Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Burma 191021

The State of Burma (Burmese: ) was a puppet state of the Empire of Japan, created in 1943 during the Japanese occupation of Burma in World War II.


During the early stages of World War II, the Empire of Japan invaded British Burma primarily to obtain raw materials (which included oil from fields around Yenangyaung, minerals and large surpluses of rice), and to close off the Burma Road, which was a primary link for aid and munitions to the Chinese Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek which had been fighting the Japanese for several years in the Second Sino-Japanese War.

The Japanese Fifteenth Army under Lieutenant General Shojiro Iida quickly overran Burma from January May 1942. The Japanese had also assisted the formation of the Burma Independence Army (BIA), which aided the Japanese during their invasion. The BIA formed a provisional government in some areas of the country in the spring of 1942, but there were differences within the Japanese leadership over the future of Burma. While Colonel Suzuki encouraged the BIA to form a provisional government, the Japanese military leadership had never formally accepted such a plan and the Japanese government held out only vague promises of independence after the end of the war. However, a Burmese Executive Administration was established in Rangoon on 1 August 1942 with the aim of creating a civil administration to manage day-to-day administrative activities subordinate to the Japanese military administration. The head of the provisional administration was Dr. Ba Maw, a noted lawyer and political prisoner under the British.

UKT note: After the BIA was abolished Burma Defence Army (BDA) was formed with all the three branches: the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. Two of my mother's cousins who were very close to me, U Ye Din (U Lay Thein to me) and U Hla Myint (U Lay Myint to me), were in BIA, BDF, and Resistance holding the ranks of lieutenants.
See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_occupation_of_Burma 191001
"During the war in 1942, the BIA had grown in an uncontrolled manner, and in many districts officials and even criminals appointed themselves to the BIA. It was reorganised as the Burma Defence Army (BDA) under the Japanese but still headed by Aung San. While the BIA had been an irregular force, the BDA was recruited by selection and trained as a conventional army by Japanese instructors.[3] "

UKT note: The whole country welcomed BDA and thanked the Japanese for arming the country, when the Colonial British had totally forbidden arms including spears and daggers. Even after the War, Burma from being independent was returned to the British as a colony under the governorship of Sir Dorman-Smith.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reginald_Dorman-Smith 191001

Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

As the war situation gradually turned against the Japanese, the Japanese government decided that Burma and the Philippines would become fully independent as part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, contrary to the original plan that independence only be granted after the completion of the war. Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō promised that independence for Burma would be granted within a year from 28 January 1943, with the condition that Burma declare war on the United Kingdom and the United States. The Japanese government felt that this would give the Burmese a real stake in an Axis victory in the Second World War, creating resistance against possible re-colonization by the western powers, and increased military and economic support from Burma for the Japanese war effort.

A Burma Independence Preparatory Committee chaired by Ba Maw was formed 8 May 1943 with a wide variety of respected members. On 1 August 1943, Burma was proclaimed the independent State of Burma and the Japanese military government for Burma was officially dissolved. The new state quickly declared war on the United Kingdom and the United States and concluded a Treaty of Alliance with Japan.

Ba Maw became "Naingandaw Adipadi" (head of state) of Burma under the new constitution, with wide powers.

Government of the State of Burma

The first cabinet of the State of Burma consisted of:

Ba Maw, Prime Minister (in addition to his post as head of state)
Thakin Mya, Deputy Prime Minister
Ba Win, Minister of Home Affairs
Thakin Nu, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Dr. Thein Maung, Minister of Finance (later replaced by U Set after he was appointed to be Burman ambassador to Japan)
General Aung San, Minister of Defence
Thein Maung, Minister of Justice
Hla Min, Minister of Education and Health
Thakin Than Tun, Minister of Agriculture (later became Minister of Transport)
U Mya, Minister of Commerce and Industry
Thakin Lay Maung, Minister of Communications and Irrigation
Bandula U Sein, Minister of Welfare and Publicity
Tun Aung, Minister of Co-Operation with Japan
Thakin Lun Baw, Public Works Recovery Minister

On 25 September 1943, as promised, Japan ceded all of the Shan states to Burma except for the part east of the Salween River i.e. Kengtung and Mongpan, which had already been given to Thailand. Ba Maw attended the Greater East Asia Conference in Tokyo from 56 November 1943.

Though now nominally independent, the power of the State of Burma to exercise its sovereignty was largely circumscribed by wartime agreements with Japan. The Imperial Japanese Army maintained a large presence and continued to act arbitrarily, despite Japan no longer having official control over Burma.

During 1943 and 1944, the Burma National Army made contacts with other political groups inside Burma, including the Communist Party of Burma which had been operating underground. Eventually, a popular front organization called the Anti-Fascist Organisation (AFO) was formed with Thakin Soe as the leader. Through the communists and the Japanese-sponsored Arakan Defence Army, the Burmese were eventually able to make contact with the British Force 136 in India. The initial contacts were always indirect. Force 136 was also able to make contacts with members of the BNA's Karen unit in Rangoon.

In December 1944, the AFO contacted the Allies, indicating their readiness to defect to the Allied cause by launching a national uprising which would include the forces of BNA. However, this was opposed by the British, who considering the timing to be unfavorable, and who had considerable reservations about supporting the BNA. The first BNA-led uprising against the Japanese occurred early in 1945 in central Burma.

On 27 March 1945, the remainder of the BNA paraded in Rangoon and marched out ostensibly to assist the Japanese army in the battles then raging in Central Burma against invading Allied forces. Instead, the BNA openly declared war on the Japanese. Aung San and others subsequently began negotiations with Lord Mountbatten and officially joined the Allies as the Patriotic Burmese Forces. Without the support of the BNA, the government of the State of Burma quickly collapsed, and Ba Maw fled via Thailand to Japan, where he was captured later that year and was held in Sugamo Prison, Tokyo, until 1946.

See also

Japanese occupation of Burma
Saharat Thai Doem
Burma Independence Army


Allen, Louis (1986). Burma: the Longest War 1941-45.
  J.M. Dent and Sons. ISBN 0-460-02474-4.

Lebra, Joyce C. (1975). Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere in World War II: Selected Readings and Documents.
  Oxford University Press.

Smith, Ralph (1975). Changing Visions of East Asia, 1943-93: Transformations and Continuities.
  Routledge. ISBN 0-415-38140-1.

Kady, J (1958). "History of Modern Burma"

This page was last edited on 14 August 2019, at 21:10 (UTC).

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End of TIL file