Update: 2016-08-19 07:32 AM -0400


Grammatical notes & vocabulary
of the Peguan language to which are added a few pages of phrases, etc., 1874


-- by U Kyaw Tun (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA) and staff of TIL (Tun Institute of Learning, Yangon, MYANMAR. 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

1.  Grammatical notes and Vocabulary of the Peguan Language, to which are added a few pages of phrases, etc., by Haswell, J.M., ABM Press (American Baptist Mission Press), Rangoon, 1874
- MonMyan-Haswell-gramm-notes-vocab<> / bkp<> (link chk 160809)

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CAUTION: I am learning the language, without a human guide on hand, and you should not take my observations as wholly correct. I haven't found a suitable one to join my research group in Yangon. -- UKT 130403

Parts of Speech
Nouns : number, gender, case

UKT notes :


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(middle of p009)


The mark || called pt    is the only mark of punctuation in the language. To mark the end of a paragraph, the || is reduplicated with a short space left vacant, thus, ||  || 

UKT 151014: In Bur-Myan there are two words spelled similarly:

{poad} - n. 2 ortho  punctuation mark -- MED2006-274
{peid} - n. stanza; paragraph -- MED2006-275
  Mon  pt    is the same as  Bur {peid} .

In the pdf version of The Unicode Standard, Version 4.0, issued by the Unicode Consortium and published by Addison-Wesley. We see:
"Punctuation and Symbols. U+0964  |  DEVANAGARI DANDA is similar to a full stop. Corresponding forms occur in many other Indic scripts. U+0965  ||  DEVANAGARI DOUBLE DANDA  marks the end of a verse in traditional texts."


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There are eight parts of speech in Peguan, namely ;
1. nouns,
2. pronouns,
3. adjectives,
4. verbs,
5. adverbs,
6. prepositions,
7. conjunctions, and
8. interjections.

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There are no changes in nouns to mark their relation to other words. This is shown only by their position.

UKT 130403, 151013: Like Bur-Myan, Mon-Myan is without inflection.
Take note that Haswell's transcription reflects the Mon-Myan pronunciation of consonants:

Some nouns are formed from verbs by prefixing {la.} , as:

'to step' -->   'a step, a pace'
'to speak' --> 'a speech, a saying' 
'to go' --> 'going', (referring to the gait)
   as   'his going, (that is, his gait) is good'.

Nouns are also formed from verbs by prefixing , as:

'to be sick' --> 'sickness'
'to be old' --> 'old age'
'to die' --> 'death'

Many other nouns are formed from verbs, as

klōn  'to work' --> k'lōn   'work'
kloo  'to be dark' --> t'mloo  'darkness'
klaut  'to steal' --> k'mlaut  'a thief' (p009end-p010begin)

but no rule can be given for their formation.



The singular is not distinguished in any manner. may mean either that one man, or a multitude of men, are coming. If definiteness is required, the numeral one is added as, one man. The plural is sometimes designated by taw   'they'; when a multitude is referred to 'the many', is often used, as, . Sometimes both and are used as, .

UKT 151014: From Haswell's vocabulary -
- v. to come - Has042
- n. man, a human being - Has106



Gender is distinguished by a word being added ; as, 8o5 Q a man, o5g a woman. G00D(o| a boy, GOOD^g a girl. (oj and are often used without <^o5, as ne man, (j^8 three women. For animals ^gt^ and Ggl are commonly used as, C^CgoS a bullock, ^^SsP a cow- Cgp is also used to denote maturity of age. in which case it precedes the noun as, Ggl^oS a man of mature age, in distinction from a young man.



The case of nouns is shown by their location. The nominative always precedes the verb, as, o&ooo / go, gDS^cSoS he itrites, C^] cQcS the horse runs. The objective generally follows the verb, as gosoooSdb he ttruok me, oboooSjxjg I struck him, ^oS^Gp^C^ that man buys cattle; it may, however, precede the verb, as, o8o5s>o}a^e^ 1 have read that book, (lit. book that 1 read have ), <^o5^sbo8 (lit. man that I know) or / know that man. But, where several nouns are governed by the same verb [{p011begin}] they always precede the verb, as, Oo5(B33OODO0gD<S90Cp g^o5o^c6^oqj5g[8^o5co8c^ii The world, the earth, the heavens, all things, God created.

The possessive is shown by the thing possessed pre ceding the possessor, as, 3> my house, (literally, house I) that man's hook, (lit. book man that) 8gt his mother.

The dative sometimes has ^ or ? before it, as 0^5cXj>& D please give to me, ( lit. give to me please. ) But more generally, it would be he spake to me, or he told me.

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& 1, mas. or fern. used when addressing equals or inferiors.
I, (lit. I a slave) mas. or fern. used when addressing superiors.
/, fern. the same as above.
^ We, mas. or fem. We, used by inferiors.
<jt Thou, mas. or fem. used in addressing equals.
o <^SOO You. mas. or fem. addressed to equals.
You, colloquial, ( used by the aged to the young. )
Goj You, spoken to inferiors, and children.
gas He or She.
G\ He or She, (disrespectful)
Qico They, mas. or fem.
G^OD They, (disrespectful)
o>o^ Self,
Oiojdfc 7, myself.
o>oj(i He, himself, or she, herself.
&a^ltfy?!> he himself told me.

In addressing superiors, or speaking of them, the Peguans do not use pronouns; but cBcc<T^> lord of grace, C^COC^ lord of wealth, or, oocodb my lord. In replying to a superior, they often use or^S as c^agS yes, lord, (lit yes, God.)

UKT: Adjectives in the next file.

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UKT notes


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