Update: 2015-10-13 02:00 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  Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR :  http://www.tuninst.net , www.romabama.blogspot.com

From: #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 

#1 Online: http://books.google.ca/books/reader?id=kqYTAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&source=gbs_atb_hover 130327

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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



UKT notes :


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There are two kinds of verbs, transitive and intransitive. [UKT ]

Some transitive verbs are formed from intransitive, as,

'to die' -- 'to kill',
Gs")coj 'to fall down' -- acalcqj^ 'to cast down',
{dei} 'to stop', 'to cease going or doing' -- {ba.dei} 'to cause to stop', 
{lio} 'to be ruined' -- {pa.lio} 'to destroy' 

The tenses and modes of verbs are very imperfectly shown by affixes and prefixes. Frequently, there is nothing but the connection to show the tense or mode. The present [tense], is always expressed by the simple verb, as DS33D 'he goes', gSOC^S 'he eats rice'.

UKT 130430: It is obvious that the Westerner Rev. Haswell was expecting to see a complex grammar in Mon-Myan, with tenses and other inflexions. He was mystified when he saw none, or almost none in Mon-Myan, a characteristic shared with Bur-Myan.

For us, who are used to a simple grammar, the English grammar is a big obstacle. Little did we know that the spoken English used by common people -- not the academics nor the lawyers -- would be using very little grammar in their day-to-day speaking. See my work on
English Grammar in Plain Language - EGPE-indx.htm (link chk 130430)

TIL Motivation
What makes us human is our Innate linguistic knowledge, and there is every reason to present the grammars of Burmese and English together.
   Our Innate linguistic knowledge is our inborn knowledge of how to communicate with another human being.
   We do this by uttering sound in a sentence pattern -- not just calls as the animals do.
   Thus our study is about sentences and the rule governing the make up of sentences.
(Based on theories of Noam Chomsky

{tu:} - denotes past action, as, gS3O0C^ he has gone. When a transitive verb is in the past tense, the subject of the verb is placeed between the verb and particle as, gSSp^ccjG|ii he has bought cattle, ( lit. he buy cattle done.) cspS denotes the future as, gsosocspS he will go. ccpS is sometimes merely assertive as, ^GOgGGp H fa cer_ - tainly so. But more frequently the future is shown only by the connection, as, COOSSb9DD^[S to-morrow I will go to the city, (lit. to-morrow J go city. 08 expresses continuation of action, as, gsosoaS he con tinues to go. g^|.S he continues to write, or is writing. (This is the only substitute the Peguans have for the present participle. ) * g expresses power or permission to do a thing, as, gS333g he may or can go. g preceded by the negative Og is often equivalent to a prohibition, as ^Ol CQ<33D he may - or shall not go. expresses ability, as, OSC5^c8o5yi^> he can read/ ^Ol ogSal^ he is able to walk. OJ expresses necessity, as, gsosooo he must go ; obos^cSoS / must write a letter. [{p016begin}]

To express the doing of one thing during another action, ^ is prefixed to the nominative, as ^COStDgSO<jc8o5 while he goes he reads a book. (lit, in he go he read book.) is often used simply to close a sentence ; but it sometimes adds strength to the verb, as, DDS333C^G^ he has gone, (implying past recall.) The imperative is expressed by the simple verb. without a nominative, as, ooo go, oaoooo go, go. oSoCJkS be silent, remain silent. or imperative first person plural, 33D j5 let us go. O or CO prohibitory, O303 go not, OgCg[5 come not. coscog is also used in prohibition, as o330CO8038 go not at all. COOC^COSCOS speak not at all, say nothing, cot is also used in denying. never said it, I .. never spoke at all. odoSodoS (probably Burman,) is used in the same manner, as C08C08 expresses permission, as S&C^Os{5j[o^ / let him build a house, C^pDSSDD let him go, C^gSoS let him remain. d^cS plural affix, implying that all the persons referred to, have performed an action, as, Qtooof^cB they have all gone; d^oS is also used without a verb and expresses that a thing is exhausted, or used up. as, (^^9^0500^ the silver is exhausted, quite used up ^o6s&9^o5dc|G^ my mind is exhausted, that is, I am completely discour aged. s^oS is also the sign of the superlative degree. OC^ is used to show that all the persons spoken of have per formed an act, as bc^CQSWCO^SSDOb^ii The whole five are gone. [{p017begin}]

Sometimes two or three verbs follow a single nominative without any thing to distinguish tense or mode, as, coooab33D c^oScqS my brother has gone to reap paddy, (lit. my brother go reap paddy. OS33D0obSp^c He has gone to seek cattle for purchasing. (lit. He go seek buy cattle.) This does not cause the confusion, that one would suppose.

UKT: Adverbs in the next file.

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UKT notes

Noam Chomsky

Chomsky, Noam . Born 1928 1. American linguist who revolutionized the study of language with his theory of generative grammar, set forth in Syntactic Structures (1957).

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