Update: 2015-06-19 01:26 PM -0400


A Pali grammar on the basis of


by F. Mason, 1868, downloaded - PDF-Mason (link chk 150619)
See also downloaded - PDF-EM (link chk 150619)
Downloaded and edited with additions by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA) and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL) . 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

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03. Tables of Declension

Total contents of this page:
Nouns. 034. First declension. 034. Second declension. 037. Third declension. 039. Irregular nouns. 042. Adjectives. 043. Participles. 045. Numerical adjectives. 046. Pronouns. 048. Rock-cut declension. 055.

UKT notes :

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Chapter 03. Tables of Declension

UKT: According to A. W. Lonsdale, Burmese Grammar and Grammatical Analysis , Education Department, Burma, British Burma Press, Rangoon, 1899, in two parts. ( Orthoepy and orthography and Accidence and syntax )
   " The Burmese language is constructed on scientific principles, and there is no reason why its grammar should not be dealt with also from a scientific standpoint. But it may be safely said that Burmese grammar as a science has not received that attention it deserves. "
   ... ... ...
   " With regard to the grammatical treatises by native writers, it is no exaggeration to say that there is not one which can be properly called a Burmese grammar. These writers, not content with merely borrowing the grammatical nomenclature of the Pali language, also attempted to assimilate the grammatical principles of the uninflected Burmese to those of the inflected Pali; so that they produced, not Burmese grammars, but modified Pali grammars in Burmese dress. The servile veneration in which they held Pali, the language they had adopted as the classic, is, no doubt, directly responsible for the composition of such works. In their endeavour to conform strictly to Pali methods, they often introduced unnecessary terms and misapplied them, ignoring those grammatical points in Burmese for which they could find no parallel in Pali. How futile their attempts were may be judged by the numerous difficulties and anomalies they created, from some of which even now teachers of the language have not quite extricated themselves - take, for instance, the case-inflexions."


Occidental [or European] grammarians take a word as a basis, and make all the particles of inflection radiate from it, as from a centre, but Kachchayano pursues the opposite course. He usually takes an inflection and makes all the varieties of nouns masculine, feminine and neuter, adjectives, and pronouns diverge from that inflection as from a central point. Thus, he gives {a.} [Caveat: it is {a.} - the thibilant : NOT {Sa.} the sibilant. I'm giving Pal-Myan pronunciations, NOT Pal-Lat pronunciations to show the difference between the two.]

{a-ka. mau: } 'On account of {a.}, {a.} comes.'

That is, the original single {a.} of the genitive is doubled, and becomes {~a.} [UKT ]

UKT: note the formation of {a.kri:} - a horizontal conjunct which cannot be pronounced unless preceded by a consonant or a vowel.
   It is a sad revelation I came to have from a learned Burmese-Myanmar monk. He told me that {a.kri:} has a pronunciation - much heavier than ordinary {a.}. He did not understand Pali grammar and the nature of akshara consonantal-graphemes which have an inherent vowel imbedded. He certainly could recite long formulas and sentences in Pali from memory. My sad realization is: because of my love and reverence for him and because I am certain that I would be hurting his feelings, I still cannot figure out how I could point to him his mistake! - UKT110729

He [Kachchayano] next illustrates the use of the suffix by the following examples [UKT: I'm giving Pal-Myan pronunciations, NOT Pal-Lat pronunciations to show the difference between the two.]:

{pu-ri.a~a.} 'of a man'

{ag~gai~a.} 'of a fire'

{baik~hkoa~a.} 'of a priest'

{a.ym~Boa~a.} 'of a divinity'

{a.Bi.Boa~a.} 'of a god'

{dN~ai~a.} 'of a pilgrim'

{I.ai~a.} 'of a rashi'
[UKT: I changing 'sage' to 'rashi' because the latter word is quite common in English.]

In continuation of his making {a.} the central point, his next aphorism is:

{n  a  w-ka.wa.sa.n-u. sa.} 'Also on account of {n}, {a.}, in the singular number.'

He adds the following examples:






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UKT notes


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End of TIL file