Update: 2015-06-20 05:12 AM -0400


A Pali grammar on the basis of Kachchayano

Shin Kic-si, {rhing kic~sæÑ:} , or Kachchayano


by F. Mason, 1868, http://books.google.com/books?...  110727
Downloaded from the above site: - PDF (link chk 130622, 150609)
and checked with Mazard's Version of Mason's Pali Grammar, by Francis Mason & Eisel Mazard (馬大影), first distribution in 2015, downloaded - PaliGrammar-Mason-Mazard.pdf 150609. (link chk 150609
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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Bishop Bigandet
In omnibus gratias agite : Latin

UKT 150620: I could not get any Bur-Myan version of Shin Kic-si, {rhing kic~sæÑ:} grammar. The nearest I could get is Elementary Pali Grammar by Shin Zanaka'biwun'tha {rhing za.na.ka-Bi.wän-þa.} aka Taung'myo Sayadaw, who states essentially that Pali grammars are based on the grammar of Shin Kic-si.

In the Mason-pdf, Preface is in Roman numbers. This page ends in rom04, containing just a few lines.
It is followed by a TOC which is also numbered in Roman numbers from rom01 to rom04.
Next comes the Introduction, which is again in Roman numbers from rom01 to rom08.
Only then comes Chapter01 of Pali Grammar in regular English numbers starting from p001.
Chapter01 begins with The Alphabet  which I have changed to "Akshara".


UKT notes
Roots (linguistic)



In a Prospectus of the Pali Grammar, printed in September 1864, it was stated: "The manuscript has been examined by a Committee of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and approved for publication, in their Bibiliotheca Indica. The Society will pay for printing the edition at the ordinary rates, and give the Author one hundred copies; but to execute the satisfactorily to himself, he wishes to procure a font of Sanskrit type, for occasional comparison of words, and several other fonts that will be of no use to him, except in this work. To meet these extra expences, he proposes to sell a part of his copies to subscribers at ten rupees per copy."

How liberally this appeal has been met, will appear from the following list of subscribers, to whom the Author's best thanks are here tendered. As the demand is greater than the supply, for the Author can furnish only one hundred copies, subscribers, who cannot be provided, will be referred to the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

UKT: I have left out the list of the subscribers.  If you would like to see it go to downloaded PDF


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UKT 130623: § Alt0167 is known as the 'section sign' .
   I am obliged to cut Mason's paragraphs for two reasons: to bring out an important point, and to insert my explanation. I have indicated these positions as [UKT ¶]

Shin Kic-si, {kic~sæÑ:} , or Kachchayano

-- UKT 130624

It is very important to remember that many philologists are unaware of the fundamental difference between an alphabet and an abugida, and you may trace many of Mason's difficulties and misunderstandings to this fact alone.

I emphasize that the writing system in which Pali and the Bur-Myan are written is the abugida writing system where the "the vowel killer" {a.þût} is of tantamount importance. It is known as virama in Sanskrit, which may be shortened to "viram". Pali uses conjuncts only, which are called {paaHT hsing.]. And you will be told that there are no vowel-killer {a.þût} in Pal-Myan. WRONG I SAY. The first member of the conjunct is a killed consonant, whose inherent vowel has been killed by an {a.þût}. However, it is not explicitly shown.

UKT 130703: I first learnt of the importance of the virama in Unicode Standard Version 6.2: http://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode6.2.0/ch09.pdf 130703
Go to Chapter 9. South Asian Scripts 1, and go to 9.1 Devanagari,
and see Figure 9-1 which I have given below:

There are two kinds of conjuncts - the vertical conjunct e.g.  {k~ka.} and the horizontal conjunct as {þ~þa.}. Both the vertical- and the horizontal-conjuncts are not pronounceable in Bur-Myan. You have to provide a vowel to the first member as in {tak~ka.} & {tak~ka.þol} 'university', and in {paiþ~þa} 'viss'. In the akshara (or abugida) system, the orthography shows the pronunciation. Try to pronounce the word as it is spelled. I am sure the Western phoneticians would disagree!

Bur-Myan uses conjuncts as well as those where the "killed"-akshara is shown. It is a fact which obviously had confused Mason. In the word {tak~ka.þol}, you see both the conjunct and the mark of the vowel-killer.

We can expect Mason to be under the influence of the usual English usage of "double-consonants" and he must have taken {k~ka.} & {þ~þa.} to be simply double consonants. They belong to two different syllables and are found only in the case of disyllabic words.

Remind yourself of the common English word <success>. It is a disyllabic word /sək'ses/ where the /k/ is for the first <c> and /s/ is for the second /c/. The first <c> is the coda of one syllable, and the second <c> is the onset of a different syllable. There is no such thing as a 'double consonant' even in English!.
See Pronouncing the double C: http://www.antimoon.com/forum/t9999.htm 130706

The same goes for {þ~þa.}, where the coda {þ} & the onset {þa.} are joined horizontally.

Rev. Mason was also clearly under the influence of Skt-Dev, in which the {ba.} ब is a borrowed-glyph from {wa.} व with a short diagonal line is added inside. To bring out my arguments clearly I have to give Skt-Dev after Romabama spelling.

The next problem is the contents of cell r2c5 of the akshara matrix which is constructed on principles of phonetics and phonemics. The basic akshara-s of Bur-Myan, Pal-Myan, and Skt-Dev are:

{Ña.} , {ña.}, ञ «ña» :

As onsets they are all nasals, but as a coda, {Ñ} is non-nasal), and {ñ} is nasal. Because of this, Bur-Myan & Pal-Myan differ significantly in words involving the killed aksharas of r2c5.

In Pal-Myan, {Ña.} is shown as the horizontal conjunct of two {ña.}

{ñ~ña.} shown as {Ña.}

What the spelling "Kachchayano" is implying is that it is derived from {ñ~ña.} with a nasal-ending sound. But if the name was derived from Bur-Myan the name would not end in a nasal. The name spelled in Myanmarpré ends with {Ñ} -- as spelled in the term for the country Myanmarpré. This sound is not clearly understood by the colonial historians and the western philologists. The reason why the venerable Buddhist saint could understand the language of the Gautama Buddha very well was because his first language had been Tib-Bur.

Because of the influence of Skt-Dev, almost all western philologists suffer from biggest mistake by assuming that Pali or whatever its predecessor was, was IE (Indo-European) and nothing else. They could not imagine that the subcontinent, especially, those areas just south of the Himalayas could very well have spoken Tib-Bur (Tibeto-Burman). I am holding my own view that Pali, especially Pal-Myan and Bur-Myan, were and have always been Tibeto-Burman, not Tibeto-Chinese as some would like to insist, and the parent language could only be found in the northern Myanmarpré, mostly in areas of the present day Tagaung.

I give credence to the story in Glass-Palace Chronicle of Myanmarpré in which it was stated that a king, King Abiraza, from northern India had moved into the Tagaung and had founded the first kingdom. Obviously King Abiraza had gathered the existing population, presumably the Pyu, and had made them his subjects. I presume that Pali had been in Myanmarpré long before the birth of the Gautama Buddha. Even, Shin Kic-si, {kic~sæÑ:} - known in SriLanka as Kachchayano himself might have been a Tib-Bur speaker from northern Myanmarpré.

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The declensions and conjugations in Pali are very simple, and may be more readily acquired than either Latin or Greek. [UKT ¶ ]

UKT 130624: If the declensions and conjugations in Pali are very simple, then you will be surprised to know that Burmese has no declensions or conjugations. According to Burmese Grammar and Grammatical Analysis by A. W. Lonsdale, Education Department, Burma, British Burma Press, Rangoon, 1899, the Burmese-Myanmar language is:

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.

My incomplete edition of Lonsdale's work, which I had started in 1008 Aug, but which I had to stop at least on two occasions, can be read on the Net:
http://www.tuninst.net/BG1899/BG1899-indx.htm 130625

The principal difficulty, in reading Pali, is found in the numerous changes that are made in the roots, in the formation of new bases for declension and conjugation, in adding many and various particles to form derivative words, and in the permutation of words when combined into sentences.

UKT 130706: The word <root> is not well understood in linguistic sense by Bur-Myan speakers unless they have some basic training in Pali as a language. Bur-Myan as a language and Pal-Myan is so intertwined, more so than English (Eng-Lat) and Latin (Rom-Lat), that one cannot really say which word has been derived from Pali-to-Burmese and which from Burmese-to-Pali. This may be the cause of "numerous changes that are made in the roots".

Pali as spoken in Myanmarpré, being the remnant of the old Magadhi, belongs to Tib-Bur linguistic group. Pal-Myan and Bur-Myan, would have many common roots. However Pali of Sri Lanka, being under the influence of Skt-Dev, would have different roots resulting in "the numerous changes that are made in the roots".

Bur-Myan is one the languages of world which is totally without inflexions, i.e. without declensions and conjugations . However, English belonging to the IE linguistic group is inflected. Pal-Myan is different from Pal-Lanka in nasals and fricatives, and in rhoticity. Skt-Dev and Pal-Lanka have no Palatal plosive-stops. They have only Palatal affricates. All these would certainly show up in the numerous changes that are made in the roots as observed by Rev. Mason. See my note on roots.

The roots consist of one or two consonants, but the second is most frequently lost in the changes that occur, and occasionally the first also, so that not a vestige of the original root appears in the derivative, §246.

These changes are sometimes greater in Pali than even in Sanskrit. Take for instance, the word {naib~baan} nigban , which has been adopted into Burmese. [UKT ¶]

UKT 150612: Mason's transcription nigban is totally unacceptable because of the presence of g which must have crept in because of "lazy" pronunciation denoted by "glottal stop" /ʔ/. We find the glottal stop in the dialects of the Irrawaddy valley, particularly in Mandalay and Yangon (Rangoon). I also had such difficulty until I came on the spelling itself which is true to its pronunciation. The equivalent in Skt-Dev of {naib~baan} is «nirvana» where the first b , {ba.} ब , has been changed to a repha :

निर्वाण «nirvāṇa» -- SpkSkt  

Mason had mistakenly taken the second {ba.} ब to be {wa.} व as could be seen in the paragraph below. Because of this mistake what Mason has stated below is totally unacceptable.

The root is  {wa.} व  va  [ {wa} from {wa.} व ] 'to go', 'to blow', and ni ,  {ni.} नि , is prefixed in the signification of 'out', the word thus signifying 'to go out', as a fire or light. na , {na.} न ,  is affixed to make the verb a noun , §256, and n , {n} न् , is added to to put it in the neuter, §090

UKT 130624: Whenever you see va [labio-dental consonant - not present in Vedic. It was Panini who had included it in his Classical Sanskrit. I have forgotten my source: I need to check again], make sure whether it is either {wa.} व [approximant] or {ba.} ब [labial]. In {naib~baan}, va  must be taken as {ba.} .

See UHS-PMD0698 & 0839 to see that {ba.} and {wa.} are two different phonemes and are clearly differentiated in Pal-Myan.

Note also {na.þût} at the end of the disyllabic word {naib~baan}. Remember, the Indic scripts which includes Myanmar are NOT alphabets, but abugidas which uses the vowel killer or virama - which I've shortened to 'viram'. It is known as {a.þût} in Bur-Myan.

Note that in Bengali script, {wa.} is absent:

Approximant-semi-consonant: য Ya র Ra ল La
Approximant-fricative-hisser: শ Sha ষ Ssa স Sa
Approximant-deep-h: হ Ha

Note: since the term 'sibilant' has been misused in describing Pal-Myan {þa.}, I have no option but to stop using it. Instead of which, I have used the terms "hisser & non-hisser". Pal-Myan {þa.} is a thibilant , a non-hisser, which is realized in the common English word <thin> and is denoted in IPA as /θ/. In Old-English , now treated in England as a foreign language , this phoneme is represented with the 'thorn character' which has been adopted by Romabama. In present day English this phoneme is represented by the digraph <th>.

(The above transcriptions for Bengali are from Windows Character map. Notice that Bur-Myan thibilant {þa.}, a non-hisser, is given as a hisser স Sa ). Bangala-Bengali uses {ba.} in place of {wa.} which is also found in Bengali palm-leaf manuscripts. This note of mine needs rechecking because I cannot remember from where I have read about it at this moment. - UKT110728 .

When ni ,  {ni.} नि , is prefixed, the following consonant, v is required to be doubled, §075, but a double vv , changed to a double bb , §303 . [UKT ¶]

UKT: The term "double" means a conjunct which may be either vertical or horizontal. Do not take it as a 'double consonant'. This, I have argued, is found in English <success> /sək'ses/ (DJPD16-515). A parallel is in Bur-Myan {þíc~sa} 'truth'.

Thus the neuter noun from ni and va is {naib~ba-na}  nibbána . The Burmese write the second b , p , pronounce the first g , and cut off the last syllable an , thus making the word  nigban . [UKT ¶]

UKT 130624: I deem the above analysis by Rev. Mason as totally unacceptable.

In both the Pali and the Burmese word, all appearance of the original root is lost, but in Sanskrit, when the  v  is doubled it remains unchanged [UKT: Mason is wrong again, because the first member is changed into a repha or I might have misunderstood], and the Sanskrit preposition corresponding to  ni  in Pali, is nir , so the Sanskrit word formed on the same base as the Pali is . (Mason-rom01end-Mason-rom02begin)

It has been a prominent object in the following pages, to make these changes readily understood, and thus facilitate the acquirement of the language. The changes to which letters are subjected are recapitulated at the commencement of each letter in the Vocabulary, that the student in looking up a word, may recognize readily the root from which it is formed.

The Vocabulary furnishes the definitions of many more words than appear in the list, because on the pages to which reference is made, many derivatives will be often found defined. And to make it useful to persons imperfectly acquainted with the grammar, uncommon forms are sometimes introduced with references to where explanations of them may be found. Many verbs have two or more bases, §210, and while one only would be given in ordinary dictionaries, all will be usually found in this Vocabulary.

There is a great need of a full and accurate Dictionary of the language, but that is in good hands. Our present Chief Commissioner, Col Fytch, announced the preparation of a Pali Dictionary several years ago, and we have the best authority for stating, that so soon as he can obtain leisure, he fully intends to finish, and publish the work.

This book will not be found free from typographical, and other errors, though it is believed there are none of a very serious character. While carrying it through the press, the writer was teaching Biblical Exegesis to a large school, with Land Surveying and use of instruments in the field, had to correct Karen Trigonometrical calculations, was writing a work in Burmese on Materia Medica and Pathology, was printing an Arithmetic in two Karen dialects, and writing and printing an elementary work in three languages, besides the care of seventy or eighty churches, their schools, and teachers, involving incessant applications, and interruptions. It is not remarkable then, that oversights occasionally occur, as on pages 119, 120, where declined is read on the running title instead of conjugated

In writing a similar book in Sanskrit, the assistance of a learned pundit could be obtained, to relieve the author of much of the labor involved, but from Tavoy to Toungoo, and from 1830, to 1868, not a single native has been found whose assistance in such a work could be of the least value. [UKT ¶ ]

Many of the monks can repeat large portions of Kachchyano's (Mason-rom02end-Mason-rom03begin) Grammar, and yet of the principles of grammar they seem to be totally ignorant.

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Bishop Bigandet (1813-1894)

See: Bishop Paul Ambroise Bigandet, M.E.P, Vicar Apostolic of Southern Burma (Birmania Meridionale)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholicism_in_Burma 130624
http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bbiga.html 130624

Bishop Bigandet says:
"Phongyis are fond of exhibiting their knowledge of the Pali language, by repeating from memory, and without stammering or stumbling, long formulas and sentences; but I have convinced myself that very few among them understood, even imperfectly, a small part of what they recited."

It is an interesting fact that the Pali, which has the oldest script in India [UKT: Asoka script found on Asoka stone inscriptions - now known as Brahmi], has been printed by Karens whose own language is among the last reduced to writing. [UKT ¶]

UKT 130625: Rev. Mason on p001 of Chapter 01 wrote - c01.htm fn-001-star

Five centuries ago, a Mohammedan sovereign assembled a number of learned Brahmins to decipher the inscription at Delhi, but their efforts were fruitless ; and a native historian wrote of it : "Round it have been engraved literal characters which the most intelligent of all religions have been unable to explain."

If the learned Brahmins {braah~ma.Na. poaN~Na:} could not read a script, then why should it be called the Brahmi    {brah~mi}. I would therefore call it the Asokan or Asoka script. However, since Asoka was the king of Magadha and emperor of Maurya Empire, the script might be properly called the Magadhi or Magadha script . MLC (Myanmar Language Commission) should correct their MED2006-318, and later editions.

I maintain that because of the overland routes the Magadha language had been in northern Myanmarpré long before the time of Gautama Buddha, and the invention of Pali in Lanka from Magadha and Sinhala to serve the Théravada Buddhism. Thus the so-called Pali in Myanmarpré can be no other than the remnant of the old Magadhi. The sounds of Pal-Myan is bound to be different from the sounds of SriLankan Pali and the International Pali.

By calling it the Brahmi {brah~mi}, many in Myanmarpré take it to be the language of the Brahmana Poannas {braah~ma.Na. poaN~Na:} professing a heretical religion and simply discard it. By calling it the Asokan script, they would come to realize that it was the language of King Asoka - a very important upholder of the Buddhist religion. Asoka script is the script of the Pali language! Moreover it was the Brahmana general who murdered the descendant of Asoka, and brought an end to the humane Buddhist rule in India in 185 BCE. The following account from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurya_Empire 130706, 150611

"Brihadrata was assassinated in 185 BCE during a military parade, by the commander-in-chief of his guard, the Brahmin general Pusyamitra Sunga, who then took over the throne and established the Sunga dynasty. Buddhist records such as the Asokavadana write that the assassination of Brhadrata and the rise of the Sunga empire led to a wave of persecution for Buddhists, and a resurgence of Hinduism. "

Some of the earlier forms show their [Karen printers trained by Rev. Mason] inexperience, but the general character of the work has been commended.

The Deputy Commissioner in his official report to Government, dated 23, Oct. 1867, wrote:
   "The Printing department of the Institute I consider a great success.   Dr. Mason has learned the printers' art, and taught three Karens to print. The Pali Grammar, a copy of which I shall send you with  a separate letter, has been printed by these men, and I think reflects great credit on Dr. Mason and his pupils."

The Rev. E. B. Cross writes:
"I wrote you a hasty note on Saturday, which did not fully answer my purpose. I ought first of all to have expressed my ADMIRATION of your printing in all the characters and languages which it represents, for it is certainly very neatly and BEAUTIFULLY done."

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In omnibus gratias agite

UKT 150611: The above in Latin means: "In everything give thanks" -

David rex benedixit Domino coram universe multitudine et ait, Benedictus es Domine Deus Isreal patris nostris ab seterno in æternum.

Tua est Domine magnificentia et potentia, et gloria, atque victoria, et tibi laus. Cuncta emin quæ, in celo sunt et in terra, tua sunt. Tuum Domine regnum, et tu es super omnes principes.

Tuæ divitiæ et tua est gloria, du dominaris omnium.  In care omnia.  Nunc igitur Deus nster confitemur tibi, et laudamus nomen tuum inclytum.

Quis ego et quis populus meus ut possimus hsec tibi universa promittere ? Tua sunt emnis, et que de manu tua accepimus, dedimus tibi.

Peregini enim sumus coram te et advenæ, sicut omnes pa-(Mason-rom03end-Mason-rom04begin) áres nostri.   Dies nostri quasi umbra super terram, et nulla est mora.

Benedictus Dominus Deus Isreal, qui fecit mirabilia solus. Et benedicto nomen majestatis ejus in suternum, et in seculum seculi, et replebitur majestate ejus omnis terra.  Amen, ut atnem. (Mason-rom04end)

UKT 150612: In the Mason-pdf, rom04, contains just a few lines.
It is followed by a TOC which is also numbered in Roman numbers beginning with rom01, ending in rom04.
Next comes the Introduction, which is again in Roman numbers beginning with rom01. Introduction ends in rom08.
The Introduction is followed by Chapter01 of Pali Grammar numbered in regular English numbers starting from p001.
Chapter01 begins with The Alphabet  which I have changed to "Akshara".

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UKT notes

Roots (linguistic)

- UKT 130706: I use the mathematical sign √ for linguistic root.

From Wikipedia: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root-linguistics 130706 

The root in language is either a base word, or a part of a word to which affixes are added. Or, it is the part left after affixes have been taken away. Technically, it is the smallest unit which carries meaning: it cannot be reduced into smaller units. It is the same as a free-standing morpheme.

If a root is a whole word, then it is called a base word. It is the word which stands at the head of a dictionary definition, is the base of a word family.

Examples: in each case in bold

• Unhelpfully
• reaction
• receive
science. This one is interesting because it is so ancient. It is a descendent of the Indo-European root scei, meaning to cut or split. It comes to us via the Latin language.

UKT: End of short article.

Go back roots-note-b

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