Update: 2007-02-10 04:49 PM -0500

TIL

Nouns

by U Kyaw Tun, M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.). Not for sale. Prepared for students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR.

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Gender

UKT: Burmese-Myanmar does not have gender, and Burmese-Myanmar speakers learning French find it strange that every noun has to be either masculine (not necessarily male sex), or feminine (again, not necessarily female sex). Of course, neuter gender is unthinkable.

There are three genders in Pali. As a rule males and those things possessing male characteristics are in the masculine gender, e.g.,

[nara]  - <man> // {na.ra.} -- PMDict279
[suriya]  - <sun> // {thu-ri.ya.} -- PMDict501
[gāma]  - <village> // {ga-ma.} -- PMDict197

Females and those things possessing female characteristics are in the feminine gender, e.g.,

[itthi] - <woman> // {It~hti} PMDict113
[gangā] - <river> // {gn~ga} PMDict191 (See Romabama Rule 06 for {king:si:} vowel-sign)

Neutral nouns and most inanimate things are in the neuter gender, e.g.,

[phala] -- <fruit>
[citta] -- <mind>

UKT: Though Ashin Narada stated: "As a rule males and those things possessing male characteristics are in the masculine gender", generally, gender in a language does not reflect sex. The following is on the French language from: http://french.about.com/library/begin/bl_nouns.htm
   "A noun is a word that represents a thing, whether that thing is concrete (e.g., a chair, a dog) or abstract (an idea, happiness). In French, all nouns have a gender "ak-rim01med/-- they are either masculine or feminine. It is very important to learn a noun's gender along with the noun itself because articles, adjectives, and some verbs have to agree with nouns; that is, they change depending on the gender of the noun they precede or follow. The gender of some nouns makes sense ( homme  <English: man> is masculine, femme <English: woman> is feminine) but others don't: personne <English: person> is always feminine, even if the person is a man! The best way to learn the gender of nouns is to make your vocabulary lists with the definite or indefinite article."
   Myanmars are lucky: Burmese-Myanmar has no gender. Ashin Narada stated: "It is not so easy to distinguish the gender in Pali as in English."

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Case

This section is based on: http://www.learnenglish.de/Level1/GrammarText/CASETEXT.htm

Case is the grammatical function of a noun or pronoun. The three cases in modern English are:
1.subjective or nominative <he>
2. objective or accusative <him>
3. possessive or genitive <his>.
See table below for more. There is no dative case in modern English.

First though the good news. You cannot really go wrong here, we have shed most of our cases and as a result English is easier than many other languages because nouns and some indefinite pronouns (anyone, someone, everyone, and so on) only have a distinctive case form for the possessive. However, a remnant of old English is that pronouns have distinctive forms in all three cases and must be used with care.

The personal pronouns, and who and its compounds, are the only words that are inflected in all three cases (subjective, objective, possessive). In nouns the first two cases (subjective and objective) are indistinguishable, and are called the common case. One result of this simplicity is that, the sense of case being almost lost, the few mistakes that can be made are made often, even by native speakers some of them so often that they are now almost right by prescription.

Subjective/Nominative Objective/Accusative Possessive/Genitive
- referring to the subject in a sentence - referring to the object in a sentence The apostrophe form of the word "Helen's, David's"
I me my, mine
you you your, yours
he him his
she her her, hers
it it its
we us our, ours
they them their, theirs

 

This section is based on:
http://www.geocities.com/derekacameron/pali.html
An Elementary Pali Course, by Ashin Narada

Pali is an inflected language. The grammatical function of nouns is indicated by case endings rather than (as in English) by prepositions or word order. Pali distinguishes between eight cases. Case endings vary according to the stem of the noun in question. There are 8 cases in Pali.

1. [pathamā] <first>
nominative abbr. nom. also known as subjective abbr. subj. case
Direct subject
Grammar Of, relating to, or belonging to a case of the subject of a finite verb (as I in I wrote the letter ) and of words identified with the subject of a copula, such as a predicate nominative (as children in These are his children ). -- AHTD

2. [dutiyā] <second>
accusative abbr. acc. also known as objective abbr. obj. case.
  Direct object
Grammar Of, relating to, or being the case of a noun, pronoun, adjective, or participle that is the direct object of a verb or the object of certain prepositions. -- AHTD

3. [tatiyā] <third>
instrumental abbr. inst. [karana]
(by - )
Grammar Of or designating a case used typically to express means, agency, or accompaniment. 5. Of or relating to instrumentalism. -- AHTD

4. [catutthi] <fourth>
dative abbr. dat.
(to - )
Grammar adj. 1. Of, relating to, or being the grammatical case that in some Indo-European languages, such as Latin and Russian, as well as in some non-Indo-European languages, marks the recipient of action and is used with prepositions or other function words corresponding in meaning to English to and for.  -- AHTD

5. [pacamī] <fifth>
ablative abbr. abl.
(from - )
Grammar 1. Of, relating to, or being a grammatical case indicating separation, direction away from, sometimes manner or agency, and the object of certain verbs. It is found in Latin and other Indo-European languages. -- AHTD

6. [chaṭṭhi] <sixth>
genitive abbr. gen. also known as possessive abbr. pos. case
(of - )
Grammar adj. 1. Of, relating to, or designating a case that expresses possession, measurement, or source. 2. Of or relating to an affix or a construction, such as a prepositional phrase, characteristic of the genitive case.-- AHTD

7. [sattamī] <seventh>
locative abbr. loc.
adj. 1. Of, relating to, or being a grammatical case in certain inflected languages that indicates place in or on which or time at which, as in Latin dom , at home.   -- AHTD

8.
vocative abbr. voc.
Grammar adj. 1. Relating to, characteristic of, or used in calling. 2. Abbr. voc. v. Relating to or being a grammatical case used in Latin and certain other languages to indicate the person or thing being addressed. -- AHTD

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Declension of Nouns

Pali nouns are declined according to the terminated endings [a, ā, i, ī, u, ū], and [o]. There are no nouns ending in e. All nouns ending in [a] are either in the masculine or in the neuter gender.

Illustration: [nara] -- (masc.) <man>

UKT: The corresponding Myanmar vowels  to a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, and o are:
| | / | / | / | / | /

 

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Noun ending in [a]

The following illustration is based on the following sources:
1. An Elementary Pali Course, by Ven. Narada Thera http://www.vipassana.info/pali%20contents.htm

Illustration: [nara] -- (masc. sing.) <man>
                 [narā] -- (masc. plu.)

case   singular   plural  
Nominative (dir. subject) naro a/the man   narā men;
the men
 
Accusative (dir. object) naraṃ a/the man   nare men;
the men
 
Vocative   nara
narā
O man!   narā O men!  
Instrumental
(compare abl.)
(by - ) narena by/with a man   narebhi,
narehi
by/with men  
Dative
(compare gen.)
(to - ) narāya
narassa
to/for a man   narānam to/for men  
Ablative
(compare instr.)
(from - ) narā
naramhā
narasmā
from a man   narebhi,
narehi
from men  
Genitive
(possessive)
(of - ) narassa of a man   narānam of men  
Locative (in -, upon -) nare
naramhi
narasmim
in/upon a man   naresu in/upon men  

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Pronouns

The following illustration is based on the following sources:
1. An Elementary Pali Course, by Ven. Narada Thera http://www.vipassana.info/pali%20contents.htm

Illustration:
[amha] -- < I >
[tumha] -- <you>

               
case   <I> (sing.) <we> (plu.)    <you> (sing.)  <you> (plu>
nom. (dir. subj.)

ahaṃ

mayaṃ, amhe, (no)   tvam, tuvaṃ tumhe, (vo)
acc. (dir. obj.)  

maṃ, mamaṃ

amhākaṃ, amhe, (no)   taṃ, tavaṃ, tvaṃ, tuvaṃ tumhākaṃ, tumhe, (vo)
voc.              
inst. (compare abl.) (by - )   mayā, (me) amhebhi, amhehi, (no)   tvayā, tayā, (te) tumhebhi, tumhehi, (vo)
dat. (compare gen.) (to - )   mama, mayhaṃ, amhaṃ,mamaṃ, (me) amhākaṃ, amhe, (no)   tava, tuyhaṃ, tumham, (te) tumham, tumhākam, (vo)
abl. (compare instr.) (from - )   mayā amhebhi, amhehi   tvayā, tayā tumhebhi, tumhehi
gen. (possessive) (of - )   mama, mayhaṃ, amhaṃ,
mamaṃ, (me)
amhākaṃ, amhe, (no)   tava, tuyhaṃ, tumham, (te) tumham, tumhākam, (vo)
loc. (in -, upon -)   mayi amhesu   tyayi, tayi tumhesu

[te] , [ṃe] , [vo] , and [no] are not used in the beginning of a sentence.

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Noun ending in [ā]

The following illustration is based on the following sources:
1. An Elementary Pali Course, by Ven. Narada Thera http://www.vipassana.info/pali%20contents.htm

Illustration: [kaā] -- (fem. sing.) <maiden, virgin>
                 [kaā] -- (fem. plu.)

case   singular   plural  
Nominative (dir. subject) kaā a/the maiden   kaā
kaāyo
maidens;
the men
 
Accusative (dir. object) kaaṃ a/the maiden   kaā
kaāyo
maidens;
the maidens
 
Vocative   kae O maiden!   kaā, kaāyo O maidens!  
Instrumental
(compare abl.)
(by - ) kaāya by/with a maiden   kaābhi ,
kaāhi
by/with maidens  
Dative
(compare gen.)
(to - ) kaāya to/for
a maiden
  kaānaṃ to/for maidens  
Ablative
(compare instr.)
(from - ) kaāya from a maiden   kaābhi ,
kaāhi
from maidens  
Genitive
(possessive)
(of - ) kaāya of a maiden   kaānam of maidens  
Locative (in -, upon -) kaāya
kaāyaṃ
in/upon
a maiden
  kaāsu in/upon maidens  

 

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Noun ending in [i]

The following illustration is based on the following sources:
1. An Elementary Pali Course, by Ven. Narada Thera http://www.vipassana.info/pali%20contents.htm

Illustration: [muni] -- (masc. sing.) <sage>
                 [munī] -- (masc. plu.)

case   singular   plural  
Nominative (dir. subject) muni a/the sage   munī, munayo sages;
the sages
 
Accusative (dir. object) muniṃ a/the sage   munī, munayo sage;
the sages
 
Vocative     O sage!     O sages !  
Instrumental
(compare abl.)
(by - ) muninā by/with sage   munībhi,  munīhi by/with sages  
Dative
(compare gen.)
(to - ) munino, munissa to/for a sage   munīnaṃ to/for sages  
Ablative
(compare instr.)
(from - ) muninā
munimhā
munismā
from a sage   munībhi
munīhi
from sages  
Genitive
(possessive)
(of - ) munino, munissa of a sage   munīnaṃ of sages  
Locative (in -, upon -) munimhi,
minismiṃ
in/upon a sage   munīsu in/upon sages  

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Noun ending in [ ī ]

The following illustration is based on the following sources:
1. An Elementary Pali Course, by Ven. Narada Thera http://www.vipassana.info/pali%20contents.htm

Illustration: [ sāmī ] -- (masc. sing.) <lord, husband>
                 [ sāmī ] -- (masc. plu.)
UKT: PTS does not list [ sāmī ].
For <husband>, the following Pali words are given:
[sāmiya] -- PTS p705.
[ sāmi ] -- http://www.orunla.org/tm/pali/ref/englpali.html#H2
[ sāmika ] -- http://www.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/dict-ep/dictep-h.htm

case   singular   plural  
Nominative
compare voc.
(dir. subject) sāmī a/the husband   sāmī, sāmino husbands;
the husbands
 
Accusative (dir. object) sāmiṃ a/the husband   sāmī, sāmino husbands;
the husbands
 
Vocative   sāmī O husband!   sāmī, sāmino O husbands!  
Instrumental
(compare abl.)
(by - ) sāminā by/with
a husband
  sāmībhi, sāmīhi by/with husbands  
Dative
(compare gen.)
(to - ) sāmino, sāmissa to/for
a husband
  sāmīnaṃ to/for husbands  
Ablative
(compare instr.)
(from - ) sāminā, sāmiṃhā, sāmismā from a husband   sāmībhi, sāmīhi from husbands  
Genitive
(possessive)
(of - ) sāmino, sāmissa of a husband   sāmīnaṃ of husbands  
Locative (in -, upon -) sāmini, sāmiṃhi, sāmismiṃ in/upon
a husband
  sāmīsu in/upon husbands  
    The loc. sing. has an additional "ni"      

 

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Noun ending in [u]

The following illustration is based on the following sources:
1. An Elementary Pali Course, by Ven. Narada Thera http://www.vipassana.info/pali%20contents.htm
2. http://www.geocities.com/derekacameron/pali.html

Illustration: [bhikkhu]  -- (masc. sing.) <monk>
                 [bhikkhu]  -- (masc. plu.)
UKT: Though Ashin Narada in An Elementary Pali Course gave the meaning of this word as <mendicant>, I feel that <mendicant> which can also mean a "begger" is not suitable. [bhikkhu] is a person held in high esteem and is not a despicable beggar.

case   singular   plural  
Nominative (dir. subject) bhikkhu a/the monk   bhikkhavo
bhikkhū
monks;
the monks
 
Accusative (dir. object) bhikkhuṃ a/the monk   bhikkhavo
bhikkū
monks;
the monks
 
Vocative   bhikkhu O monk !   bhikkhavo
bhikkhave
bhikkhū
O monks !  
Instrumental
(compare abl.)
(by - ) bhikkhunā by/with a monk   bhikkhūbhi
bhikkhūhi
by/with monks  
Dative
(compare gen.)
(to - ) bhikkhussa
bhikkhuno
to/for a monk   bhikkhūnaṃ to/for monks  
Ablative
(compare instr.)
(from - ) bhikkhusmā
bhikkhumhā
bhikkhunā
from a monk   bhikkhūbhi
bhikkhūhi
from monks  
Genitive
(possessive)
(of - ) bhikkhussa
bhikkhuno
of a monk   bhikkhūnaṃ of monks  
Locative (in -, upon -) bhikkhusmiṃ
bhikkhumhi
in/upon a monk   bhikkhūsu in/upon monks  

 

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Noun ending in [ ū ]

The following illustration is based on the following sources:
1. An Elementary Pali Course, by Ven. Narada Thera http://www.vipassana.info/pali%20contents.htm

Illustration: [abhibhū]   -- (masc. sing.) <conqueror>
                 [abhibhū,] -- (masc. plu.)
UKT: According to 1. An Elementary Pali Course, only nom., voc. and acc. are different from [bhikkhu]. The rest are the same.

case   singular   plural  
Nominative (dir. subject) abhibhū a/the conqueror   abhibhū, abhibhuvo conquerors;
the conquerors
 
Accusative (dir. object) abhibhuṃ a/the conqueror   abhibhū, abhibhuvo conquerors;
the conquerors
 
Vocative   abhibhū O conqueror !   abhibhū, abhibhuvo O conquerors !  
Instrumental
(compare abl.)
(by - )   by/with
a conqueror
    by/with conquerors  
Dative
(compare gen.)
(to - )   to/for
a conqueror
    to/for conquerors  
Ablative
(compare instr.)
(from - )   from
a conqueror
    from conquerors  
Genitive
(possessive)
(of - )   of a conqueror     of conquerors  
Locative (in -, upon -)   in/upon
a conqueror
    in/upon conquerors  

 

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Noun ending in [ o ]

The following illustration is based on the following sources:
1. An Elementary Pali Course, by Ven. Narada Thera http://www.vipassana.info/pali%20contents.htm

Illustration: [go] (masc. sing.) <bull>
                 [gāvo] (masc. plu.)

case   singular   plural  
Nominative (dir. subject) go a/the bull   gāvo, gavo bulls;
the bulls
 
Accusative (dir. object) gāvuṃ, gavaṃ, gāvaṃ a/the bull   gāvo, gavo men;
the bulls
 
Vocative   go O bull !   gāvo, gavo O bulls !  
Instrumental
(compare abl.)
(by - ) gāvena, gavena by/with a bull   gobhi, gohi by/with bulls  
Dative
(compare gen.)
(to - ) gāvassa, gavassa to/for a bull   gavaṃ, gunnaṃ, gonaṃ to/for bulls  
Ablative
(compare instr.)
(from - ) gāvā, gavā, gāvamhā, gavamhā, gāvasmā, gavasmā from a bull   gobhi, gohi from bulls  
Genitive
(possessive)
(of - ) gāvassa, gavassa of a bull   gavaṃ, gunnaṃ, gonaṃ of bulls  
Locative (in -, upon -) gāve, gave, gāvamhi, gavamhi, gāvasmiṃ, gavasmiṃ in/upon a bull   gosu in/upon bulls  

 

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