Update: 2017-06-23 06:11 PM -0400


A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary


by A. A. Macdonell, 1893,
http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/MDScan/index.php?sfx=jpg; 1929.
Nataraj ed., 1st in 2006, 2012.

Edited by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA), Daw Khin Wutyi, Daw Thuzar Myint and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL) . 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
For comparing Pali and Sanskrit, it necessary to go into the Roots, and Verb-forms, for which I rely on:
The Roots, Verb-Forms and Primary Derivatives of the Sanskrit Language, by William Dwight Whitney, 1885. For comparison to Pali, see UHS PMD in Appendix'Ka on {ak~ka.ta. Daat}  'Sanskrit Roots' . You can also browse through Practical Grammar of the Pali Language by Charles Duroiselle, 1906, in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- CDuroiselle-PaliGramm<>  Bkp<> (link chk 170608)
Since the layout of Macdonell and Whitney is somewhat different, and the process of comparison is not smooth. To smooth out the process, Whitney is given on the first page of entries on basic consonant in various register endings. For example on: {ka.} - p060-3.htm , {ka} - p065.htm ,
Pali Roots: from http://obo.genaud.net/backmatter/glossology/pali_roots.htm
Downloaded txt in TIL non-PDF library
  - PaliRoots<> (link chk 170607)

index.htm | Top

Contents of this page

Preface, Scanned pages, Glossary -- MC-pre1.htm / MC-pre2.htm / Glossary.htm
Skt-Dev grammar lectures from various sources, such as Sch. of Traditional Indian Arts & Literat, and others:
  - SktDevGramLect-indx.htm - (link chk 170531 )
  - SktDevGram01-indx.htm (not online)  
  - SktDevGram02-indx.htm (not online)
In page-by-page reference of the original book 
  Vowels as onsets
  p001-p044-1 - MCv1pp-indx.htm - update 161130
  p044-2-p060c2 - MCv2pp-indx.htm - update 170131 
  Plosive-stops & nasals as onsets
  p060c3-p104 - MCc1pp-indx.htm - update 170630
  p105-p148-1 MCc2pp-indx.htm - update 160430  
  p148-2-p237-1 -  MCc3pp-indx.htm - future upload
  Approximants regrouped as semi-consonants, fricatives, and H- as onsets:
  - The following - MCa-indx.htm - update 141217
    are to be rechecked, and moved to p030.htm represented in the following format.
  p237-2-p305.htm - MC-c61-indx.htm - MCa1pp-indx.htm - future upload
  p306-p374 - MC-c65-indx.htm - MCa2pp-indx.htm - future upload
  p375-p382 - MC-c72-indx.htm - MCa3pp-indx.htm - future upload

No stranger to Indian languages
Pronunciation of Skt-Dev Basic Alphabet Aksharas
Pronunciation of Skt-Dev Numerals
Hand-written Skt-Dev Akshara
Sanskrit speaking Buddhists : Buddhist missionaries into China
Speech (language) of the Buddha : Old Magadhi - the language of Magadha Mahajanapada

UKT 170114 : I am thinking of presenting the downloaded Macdonell's entries in width = 400 pix, instead of the present 300 pix in conformity with Edgerton-BHS. See an example on p057-2.htm entry of p057-2c3-b01
Link to Edgerton Dictionary - FE-BHSD<> / Bkp<> (link chk 161231)
UKT 170114: Bookmarks for entries from FE-BHS must be standardized as per entries on p001.htm .
Capitals for proper names are allowed, and diacritics removed.

UKT 170418: Quite a few of Macdonell's entries are very large and need to break into smaller ones for ease of comparison to entries from other sources. There are two kinds of marks: and
Mark : Cutting very large grouping into smaller groups. e.g. among the consonants, in the entries  on :
- p072.htm : p072c1-b24 - multiple cuts from 00 to 12

re-cut the following
- p076.htm : p076c1-b21
p082.htm : multiple cuts p082c-b15

Mark : Entries that are of interest to me. I have to come up with a spelling in Dev myself. I check it with the following sources:
Spoken Sanskrit dictionary (SpkSkt) online, and
Sanskrit Document website - http://sanskritdocuments.org/dict/dictall_unic.html (link chk 170415)
  See the downloaded paper: MC-indx.htm > glossary.htm (link chk 170415)
Green Message - http://greenmesg.org/index.php (Don't open from HTML editor: link chk 170526

I still need to listen to how it is pronounce. e.g. निरुक्ति nirukti.
UKT 150503: How would a Hindi-speaker pronounce it ?
https://www.howtopronounce.com/hindi/निरुक्ति/ 150712
The website gives the sound of this word निरुक्ति<)) (link chk 150924),
It sounds {ni.roak-t} to me, ending in /e/ instead of /i/. Maybe, my hearing is at fault.

UKT 170227: Paucity of nasals in IE - Eng-Lat & Skt-Dev - has necessitate the introduction of a sort of universal stand-in {kin}. It is allowed by Shin Kicsi  {rhn kic~sae:} - the Buddhist grammarian praised by Gautama Buddha. See examples in {kan} & {kai} on p068.htm (among coda consonants). However, it is not enough, and I have to change the vowel itself to solve the problem of Paucity of nasals.

UKT notes :
Doggie's Tale : copy and paste
Indology : forget the fairy-tales
My own thoughts and my inspiration : never bow down - look up to the stars
Nirukta  {ni.roat~ta} 
Perceptual sound variation of lateral to rhotic sounds
  as reflected in Vedic to Sanskrit languages, with Pali in between
  Includes moves from old p045-1.htm which has been deleted:
  Vowel letters in Bur-Myan and Skt-Dev
  Checking the Bur-Myan vowels
Pronunciation of Skt-Dev Basic Aksharas
Sonority hierarchy

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No stranger to Indian languages

- 170423:

Inset Pix: Two books of some 60 from the Sixth Buddhist Council held in Yangon in 1955 in Pali on Discipline in the Order of Monks, Parazika Pali {pa-ra-zi.ka. pa-Li.}, and Culawagga Pali {su-la.wag~ga. pa-Li.}.

As a Bur-Myan native speaker, I know how to pronounce Pali (in Pal-Myan) words. I was born in Kungyangon in the reign of King George V - the Emperor of British Indian Empire. Kungyangon is now a part of Greater Rangoon, and coming to live in Rangoon itself after the Second World War, I know some words of Hindustani (Hindi mixed with Urdu). My father U Tun Pe, an officer of the British-Burma goverent was a fluent speaker in Hindustani, and my mother could speak Hindustani. My family had some Indian servants. Yet, I was totally ignorant of proper Hindi and less of Sanskrit. Unable to hire a Hindi speaker to help me with Sanskrit pronunciations, I have to resort to online sources.

For understanding between speakers of different languages, it is not the precise pronunciation. It was noted by the Buddha himself and his message to his monks: "What is important is the message - not the correct pronunciation."
  Gautama Buddha the Wise let his monks pass on his message
  according to how the local audience could understand:

This is the opposite view of Poannars, who insisted that pronunciation is important to preserve the message of the their unseen Gods who are nothing but axiomatic entities not accepted by modern Science. Yet, in order to understand modern languages, I need to study Sanskrit written in Devanagari script.

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Pronunciation of Sanskrit-Devanagari Basic Aksharas

UKT 170423 :

Most of the Language teachers are still not aware that Aksharas and Alphabets are totally different. They belong to two different systems of representing Speech (made of sound-waves and heard by the human ear as pronunciation) with Script (markings made on substrates such as paper, leather, stone, metal sheets, etc. seen by the human eye). You have some control by various vocal organs how you produce the Speech, but you have absolutely no control over how your ear receive the sound waves and how your brain records them as signals.

The two systems of representing Speech as Script are: Abugida-Akshara and Alphabet-Letter where Akshara and Letter are the basic units of the two systems. Akshara is a syllable, i.e. pronounceable, whereas the Letter is mute. Akshara has an included vowel, whereas the Letter needs a vowel to make it pronounceable. Now I will give an example involving 3 languages, Georgian, Burmese, and Sanskrit speeches. If you write {ta.} त , a Bur-Myan and Skt-Dev (or Hindi-Dev) speaker-writer will pronounce it as /ta/ . But if you write თ < t > त् , a Georgian and Skt-Dev will ask you for a vowel to pronounce it. You will have to write (თა) and (त् + अ = त) for them to pronounce. The Georgian vowel ა "An"  and Skt-Dev vowel अ a are equivalent. Their opposites are known as virama, halant, or {a.ut}, in Sanskrit, Hindi, and Burmese, resptly, meaning "the vowel-killer" to kill the inherent vowel of the basic Akshara. Georgian თ having the same shape as Myanmar , is a Letter and is mute. The hall-mark of Abugida-Akshara system is the {a.ut} aka viram (short for Virama).

{ta.} त + viram --> {t} त्

Note: Georgian ა "An" is the inverse of the sign of Bur-Myan {a.ut}: - the "Killer" . This has prompted me to call it the "Life-giver". I hold that it is possible that Georgian script (of Alphabet-Letter system) is a derivative of Myanmar script (Abugida-Alphabet system).

From: Lakshya Yoga , http://www.lakshyayoga.com/ 170423
- SanskritAlphabet-LY<> / bkp<> (link chk 170423)
See also Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devanagari 170424

Velar (guttural) kaṇṭhya

Palatal tālavya
Retroflex (cerebral)
Dental dantya
Labial oṣṭhya

semi-consonants aka semivowels
(I, UKT, prefer the term semi-consonants because they can appear as coda or killed-consonants in the syllable of CV.)

comprising of 2 sibilants and 1 thibilant, which are taken together as three sibilants in Sanskrit.

8 in Pali, 9 in Sanskrit, and 12 in Burmese.

Now listen to what Lakshya Yoga has to say:
- SanskritAlphabet-LY<>
- SanskritAlphabet-LY<))



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Pronunciation of Skt-Dev Numerals

- UKT 170424

In any cross-language study, it is not only the pronunciation of speech units in terms of vowels and consonants that are important, the pronunciation of numbers are also equally important.

Now, let's count from 1 to 12, from the same website
- Lakshya Yoga , http://www.lakshyayoga.com/ 170423.
- Count1to12-LY<> / bkp<>
- Count1to12-LY<))
One एक्म ekam, Two द्वे dwe, Three त्रीणि triiṇi
Four चत्वारि catvāri, Five पञ्च paca, Six षट् ṣaṭ

० Zero 0 शून्य
१ One एक ka or एक्म ekam
२ Two द्वि dwi or द्वे dwe
३ Three त्रि tri or त्रीणि triiṇi
४ Four चतुर् catr or चत्वारि catvāri
५ Five पञ्च paca or पञ्च paca
६ Six षष् ṣṣ or षट् ṣaṭ
७ Seven सप्त sapt or सप्त sapt
८ Eight अष्ट aṣṭ or
९ Nine नव nva or

Skt-Deva is rather complicated because each language teacher would give slightly different words, and transliteration for the same word (identifiable from its meaning). The following is from a different website.

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Hand-written Skt-Dev Akshara

- UKT 170424

Now that the use of computers and computer-fonts has become an every-day activity, we have become lazy to write a hand-written letter. We have come to think that the letters of the alphabet have come from printer's printing-blocks. We have forgotten that the art of printing was unknown in the West in Medieval Ages (a period stretching for 1000 years, from 500 AD to 1500 AD.)  

The art of printing had been borrowed from the East, China to be specific, which had used it for thousands of years.
See Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printing_press 170424

We have to write the letters, the glyphs, by hand. The basic shape of the glyph to represent the human sound dictates the ease of hand-writing. Burmese and Indic writers use the basic shape of the circle. Myanmar script demands more: a perfectly rounded circle. Each child of my child-hood days and before had to practice writing the perfect circle for many days, before we were allowed to write other glyphs. Bur-Myan used single and double circles without adding straight lines, whereas the most ancient Indic script, the Asokan Brahmi, has added lines.

Myanmar script, used by many indigenous ethnics of Myanmarpr, such as Bamar, Karan, Mon, Shan, etc., use the circle as the basic shape. A circle can be modified with a single dent on 4 sides: left, top, right, and bottom. Instead of the dent we can have an opening.

Thus the numeral one ( {tic}) is a circle with an opening on the left, the akshara {pa.} has an opening at top, {nga.} on the right, and {ga.} on the bottom. You can write most of glyphs without lifting the stylus or pen from the substrate which can be a palm leaf, or paper. Since the ancients had used written runes - the mystic religious signs even in the most ancient civilization: the Indus-Saraswati civilization aka the Harapan civilization - the perfectly rounded circle representing the Perfect Man - has been used. The Swastika of the Harapans is the frame to house the akshara. See Ch05. Cult of Magus in my rendition of Folk Elements in Burmese Buddhism by Maung (Dr.) Htin Aung:
- flk-ele-indx.htm > ch05-magus.htm (Cult of Runes) (link chk 170424)

From: American Sanskrit Institute: http://www.americansanskrit.com/ 170424

See how Devanagari aksharas are written by hand:
- SktAlphabet-Amer<> / bkp<> (link chk 170424)
The instructor has finished writing अ a and आ ā, and is beginning to write इ i


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Sanskrit speaking Buddhists

- UKT 170425

There were Sanskrit-speakers among the followers of Buddha. F. Edgerton in his Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary has dubbed their language (speech) as Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit aka BHS:
- BHS-vol01-indx.htm - update 160229

I am using Vol. 1 as a bridge from Macdonell's work to Pal-Myn. Go thru the TOC to see its coverage:
i01. Languages used in early Buddhism -- i01early.htm
i02. An 'original language' of Buddhism -- i02original.htm

UKT 160807: In BHS we find, Rāhula {ra-hu.la.} has an equivalent, Lāghula {la-Gu.la.}. It is an evidence for pronunciations of Lateral (L-like) plane changing into those of Rhotic (R-like) plane.

i03. Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit -- i03BHS.htm
i04. Changes in the course of tradition -- i04changes.htm
i05. Plan and methods of this work -- i05plan-methods.htm
i06. Sanskrit vs Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit -- i06Skt-vs-BHS.htm
i07. The Prakrit underlying BHS -- i07Prakrit-BHS.htm 
i08. BHS lexicon -- i08BHS-lex.htm

UKT 140315: I am finding Edgerton's Vol. 1, to be a very useful introduction. The small print was too much for my eyes until my able assistant Daw KhinWutyi started to digitize them from my research station in Yangon. The pages were scanned from the ink-on-paper book by my son Dr. Zin Tun. They are sent via email to Yangon to Wutyi who digitized them into html. Back they came to me in Canada to be checked, edited and included in this work.

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The Speech (language) of Gautama Buddha

-- UKT 120924, 130912, 140710, 151123, 170425

Imagine yourself listening to a sermon in Magadhi preached by Gaudama Buddha himself. How would your brain have recorded the sounds? Unless, you belong to the same linguistic group as the Buddha, your brain would not be able to record it perfectly. The Tib-Bur speakers would hear the speech and reproduce it in a non-rhotic non-hissing form, whereas IE (Indo-European) speakers, and Dravidian speakers (Aus-Asi) would have heard and recorded it in a rhotic hissing form. Since Magadha Mahajanapada {ma-ga.Da. ma.ha-za.na.pa.da.} 'foothold of of Magadha people' (c. 600 BCE - c. 300 BCE), is within "walking distance" from Tagaung Kingdom {ta.kan:prN} in modern northern Myanmarpr, Pyus and others from our land, would surely be among his audience. And what they heard was brought back into Myanmarpr, and so our Pal-Myan is more close to the Buddha's speech than that of International Pali, Pal-Lat, which was derived from Lankan Pali. Pali in Lanka was invented from Old Magadhi and Lankan speech for use by the Theravada Buddhists after the missionaries from Magadha Kingdom of King Asoka centuries after the death of the Buddha.

Though there were no sound recording machines during the time of Magadha Mahajanapada {ma-ga.Da. ma.ha-za.na.pa.da.}, we can still get a fair idea how speech of the people would have sounded from the Abugida-Akshara script of King Asoka - a perfect phonetic script of the period which preceded by thousands of years the IPA alphabet of our modern times. Please note I am not saying that Pal-Myan and Bur-Myan are the same, but since our peoples share many genetic and cultural aspects, our phonologies would be the same.
  See downloaded pdf in TIL SD-Library
- ACunningham-Asoka-inscripԻ / bkp<> (link chk 160222)

What Macdonell has given in his dictionary is mostly surface meanings which he undoubtedly got from the Hindu religionist sources. Sanskrit must have changed over the centuries as the speakers came into contact with new cultures and new religions, and Sanskrit of northern India of Buddha's time would be different from the "modern" Sanskrit of southern India thanks to the religionists writing and rewriting the religious texts over the centuries. However it is my expectation that I can get a fair idea of underlying meanings if I were to compare two contemporary (or almost contemporary) works such as that of Macdonell and of U Hoke Sein. A word such as {a.da-na.} & its antonym {da-na.}, is an example on how I would like to proceed. Example:

अदान  a-dāna --> {a.da-na.} 
Skt: n. not giving, withholding; a. not giving; not exuding juice from the temples [of elephant]. -- Mac09c1
Pal: {a.da-na.} - n. not giving, not giving charity - UKT from UHS-PMD0041
Pal antonym: {da-na.} - . n. giving, giving liberally, giving charity. . n. cutting (meaning "cutting of attachment"), cutting of family ties, must (a secretion from the temple of a male elephant which becomes excessive during must or mating season). . n. elimination - UKT from UHS-PMD0465

In the above example, अदान  a-dāna --> {a.da-na.}, we can use aks-to-aks to get from Skt-Dev to Pal-Myan.

Because I am a Buddhist not only by birth but by conviction, I have been curious about the language used by the historical Buddha - the Gautama Buddha. Forget the Mahayana Buddhas, such as the Adhi Buddha. They are nothing but axiomatic entities such, like the Hindu gods and goddesses, such as Mahabrahma, Vishnu and Siva, and the Mdaws of the pre-Brahminical incursion into the Indian subcontinent extending into Myanmarpr.

It is obvious that the historical Gautama Buddha spoke mostly in his own language, the Magadhi, the language of {ma.ga.Da.ten:} 'Magadha-country' where he was born. The language is now recognized as the older form of Pali-Prakrit. What was its script?

It is accepted that the oldest script found in the Indian subcontinent was the script on Asoka pillars which is now dubbed Brahmi script. However, when one Magul king asked the Brahmin-Poannars {braah~ma.Na. poaN~Na:} to decipher the script on the Asoka pillars, they could not. This shows that it was not their script, and I must object to the name the "Brahmi". I prefer to call it "Asokan". Or, if you are stuck with Brahmi , call it is Asokan-Brahmi. This would differentiate it from another similar script, the Tamil-Brahmi. My interest in Telugu and Tamil languages are because of their similarity to Mon-Myan language.
See Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil-Brahmi 170228
" Tamil-Brahmi, or Tamili, is a variant of the Brahmi script used to write the Tamil language. These are the earliest documents of a Dravidian language, and the script was well established in the Chera and Pandyan states, in what is now Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Sri Lanka. Inscriptions have been found on cave beds, pot sherds, Jar burials, coins, seals, and rings. The language is Archaic Tamil, and led to classical Sangam literature.. [1]

"Tamil Brahmi differs in several ways from Ashokan Brahmi. It adds several letters for sounds not found in Prakrit [Magadhi?]: ṉ ṟ ṛ ḷ. Secondly, in many of the inscriptions the inherent vowel has been discarded: A consonant written without diacritics represents the consonant alone, whereas the Ashokan diacritic for long ā is used for both ā and short a in Tamil Brahmi. This is unique to Tamil Brahmi and Bhattiprolu among the early Indian scripts. [2] This appears to be an adaptation to Dravidian phonotactics, where words commonly end in consonants, as opposed to Prakrit, where this never occurs. According to Mahadevan, in the earliest stages of the script the inherent vowel was either abandoned, as above, or the bare consonant was ambiguous as to whether it implied a short a or not. Later stages of Tamil Brahmi returned to the inherent vowel that was the norm in India. [1]"

Macdonell using an older transliteration represents palatal plosive-stop {sa.} च as ka [k is slanted  or in italics]. Note Bur-Myan uses the same glyph {Sa.} ष for dental fricative-sibilant. This transcription system was used by Indologists of his period, and if you are interested in Indology you should know about this transcription system.

The article that finally settled my query on the language of Buddha is from Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary , by Franklin Edgerton, 1885-1963,
- BHS-indx.htm (link chk 17042)

. The Buddha himself was an 'easterner'; his family lived at Kapilavastu, in northeaster Kosala (Oudh); his wanderings seem to have been chiefly bounded on the west by Srāvastī (also in Kosala, though considerably to the west of Kapilavastu) and on the east by Rājagrha, the capital of Magadha (Bihar south of the Ganges). All this region belongs linguistically to what is now called modern Bihari (except that Srāvastī may perhaps be just over the line in Eastern Hindi). Doubtless most of his disciples belonged to the same general region, and we may assume that, during the Buddha's lifetime, the Buddhist texts were mainly, at least, recited in eastern dialects. Yet no one knows just what dialect the Buddha spoke; and it seems clear that the dialects of his disciples differed perceptibly.

Realizing that his teachings would have to be spread among peoples speaking with differing phonologies, Buddha summarized:


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UKT notes

Doggie's Tale

-- UKT 130613

Mnemonic The Doggie Tale:  
Little doggie cringe in fear -- ŋ (velar),
  Seeing Ella's flapping ears -- ɲ (palatal)
  And, the Shepard's hanging rear -- ɳ (retroflex).
Doggie so sad he can't get it out
  What's that Kasha क्ष when there's a Kha ख ?
  And when there's Jana ज्ञ what I am to do with Jha झ?
On top of all there're husher and hisser, Sha श /ʃ/ and Ssa ष /s/,
  when I am stuck with Theta स /θ/ !" 
Little Doggie don't be sad,
  You are no worse than a Celtic Gnome
  Losing G in his name, he is just a Nome!

Note to digitizer: you can copy and paste the following:
Ā ā ă ấ  Ē ē ĕ ế  Ī ī ĭ  Ō ō ŏ  Ū ū ŭ ː
Ḍ ḍ Ḥ ḥ Ḷ ḷ Ḹ ḹ Ṁ ṁ Ṃ ṃ
Ṅ ṅ Ṇ ṇ ɴ Ṛ ṛ Ṝ ṝ Ś ś Ṣ ṣ Ṭ ṭ ɕ ʂ
Book marks: * star, dagger (alt0134), double daggerf (a0135).
Bur-Myan: for {nga.} use c ċ (U010B) - unfortunately ċ is non-ASCII
Instead of Skt-Dev ः {wic~sa.} use "colon" :
Avagraha ऽ use apostrophe
Root sign √ ; approx ≅
IAST Dev: भ आ इ ई उ ऊ
  ऋ ऌ ऍ ऎ ए ऐ ऑ ऒ ओ औ
  च ca छ cha  श ś [ɕ] /ʃ/ ; ष ṣ [ʂ] /s/; स s [s] /θ/ ; ऋ {iRi.} & ॠ {iRi},
  viram ् , rhotic ऋ ृ
Skt-Dev Row #3: ट ठ ड ढ ण ; conjunct ट ् ठ = ट्ठ
Skt-Dev special phonemes: Ksa क ् ष = क्ष
Undertie in Dev transcription: ‿ U203F
Using ZWNJ (ZeroWidthNonJoiner), e.g. , क्‌ष (code: क्&zwnj;ष)
  See Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-width_non-joiner 150630
IPA-, Pali- & Sanskrit nasals: ŋ ṅ ṅ ,  ɲ , ɳ ṇ ṇ, n n n , m m m
  Pali- & Skt {::tn}: aṁ , aṃ 
IPA symbols:
 ɑ ɒ ə ɛ ɪ ɯ ʌ ʊ ʃ ʧ ʤ θ ŋ ɲ ɳ ɴ ɔ ɹ ʔ /ʰ/ /ʳ/ /ː/
  <king> /kɪŋ/ (DJPD16-300) 
  <kick> /kɪc/ (DJPD16-299 gives /kik/) and <kiss> /kɪs/ (DJPD16-301)
  <church> /ʧɜːʧ/ (DJPD16-097)
  <success> /sək'ses/ (DJPD16-515)
  <thin> /θɪn/ (DJPD16-535), <thorn> /θɔːn/ (DJPD16-535)
  circumflex-acute :
  ấ U+1EA5 , ế U+1EBF
  upsilon-vrachy  ῠ 
  small-u-breve  ῠ ŭ

Go back Dog-tale-note-b

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-- UKT 140831, 150703, 170326:

When you study Indology, you will come across many unexpected things, such as in a Hindu-religionist story on the founder of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Lord Chaitanya (18 February 1486 14 June 1534):
http://krishna.org/lord-chaitanya-defeats-the-buddhists/ - 140216, 140831, 150703 . He was considered to be Kishna himself. See also Wikipedia:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaitanya_Mahaprabhu 150703
Curiously, he was born 449 years before I was born on 18 Feb 1935, Monday just before the Moon became full.

Bur-Myan Buddhists - one group in my target audience - should be prepared for such stories, noting that Skt-Dev is just a language and that you must be able to treat it like any other language free from biases of the religionists.

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indology 130509

Indology is the academic study of the history and cultures, languages, and literature of the Indian subcontinent (most specifically the modern-day states of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal), and as such is a subset of Asian studies.

Indology may also be known as Indic studies or Indian studies, or South Asian studies [UKT: differentiate from South-East Asian (SE-Asian) studies], although scholars and university administrators sometimes have only partially overlapping interpretations of these terms.

The term Indology or (in German) Indologie is often associated with German scholarship, and is used more commonly in departmental titles in German and continental European universities than in the anglophone academy. In the Netherlands the term Indologie was used to designate the study of Indonesian history and culture in preparation for colonial service in the Dutch East Indies.

Specifically, Indology includes the study of Sanskrit literature and Hinduism along with the other Indian religions, Jainism, Buddhism and Pāli literature, and Sikhism. [UKT ]

UKT 151122, 170326: Pali language is an artificial language created from Old Magadhi of Buddha and king Asoka, and the native language of Sri Lanka aka Ceylon. Old Magadhi speech is written in Asokan (or Asokan-Brahmi) - the forerunner of Myanmar script, and Lanka speech in its own script.

Pal-Myan is related the Old Magadhi in Asakan-Brahmi, whereas International Pali to the Pali used in Sri Lanka.

Dravidology is the separate branch dedicated to the Dravidian languages of South India. What we meant by Indology is specifically called the Classical Indology dealing with Pali and Sanskrit and various forms of religion. It is to be differentiated from Modern Indology, is focussed on contemporary India, its politics and sociology.

Systematic study and editorial activity of Sanskrit literature is possible with appearances of works such as:
1. the St. Petersburg Sanskrit-Wrterbuch - 1850s to 1870s.
2. the Sacred Books of the East - beginning 1879.
3. Pāṇini's grammar by Otto von Bohtlingkappeared - 1887.
4. Rigveda by Max Mller - 184975.
5. Bibliotheca Buddhica by Sergey Oldenburg - 1897.
Take note of timeline in Myanmarpr: Anglo-Burmese Wars: 1st. 1824, 2nd. 1852, 3rd. 1885

UKT 130511: Macdonell has stated in his Preface MC-pre2.htm (link chk 160222)
in connection with Transliteration :

"The system is that which has been adopted in the 'Sacred Books of the East,' and already followed by me in my edition of Professor Max Mller's Sanskrit Grammar. Had I been guided exclusively by my own judgment I should have preferred c {sa.} and j {za.} to represent the hard and the soft palatal".

UKT: more in the Wikipedia article.

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My own thoughts and my inspiration

-- UKT120904, 140831, 160222

I have been asked by many why at this old age I have become a linguist after retirement from a life time of a university chemistry teacher which I had shared with my now departed wife Daw Than Than aka Mrs. Than Than Tun.

Retirement years as an old man physically handicapped to some extent are not the golden years as have been popularly imagined. Ordinarily I would have been treated even by my own children as a senile old man who has outlived his usual years as a human being. Luckily my love for my birth country Myanmarpr and its language Bur-Myan (Burmese speech in Myanmar) script have come to my rescue.

My love for Bur-Myan and my attempts to write it out on my father's English typewriter has been dormant all along in my life since my pre-teen days in the 1940s (before Burmese typewriters came on scene). The resulting script, Romabama, is thus not a Johnny-come-lately in my old age because I have nothing else to do. However, Romabama in its present form, was launched only in the late 1990s on the Internet from Canada, after both my wife and I had become Canadian citizens because of which our meagre service pension for serving in the Myanmar universities for over 33 years have been discontinued.

To be able to bring my beloved Myanmar script to the world's attention, and to try to "unify" BEPS (Burmese, English, Pali, & Sanskrit spoken languages written in Myanmar, IPA-English, & Devanagari scripts) have been my reward. To be able to continue with this study for these many years is because of the encouragements I have received from achievers in life . The following is one:

From a news report by Nick Collins, Science Correspondent, The Telegraph, 120110. Nick Collins wrote about Professor Stephen Hawking on his 70th birthday. Professor Hawking is the one who had been diagnosed 50 years ago, to live only five years. 
   "Prof Hawking reflected on his life as a "glorious time to be alive" and said he was happy to have made a "small contribution" to our understanding of the universe.
   "He concluded: "Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist.
   " 'Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don't just give up.' "
See also Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking 140831

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- UKT 150923, 170425:

I have been on the Language problem of primitive Buddhism, since I received a photocopy sometime in 2004, from Daw Papa Aung, lecturer in Pali, Yangon University.

From: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirukta 150923

Nirukta निरुक्त {ni.roat~ta}, "explanation, etymological interpretation", is one of the six Vedānga disciplines of Hinduism, treating etymology, particularly of obscure words, especially those occurring in the Vedas. [1] [2] [3] The discipline is traditionally attributed to Yāska, an ancient Sanskrit Vedic grammarian. Yāska's association with the discipline is so great that he is also referred to as Niruktakāra or Niruktakrit ("Maker of Nirukta"), as well as Niruktavat ("Author of Nirukta"). In practical use, nirukta consists of brief rules (sūtras) for deriving word meanings, supplemented with glossaries of difficult or rare Vedic words.

Nirukta is also the name given to a celebrated commentary by Yāska on the Nighantu, an even older glossary (dated before 14th Century CE) [4] which was already traditional in his time. Yāska's Nirukta contains a treatise on etymology, and deals with various attempts to interpret the many difficult Vedic words in the Nighantu. It is in the form of explanations of words, and is the basis for later lexicons and dictionaries. [5] The Nighantu is now traditionally combined with the Nirukta as a unified text.

A critical edition of the Nighantu and the Nirukta was published by Lakshman Sarup in the 1920s. The downloaded pdf paper is in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- LSarup-NighantuNirukta<> / bkp<> (link chk 170425)
See Buddha's conversation with two Brahmin-Poannars, on p075. He used the Socratic manner of argument to make the Poannars to reject their beliefs in axiomatic entities.
See what the Socratic method is in Wikipedia:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method 170425

The question of meaning of Niruta is also connected to how it is pronounced. I cannot get its pronunciation. What I could get is निरुक्ति nirukti. How would a lay Hindi-speaker , or a Poannar whose L1 is Hindi pronounce the word  निरुक्ति nirukti = न ि र ु क ् त ि --> {ni.roak~ti.}? Now, listen: निरुक्ति<)) (link chk 170425)
from: https://www.howtopronounce.com/hindi/निरुक्ति/ 150712

I don't know how another Hindi-speaker would heard it. But it sounds  {ni.roak-t} to me. No wonder we are all confused!

Remember there are at least two kinds of Brahmins who speak Skt-Dev: Vaishnavite-Poannar {braah~ma.Na PoaN~Na:} (mostly with Hindi as L1) and Shaivite-Poannar (mostly with Tamil as L1). Their Sanskrit pronunciations are different. Since, Hindi speech written in Devanagari script is the directly related to Skt-Dev, I would like to rely more on the Sanskrit speech of the Hindi speakers taking note that Hindi syllables that should end with coda are shown without the Virama sign, which has a bearing on their Sanskrit pronunciation. It results in a change in the nuclear vowel of the syllable. Thus Asoka has become Ashok, which in Bur-Myan means 'confusion'. And we are doubly confused!

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Perceptual sound variation of lateral to rhotic sounds as reflected in Vedic to Sanskrit languages, with Pali-Myanmar in between

UKT 131019, 140725, 160807, 161007:

Strictly speaking approximants are neither vowels nor consonants though they have been described as semi-vowels which is the same as semi-consonants.

My interest is their effect on the preceding vowel - either free or bound as an inherent vowel in an akshara. Remember, as such they are the codas. e.g.: {y}, {r}, {l}, {w}, {h}

UKT 160807: In BHS we find, Rāhula {ra-hu.la.} has an equivalent, Lāghula {la-Gu.la.}. It is an evidence for pronunciations of Lateral (L-like) plane changing into those of Rhotic (R-like) plane.
See: F. Edgerton, Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary,
- BHS-indx.htm (link chk 161007)

Do not confuse these with {ya.pn.}, {ra.ric}, {la.hsw:}, {wa.hsw:}, and {ha.hto:}. As an illustration:

{ka.} + viram + {ya.} -->  {kya.}
{ka.} + {ya.} + viram --> {k}

The codas {y}, {r}, {l}, {w}, {h}, do not seem to change the pronunciation of the vowel, from {a.} to {i.}, but to effect its nature as to its rhoticity, laterality, and roundness.

{ma} --> {maar}
{bo} --> {bol}
{pa.o.} --> {pa.ow.}

However if your tongue is thick and is not versatile, you pronounce each pair the same. It has been suggested that {maar} can be pronounced as {maan} - which is not acceptable because it involves an unnecessary vowel change from rhotic to nasal.

The case of {r} is more complicated than the rest because it rise to repha sounds, {ar} (in {a.t}-form), and {ar~} (in {kn:si:}-form).

The highly rhotic vowels ऋ & ॠ are treated elsewhere . There is a perceptual difference between rhotic and lateral vowels ऌ & ॡ, and in classical Sanskrit of Panini, the lateral vowels have disappeared. However, we can expect to find them in Pal-Myan.

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Burmese-Myanmar vowels compared to
Sanskrit-Devanagari and English-Latin vowels

-- UKT 120121, 120602, 120622

The following phonemes are controversial, because they are the most back and the most open. They can be pronounced with various degrees of lip rounding:

{o} to {AU} 
/ {AU:} to {AU}
Skt-Dev as ओ  o & औ au
Skt-Dev diacritics: े (E) ै (Ai), ो (O) ौ (Au) - (names according to Windows)

To get to the Bur-Myan way of writing before the British colonial-educators had to chance to meddle in it, I refer to A. W. Lonsdale: 

You will note that Lonsdale did not include {o}. The 'flags', ो ौ, on the aksharas should be compared to the those on े {} ै {}.

The controversy is based on several factors:
   1. Production of vowels depends upon linguistic groups, and within a linguistic group, it varies from person to person. Since the production of vowels depends on the muscles of the hyoid complex, we can expect quite a lot of divergence.

   2. When the external facial features differs from speakers of different ethnicity, it is to be expected that the contours of the vowel space would also be different.

3. Though we usually think in terms of a two-dimensional quadrilateral vowel diagram based on the classical diagram of Daniel-Jones, we must think in terms of at least a three-dimensional one where lip-rounding is taken into consideration. And then extend our thinking into a four-dimensional one taking into consideration the jaw positions, and of course on the length of jaw which would be dependent on the ethnicity of the speaker.

4. Last but not the least is the Two-three tone problem between English-Lat, the IE (Indo-European) language and Burmese-Myan, a Tib-Bur (Tibeto-Burman) which is also a Thibilant-nasal language where the sounds of /θ/ {a.} and /ŋ/ {nga.} & /ɲ/ {a.} are quite prominent.

The controversy is due primarily to absence of the series {o.}, {o}, {o:} in both Skt-Dev and Eng-Lat.

The Romabama spellings given below are tentative: they may have to be changed with deeper understanding of the problems involved. -- UKT120121

A slight revision has been made to Myanmar graphemes, & , to differentiate them from very rhotic Sanskrit graphemes. The hood over the Myanmar graphemes has been has been drastically shortened whilst those for Sanskrit has been lengthened as much as possible, e.g. in ऋ (note the dummy part in red and the vowel part in green). Similarly, you will find a shortening of hoods in {ra.ric}-medials.


Vowel letters in Bur-Myan and Skt-Dev

-- UKT120817, 161120

If you look at the akshara table, you'll see that row #3 consonants, the retroflex, seem to stand apart from the other consonants. The first three consonants seem to be standing on pedestals.

The retroflex row#3 is quite outstanding in Mon-Myan pronunciation:
  Mon-Myan retroflex: Mon-retroflex<)) (link chk 161120)
Now listen to Mon-Myan Velar: Mon-velar<))
and Mon-Myan Palatal: Mon-palatal<))
Notice there is only one akshara sound with {} for retroflex, whereas there are 3 each for others.

Most of the other consonant-glyphs has shapes clearly based on One-circle-Two-circles shapes based on the full-rounded circle {wa.}. The consonant-glyphs do not extend into the upper-level, nor into the lower-level. In fact none extended into the upper-level. The following are some with extensions into the lower level:

r2c4 {Za.},   r2c5 {a.}
r4c5 {na.}
r7c3 {La.}

Unlike the vowels, none of these consonants have an alternate "Letter" form.

In the case of vowels, there are two forms: the vowel-letters and the vowel-signs. As the first part part of our study, we will deal with {a.wuN}-vowels: /a/ /i/, /u/ . They are the three of eight cardinal vowels of Daniel Jones. http://www.phonetics.ucla.edu/course/chapter9/cardinal/cardinal.html 120817

In all Indic languages and Bur-Myan, each of the above three has a short form a, i, and u, and a long form ā, ī, and ū. Right now our interest is only on /i/ & /u/, and their forms in Devanagari and in Myanmar. In both cases there are distinct vowel-letters, and {a.}+vowel-signs.

Our interest is now narrowed down to vowel-letters:

इ i {I.} ;  ई ī {I}
उ u {U} ;  ऊ ū {U}

In each case notice the diacritics when a short form is changed into the long form.

What most of the modern Bur-Myan have difficulty with is {I.}. They think it is a vertical conjunct of {ka.} over {ku.}. They do not know that it has the sound of {i.} and like {i.}, {I.} on being checked by a killed consonant changes into {ai}.


Checking the Burmese-Myanmar vowels

- UKT 110815 , 120119 , 161206

Though the Westerners who are used to Alphabet-Letter system, CVC, do not pay any attention to the coda, I am finding that the only way to study Bur-Myan language belonging to Abugida-Akshara, CV, is to study the effect of coda consonant, , on the nuclear vowel, V.

An added problem is the difference in number of tones or registers (time-duration of which are measured by the time you take to blink your eye) between different languages such as Bur-Myan, Eng-Lat, Mon-Myan, and Skt-Dev. At the beginning of my study, I notice what I have termed the Two-three tone problem. My work was hampered until I discovered the अः of Skt-Dev has a counter part in Mon-Myan {a:.}. My thanks to the Gayatri Mantra where I noticed the नः from which I find the Mon-Myan {na:.}.
- bk-cndl-gayatri<))

{a:.} अः (1/2 eye blink) , {a.} अ (1 blnk) , {a} आ (2 blnk), {a:} (2 blnk+emphasis),
Note #1: Bur: {aa.} (1/2 blnk) = Mon: {a:.}
Note #2: There is no emphatic in both Mon and Sanskrit.
Listen to Skt-Dev vowels:
Spoken Skt-Dev grammar - SpkSktDevGram-indx.htm (link chk 170426)
Note #3:
  Short ह्रस्व hrasva (1 blnk), i.e., one मात्राकाल mātrākāla 
  Long दीर्घ dīrgha (2 blnk), i.e., two मात्राकाल mātrākāla 
  Protracted प्लुत pluta, i.e., three मात्राकाल mātrākāla  Lesson04<))
To be compared to the call of rooster in the morning.

The vowels in any human language are produced deep down in the throat by a set of muscles on the hyoid complex in the voice-box with accompanying tongue and lip movements. Because of this no two human beings will pronounce the same vowel, say {i.} /i/ in the same way. In fact the same human being will sing his or her vowels differently from time to time depending on his or her health (such as suffering from common cold), and in different consonantal environments.

When we are dealing with human beings of different linguistic groups such as Bur-Myan (Tib-Bur linguistic group), English-Latin (IE aka Indo-European), Pal-Myan (Tib-Bur), Sri Lankans (Austro-Asiatic), Northern Indians (Indo-Aryan) and Nepalis (Tib-Bur changing into Indo-Aryan), we must expect to hear them producing the same vowel /i/ noticeably differently.

Yet in many ways, we can still recognize what they are singing: it is the vowel /i/. So what we will be aiming at is the phonemic (phonology) distinctions rather than phonetics. We are concerned with accuracy rather than precision. The only reliable key to transcription is the two highly contrastive vowels:

First set: /i/ (front-close), and /ɑ/ (back-open)
Second set: /a/ (front-open), and /u/ (back-close)

Though the first-set is more reliable, we are faced with a set back because of the uncertainty of /ɑ/, because in Pal-Myan and Bur-Myan, this phoneme is a mix-up between /ɔ/ (open-o), /o/, and /ɑ/.

Our only choice is the second-set. We find the contrastive-ness in {u} and {a} in Mora Sutta.
Listen to Mora Sutta by Mingun Sayadaw - bk-cndl-Mingun<))
The phoneme {u} is used for the rising Sun in the morning, and {a} is used for the setting Sun in the evening. This finding and other similar findings has led me to conclude that we can know something of the pronunciation by looking at the shape of the Myanmar aksharas.

We need to take the four BEPS languages together because what we are aiming at is to come up with a reliable transcription from Bur-Myan to Eng-Latin and back. Romabama, my invention, is the interlanguage-ASCII-based alphabet. It is used to bridge the four languages.

To be continued.

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Sonority hierarchy

It is important in checking (or stopping) the sound of the peak or nuclear vowel of the syllable {sa.ka:n-su.}

-- UKT 120520, 120903, 150924

In the Abugida-Akshara system of writing, the syllable {sa.ka:n-su.} is the principal unit. The syllable has the canonical form CV where is a 'killed' consonant -- a consonantal akshara whose inherent vowel has been 'killed' by a virama (which I usually shorten to 'viram') in Sanskrit and {a.t} in Burmese.

A syllable may or may not have the onset C, or the coda , but it must always have the peak or the nuclear vowel V. In cases where the syllable is either V or just a V, the rime is important. For argument sake we may say V is a syllable with coda=1 and V to be a syllable with coda=0. Thus it is important to see how effective the is in checking the sound of V.

We see in the Sonority hierarchy, the most effective are the plosive-stop consonants, exemplified by {pa.}.

The nasals -- an example being {ma.} -- are not very effective and they fall in between the consonants (obstruents) and vowels (sonorants). Of the nasals, the velar {nga.} /ŋ/, is the probably very important in Bur-Myan. Unfortunately, neither the English speakers nor the Sanskrit speakers could pronounce it properly. They usually substitute its sound with that of {na.} /n/. I am beginning to believe that नः '1st personal pronoun possessive' in the last line of Gayatri Mantra of the Hindus is the "substitute" for {ngaa.}.

धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त्॥ ।
  dhyo y naḥ pracodyāt
UKT 150924: aks-to-aks: नः --> {na.:}
Listen to Gayatri Mantra, paying attention to नः॑ {na.:} , bk-cndl-gayatri<)) (link chk 160222)

English has only two nasals <m> /m/ & <n> /n/ in both onset and coda positions, and in my work on BEPS I am concentrating on these two rather than on {nga.} /ŋ/ which is present in the codas of the English syllable as in <king> /kɪŋ/ but not in the onset.

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