Update: 2018-08-22 10:33 PM -0400


A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary
read with Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit


by A. A. Macdonell, 1893,
Scanned pages from Univ. Cologne
- http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/MDScan/index.php?sfx=jpg; 1929.
Nataraj ed., 1st in 2006, 2012.
Digital online dictionary from Univ. Chicago
- http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/macdonell/
Benfey Skt-Eng Dictionary, 1866, in PDF
- TBenfey-SktEngDict<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180112)
  Ref. as "Benfey" - no page numbers in Google e-book from which the PDF is copied
The Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary, vol.2, by F. Edgerton, pp. 627.
- FEdgerton-BHSD<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180627)
  Edgerton's downloaded version is in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries.
A Dictionary of the Pali Language, by R.C. Childers, reprint 2007 available in TIL library in Research Center in Yangon.
  The above as downloaded text from 1875 ed. in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- RCChilders-PaliLangDict<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180701)
Pali-Myanmar dictionary, by U Hoke Sein (in Pal-Myan) in ink-on-paper book (for reference)

Edited by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA), Daw Khin Wutyi, Daw Thuzar Myint, Daw Zinthiri Han 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

index.htm | Top

Contents of this page

UKT 171129, 180702: To find the relation between Bur-Myan, Pal-Myan and Skt-Dev, words should be carefully spelled out. Giving only English transcription has hindered my understanding of such words, such as BEPS basic akshara {S~hpa.} --> स्फोट
TIL HTML editor 180630: For BHS bookmarks, the following convention is used:
1. m - usual m; [m] - ṃ
2. s  - usual s;   [s]  - ṣ  ;  [s] - ś :- e.g. aṃśa - [amsa]

UKT 180511: What does the glyph {a.} represent? In Eng-Lat script, a represents the vowel /a/ without specifying the vowel-duration. It could be either {a.} of duration 1 blnk (eye-blink), or {a} 2 blnk. It could also be the negation of something. However, the negation in Bur-Myan is not {a.}, but {ma.}.

Page-by-page reference
  Vowels as onsets : consolidated under - MCv1pp-indx.htm - update 2018Aug    
  Consonants as onsets : consolidated under - MCc1pp-indx.htm - update 2018Jun
  Approximants as onsets
Abugida-Akshara system : different from Alphabet-Letter
Inherent vowel and Nuclear vowel


UKT notes :
Doggie's Tale : copy and paste
Indology : forget the fairy-tales
Intrinsic vowel and its pronunciation
My own thoughts and my inspiration : never bow down - look up to the stars
Nirukta  {ni.roat~ta} : Listen to Skt-Dev BkCnd-VIDEO<))
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

Contents of this page


UKT 180724:

As humans, we have been baby-talk when we were babies, and then graduated to regular speech. But I wonder whether you have opened your mount wide enough to see the passage ways through which our "beautiful" voices have come out.

Open your mouth wide in front of a mirror and look inside. Try to look for your "little grape" called Uvula. It is at the end of the mouth passage, leading into a vertical tube. You are looking into this tube from a side opening. The upper portion of the tube leads up into the nose, and down into the gullet.

Long time ago when we found out that the name of the robber-turned-saint { n-gu.li.ma-la. ma.ht} has been mispronounced as  { n-gu.li.ma-la. ma.ht}, we have run into the problem of Semi-nasal as a killed-akshara checking the vowel /i/ { i.}.

In my TIL 2001-09-22 version of Sanskrit English Dictionary, from: Online Sanskrit Dictionary, February 12, 2003 - http://sanskritdocuments.org/dict/dictall.pdf   090907
I've analyzed the problem as follows:

{n~gu.} अङ्गु

अङ्गुल (a.ngula) .
Skt: अङ्गुल (a.ngula) - a finger - OnlineSktDict
Skt: aṅgula - aṅgula m. (√ag or aṅg), a finger
  # the thumb # a finger's breadth, a measure equal to eight barley-corns, twelve aṅgulas making a vitasti or span, and twenty-four a hasta or cubit
  # (in astron.) a digit, or twelfth part # N. of the sage Cāṇakya L - MonWilliWash
Pal: aṅgula - mn. a finger, finger's breadth, inch - UPMT-PED005

अङ्गुली anguli
Skt: अङ्गुली anguli [ a&ndot;gul ] f. finger; toe; -mudr, f. finger-mark. -- Mac004
Skt: अङ्गुलि   aṅguli  f.   finger - SpkSkt
Skt: aṅguli - aṅgli is, (or aṅgulī), f. a finger
  # a toe # the thumb # the great toe
  # the finger-like tip of an elephant's trunk # the measure aṅgula - MonWilliWash
Pal: - not entd. in UPMT
BPal: {n~gu.li.} - - UHS-PMD0013

  My analysis still stands. If only the English transcription of Angulimala  { n-gu.li.ma-la. ma.ht} had followed the example of the transcription of English speech as { n~ga.lait.sa.ka:} and had been Engulimala I could have accepted it. It hasn't been so. The problem remained with me until I came across Pali Grammar by Shin Kic'si {shin kic~s:}, when I realized that that the saint had to include Sanskrit speakers who could not properly pronounce the semi-nasal sounds.

See: Angulimala: a murderer's road to sainthood , by Hellmuth Hecker, 2007,
- https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/hecker/wheel312.html 180724

I've given my version of Shin Kic'si {shin kic~s} motto: 

See: Kachchayano's Pali  Grammar, by Mason-Mazard, p036 in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries.
- FMasonMazard-KicsiPali<> / bkp<> (link chk 180724)

 In my above analysis, you can clearly see the Semi-nasal {gna.}/ {ng} checking the preceding vowel {a.} in the Skt-Dev spelling अङ्गुली .

Since both English-Lat and Sanskrit-Dev do not have the phoneme {gna.}/ {ng}, the English rendition has become /un/ in the place of /ɪn/. Always remember the case of English word <king> in which you don't pronounce the g . Or, note the case of <sign> and <sing>.

My remark that "Skt-Dev did not have the phoneme {gna.}/ {ng}" comes from the case of:

ड + dot --> ङ

The devise of adding a dot to the r3c3 ड , the equivalent of {a.} shows that the original Skt-Dev did not have the phoneme {gna.}.

UKT 180819: While formulating Romabama, I ran into the problem of having to look for suitable Latin letters to represent the various shades of /d/. I had no choice but to use parallel pairs such as:

c3 vd - c4 Deep-H
{a.} - {a.}
{da.} - {Da.}

The problem has made me coin the word Seimi-nasal (non-nasal in onset and nasal in coda). This problem must have bothered the Buddhist grammarian Shin Kic'si {shin kic~s} during the time of Gautama Buddha, who proclaimed his monk as the "foremost" grammarian. Shin Kic'si had to allow the use of  {::tn} in such cases. Our reverend Shin Kic'si had to place the "correct spelling" ahead of "correct pronunciation" to escape the Curse of Babel .

Now just listen to the pronunciation difference between Bur-Myan and Mon-Myan sung by a Martaban-Mon speaker:

- BkCnd-da'na'ku'thol<))


Contents of this page

Page-by-page reference

In page-by-page reference of the original book, you'll find: 

UKT note to TIL editor, 180722: Since I started using page-by-page reference, while doing the consonants, I've started emptying the following folders from MCc-indx.htm
- MC-c11, MC-c13, MC-c14 - on row#1,col#1, col#3, col#4
- MC-c21 - on row#2, col#1
- MC-c31 - on row#3, col#1
Only MC-c41 & MC-c51 remain full. When these have been emptied (in the future) MCc-indx.htm will be deleted.

UKT 180723: At present, I'm going over MCv-indx.htm, and have emptied it.
However, check the following which were once part of it.
  Vowels in general - Human Voice - MC-acoustics.htm (link chk 160110)
  Ancient Langauages: BEPS & Georgian - MC-anci-lang.htm (link chk 160110)
  Comparison of Skt-Dev, Eng-IPALatin, and Bur-Myan vowels - MC-BEPS-vow.htm (link chk 160110) 

Vowels as onsets

  UKT 171125: Consolidated index of all vowels is under - MCv1pp-indx.htm - update 2018Jul
  Updates: v1 - update 2018Jul, v2 - 2017Jan

Consonants as onsets
Plosive-stops, affricates, semi-nasals & true nasals

  UKT 171125: Consolidated index of consonants
  of r1 , r2 & r3 :  - MCc1pp-indx.htm - update 2018Jun
  Updates: r1 - 2018May, r2 - 2018Jun, r3 - 2018Jun 
  Updates: r4 - 2018Jun,
  Updates: r5 {pa.} - future update

Approximants as onsets
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

On grouped files - MCc-indx.htm - update 2017Nov
  : to be eventually deleted. I've started taking out its contents one by one.

I've gone over A. A. Macdonell A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary, looking at the entries in groups of 1, 2, 3, etc. a second time, in days before the split of TIL and Softguide. These are what I'm calling old files or grouped files. I'm now going over them again.
- MC-c41-indx.htm - update 2017Nov
- MC-c51-indx.htm  - future update
Though I have planned to access the individual files from individual TOCs, I'm finding that it is better to have a unified TOC for {ta.}-row and {pa.}-row. 

On script - MCscript-indx.htm - update 2017Dec
UKT to TIL editor 170827: The following are in txt-in-single-file form. If any are to be expanded, separate it as a nested folder. Contains:
Preface, Scanned pages, Digital online Univ Chicago version, Glossary, Nepali Dictionary,
Language comparison and roots of languages being compared Hand-written Skt-Dev Akshara
HD-nonPDF: LearnSktOnline-GrammTerms<> / Bkp<>
. In HD-PDF: KVAbhyankar-DictSktGramm<> / Bkp<>
Mahayana texts from website http://www.ishwar.com/buddhism/holy_mahayana_texts/ 171212

On speech - Remember Skt-Dev sounds belonging to IE languages, and Pal-Myan (& Bur-Myan) sounds belonging to Tib-Bur languages are entirely different. For example, listen to the pronunciation of Skt-Dev niroakta<))
 Its equivalent in Pal-Myan is {ni.roak~ta.}.

Concentrate on the closing sound. It is त occupying r4c1 of the akshara-matrix, the same place as . However how does त sound? Is it /ta/, /t/ or /t/, or something entirely different ? I will have to say "entirely different".


Contents of this page

Abugida-Akshara system of writing :
different from Alphabet-Letter system

-- UKT 130828, 131119, 140327, 160110, 180723

Writing or editing a dictionary on Indic & Myanmar languages is a mess until one keeps in mind that there are different systems of writing. English uses Alphabet-Letter system, whereas Indic & Myanmar languages use Abugida-Akshara system. The target languages which we have in mind are primarily Sanskrit (Skt-Dev), Pali (Pal-Myan) and Bamah Burmese (Bur-Myan).

Note that Bamah is just one speech that uses the Myanmar akshara. For instance, Mon speech uses the same basic Myanmar script, in addition to others like Karen-Po, Karen-Sgaw, Pa'O, Shan, etc. Other akshara languages such as Bangla-Bengali (Ban-Ben) may be included later.

The two writing systems, the Abugida-Akshara and the Alphabet-Letter, are entirely different. In all akshara systems, you must differentiate between the speech {sa.ka:} or the acoustics of the language, and the script {sa} or the glyphs the marks you make on palm leaves or paper. To make a durable presentation, the marks are made on stone (inscriptions), or durable metals such as gold and silver. The marks are made by writing with a stylus or a pen. The marks are made more visible by rubbing in lamp-black into the scratches, or when a pen is used regular ink is employed.

Writing on palm leaves with a stylus is still practiced in Myanmarpr by astronomers-astrologers for each person giving the exact time of date, day and time of birth based on the Myanmar luni-solar calendar. Since, the date depends on a particular luni-solar calendar, which has seen changes during the long history of the country, the positions of the planets, and the asterisms are calculated and recorded. Do not forget that the Western calendar has been changed within our living memory, and changes to the dates of birth of historical persons, and historical events have to be specified in BC or AD. Similarly, the time-keeping devises have been changed and so when recording the "hour, minute, and second" of birth, the time-keeping system must be specified. The Western historians are only now beginning to realize the utility of such a system for keeping track of historical events which could be checked by modern day astronomy.

The basic unit of an Alphabet is a Letter which is mute, but the basic unit of an Abugida is an Akshara whether in speech or script is a syllable. And so the word {d~da}, loosely translated as 'Grammar', gives us the system of speech-sounds which has been extended to script.

The primary speech sounds we will concentrate on in an Abugida-Akshara system are the vowels {a.ra.} and the consonants {by:}.

vowel: {a.ra.} - MLC MED2006-490 ;
  सर sara 'short vowel', स्वर svara 'vowel' - SpkSkt

consonant: {by:} - MLC MED2006-317
  व्यञ्जन vyajana 'consonant' - SpkSkt

Vowels are of two kinds: the free vowel, and the bound vowel (bounded in a consonant when it is known  as the inherent vowel). For comparing different languages of BEPS, we will concentrate on the short vowel 1 blk of cardinal vowels of the Daniel Jones.

Free vowels
front vowel
s: /a/ {a.} अ a:  / i / {i.} इ i
back vowels: /u/ {u.} उ u; /ɑ/ {au:} ओ o

Bound vowels in {ka.} क ka [shown as vowel-signs or diacritics]
front vowels: {ka.} क ka ; {ki.} कि ki
back vowels: {ku.} कु ku ; {kau:} को ko

The Abugida-Akshara writing system is described under the rubric Abugida. The term Abugida is a relatively new word introduced by Peter T. Daniels only in 1990.

Even now, Akshara system of writing is not well understood thanks to sources like Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abugida 130828 which does not mention the term "syllable" - the basic unit of the system.

I came across the different systems of writing in the website Ancient Scripts a long time ago. http://www.ancientscripts.com/  130828. Unfortunately, the format has been changed from the much simpler format which to me was more informative than the present one.

Though the basic unit of the Abugida-Akshara system is the syllable, there are difference in writing them. An importance difference between Skt-Dev and Bur-Myan vowels are in split-vowels. Skt-Dev has no split-vowels. An Indic script that has split-vowels is Bangla-Bengali.

English speakers might be surprised to know that Eng-Lat also has split-vowels in the so-called Magic-E, in which the coda-consonant is placed between the basic vowel and the ending-E, changing the pronunciation, e.g.

<kit> --> <kite>


Contents of this page

Inherent vowel and Nuclear vowel

- UKT 160909, 180723: We will deal with the Inherent vowel of the Akshara first, and then go the Nuclear vowel of the Syllable.

In my study of speech across BEPS languages, I've come to find out that syllables (pronounceable) are more important than consonants and vowels which are its parts.

A syllable of Eng-Lat has the canonical structure CVC and is essentially the same as that of Bur-Myanmar CV. The consonant C at the beginning of the syllable is known as the onset-consonant, V is the nuclear or peak vowel, and C (or - the killed consonant) at the end of the syllable known as the coda-consonant.

Remember, the consonants are described by their POA (Points of Articulation), placed as rows in the form of 7x5 matrix :

----- column ---- c1 --- c2 ---- c3 ---- c4 ---- c5
row r1, velar {ka.}, {hka.}, {ga.}, {Ga.}, {gna.}/{ng}
row r2, palatal {sa.}, {hsa.}, {za.}, {Za.}, {a.}/{}
row r3, retroflex {Ta.}, {HTa.}, {a.}, {a.}, {Na.}/{N}
row r4, dental {ta.}, {hta.}, {da.}, {Da.}, {na.}/{n}
row r5, palatal {pa.}, {hpa.}, {ba.}, {Ba.}, {ma.}/{m}
row r6, approximant {ya.}, {ra.}, {la.}, {a.}/{}
row r4, approximant --- , {ha.}, {La.}, {aa.}

Vowels are all produced in throat. Note that each consonantal-akshara has an inherent vowel, which is designated as {-a}: e.g. {ka.}. In the word CV produced as, e.g., {ka.} + [{ka.}+ Viram (aka vowel killer}] --> {kak}

The nuclear-vowel is the most important part of the syllable. The nucleus taken together with the coda is known as the rime . In Eng-Lat, there can be many consonants in the onset and also in the coda: C1C2(VC3C4). However, in Bur-Myan there can be only one consonant (killed) in the coda. In recent years there have been attempts to introduce more than one killed consonant in the coda for foreign loan-words.

See: English phonetics and proceed to English consonants and vowels
- Eng-phon-indx.htm > con-vow.htm (link chk 180727)

See also: English Phonetics and Phonology, Glossary (A Little Encyclopedia of Phonetics), by Peter Roach, 2009, in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- PRoach-Glossary<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180727)

UKT160909: My hypothesis on gender of nouns - I will be studying Pali with this hypothesis in mind.

Why has there to be sexist terms for nouns in a language? Can't we go by the sound of the syllable? Pali is a unique language in which all syllables end in vowels. When a disyllabic word is required, two syllables are conjoined either as vertical conjunct or horizontal conjunct.

In Pali, there are no syllables ending with a killed consonant   under a virama. Pali syllables can be classified by their vowel ends. The canonical structure of the syllable is always CV, and not CV as in Sanskrit-Devanagari. I will describe the syllable that end in vowel /a/ - {a. - a}-pair as an a-ender (masculine - male), that ending in /i/ - {i. - i}-pair as i-ender (feminine - female). Note: /a/ & /i/, the front vowels are the most contrastive pair in a language. However there bound to be exceptions.

I realized that I will have to build up my Pali vocabulary before I attempt to study Pali grammar. The source of my choice is a dictionary such as The Student's Pali-English Dictionary by Maung Tin (U Pe Maung Tin), 1920.
- UPMT-PaliDict<> / bkp<> (link chk 160910)

The vowel o as described in Pali-Latin is a back mid vowel. Though in the 3-dimensional vowel given below, the back vowels /u/ /o/ /ɔ/ and /ɑ/ are spread out below, they are quite close. In fact the vowels /o/ /ɔ/ and /ɑ/, are so close that they can be mistaken for one another.




Formants can be used to differentiate the vowels such as {o} and {au:}. These two vowels are of interest to my friend U Tun Tint and me, because MLC transcribes the Bur-Myan {au:} /[o]/ and {o} as /[ou]/.
See How sound is produced and heard in Human voice, Phonetics and Phonology
- HV-indx.htm > snd-hear.htm (link chk 160909)

When I told him that in Romabama, the transliteration for is {o}, he said "that's how a man on the street {lm:pau-ka. lu} would do it." And he is right! It is usual for male Burmese friends of the same age to address each other using the prefix {ko} (such as how I address him -- {ko htwan: tn.}). If I were to write to him in English, I would address him as Ko Tun Tint. The explanation for how this confusion had come about is on the way the English vowels /o/ and /ɑ/ are generally pronounced. The first three formants for /o/ and /ɑ/ are quite similar, and when we pronounce {au:} or {AU:}, foreigners might heard it as /o/. But to us, they sound as /ɑ/, and hence the Romabama transcription is {au:}.

Though the syllable is the basic unit of the Abugida-Akshara system to which Bur-Myan, Mon-Myan, Pal-Myan, and Pal-Lanka, nobody seems to be paying much importance to it. We do not even have a dedicated term for it. I have no choice but to define it as {sa.ka:n-su.}.

Now that we have come across the vowel (sonant) and the consonant (co-sonant) which is mute by itself unless it is coupled to a vowel or sonant, we will use them to build up syllables from which we can proceed to words.


Contents of this page

UKT notes






----- the following are from the older format. They will be incorporated into the above

For the opening sound, the Sonority Scale is a help, but the closing sound is always a problem. Relying on spelling is entirely useless, especially for the velar, palatal, and retroflex words. They are absent in Eng-Lat, and unreliable in Skt-Dev.

The palatal sounds are the most problematical because of their fricative tendencies and because for Pal-Myan {a.} /θ/, there are three in Skt-Dev श /ʃ/ ; ष /S/; स /s/.  
: /S/ & /s/ are my way of showing two very closely related sounds which are almost the same.

Now listen to the Skt-Dev vowel and consonant sounds from Lakshyā Yoga
- SktAlphLY<)) (link chk 171126)

 Look at the akshara alphabet chart.

On the right side are the vowels. Most of them has a short (1 eye-blink) and a long (2 eye-blink) version. And on the left side 25 consonants. And then 5 semi-consonants semivowels. And 3 Sibilants: the husher, the hisser, and fricative s. We, Tib-Burmans, pronounce the last one as thibilant as in English <thin>, however in Skt-Dev it is a sibilant.

The place of pronunciation aka POA (place of articulation)


Don't try to unify the sounds. You'll get a failing grade. Just remember what Gautama Buddha said to his monks 'you are permitted to spread my words in the vernacular of the audience':

His disciple monk, Shin Kic'si, came up with his motto:

 UKT 171208, 180326: The postulate of Shin Kic'si {rhin kic~s}: "The signification is known by akshara" was highly approved by the Gautama Buddha, who then declared his disciple monk as the greatest "grammarian". 
See my note on this postulate on p077F.htm (link chk 180325)
The motto is also in Mason-Mazard, p036 in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries.
- FMasonMazard-KicsiPali<> / bkp<> (link chk 171224)

UKT 180403: Notice how the syllable {t} ते is written in scripts of Pali-Myan, Engl-Lat, and Skt-Dev. The order (by position) of  vowel glyph {a.w hto:} - written as ), and the consonant {ta.} त is different.

Pali-Myan: vowel (left) - consonant (right): {t}
Engl-Latin: consonant (left) - vowel (right): te
Skt-Dev: vowel (above) - consonant (below): ते

In BEPS-Myan, vowel glyph Tha'we'hto {a.w hto:} has been pushed up as in the case of Skt-Dev and Mon-Myan. A pushed-up Tha'we'hto or Super-Tha'we'hto is found in Mon words. See the logo on An Introduction to Mon language by M. Jenny, 2001. Downloaded paper in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- MJenny-IntroMonLang<> / Bkp<> (link chk 180403)

He realizes that the meaning is more important than correct pronunciation. Just because spelling is the same don't imagine the pronunciation would be the same. An illustration is the difference in Bur-Myan r2 row {sa.}, {hsa.}, {za.}, {Za.}, {a.}, and Mon-Myan r2 row:
- bk-cndl-{sa.}-row<)) : Mon-Myan pronounce {sa.} as / {kya.}/ which necessitates the invention of a new glyph for Mon-Myan: {sa.}-Mon

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: Some Macdonell's entries are very large. These are broken into individual entries for comparing with  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 :
- 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
A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, by Theodor Benfey, 1866 , pp1145. Since it is of the same time-period of A A Macdonell, it uses the same old form of Skt-Dev script. It is a good reference to check the orthography of Macdonell. See Wikipedia: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Benfey 170815
Downloaded copies of dictionary in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- TBenfey-SktEngDict<> / Bkp<> (link chk 170816)

I need to listen to how Sanskrit words are pronounced. 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 170814),
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.


Contents of this page


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 dagger (alt0135).
Bur-Myan: for {gna.}-onset use c ċ (U010B) - unfortunately ċ is non-ASCII
Instead of Skt-Dev ः {wic~sa.} use "colon" :
Avagraha ऽ use apostrophe
Repha spelling: exemplified by
  dharma: ध र ् म --> धर्म 
  spota: ष ् प र ् श ा ः --> ष्पर
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
IAST Dev: Repha & Viram-position, e.g. तर्ज tarj [ targ ] = त र ् ज
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
Subscripts: ₀ ₁ ₂ ₃ ₄ : CO₂

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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, 180726:

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] [UKT ]

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. See 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 
Niroakti निरुक्ति nirukti = न ि र ु क ् त ि --> {ni.roak~ti.}?

Now, listen for निरुक्ति nirukti: BkCnd-VIDEO<))  (link chk 180726)
from: https://www.howtopronounce.com/hindi/निरुक्ति/ 180726
Just for fun, I went on line to hear how the website would pronounce my name KYAW. I could not identify it myself.

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

If I continue relying on pronunciation and hearing, we would never get away from the CURSE of BABEL, and I've decided to settle on script as Shin Kic'si had done, and which Gautama Buddha would approve.


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 े {} ै {}.


As a side-note, see how Panini the greatest ancient phonetician of the East gives a remarkable example of vowel variaties s as the call of a village cock in the early morning.

The controversy on the varieties (tones or registers) of vowels 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 also due to the 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. & are different 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 . 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,.
Retroflex  {Ta.-HTa.} row is quite different from Dental {ta.hta.} row. Now listen to
  Mon-Myan retroflex: Mon-retroflex<)) 
  Mon-Myan dental: Mon-dental<))

Now listen to 
Mon-Myan Velar: Mon-velar<))

According to European philologists J.M.Haswell (1874) and R.C.Temple, {ga.} is pronounced as {k}. However, I can only hear {g} in the Mon-velar<)).

What the European had heard was from the Peguan speakers themselves. What I am hearing now is the Martaban dialect. We will have to note that the Peguan, the mother tongue of my Mon ancestors which is a dead language. However, I could still hear the remanants of some sounds in the place-names of towns and villages near town of Kungyangoan where I was born and spent my pre-teen years.

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, the coda is very important for Abugida-Akshara system. 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 - SpkSktDevGram01-indx.htm (link chk 171027)
and - SpkSktDevGram02-indx.htm. (link chk 171027)
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 Scale

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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