Update: 2017-08-09 06:01 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, with additions from Pali sources, by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA) and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL) . Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL 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:


index.htm | Top

Contents of this page

Consonants of rows #2 :
palatal plosive-stop: {sa.}/ {c} च , to {a.}

UKT 170709: Working with row#2 and row#3 always makes me unsure of myself: I feel like a tightrope walker - always in danger of falling down! Realizing how stupid I could be always brings on a sense of humility - to control self pride - one of life-aims of my Theravada Buddhist religion philosophy.
  I reminded myself that we are under the Curse of Babel, and the Buddha's solution:

and my motto: Script unites / Speech divides . Remember Sanskrit sounds, represented by symbol <)), and the sounds of Burmese are very much unlike. We get a fair sense if we are to include Pal-Myan sounds. Don't bring in Mon-Myan, or you will get locked up in the Tower of Babel . See what I mean, by listening to how the Palatal aksharas are like:
- bk-cndl-{sa.}-row<)) : Mon pronounce {sa.} as /{kya.}/
Now, let's listen to the sounds of Sanskrit Akshara, even though the speaker refers to it as Alphabet:
- SanskritLY<)) .
- from Lakhya Yoga: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wTDvmElnlM 170726

Files from older works:
Consonant-onsets - MCc-indx.htm 
I've finished consolidating old to new up to 
p060-3.htm ... p102.htm p103-1.htm p103-2.htm p104-1.htm / p104-1B.htm - update 2017Aug 
Covered percent: 103/382 = 26.96 % 
UKT170801: New method to transf. old files to new format beginning with p099.htm

Plosive-stops and Affricates of row #r2 :
  from {sa.}/ {c} to {a.}/ {a.} and {a.}/ {}

Note the order in TOC:

p090-2.htm p091.htm  p092.htm  p093.htm  p094.htm p095.htm
  p096-1.htm  p096-2.htm p097-1.htm p097-2.htm p098.htm* p099.htm
p100.htm p101.htm  p102.htm* p103-1.htm  p103-2.htm  p104-1.htm / p104-1B.htm

UKT notes :
Base consonants and vowels of BEPS
  Plosive-stops Nasals Approximants
  Tenuis-Nasals-Approximants of Bur-Myan
Doggie's Tale - copy-paste
Historical note
Problem of pronunciation of English speakers

Contents of this page

Argument for argument sake

UKT 170706: 

In English, Mon and Sanskrit, palatals are pronounced as affricates. The cell r2c5 is controversial with two contenders nasal Nya'le {a.}, and non-nasal Nya'gyi {a.}.

Ancient intellectuals, mostly Brahims {poaN~Na:} (Buddhists as well as Hindus) and modern ones  and religionists, ever fond of controversy and argument for its own sake*, wrote and rewrote "history" and "hagiography" of gods and goddesses to suit their purposes. An example being Mahabrahma: (excerpt from Wikipedia) "Brahma, along with Vishnu and Shiva, is part of a Hindu Trimurti; however, ancient Hindu texts mention other trinities of gods or goddesses which do not include Brahma." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahma 170708
See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erawan_Shrine 170709.

*UKT 170709: I must admit being accused of being such an individual myself!
See Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eristic 170709
and Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, first published Thu Feb 17, 2011; substantive revision Tue Feb 3, 2015 - https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/buddha/ 170709
"The Buddha (fl. circa 450 BCE) is the individual whose teachings form the basis of the Buddhist tradition. These teachings, preserved in texts known as the Nikāyas or Āgamas, concern the quest for liberation from suffering. While the ultimate aim of the Buddha's teachings is thus to help individuals attain the good life, his analysis of the source of suffering centrally involves claims concerning the nature of persons, as well as how we acquire knowledge about the world and our place in it. These teachings formed the basis of a philosophical tradition that developed and defended a variety of sophisticated theories in metaphysics and epistemology."

The net result is Myanmar Nya'gyi {a.} which is stable under virama {a.t} -- as {} -- was demoted to the status of a conjunct in Pali:  {a.} + viram --> {}~ {a.}.

English speakers, following the Lankan Theravada philologists, have difficulty pronouncing Bur-Myan words with {a.}/ {}, as in the words for {n-pr-tau} 'capital of the country', and {pi~a} 'knowledge, art, science, education'.

Contents of this page

UKT notes

Base consonants and vowels of BEPS

-- UKT 120526, 130518, 130818, 131117, 140327, 140415, 140808, 141023

Bur-Myan & Pal-Myan are so interwoven that they can be spoken seamlessly.

Watch and listen a video in Bur-Myan with Pal-Myan words:{m~boad~D}
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYyTBTjW26E 140211
The first three lines from the video are given:

The instrument for comparison of BEPS languages is Romabama (Burmese-Myanmar transcribed into extended-Latin script). The following is the table of base consonants.

Columns #2 and #4 have been described as "aspirated", and an <h> is added to the names of the consonants. For example, the columns are traditionally described as:

c1 - voiceless, c2 - voiceless-aspirated, c3 - voiced,   c-4 - voiced-aspirated , e.g. row#5
        प pa,             फ pha,                           ब ba,          भ bha

In my table above, I have named the columns differently removing the English notion of "aspiration". The notion of aspiration is best illustrated in the Cockney dialect of British English, where the <h> is dropped: "Henry Higgins" becomes  'enry 'iggins . This phenomenon has been caricatured by George Bernard Shaw (1856-1960) in his play Pygmalion with the principal character "Professor Henry Higgins" based on real-life phonetician Henry Sweet (1845-1912).

Listen and watch: Just you wait 'enry 'iggins':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbdVvIbB1KU 140327

I am not satisfied with my description of column c4. I had called it "voiced pharyngeal" at one time because the POA seems to be way back in the throat - the pharynx. Since the pharyngeals are connected with IPA /h/, I am now calling it deep-h. I do not think it is a simple case of voice lag and aspiration .

My intermediary script, Romabama, has its beginnings in my (U Kyaw Tun's) childhood dream in 1940s. In my pre-teen years I have tried to type the Burmese language on my father U Tun Pe's English typewriter. However, Romabama in the present form was launched only in the late 1990s on the Internet from Canada.

Though I realized that I must have training in phonetics and linguistics, I was already advanced in age to go back to school, and I have to learn these subjects online using my analytical skill as a scientist and engineer. I was assisted by my young wife Daw ThanThan Tun who was also a chemist. She had been my classmate and life-long companion since our teenage years, until she died in 2004. I welcome anyone more capable than me to improve my basic requirements.

To come up with a comprehensive alphabet, I have to improvised more than once, such as the one shown for Romabama alphabet r2c4 cell.

My aim in integrating IPA into BEPS is to come up with a reliable transcription -- which would not be perfect for theorists -- of Bur-Myan to Eng-Latin and back. I am finding that I cannot apply the IPA strictly, and transcriptions such as // & /ʝ/ for palatal fricatives, and /ʂ/ & /ʐ/ for retroflex fricatives are taken to be unpronounceable.

For the fricatives, I have taken only /θ/ , /s/, /z/ , /ʃ/ as pronounceable. The English affricates /ʧ/ & /ʤ/ are taken to be mis-pronunciation due to the Western phoneticians not being capable of distinguishing the tenuis {ka.}, {sa.}, {ta.}, {pa.} from the voiceless {hka.}, {hsa.}, {hta.}, {hpa.}.

One of the obstacles is to find a place for Bur-Myan Nya'gyi {a.}, & Nya'le {a.}, both of which have to be pushed into one cell r2c5. Until, I realized that monosyllabic medials are found only in Bur-Myan, and not in Skt-Dev, I could not make any progress. When I looked into Skt-Dev conjuncts closely I realized that they are disyllabic conjuncts. I need to come to this understanding to explain the medial-conjunct problem in Pal-Myan, where Nya'gyi {a.kri:} is deemed to be the horizontal conjunct of two Nya'le {a.l:}:

{} + {a.} --> {a.} : only in Pal-Myan

Pal-Myan {a.} cannot be killed without destroying the conjunct
Bur-Myan {a.} + viram --> {} 
Similar to {ya.} + viram --> {}

Then looking into the killed Bur-Myan Nya'gyi {a.kri:}, & Nya'le {a.l:}, I found that killed Bur-Myan Nya'gyi {a.kri:} is almost the same as killed Ya'palak {ya.}. This shows that Nya'gyi {a.kri:} is not a basic nasal, but a basic nasalized approximant. I moved Ya'palak {ya.} to velar position, which provides a position for Nya'gyi {a.kri:} in the palatal position.

Most of the Westerners are sibilant speakers. Of the BEPS, languages, Burmese and English speakers are used to non-hissing thibilant /θ/ sounds. An example of an English thibilant word is <thin> /θɪn/. Sanskrit speakers mix up this sound with /s/. Romabama has to make allowances for all these conflicting patterns of sounds, and has to come up with a compromise. It is summarized in the table below.

In order to present a comprehensive picture, the IPA table itself has to be extended to include, what the Westerners hear as "aspirated sounds" - those of c2 & c4 consonants such as {hpa.} & {Ba.} sounds shown below.


Now that I am including Mon-Myan into my study, I am putting in another perspective. My references for vocabulary in script and sound are given in my collection
Speaking Mon-Myan Language -- MV1874-indx.htm
which is based on the following 3 sources.
1. Learn Mon Yourself --  http://www.youtube.com/ (link chk 130425)
2. Grammatical notes and Vocabulary of the Peguan Language - J. M. Haswell, Rangoon, 1874
3. A vocab of English & Peguan with some geographical names - E. O. Stevens, Rangoon, 1896


The Plosive-stops

In the above IPA table the plosive-stops occupy the first row, followed by nasals in the second row. The IPA gives only the column #1 (tenuis), column #3 (voiced), and column #5 (nasals). The IPA table has to be extended to accommodate column #2 (voiceless), and column #4 (deep-H).


The Nasals

In update 130818, compromises made to bring Indo-European languages, Eng-Lat & Skt-Dev, and Tibeto-Burman languages, Bur-Myan & Pal-Myan together. In doing so, the first problem I have met is with the nasals. The nasals are basic phonemes and are placed in a separate column, #5, among the {wag}-consonants. Bur-Myan recognizes five in r1c5 /ŋ /, r2c5 /ɲ/, r3c5 /ɳ /, r4c5 /n/, r5c5 /m/, compared to two in Eng-Lat : r4c5 /n/, r5c5 /m/. In the IPA consonantal table, the nasals are placed in a special row.

You will find another problem similar to the nasals which I am calling the Sibilants in r1c1, r4c1, & r5c1 such as /sk/, /st/ & /sp/, and in column #5 and in approximants. See - p035-4.htm (link chk 140808) for similar situation in Skt-Dev.


The Approximants

Strictly speaking approximants are neither vowels nor consonants though they been described as semi-vowels which is the same as semi-consonants. The only language among the BEPS in which they seem to play a unique role is Bur-Myan. The approximants may be divided into three subgroups:

Semi-consonants aka semivowels: {ya.}, {ra.}, {la.}, {wa.}
    - capable of forming monosyllabic medials
    {ya.ping.}, {ra.ric}, {la.hsw:}, {wa.hsw:}
  In Mon-Myan, the process is known as Hanging-consonant {by:hsw:}.  
    See Basic Method of Teaching Mon Speech and Script ,
    Naing Maung Toe, Yangon, 2007, (refer to as NMT), p047/pdf 51/251
  In Phonetics, the process is known as secondary articulation . See
   Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary_articulation 140327

Fricative: (non-hissing) {a.}. & (hissing) {hya.}.
   - Skt-Dev has husher {sha.}, and hisser {Sa.}.
   - Incapable of articulating non-hissing thibilant /θ/, {a.} is classified as a hisser in Skt-Dev.

Deep-H: {ha.} - capable of forming monosyllabic medial {ha.hto:}

Our interest is the effect of the approximants on the vowel - either free or bound as an inherent vowel in an akshara. They do not seem to change the vowel, say from {a.} to {i.}, but to effect their nature: make it palatal {ya.ping.}, rhotic {ra.ric}, lateral {la.hsw:}, rounded {wa.hsw:}, or glottal {ha.hto:}. Because of these, it is best that they be treated separately from both vowels and consonants.

The Grammatical designations of vowels and approximants

UKT 130910:
{N} अण् is the grammatical designation of the vowels {a.}, {i.}, {u.].
 - p005-11.htm (link chk 141022)
{T} अट् is the grammatical designation of approximants {ya.}, {ra.}, {la.}, {wa.}, {ha.}
 - p005-7.htm (link chk 141022)
The two should be compared.

The Tenuis, Nasals, and Approximants in Bur-Myan language

-- UKT 141023

To understand the phonology of Bur-Myan, we need to know about the Tenuis or c1 sounds, {ka.}, {sa.}, {Ta.}, {ta.}, & {pa.}. These are not present in Eng-Lat, and the Western philologists and phoneticians have been totally ignorant of them. What the English speakers could articulate are the voiceless, {hka.}, {hsa.}, {HTa.}, {hta} & {hpa.}. With {hpa.} they went further and substitute the labial with labio-dental {fa.}.

Next comes the Nasals. English has only two <n> &  <m>. They could have extended their nasals by borrowing the Spanish <>. Yet the British have been busy "Singeing the King of Spain's Beard" since 1587, they have been representing the r2c5 sound by the digraph <ny>. The result is Eng-Lat is totally inadequate to represent our 5 nasals, {nga.} (which may be also {gna.}), {a.}, {Na.}, {na.} & {ma.}.

Even if the Western philologists had sought the help of Skt-Dev, which I doubt they did because of their looking down on the Indians, they would not have fared better. Skt-Dev lacked the ric5 and have only part of r2c5. The Bur-Myan {nga.}/{gna.} and {a.} are totally beyond the comprehension of English speakers and their IPA. Only lately have I come to understand that Bur-Myan, {a.} is a Palatal-Approximant coming before the Velar-Approximant {ya.}. However, in Pal-Myan {a.} has been identified as the horizontal conjunct of two {a.}. The the killed {a.}, one of our favorite sounds (present in the name of the capital Naypyitaw) is an enigma even to this day.

Lastly, even today all linguist have not accepted that Bur-Myan is a pitch-register language and is not tonal. They have also failed to understand the our /θ/ sound is the same as in English <thin>. Realizing that to represent /θ/ sound with the digraph <th> is a source of error, I have used the Old-English <> 'thorn character'. Because of the presence of {a.} /θ/ Bur-Myan is a non-hissing thibilant language and not hissing sibilant.

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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 am I to do with Jha झ?
On top of all there're husher Sha श /ʃ/ and hisser 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 Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
Ḍ ḍ Ḥ ḥ Ḷ ḷ Ḹ ḹ Ṁ ṁ Ṃ ṃ
Ṅ ṅ Ṇ ṇ Ṛ ṛ Ṝ ṝ Ś ś Ṣ ṣ Ṭ ṭ ɕ ʂ
Instead of Skt-Dev ः {wic~sa.} use "colon" :
Avagraha ऽ use apostrophe
Root sign √ ; approx ≅
IAST Dev: 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 special phonemes: Ksa
Undertie in Dev transcription: ‿ U203F
IPA-, Pali- & Sanskrit nasals: ŋ ṅ ṅ ,  , ɳ ṇ ṇ, n n n , m m m
  Pali- & Skt {::ting}: aṁ , aṃ 
IPA symbols: ɑ ɒ ə ɛ ɪ ɯ ʌ ʊ ʃ ʒ ʧ ʤ θ ŋ ɲ ɳ ɴ ɔ ɹ ʔ /kʰ/ /ː/
  <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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Historical note

- UKT 170708

I conjecture that Romabama would be applicable to Old Magadhi, because the extinct language was also Tib-Bur.

Pali is an artificial language developed for Theravada Buddhism, a few centuries after the time of the Buddha, in SriLanka from Magadhi (Tib-Bur) and Lanka (Aus-Asi). It was brought into southern Myanmarpr, through the southern sea-route, originally by the Mons, and from Mon into northern Myanmarpr in the 11th century by King Anawrahta (1014-1077) of Pagan kingdom which expanded into an empire. 

On the other hand, Old Magadhi had been brought into northern Myanmarpr centuries before the time of the Buddha, by King Abhiraza and his followers who founded the first Burmese capital at Tagaung. They were from  Magadha Mahajanapada the homeland of Gautama Buddha. Another influx of people, this time the very own relatives of Buddha in the life-time of Buddha. They were fleeing the wrath of Prince Virūḍhaka (Skt), Viḍūḍabha (Pal) who seized the throne from his father King Pasanadi. See Wikipedia:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virudhaka 170709
"Virūḍhaka, then attacked and virtually annihilated the little autonomous tribe of Shakyas and Koliyas, in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal."

The result is that Pali spoken in Myanmarpr is not Sri-Lankan Pali. It is different from International Pali which was developed by western philologists in the 18th-19th centuries. The following shows the state of r2 row aksharas in Bur-Myan and Pali-Myan. Pali and Myan are so mixed up that Bur-Myan speakers know many words and sentences of Pali.

----------------- Bur-Myan ------------------------ Mon-Myan
r2c1 ---------- tenuis: {sa.} च / {c} -------- same as in Bur
r2c2 ---------- vl.: {hsa.} छ ------------------ same as in Bur
r2c3 ----------vd.: {za.} ज -------------------- pronun {ky)
r2c4 ---------- deep-h: {Za.} झ , and ------- & pronun {hky} 
----------------------- Skt-Dev Pseudo-Za ----- {z~a.} ज्ञ ;
r2c5 ------------- Nya'le {a.} ञ /ɳ / (nasal)
Approximant -- Nya'gyi {a.} (non-nasal) forms Mon-Myan {z~a.}

Go back historical-note-b

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Problem of pronunciations

Failure of Indo-European speakers to pronounce the Palatals correctly:
they pronounce them as Affricates

-- UKT 140829, 141015, 141017, 141101, 141111, 170708:
(Since I am writing this piece-meal, I will have to rewrite everything after incorporating Pal-Myan entries.)

I have given a rough guide for Pal-Myan readers, fully realizing that Pali and Sanskrit pronunciations are different.

Sanskrit pronunciations belong to IE (Indo-European) linguistic group, whereas Pali spoken in Myanmarpr is directly related to Old Magadhi - a language of north-eastern India just across the Naga and Chin hills from northern Myanmarpr. The languages of these areas belong to the Tib-Bur (Tibeto-Burman) linguistic group.

When you are dealing with the four BEPS languages, you are dealing with three linguistic groups: Austro-Asiatic, Indo-European, and Tibeto-Burman, and unless you take into account the phonologies of individual languages you are in trouble. You can only write down what your and how you hear - which is tainted by your mother-tongue L1.

However, your problem is partially solved when you based your pronunciations on the Akshara system (now known as Abugida to some linguists) of the East which is phonetically sound. The fundamental unit is the syllable which can be pronounced. I am now describing it as Abugida-Akshara system. It is fundamentally different from the Alphabetic system where the fundamental unit is the mute Letter. This latter system is best described as Alphabet-Letter system.

The Abugida-Akshara system had been studied for thousand of years long before the IPA of the West. Be careful of how you pronounce each consonantal phoneme (represented by dedicated graphemes) according to prescribed POA (Point of Articulation). However, up to now the vowels are not well described because the human-linguists "heard" are never reliable. They can only write down what they can hear which is tainted by their L1s. It is my hope that each language can be studied by instrumental analysis and deriving at the formants, F1 & F2 extending into higher formants. I have done my best with Romabama which is ASCII compatible.

Macdonell using an older transliteration represents palatal plosive-stop {sa.} च as ka [k is slanted  or in italics]. This transliteration system was used by all Indologists of his period. 

This row is controversial because the aksharas have hissing sounds to some extent, resulting in a mixed up with  Fricatives. Moreover English is generally assumed to be without the Palatal-C which I dispute.

Bur-Myan {sa.} च / {c} च्  is given with onset /s/ and coda /c/. It is a case of articulation with tongue tip touching the root of the lower front teeth. Fricatives are articulated with tongue tip touching the root of the upper front teeth. See On the production of low tongue tip /s/ , by Gloria J Borden and Thomas Gay, in J. Communication Disorders 11 (1975), 425-431. See downloaded files in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries
- GJBorden-LowTongueTips<> / Bkp<>

English has Affricates such as <church> /ʧɜːʧ/ (DJPD16-097), where /ʧ/ is articulated beginning with dental /t/ (tongue-tip touching the root of upper teeth), and moving to /ʃ/ (tongue-tip touching the root of the lower teeth). The nearest pronunciation to /ʧ/ in Bur-Myan is  {kya.}/ {hkya.} articulated with tongue-tip held stationary touching the lower teeth and constricting the air-flow with the dorsal of the tongue touching the hard palate.

Skt-Dev (and Hindi-Dev) like English has no Palatal-stops but only Palatal-affricates. I have arrived at this conclusion is arrived at after studying {z~a.} ज्ञ (Pseudo Za), {z~ya.} ज्य & {Za.} झ together. Because of this conclusion, I am beginning to toy with the idea of calling Pseudo-Za ज्ञ = ज ् ञ as {Ja.} pronouncing as a monosyllable.

The problem becomes more complicated because English does not have Tenuis, and {hkya.} & {kya.} are indistinguishable to their ears. The result is IPA calling them two Allophones - which is totally unacceptable to Bur-Myan speakers. Please note that this is my observation: it needs instrumental analysis.

Presence of Palatal words such as {Z:} 'market' and {a.} 'night' is confined to Bur-Myan - not even to Pal-Myan. This makes Burmese my mother tongue (the first L1 - English is my second L1) unique. And perhaps I might be able to start a new line of investigation based on acoustics and NOT based on IPA linguists.

Go back pronun-note-b

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End of TIL file