Update: 2012-01-01 04:19 AM +0630


BEPS Sanskrit Dictionary


by U Kyaw Tun, M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.), Daw Khin Wutyi, B.Sc., and staff of TIL Computing and Language Centre, Yangon, Myanmar. Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone.

index.htm |Top

Contents of this page

  Tables of BEPS (Burmese English Pali Sanskrit) Consonants, and Vowels
Introduction from Online Sanskrit Dictionary
Linguistic history of India

  Vedic Sanskrit , Classical Sanskrit
Jain Prakrit
Theravada Pali

Pali and Sanskrit transcriptions : with examples from Dhammmapada

Sanskrit affixes
  prefixes, e.g., ā-, upa-, saṃ-, upasaṃ-, samupa- 
  suffixes, e.g., -a, -ana, -tra 
  secondary suffixes, e.g., -a, -aka, -tva, -maya, -ya
  tatpurusha aka determinative compound
  special prefixes   a-, an-, sa-

Transforms from Pali to Sanskrit in Conjuncts or conjoined consonants : Epenthesis
 - the repha transform 
 - the thibilant to sibilant transform 
 - the bilabial to labial-dental transform
 - the short to long vowel transform
- क्ष kS (= क ् ष ) conjunct : a form of Pal-Myan {hka.}
- ज्ञ {za.} (= ज ् ञ ) conjunct :
- A non-conjunct conjunct : {kn:~Si:}
- Skt: अज्ञ ajna = अ ज ् ञ  --> Pal: अञ्ञ anna = अ ञ ् ञ
  this is proving one of the most to check because of the paucity of examples.


UKT notes :
Compound (linguistic) Kalidasa khattiya (Pal) kshatriya (Skt) maraaThii मराठी Sanskrit (Devanagari) transliterations : unusual conjuncts

Contents of this page


Sanskrit, unknown to many in the land of Myanmar, is not as foreign as they would think. Though written in Devanagari script - hence Skt-Dev (Sanskrit speech in Devanagari script) - is almost the same as Pal-Myan (Pali speech in Myanmar script) which of course is quite familiar to the speakers of Bur-Myan (Burmese speech in Myanmar script). Strangely enough, Sanskrit (and English) belongs to the IE (Indo-European) family of languages which is quite dissimilar to Tib-Bur (Tibeto-Burman) family of languages. Since, our aim is to familiarize the Burmese people in the land of Myanmar and in foreign countries with English the International language with many dialects such as GA (General American aka American accent) and RP (Received Pronunciation aka British accent) our approach is to use Skt-Dev and Pal-Myan as intermediary languages: Skt-Dev to teach English and Pal-Myan to teach Burmese. Of course, we have to use a common script - the Romabama (Burmese in extended Latin) which has been designed to relate to IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet). If only IPA were in ASCII, our task would have been easier. However, as it is not, Romabama has been designed in ASCII - suitable for email and internet.

Note: A very unfortunate and a source of misconception on the internet pages is the font problem in representing the Devanagari. The rendering of Devanagari script by Arial Unicode MS, Lucida San Unicode and other internet fonts is not the same. Because of this TIL preferred font is the Arial Unicode MS. However, the pdf pages of Online Sanskrit Dictionary - our main source is in ITRANS transliteration, and the display on my monitor is correctly given by Lucida. Therefore when you see what you think is a spelling mistake in Devanagari it may not be so, but just a font problem. e.g. the entry on 'entertainment, delight' (raJNjana) is displayed by
Lucida Sans Unicode as:  रञ्जन
Arial Unicode MS as: रञ्जन = र ञ ् ज न
The display on the pdf page agrees with the Lucida.

A spoken language can be represented graphically in many forms. However, we are involved here with only two forms the Alphabet and the Abugida (aka Alpha-syllabic). English written in Latin script (Eng-Lat) is unfortunately is non-phonetic, whereas Burmese written in Myanmar script (Bur-Myan) is.

Burmese, Pali and Sanskrit are phonetic (and therefore scientific) languages. Phonetics can be precise and a strictly phonetic approach is found to be quite disastrous. And therefore, our approach is phonemics. We sacrifice precision in face of accuracy, and our "phonetic transcription" is bound to be different from those of Myanmar phoneticians. Our approach is workable instead of being abstract. I have to change my "basic scientist's hat" (the chemist) and put on my other hat - that of an engineer (the chemical engineer)!

To analyse a language we split up the basic unit sound into consonants, C, and vowels, V. The canonical structure of the syllable in both English and Burmese is CVC. However, there is a difference. English using the Alphabet uses graphemes and phonemes (sometimes called "letters") such as <k>, where /k/ cannot be pronounced. The loosely used term "the sound of <k> or /k/" is an oxymoron (a self-contradictory term). Burmese on the other hand uses akshara {ak~hka.ra}, and {ka.} is a syllable: it can be pronounced. It is because of the presence of the inherent vowel {a} which has been likened to an English short <a> //. Thus:

Thus, <k> is not pronounceable, but {ka.} can be pronounced.
To make {ka.} to be the same as <k>, we have to use the {a.t} 'the vowel killer' known in Sanskrit as "virama" which I usually shorten to "viram".

{ka.} + {a.t} aka viram --> {k}

Thus we have for English CVC and for Bur CV where is the "killed" consonant. Our approach is syllabic and we look on CVC as C(VC) where (VC) is the rime. To make ourselves clear, we have to use linguistic terms to specify our consonants and vowels.

The beginning consonant in a syllable is known as the onset-consonant, and the consonant following the vowel aka the nucleus aka peak is the coda-consonant. Unknown to many, a consonant can have different pronunciations in the onset and coda. For example in a disyllabic word like <success>, the first <c> has the pronunciation /k/, whereas the second <c> has /s/. The so-called "double consonant" <cc> is very misleading because the first <c> is the coda of the first syllable, and the second <c> is the onset of the second syllable. A similar example in Bur-Myan is {ic~sa} 'truth'.

The consonants are listed in the Akshara system [technically the 'abugida'] according to their places of articulation (POA) in the human mouth, which is the same as in IPA. They are further divided into classifiable group aka {wag} and non-classifiable group aka {a.wag}. According to the IPA system, the non-classifiables are the approximants.

The non-classifiables can be further divided into fricatives which can be subdivided into thibilants (those with the <th> /θ/ sounds) and sibilants (those with the <sh> /ʃ/ and <s> /s/ sounds). Approximants also include <h> /h/ which is heard as an aspirant by English-speakers but as a pharyngeal or glottal by the Burmese-speakers.

Contents of this page

Tables of BEPS Consonants and Vowels

[Click on the above to enlarge.]


Skt-Myan has a few dedicated graphemes as equivalents to Devanagari:
- UHS-PMD-pg-{hsa.}
Note: Romabama does not use them, primarily because their shapes do not reflect the grapheme shapes of other Bur-Myan graphemes. For example,

IPA /ʃ/ represented by Skt-Dev श related to Eng-Latin <sh> in <ship> , and
IPA /s/ represented by Skt-Dev ष related to Eng-Latin <s> in <sip>, are
clearly related to Bur-Myan {sa.} (incidentally not to {ra.}).

The vowels are classified in the Akshara system as {a.waN} - the similar pairs, and {a.a.waN} - the dissimilar. Thus, {a.} {a}, {i.} {i}, and {u.} {u} are grouped as similar pairs (six in number); and {} {}, {au.} {au} are dissimilar. {o} can be added to the dissimilar group.

[Click on the above to enlarge.]


The splitting up of vowels into similar and dissimilar pairs have been confusing to me until I tie it down to the vowel quadrilateral shown below. The dissimilar pairs are the mid-vowels. In the "similar vowels" the members of each pair differs only in vowel length: short and long, where as in the "dissimilar" they differ in tongue height.

The differentiation into similar and dissimilar vowels is confusing to a Bur-Myanmar speaker because of another reason - the Two-three tone problem between English and Burmese.

It is important to remember what is being accepted as the number of vowels (or more precisely: vowel-graphemes):

Pali (8 vowel-graphemes):
  01. a, 02. ā, 03. i, 04. ī, 05. u, 06. ū,
  07. e, 08. o
Sanskrit (14 vowel-graphemes):
  01. a, 02. ā, 03. i, 04. ī, 05. u, 06. ū, 07. ṛ, 08. ṝ, 09. ḷ, 10. ḹ
  11. e, 12. ai, 13. o, 14. au

Another point of confusion is the rather loose term the 'number of vowels'. What is actually meant is the number of graphemes in the script. As far as the vowel sounds are concerned each human language has almost the same number of vowel sounds. And each human baby is equipped at birth with the ability to produce all the vowels sounds. As the human baby gets older it loses the ability not only to articulate the vowels but also to hear them. It is said, that this loss in ability starts at about the age 6 and ends by the age of puberty. From there on he or she becomes a sort of prisoner of his or her own language and culture.

Contents of this page

Introduction from Online Sanskrit Dictionary

- my principal source
http://sanskritdocuments.org/dict/dictall.pdf  090907

The following is a list of Sanskrit words printed in Devanagari with its transliterated form and a short meaning provided as a reference source. This cannot be a substitute for a good printed Sanskrit-English dictionary. However, we anticipate this to aid a student of Sanskrit in the on-line world.

The list of words is a compilation from various sources such as messages on sanskrit-digest, translated documents such as Bhagavadgita, atharvashiirshha, raamarakshaa, etc., and other files on the web. The words are encoded in ITRANS transliteration scheme so as to print them in Devanagari.

UKT: It is unfortunate that my principal source dictionary uses ITRANS. TIL (Tun Institute of Learning) will indicate it within (...). TIL will also provide the IAST (International alphabet of Sanskrit transliteration) wherever possible. Remember:
JN shows {a.} = ञ
.n (as well as M) - signifies Burmese-Myanmar {th:th:ting}
  How is killed {ng.} the top member of a vertical conjunct represented
  in ITRAN? - as .n  ? See examples in text, e.g. :
  अङ्क (a.nka)
  अहङ्कर (aha.nkara) .
.h - signifies Burmese-Myanmar {a.tht}
H - signifies Burmese-Myanmar {wic~sa. pauk} or {wic~sa.}
L ( maraaThii), kSh (क ् ष = क्ष ), GY (hindii) (ज ् ञ = ज्ञ) - from languages other than Sanskrit
  A lone G is given by www.spokensanskrit.de as (ASCII)
  equivalent of (IAST) , e.g. iGgita = iṅgita
  GYa - signifies conjunct ज्ञ =   ज ् ञ - 100418

There is no copyright on this file to the extent of preventing misuse on other internet sites and ego-trips of individuals.

We recommend not to copy and post this file on any other site since we periodically update and correct this list and we not want different versions of file floating around on the internet. We have seen people copying this work and calling it their own.

We request you to provide corrections, and more importantly many such additions from your own collection.

The list has been arranged according to Devanagari sequence.
The transliteration according to ITRANS (older 3.2) scheme is given by [insert on the right]: [{p001end}]

For other examples, see texts on Sanskrit Document site at http://sanskrit.gde.to/ or its mirror at http://sanskrit.bhaarat.com the document project. ... ... [{p002end}]

UKT: Another transliteration which you might come across is the Harvard-Kyoto (HK) convention.

Edited excerpt from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devanagari_transliteration#Harvard-Kyoto 110508

Compared to IAST, Harvard-Kyoto (HK) looks much simpler. It does not contain all the diacritic marks that IAST contains. This makes typing in Harvard-Kyoto much easier than IAST. Harvard-Kyoto uses capital letters that can be difficult to read in the middle of words. HK has an extension known as ITRANS. Many webpages and forums are written in ITRANS.

The ITRANS transliteration scheme was developed for the ITRANS software package, a pre-processor for Indic scripts. The user inputs in Roman letters and the ITRANS preprocessor converts the Roman letters into Devanāgarī (or other Indic scripts). The latest version of ITRANS is version 5.30 released in July, 2001. [UKT: This is the end of my edited excerpt.]

Contents of this page

Linguistic history of India

by UKT
based on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_history_of_India 100602

Originating over 5,000 years ago, records of the linguistic history of India began with early pictures that transformed into pictorial scripts and engravings and eventually to modern orthographies. Ancient documents and linguistic reconstruction also assist in the understanding of the evolution from early proto-languages to the modern Indian languages that belong to the Indo-Aryan languages, Tibeto-Burman languages and Dravidian languages. The oldest Telugu & Tamil languages comes under Dravidian languages.

The four main linguistic groups

The map on the right clearly shows the four main language families in India :
1. Tibeto-Burman (Tib-Bur) languages (representative language: Burmese-Myanmar)
2. Indo-European (IE) languages (representative language: Hindi-Devanagari)
    (Wikipedia used 'Indo-Aryan' for this group)
3. Iranian
4. Dravidian (Dravida) languages (representative language: Tamil).

My contention is that these four should not be grouped collectively under Indo-Aryan languages, because, specifically, the largest group the Burmese (in Myanmar country) though not shown on the map is Tib-Bur. It is clearly different from Hindi that comes under IE languages. Burmese is non-rhotic and thibilant, whereas Hindi is rhotic and sibilant: the /θ/ of the thibilant languages is substituted with /ʃ/ and /s/ of the sibilant.

There was one language or languages that is still a mystery: the language of the Indus-Saravati river basin that did not leave behind inscriptions comparable to the Asokan. The language which might be dubbed Harappan [timeline: between the 26th and 20th centuries BC or about 2000 years before Gautama Buddha] was perhaps an ideographic language similar to the present-day Burmese-Myanmar {in:} aka magic squares or images. I am basing my suggestion on the fact that:

The average length of the inscriptions is less than five signs, the longest being only 17 signs (and a sealing of combined inscriptions of just 27 signs) - Longest Indus inscription, quoted in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indus_script#cite_note-15 101228

I have taken a cursory look into the "hidden" practice of the Burmese-Myanmar {in:} and witchcraft. Though I would like to look deeper, it is difficult to get in touch with people who would admit that they are the followers of these practices. These practices are shrouded in mystery and magic with the mention of Deva {d-wa} , Nat {nt}, and demons or {Bi-lu:}. [Note: The term {Bi-lu:} could very well be a derogatory term for Asura {a.u-ra}.]. At this point, I have come to realize that {ing:} might be the forerunners of the modern fractals.

fractal n. 1. A geometric pattern that is repeated at ever smaller scales to produce irregular shapes and surfaces that cannot be represented by classical geometry. Fractals are used especially in computer modeling of irregular patterns and structures in nature. [French from Latin frāctus, past participle of frangere to break. -- AHTD


Shown above is the Dancing girl of Mohenjodaro of the Harappan culture. It is the best known artifact from the Indus-Saravati region. It is approximately four inches high and is made of an alloy of copper. It was found in Mohenjodaro, close to a fireplace in one of the rooms of a large structure. The girl is almost naked and her long hair is tied in a bun. Her left arm is almost entirely covered by bangles, whereas her right arm has only a bracelet, and an amulet or bangle on the upper part. She has a cowry shell necklace around her neck. - information from: http://www.tantraworks.com/Ancient_Tantra.html 101228

To extract a lot of information from this little figure is rather ridiculous because of its small size, it could very well be a hoax.

From where did Harappan people get their copper and zinc (the main ingredients of brass)? Was it from the copper mines in Burma? If so who were the miners and brass workers in Burma? Were they the Pyus or their forefathers, the forerunners of the Burmans? - I'm waiting for comments from my peers. UKT101228.

Now let's get back to the mysterious practices of the Bur-Myan. I will have to use some Burmese terms, and some Pali terms, with a bit of Sanskrit all happily mixed up. Firstly remember that all these languages do not have plural forms - all plural forms are the handiwork of the Europeans. The scribes do not start their sentences with capital letters. Their proper names are not capitalized. The biggest difficulty is that they form new nouns by putting two or more nouns together without using adjectival forms. These scribes prided themselves in stringing these words - or more precisely syllables - without the word boundaries, because they say each syllable or "sound" convey a meaning which does not change with time and place. Hence the term {ak~hka.ra} - the indestructible. Now, do not be confused by the term "indestructible". Burmese Buddhists firmly believe that the physical world is not permanent. What they say "indestructibles" are the ideas attached to specific human voice-sounds. So the {ak~hka.ra} is just like a mathematical axiom, such as a geometric point - without length, width, height, time.

Now just for a little fun lets string the syllables (words): Deva {d-wa} , Nat {nt}, and Demon {Bi-lu:}. The Burmese word {nt} simply means "should be worshiped". Whether you worship out of fear, love, hope, despair does not matter. So {nt-d-wa.} means a Deva worthy of worship. {nt-Bi-lu:} means an Asura worthy of worshipping. They do not eat human-flesh. In the epic Ramayana, it is the {nt-d-wa.} battling the {nt-Bi-lu:}. Rama - the human - is the personification of {nt-d-wa.}. Before World-War II, there were nat-pujas in Rangoon to worship Rama. Even after the war, the adherents continue to celebrate the Ramayana as a play for seven nights. A famous group was the Yegyaw Rama group of East Rangoon where I used to live as a child. The actors were puja-masters themselves and they put on masks to act the part of Rama, Revana and others. One puja-master-actor is Rama U Ohn Maung and he is a friend of mine and a couple of years older. He has promised me to write a history of Rama-pujas but so far he is too busy eking out a living running a bookstore. I am noticing that my friend is becoming more and more feeble these days and with the passing away of the last puja-master, the history of Rama-pujas in Myanmar would be lost for ever.

Just as a short note I must add that though Ramayana is well-known in the country of Myanmar, the other epic Mahabharata is almost unheard of. Does it mean that the Pali of Myanmar had come into Myanmar even before the time of the Mahabharata. Or is it because Mahabharata espouses the idea of the creator and permanence of the Self which is anathema to the Theravada Buddhists? It is mentioned in Mahabharata that the principal participant, Arjuna at one time came up to the mountains that separated Myanmar from India and even got a Naga princess in marriage. Another hero Bhima came up to the same region, got married to an Asura, and fathered a half-god half-human son. Surely they would have heard of the valley beyond. Before I conclude I must ask you to look into Wikipedia: Names of Burma 110426. I have a copy of the article downloaded by Dr. Sailer - the researcher of Buddha footprints. - UKT110601

Contents of this page


UKT: Most of Burmese-Myanmar are unaware that there are two kinds of Sanskrits: the Sanskrit of the Vedas - the older form, and the Classical Sanskrit - the newer form prescribed in eight chapters of the prescriptive grammar of Panini {pa-Ni.ni.}, the Indian linguist, commonly known as a grammarian who lived about the time of the Gautama Buddha.

Going through the Sanskrit-English dictionary into which I am incorporating Pali-Latin dictionary of U Pe Maung Tin and Pali-Myanmar dictionary of U Hoke Sein, I have come to notice that words incorporating the {::ting} spelling and {king:si:}/{kn~si:} spelling (with different sounds) have the same English meaning. This implies that there were two kinds of Pali or Prakrits.

{::ting}: पंक (pa.nka)
Skt: पंक (pa.nka) - mud - OnlineSktDict
Pal: paṅka - mn.  mud, sin - UPMT-PED128
  Translit-UPMT-Pal: {pn-ka.} : Bur-Myan pronunciation has /ʌn/ vowel sound.

{kn~si:}: पङ्क paṅka
Skt: पङ्क paṅka  m. clay, mud, slush, morass - SpkSkt
Pal: {pn~ka.}
  - UHS-PMD0560
  Bur-Myan pronunciation has /ɪn/ vowel sound.

My question here is, were they dialects or entirely different languages, one belonging to the Tib-Bur group and the other to Indo-Ary group. And that Prakrit of Tib-Bur gives rise to one kind of Sanskrit - the Vedic, and the Prakrit of Indo-Ary group gives rise to another kind of Sanskrit - the Classical Sanskrit of Panini.

We must not forget that the present-day speakers of Tib-Bur of northern India have facial features quite distinguishable from the speakers of Indo-Ary. If they have such differing external features, my conjecture is they would be using different sets of muscles to pronounce their consonants and vowels. The result is the speech of one group becomes thibilant and non-rhotic and that of the other is sibilant and rhotic.

- I am waiting for inputs from my peers. UKT 101227


Contents of this page

Vedic Sanskrit

UKT: Vedic Sanskrit was the older form of Sanskrit. What we are hearing today is the Classical Sanskrit, and Vedic Sanskrit may not be Sanskrit at all as far as the pronunciation is concerned. So I would prefer to call it simply "Vedic". It is now a reconstructed language, because by the time of Pāṇini there were many Vedic forms that had already passed out of use. I expect many of those forms that had gone out of use might still remain in the so-called Prakrits which I assume to be related to the Tibeto-Burman languages some of which are still in use even today. I am curious about the absence of lingual or {la.} sounds such as the "vocalic L" ऌ ॡ in the entries in OnlineSktDict.

We note that we find many {la.} sounds in Bur-Myan - a typical Tibeto-Burman language, even though we do not find them in Pali-Myan entries of U Hoke Sein. I am by no means suggesting that Burmese is a remnant of the Vedic. What I am suggesting is that the Vedic, because of the vocalic L, might be not an imported language into Myanmar-India geographical region from somewhere else, but an indigenous language somehow related to the present day Tib-Bur languages (a typical being Burmese). I wait for input from my peers. - 110511

From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_history_of_India 100602
See also: Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni

Sanskrit belongs to the Indo-Aryan sub-family of the Indo-Iranian branch. Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, a large collection of hymns, incantations, and religio-philosophical discussions which form the earliest religious texts in India and the basis for much of the Hindu religion. Modern linguists consider the metrical hymns of the Rigveda Samhita to be the earliest, composed by many authors over centuries of oral tradition. The end of the Vedic period is marked by the composition of the Upanishads, which form the concluding part of the Vedic corpus in the traditional compilations, dated to roughly 1500 BCE [i.e. before the Gautama Buddha]. It is around this time that Sanskrit began the transition from a first language to a second language of religion and learning, marking the beginning of the Classical period.

Classical Sanskrit

The oldest surviving Sanskrit grammar is Pāṇini's Aṣtādhyāyī ("Eight-Chapter Grammar") dating to ca. the 5th century BCE. It is essentially a prescriptive grammar, i.e., an authority that defines (rather than describes) correct Sanskrit, although it contains descriptive parts, mostly to account for Vedic forms that had already passed out of use in Pāṇini's time.

UKT: Whenever I came across the word "oldest" with reference to language - spoken (speech) and written (script) - a little warning bell sounded in my mind. Firstly, it is usual - to the point of universality - not to differentiate speech from script. Remember that speech is made of transient sound waves: gone as soon as uttered. There has been no speech records until within the last hundred years. So we always have to rely on script to create what speech must have sounded. Then comes the second problem of mentioning how script was recorded. The most common way to record script seems to be scratch marks on palm-leaves like the one shown below.

Alas, the vegetable matter - the palm leaves - cannot last a long time. If recorded in stone, script would have last longer. But stone inscriptions must have been very costly and could be done only by rich ancient kings: even then in very limited length. So Pāṇini's Aṣtādhyāyī - the Eight-Chapters - formulated and passed down from mouth to mouth (involving thousands of mouths) for two thousand years is indeed a wonder!

When the term arose in India, "Sanskrit" was not thought of as a specific language set apart from other languages (the people of the time regarded languages more as dialects), but rather as a particularly refined or perfected manner of speaking. Knowledge of Sanskrit was a marker of social class and educational attainment and was taught mainly to Brahmins through close analysis of Sanskrit grammarians such as Pāṇini.

UKT: The above paragraph is probably based on the opinion of the Brahmins who though serving the non-Brahmin kings tried to set themselves apart on the basis of speech-refinement. When the rulers spoke to the majority they would be using Prakrit and not Sanskrit. I can now see the reason why Gautama Buddha (belonging to the ruling class - not caste) banned the use of Sanskrit in preaching to the common people. See the Language problem of primitive Buddhism by Chi Hisen-lin, Journal of the Burma Research Society, XLIII, i, June 1960 . See  - lang-problem-Buddh-indx.htm [this file is in another compilation of my work: Myanmar - the land, the akshara and its people: A Linguistic and Cultural study with emphasis on the Myanmar Akshara] .

Scholars often distinguish Vedic Sanskrit and Classical or "Paninian" Sanskrit as separate dialects. [UKT: I'm suggesting that they might have been different languages stemming from different sources, Tib-Bur and IE, being brought together by the Brahmins.] However, they are extremely similar in many ways and differ mostly in a few points of phonology , vocabulary, and grammar. [UKT]

UKT note of 110531: "A few points of Phonology" seems to refer to differences in: 
the mid-vowels such as {} /e/ & {} /ɛ/ and {o} /o/ & {au} /ɑ/ 

Though there is agreement between MLC and TIL on {} /e/ & {} /ɛ/, there is no agreement on {o} /o/ & {au} /ɑ/. The main reason is front vowels {} /e/ & {} /ɛ/ are easily pronounceable. It is not so with the back vowels {o} /o/ & {au} /ɑ/. They are very proximate to each other and are not easily distinguishable. From the point of view of Bur-Myan pronunciation, I have taken the position that {o} /o/ & {au} /ɑ/ forms a dissimilar pair.

To add to the confusion is that all Bur-Myan vowels can have three pitch-registers. Thus there are 3 for each:
   {o} --> {o.} (creak), {o} (modal), (emphatic)
   {au} --> {au.} (creak), {au} (modal), {au:} (emphatic)
Note the confusion between {au} (modal), {au:} (emphatic) which I hope to resolve with a thorough study of Bur-Myan based on Lonsdale's Burmese Grammar and Grammatical Analysis.

To help resolve the confusion on the back vowels, I have looked into the vowel-signs of Skt-Dev:
   {} /e/ & {} /ɛ/ --> े vow-sign E, ै vow-sign Ai
   {o} & {au} --> ो vow-sign O, ौ vow-sign Au
The names of the vowel signs are according to Windows Character Map. Looking at the shapes of the little "flags", you will see that {o} /o/ & {au} /ɑ/ forms a pair. -- UKT 110531

Classical Sanskrit can therefore be considered a seamless evolution of the earlier Vedic language.

UKT: Coming to the sounds of Sanskrit online I have come across recitations in Sanskrit of a Mahayana (Buddist) sutra: the Arya Sanghata Sutra or simply Sanghata Sutra. http://www.sanghatasutra.net/pronouncing.html 110511. Unfortunately the mp3 recordings that I could get are of very low volume.


Contents of this page


UKT: "Prakrit" [note: there is no distinction between singular and plural] simply means a "proto-script" and "samskrit" means "improved script". - UKT110530

From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_history_of_India 100602

Prakrit (Skt: prākṛta  प्राकृत (from prakṛti  प्रकृति), "original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual", i.e. "vernacular", in contrast to samskrta  "excellently made" , both adjectives elliptically referring to vak "speech" [UKT ]

UKT: According to the Brahmins, vak  'speech' comes directly from the Creator himself and which only they - the chosen - could hear. The Brahmins personified vak as a goddess - the Goddess Saravati, the consort of the Brahma the Creator. See Language and Thought - ling-indx.htm [note this file is part of another series of mine: Myanmar - the land, the akshara and its people: A Linguistic and Cultural study with emphasis on the Myanmar akshara .]

As a material scientist (of the line of Skeptical Chemists after Robert Boyle 1627-1691), whenever unverifiable ideas such as the Creator or God came into a scientific work it gave me doubts on the work of the Brahmins. If you are one of those like me look into the Sphoṭa (Skt: स्फोट 'bursting, opening') theory of language http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphota 110531.

Vak 'speech' refers to the broad family of Indic languages and dialects spoken in ancient India. Some modern scholars include all Middle Indo-Aryan languages under the rubric of "Prakrits", while others emphasise the independent development of these languages, often separated from the history of Sanskrit by wide divisions of caste, religion, and geography.

UKT: What distinguishes us from the animals is our ability to communicate among ourselves with speech sounds involving syntax. The animals communicate with "calls" - without syntax. India-Myanmar geographical area must have had indigenous people [population density was bound to be low] with their own languages different from others. Just south of the Himalayas extending into Myanmar were the peoples speaking Tibeto-Burman languages. In the southern part of India were the Dravidian group. So from where did the IE speakers came? Did they came in large numbers or just filtered in? To hold that 'speech' comes directly from the Creator and that only the chosen people could hear it so that they could teach others must have been a pure invention by the Brahmins to make themselves the best group even above the kings. It is just a way to perpetrate their authority. This is just my personal view based on my wide reading on the subject of interaction between the IE and Tib-Bur languages and is bound to be disputed. -- UKT110608

The Prakrits became literary languages, generally patronized by kings identified with the ksatriya {hkt~ti.ya.} caste. The earliest inscriptions in Prakrit are those of Asoka, emperor of Northern India, and while the various Prakrit languages are associated with different patron dynasties, with different religions and different literary traditions.

In Sanskrit drama, kings speak in Prakrit when addressing women or servants, in contrast to the Sanskrit used in reciting more formal poetic monologues.

The three Dramatic Prakrits - Sauraseni, Magadhi, Maharashtri, as well as Jain Prakrit each represent a distinct tradition of literature within the history of India. Other Prakrits are reported in historical sources, but have no extant corpus (e.g., Paisaci).

Contents of this page

Jain Prakrit

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jain_Prakrit

Jain Prakrit is a term loosely used for the language of the Jain Agamas (canonical texts). The books of Jainism were written in the popular vernacular dialects (as opposed to Sanskrit which was the classical standard of Brahmanism), and therefore encompass a number of related dialects. Chief among these is Ardha Magadhi, which due to its extensive use has also come to be identified as the definitive form of Prakrit. Other dialects include versions of Maharashtri and Sauraseni.

The "Aabhidhan Rajendra Kosh" written by Acharya Rajendrasuri, is the only available Jain encyclopedia for understanding the Jain Prakrit, Sanskrit, Ardha-Magadhi and other Jain languages words.

Pali and Ardha Magadhi

The most archaic of the Middle Indo-Aryan [MIA] languages are the inscriptional Aśokan Prakrit on the one hand and Pāli and Ardhamāgadhī on the other, both literary languages. The Indo-Aryan languages are commonly assigned to three major groups - Old, Middle and New Indo-Aryan -, a linguistic and not strictly chronological classification as the MIA languages are not younger than ('Classical') Sanskrit. And a number of their morphophonological and lexical features betray the fact that they are not direct continuations of Ṛgvedic Sanskrit, the main base of 'Classical' Sanskrit; rather they descend from dialects which, despite many similarities, were different from Ṛgvedic and in some regards even more archaic.

MIA languages, though individually distinct, share features of phonology and morphology which characterize them as parallel descendants of Old Indo-Aryan. Various sound changes are typical of the MIA phonology:

1. The vocalic liquids 'ṛ' and 'ḷ' are replaced by 'a', 'i' or 'u' 

UKT: Terms like vocalic liquid 'ṛ' were the ones which had confused me. The so-called "vocalic liquid 'ṛ' " is not a consonant but highly rhotic vowels: ऋ (short) and ॠ (long) . I've represented them in Romabama as ऋ {iR.} (short) and ॠ {iR} (long). These vowels make speech rhotic.

Vocalic 'ḷ' is another set of vowels. It involves the tongue shape giving the {la.}-sounds which the IE speakers (English and Hindi) could not articulate, but which the Tib-Bur speakers could.

2. the diphthongs 'ai' and 'au' are monophthongized to 'e' and 'o'

UKT: The so-called "diphthongs" should be termed 'digraphs' because they are pronounced as monophthongs. The glides or "sliding" sounds of English "diphthongs" are not present in Indic languages and Bur-Myanmar. This view of mine is bound to be disputed. -- UKT110608

3. long vowels before two or more consonants are shortened

4. the three sibilants of OIA are reduced to one, either 'ś' or 's'

5. the often complex consonant clusters of OIA are reduced to more readily pronounceable forms, either by assimilation or by splitting

6. single intervocalic stops are progressively weakened

7. dentals are palatalized by a following '-y-'

8. all final consonants except '-ṃ' are dropped unless they are retained in 'sandhi' junctions.

The most conspicuous features of the morphological system of these languages are: loss of the dual; thematicization of consonantal stems; merger of the f. 'i-/u-' and 'ī-/ū-' in one 'ī-/ū-' inflexion, elimination of the dative, whose functions are taken over by the genitive, simultaneous use of different case-endings in one paradigm; employment of 'mahyaṃ' and 'tubhyaṃ' as genitives and 'me' and 'te' as instrumentals; gradual disappearance of the middle voice; coexistence of historical and new verbal forms based on the present stem; and use of active endings for the passive. In the vocabulary, the MIA languages are mostly dependent on Old Indo-Aryan, with addition of a few so-called 'deśī' words of (often) uncertain origin.

There are many remarkable analogies between Pali and Ardhamagadhi (Half Magadhi), an old form of Magadhi preserved in ancient Jain texts. Ardhamagadhi differs from the eastern Prakrit of Ashokan inscriptions on similar points as Pali. For example, Ardhamagadhi too does not change r into l, and in the noun inflexion it shows the ending -o instead of the eastern Prakritic -e at least in many metrical places. This similarity is not accidental, since Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism preached in the same area (Magadha) as Gautama Buddha.

Dhammapada verse 103:

103. Yo sahassaṃ sahassena, saṅgāme mānuse jine;
Ekaca jeyyamattānaṃ, sa ve saṅgāmajuttamo.

Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men,
is he who would conquer just one himself.

Jain Samana sutta 125:

Jo sahassam sahassanam, samgame dujjae jine.
Egam jinejja appanam, esa se paramo jao. (125)

One may conquer thousands and thousands of enemies in an invincible battle;
but the supreme victory consists in conquest over one's self.

UKT: The Buddhist Dhammapada has a parallel in Jainism - the Samana sutta. See Wikipedia.

Contents of this page

Theravada Pali

UKT: Though the usual term is simply "Pali", I've prefixed it with the adjective "Theravada" to show that it is the language in which the Theravada Buddhist scriptures and commentaries are written. International Pali aka Pali-Latin is derived from it, and I would like to differentiate it from Pali-Myanmar based on the differing pronunciations of the Devanagari akshara ष /s/ (of IE speakers) and its Myanmar correspondent {a.} /θ/ (of Tib-Bur speakers).

My theory is that the Gautama Buddha had used the Tib-Bur thibilant non-rhotic pronunciations, and that the IE speakers had to use the sibilant rhotic pronunciations because of their inability to articulate the /θ/ sounds.

The following is From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_history_of_India 100602

Pali is a term used to describe the Middle Indo-Aryan [MIA] language in which the Theravada Buddhist scriptures and commentaries are preserved. Pali is believed by the Theravada tradition to be the same language as Magadhi, but modern scholars believe this to be unlikely. Pali shows signs of development from several underlying prakrits as well as some Sanskritisation.

UKT: The position of the modern scholars is objectionable as far as Pali-Myanmar (Pal-Myan) is concerned. My position is based on my familiarity with U Hoke Sein's Pali-Myanmar Dictionary (in Myanmar akshara). However, I still need to study more, and I am ready to change my view if proven wrong with more study of Pal-Myan texts. - UKT110531

The prakrit of the North-western area of India known as Gāndhāra has come to be called Gāndhārī. A few documents written in the Kharoṣṭhi script survive including a version of the Dhammapada.

Late Middle Indo-Aryan (Late MIA)- अपभ्रंश apabhraṃśa/Apasabda

UKT: Acronym MIA also means "missing in action" to account for soldiers missing in action. 100602

The Prakrits (which includes Pali) were gradually transformed into अपभ्रंश apabhraṃśas which were used until about 13th century CE. The term apabhraṃśa refers to the dialects of North India before the rise of modern North Indian languages, and implies a corrupt or non-standard language. A significant amount of apabhraṃśa literature has been found in Jain libraries. While Amir Khusro and Kabir were writing in a language quite similar to modern Hindi-Urdu, many poets, specially in regions that were still ruled by Hindu kings, continued to write in Apabhraṃśa. Apabhraṃśa authors include Sarahapad of Kamarupa, Devasena of Dhar (9th century CE), Pushpadanta of Manikhet (9th c. CE), Dhanapal, Muni Ramsimha, Hemachandra of Patan, Raighu of Gwalior (15th century CE). An early example of the use of Apabhraṃśa is in Vikramūrvashīiya of Kalidasa  कालिदास Kālidāsa 'servant of Kali', {ka-li.da-a.}, when Pururava asks the animals in the forest about his beloved who had disappeared.


The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 73 languages [1] that are mainly spoken in southern India and northeastern Sri Lanka, as well as certain areas in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and eastern and central India, as well as in parts of Afghanistan and Iran, and overseas in other countries such as the UK, US, Canada, Malaysia and Singapore.

UKT: It is believed in days before the Second World War (during my early school years), that the word "Talaing" {ta.leing:} applied to the Mons of southern Myanmar, came from the word "Telugu" a Dravidian language. (Personal note: my mother, Daw Hla May, always referred to her ancestry as Talaing.). However, after the War, the word "Talaing" came to be considered to be politically incorrect. 110602

The origins of the Dravidian languages, as well as their subsequent development and the period of their differentiation, are unclear, and the situation is not helped by the lack of comparative linguistic research into the Dravidian languages. Inconclusive attempts have also been made to link the family with the Japonic languages and with the extinct Elamite language ( Elamo-Dravidian hypothesis).

Elam also Susiana 1. An ancient country of southwest Asia in present-day southwest Iran. It was established east of the Tigris River before 3000 B.C. and was known for its warlike people, traditionally thought to be descended from Noah's son Shem. - AHTD

Legends common to many Dravidian-speaking groups speak of their origin in a vast, now-sunken continent far to the south. [UKT ]

UKT: It is unfortunate that modern linguists and historians, dominated by the thoughts of Western colonial expansionists of the 18th and the 19th centuries, tend to play down the importance of indigenous histories which they easily dismiss as "legends". An example is the case of Krishna of Mahabharata. Was he a historical person who had been deitified? That his city disappeared under the sea soon after his death just a legend? Was the ancient Saraswati river just a myth as well. That a Sakka king and his retinue sought refuge in northern Myanmar before the days of Gautama Buddha, as given in the Glass Palace Chronicle, just a fiction? We can only hope that terrestrial and marine archeologies would provide us with concrete evidence.

Many linguists, however, tend to favour the theory that speakers of Dravidian languages spread southwards and eastwards through the Indian subcontinent, based on the fact that the southern Dravidian languages show some signs of contact with linguistic groups which the northern Dravidian languages do not. Proto-Dravidian is thought to have differentiated into Proto-North Dravidian, Proto-Central Dravidian and Proto-South Dravidian around 1500 BCE, although some linguists have argued that the degree of differentiation between the sub-families points to an earlier split.

It was not until 1856 that Robert Caldwell published his Comparative grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian family of languages, which considerably expanded the Dravidian umbrella and established it as one of the major language groups of the world. Caldwell coined the term "Dravidian" from the Sanskrit drāvida, related to the word Tamil or Tamilan, which is seen in such forms as into Dramila, Dramia, Dramida and Dravida which was used in a 7th century text to refer to the languages of the south of India. The publication of the Dravidian etymological dictionary by T. Burrow and M. B. Emeneau was a landmark event in Dravidian linguistics.

History of Telugu

Telugu is hypothesised to have originated from a reconstructed Proto-Dravidian language. It is a highly Sanskritised language; as Telugu scholar C.P Brown states in page 266 of his book A Grammar of the Telugu language: "if we ever make any real progress in the language the student will require the aid of the Sanskrit Dictionary" [2]. Inscriptions containing Telugu words dated back to 400 BCE were discovered in Bhattiprolu in District of Guntur. English translation of one inscription as reads: Gift of the slab by venerable Midikilayakha". [3]

It is possible to broadly define five stages in the linguistic history of the Telugu language:
1500-1000 BCE 400 BCE 500 CE 500 AD 1100 AD 1100 CE 1400 CE 1400 AD 1900 AD

UKT: See original Wiki article for details. My interest is only in the first period: Telugu separated from Proto-Dravidian between 1500-1000 BCE. [4] Telugu evolved as a distinct language by the time any literary activity began to appear in the Tamil lands. - 101602



Tibeto-Burman languages: Meitei language, Bodo language, Naga language, Garo language

Austro-Asiatic languages: [Includes Mon of the Mon-Khmer group.]




The best known inscriptions in Brāhmī are the rock-cut edicts of Ashoka, dating to the 3rd century BCE. These were long considered the earliest examples of Brāhmī writing, but recent archaeological evidence in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu suggest the dates for the earliest use of Brāhmī to be around the 6th century BCE, dated using radiocarbon and thermoluminescence dating methods.

UKT: The timeline 6th century BCD means the Brāhmī script was in existence well before the birth of Gautama Buddha.

Since, according to the Glass Palace Chronicles p153-154, a group of Sakka under King Abhiraza had left India to found the city of Tagaung in Upper Myanmar well before the birth of Gautama Buddha, Brahmi script must have arrived in Myanmar well before the spread of Buddhism. Since, Bur-Myan script and Brahmi scripts are similar, the Myanmar script might have been in existence well before the Pagan period of King Anawrahta. Unfortunately, it seems that the archeological evidence to support my suggestion is still lacking. -- UKT110508

This script is ancestral to most of the scripts of South Asia, Southeast Asia, Tibet, Mongolia, Manchuria, and perhaps even Korean Hangul. The Brāhmī numeral system is the ancestor of the Hindu-Arabic numerals, which are now used worldwide.

Brāhmī is generally believed to be derived from a Semitic script such as the Imperial Aramaic alphabet, as was clearly the case for the contemporary Kharosthi alphabet that arose in a part of northwest Indian under the control of the Achaemenid Empire. [UKT ]

Rhys Davids suggests that writing may have been introduced to India from the Middle East by traders. Another possibility is with the Achaemenid conquest in the late 6th century BCE. It was often assumed that it was a planned invention under Ashoka as a prerequisite for the his edicts. Compare the much better documented parallel of the Hangul script.

UKT: Rhys Davids aka Thomas William Rhys Davids (12 May 1843 - 27 December 1922) was a British scholar of the Pāli language and founder of the Pali Text Society. ... Deciding on a Civil Service career, Rhys Davids studied Sanskrit under A.F. Stenzler, a distinguished scholar at the University of Breslau. He earned money in Breslau by teaching English. Rhys Davids returned to England in 1863, and on passing his civil service exams was posted to Ceylon. As Magistrate of Galle, a case was brought before him involving questions of ecclesiastical law. He first learned of Pali when a document in that language was brought in as evidence. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_William_Rhys_Davids 110602.

Older examples of the Brahmi script appear to be on fragments of pottery from the trading town of Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka, which have been dated to the early 5th century BCE. Even earlier evidence of the Brahmi script has been discovered on pieces of pottery in Adichanallur, Tamil Nadu. Radio-carbon dating has established that they belonged to the 6th century BC. [2]

A minority position holds that Brāhmī was a purely indigenous development, perhaps with the Indus script as its predecessor; these include the English scholars G.R. Hunter and F. Raymond Allchin.

UKT: More in the original, a very extensive article which should be read in detail. - 100602

Contents of this page

Pali and Sanskrit transcriptions

by UKT

I have always have a feeling that Sanskrit (an IE - Indo-European language) is more rhotic than Pali or more specifically the Pali-Myanmar we use in the country of Myanmar (which I presumed to be a Tibeto-Burman language). However, because no sound-recording devices had been invented to record the ancient Pali and Sanskrit pronunciations, I will have to make use of the Pali-Latin and Sanskrit-Latin spellings to make the comparison. To confirm my suspicion I have compared Pali words and their equivalent Sanskrit words (transliterations). There are more r's in Sanskrit than in Pali. The following examples, from Dhammapada, are taken from: http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/dhamma/dhamglos.htm

In the transliteration of both Pali and Sanskrit, the character c represents the sound ch as in English <chair>. The aspirate consonants (kh, th, ph, etc) are pronounced as in <blockhead> or <godhead>.

The words illustrating aspirate consonants (kh) and (dh) were given in the source. I must point out that these examples are very misleading because these are disyllabic words and the (h) belongs to the second syllable whilst the (k) and (d) belong to the first.
 <blockhead> /'blɒk.hed/ (US) /'blɑːk-/
 <godhead> /'gɒk.hed/ (US) /'gɑːk-/

When a Myanmar-born speaker of English pronounce words like these, there is a noticeable break between the two syllables, and the <h> is pronounced distinctly as far back in the mouth as possible as in <headache> /'hed|.eɪk/.

However, to be fair to the authors of the source, what they have given as illustrating examples are the best to be found in English because the sounds [kʰ] and [dʰ] are not found in English. Because of this, I have transcribed these sounds as {hka} and {Da.} respectively in Romabama. I'm waiting for comments from my peers. - UKT 100418

I will have to emphasize again, that the c in the following table is pronounced as {kya.} and NOT {sa.}. So, I would like you to forget your Burmese-Myanmar pronunciation for the time being, and, pronounce the Sanskrit <cakka> as {kyak~ka.} and not {sak~ka.}. Or, remembering that the English <c> is nearer to Burmese {hka.}, pronounce <cakka> as <chakka> {hkyak~ka.}, where the ch would sound like the ch in <chair>. It is always important to remember that Burmese-Myanmar is a phonemic (or phonetic) script, whereas English-Latin is not.

Remember also that Burmese-Myanmar as a phonemic (or phonetic) script preceded the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) by at least hundreds of years.

I have given the Devanagari orthography of some Pali words and their Sanskrit equivalents (derived from meanings given UPMT-PED and SED). These are yet to be confirmed by someone more knowledgeable than I am. After this I would like to give the orthography in Myanmar from UHS-PMD. My intention is illustrated below in the case of "dhamma". The reader will realized that I would never be able to complete my work in this life-time -- I'm now 76. -- UKT 100121

For comparison of words not directly related to Buddhism, I have to rely on U Pe Maung Tin (UPMT-PED), U Hoke Sein (UHS-PMD) and on-line www.spokensanskrit.de . See my insertion on मकर (makara) {ma.ka.ra.} .

CAUTION: I have come to a stage when I feel that English transliterations (without the appropriate diacritics) are very unreliable and misleading, and have come to rely on transliterations from Devanagari to Myanmar or back. If you go through the following table you'll see what I mean.
   I have checked the Pali words given in the first column of the following table in the following manner:
Checking column 1: Pali
 1. A Pali word is checked taking note of the meaning given against UPMT-PED (if UPMT does not agree with the original entry, it is given as the second line with page number).
 2. From #1, I've arrived at Devanagari -- need to check by a person more knowledgeable than I .
 3. From #2, I've arrived at Myanmar given in UHS-PMD (page number given), and the Romabama transliteration .
 4. I've included some Pali words not given in the original table.
Checking column 2: Sanskrit
 1. Check against SpokenSkt (SpkSkt) deriving at Devanagari which is then inserted before the English

Examples, from Dhammapada, http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/dhamma/dhamglos.htm





amata 025
{a.ma.ta.} 0118
अमृत amrita immortality 21
appamada 020
{p~pa.ma-da.} 0097
अप्रमाद   apramāda vigilance, conscientiousness
[SpkSkt: adj. cautious]
Canto II
cakka 089
{sak~ka.} 0378
चक्र cakra
'wheel, circle, disk, army, multitude, region, domain' - UPMT 089
canda 090
चन्द्र candra the moon 172-3, 413
no entry in UPMT
चन्द्रमस् candramas luminous, shiny; the moon 172, 208, 387
citta 091
{sait~ta.} 0389
citra to be bright, resplendent [diff meaning given in UPMT 091 151, 171
ḍaḷha 110
dridha, [drilha] resolute, b [to hold fast, bind] 23, 61, 112, 313
dassana 110
{d~a.na.} 0464
darsana sight, vision 206, 210
dhamma 115 धम्म
{Dm~ma.} 0495
धर्म dharma
"foundation, support": law, justice, doctrine, nature, truth, etc.
UHS 0495
dhuva 116
{Du.wn} 0503
dhruva permanent, constant (aka the Pole Star) 147
gandhabba 084
{gn~D~b~ba.} 0357
gandharva heavenly musician: angelic being, demigod 105, 420
iddhi 042
{AId~Di.} 0194
iriddhi, siddhi potency, accomplishment; psychic power(s) 175
kamma 068
{kam~ma.} 0294
karman doing, action, result of action passim
khattiya 081
{hkt~ti.ya.} 0343
kshatriya warrior or ruling caste 294
khetta 083
{hkt~ta.} 0351
kshetra field 356-9
kodha 079
{kau:Da.} 0338
krodha anger Canto XVII
makara 164
{ma.ka.ra.} 0743
मकरः (makaraH) {ma.ka.ra:} m. mythical fish, sea monster; crocodile; {ma.kan:}
(UPMT-PED164; UHS-PMD0743; SpokenSkt)
macca 165
{mic~sa.} 0747
martya mortal 53, 141, 182
maccu 165
{mic~su.} 0747
mrityu death; also god of death; cf mara, yama passim
magga 164
{mag~ga.} 0744
marga path Canto XX
mettā 174
{mt~ta} 0786
maitra compassionate, friendly 368
micchaditthi [UPMT: micchādiṭṭhi] 172 /
{maic~hsa-daiT~HTi.} 0776
mithyadrishti wrong views, heresy 167, 316
nibbana 122
{naib~ba.na.} 0532
nirvana* dousing (of a flame), dying out of raga, dosa and moha, the three basic character defects passim
  *This is not a negative state, but a condition beyond ordinary comprehension. It is the annihilation of craving, hatred, and ignorance.
{pb~ba.zi.ta.} 0607
pravrajita a homeless monk 74, 388
[UPMT: pabbajati] 138   v. (√vaj) to go forth, exile oneself, take the robe
pakiṇṇaka 127
pakirnaka scattered, miscellaneous Canto XXI
pāna 148
{pa-Na.} 0658 
prana breath of life, vitality 246-7
pātimokkha 148 / {pa-ti.mauk~hka.} 0659
Pratimoksha monastic precepts; discipline (Vinaya) for monks 185, 375
piya 151
{pi-ya.} 0672
priya dear, friend, amiable Canto XVI
putta 152
{poat~ta.} 0679
putra son, young of animal, offspring 62, 84, 345
sabba 220
{b~ba.} 0975
sarva all, whole 129-30, 183, 353-4
saddha-assaddha saddhā 217
{d~Da} 0963
sraddha faith, trust, devotion not credulous or dependent on faith 8,144, 97
sagga 209
{ag~ga.} 0940
svarga heaven (meaning given in source is misleading}
UHS gives 'abode of Nat' - UHS-PMD0940
sahassa 233
{a.h~a.} 1018
sahasra a thousand Canto VIII
samaṇa  221
{a.ma.Na.} 0981
sramana religious recluse 184, 265
sota 246
{au:ta.} 1071
srotas stream 339-40
taṇhā 102
{taNha} 0428
trishna thirst, craving 154, 334, 349
vagga 185
{wag~ga.} 0839
varga chapter, section; all chapter headings all chapter headings
vaṇa 186
{wa.Na.} 0845
vrana wound, sore 124

UKT: I have only in 2009 Oct picked up Sanskrit as one of the languages of interest after Burmese, English, and Pali - BEP for short. And now my languages of interest have become BEPS (Burmese, English, Pali and Sanskrit). Since I was already advanced in age (75 as of 091026) and had no chance of going to school to learn Sanskrit, and I had set out on a journey on my own. My primary aim is just to spell out the Sanskrit words in Devanagari relying on Burmese-Myanmar pronunciation using Romabama. Remember the transliteration within (...) is ITRANS (older 3.2), and of course, {...} is Romabama.

The pdf pages have been cut to manageable sizes from http://sanskritdocuments.org/dict/dictall.pdf  090907

Contents of this page


UKT: The IPA transcriptions given for BEPS are phonemic or simply approximate.

The consonants are divided into two main groups, the {wag}-consonants from {ka.} through {ma.}, and {a.wag}-consonants from {ya.} through {ha.}. There is strict correspondence between Bur-Myan and Skt-Dev except in the case of the fricatives and the sibilants primarily due to the difference in ability of the speakers to articulate these sounds.

UKT: From the way they are written the consonants can be divided into
basic consonants
conjuncts or combinations some of which are pronounceable but most are non-pronounceable. The pronounceables are also known as medials. Some medials have to be incorporated into the basic table of the BEPS, e.g. {kya.} tenuis-/ʧ/, {hkya.} aspirate-/ʧ/, {gya.} /ʤ/ and {bya.} /bja/ to incorporate the Sanskrit sounds.

The {wag}-consonants are the regular consonants that are usually cross-grouped into three columns: voiceless (vl.), voiced (vd.), and nasals according to way the Europeans are used to "hearing". The Europeans could hear only one sound, for example, for /k/. However, there are two: /k/ and /kʰ/ which are clearly distinguishable in the ears of the Indians and Myanmars. The Europeans treat them as allophones of /k/, whereas to us, they are phonemes in their own right. Thus, we should have five columns instead of three: tenuis, voiceless, voiced, retroflex, and nasals.

UKT: Though it is possible to teach a human individual to articulate a sound by showing him the places of articulation, such as placing the tip of his tongue against the root of the upper teeth (for production of dental sounds), it is impossible to make him "hear" the sound in a particular prescribed way.

The {a.wag}-consonants are not easily group-able and are found under approximants and fricatives in the IPA table of consonants. Because of their very nature, when we are doing an inter-linguistic study, as are doing in BEPS, we need to subgroup the approximants to accommodate the slightly different phonemes. Thus, I am finding that we should tentatively adopt the following subgroups: 

 1. {ya.} य /j/, {ra.} र /ɹ/ (Bur) or /r/ (Pal), {la.} ल /l/, {La.} ळ retro-flexed /l/
 2. {wa.} व /w/,  {bya.} ब्य = ब ् य /bja/ (Pal)

Approximant-highly rhotic vowels (only for Sanskrit pronunciation)
 3. र /r/, ऋ /ṛ/

 4. {sha.}/ {hya.} श  /ʃ/, {Sa.} ष /s/, {a.} स /θ/

 4. {ha.} ह /ha/


Note there are two Devanagari graphemes corresponding to Myanmar {sa.}: dental-fricative ष and palatal-plosive च . I have so far refrained from introducing a new grapheme, however, I have differentiated them in Romabama: ष {Sa.} and च {sa.} - 100809

In the abugida system of writing, the consonants can form innumerable consonants in the form of conjuncts by use of virama (viram) aka {a.t}. These conjuncts are all pronounceable in Hindi (and Sanskrit), but only some are pronounceable in Burmese (and possibly Pali-Myanmar). Thus, for the Burmese speakers, the medials are those conjuncts that can be pronounced: the rest are simply conjuncts.

Note to HTML editor: The complete edition is to be in the format given below, in which Pal-Myan is derived from UPMT-PED which is then transcribed in Romabama. Finally from Pal-Myan, an appropriate definition from UHS-PMD is entered.

कोश (kosha)
Skt: कोश (kosha) - body or sheath - OnlineSktDict
Skt: kośa - kśa m. (n. L # in class. literature kośa, or koṣa ,  # fr. √kuś or kuṣ?, related to kukṣ and koṣṭha?), a cask, vessel for holding liquids, (metaphorically) cloud RV. AV. Suśr , # a pail, bucket RV ,  # a drinking-vessel, cup L , # a box, cupboard, drawer, trunk RV. vi, 47, 23 AV. xix, 72, 1 ŚBr , # the interior or inner part of a carriage RV , # (ifc.) MBh. viii, 1733 , # a sheath, scabbard, &c. MBh. R. VarBṛS , etc. (a very extensive entry) - MonWilliWash
Pal: kosa  mn.  a sheath, bud, treasure, testicle, shout, call, a measure of 500 bow-lengths  - UPMT-PED080
Pal: {kau:ha.} - UHS-PMD0340 [2 entries given]
 - UHS-PMD0340 1/2
  - UHS-PMD0340 2/2

Contents of this page

Sanskrit prefixes

From: http://www.learnsanskrit.org/start/words/prefixes 110502

[As you might remember,] there are about 2,000 different verb roots in Sanskrit. For most sentences, these 2,000 verb roots are sufficient. But for more complex sentences, verbs often need to be more specific. Fortunately, Sanskrit gives us a way to create new verbs. We can use these verbs in the same way as the verbs we've studied so far.

To create a verb, we attach a small term to the front of the verb root [indicated by Root sign √ ]. Any sound that is attached to the front of a word is called a prefix, and the sounds we'll study now are called verb prefixes. [UKT ]

UKT: Remember that a syllable [either a noun or a verb] has the canonical structure: CV where C is the onset-consonant, V the peak aka nucleus vowel, and is the coda-consonant whose inherent vowel has been killed by a virama which I usually shortened to "viram" {a-t}. Do not get confused between the terms vowel and verb .

There are about 20 different verb prefixes, and each has a special meaning. We can combine a prefix with a verb root to create a new and more complex idea.

UKT note 110507: Before we take up specific examples, let's start with a verb (a monosyllabic word in this case) गम्  gam 'to go' . As a Burmese speaker, do I really know how to pronounce this word from the English transliteration <gam>? The answer is a big NO. The nearest in Bur-Myan is {gm} /gʌm/ and not /gm/ nor /gam/. We, those who speak English, usually do not pay attention to this sound change: between English /a/ and Burmese /ʌ/. (Please note that my transcriptions are phonemic and not phonetic.) The sound change is not generally shown in English grammar taught to Burmese speakers, but unless we take it into account we get confused during transcription from Skt-Dev to Pal-Myan.

Now let's look into the syllabic structure of this word:

ga {ga.}
ma {ma.} + ् viram --> म् m  {m}

ga + म ma + ् viram --> गम् gam /gam/
{ga.} + {ma.} + {a-t}-sign --> {gm} /gʌm/

Let's look at some examples. Below are some new verbs that are made from the √gam. Like a plain gam , each new verb has a general sense of moving or going. But, you can see that the prefixes make the verb much more specific.

गम् → गच्छति
gam → gacchati
to go → He goes 

गम् → गच्छति
āgam → āgacchati
to come → He comes 

उपगम् → उपगच्छामि
upagam → upagacchāmi
to approach → I approach

संगम् → सं गच्छन्ति
saṃgam → saṃgacchanti
to come together, assemble → they assemble

We can also use multiple prefixes for a single verb. In the example below, two prefixes are used with the same verb root. upa puts more emphasis on "approaching," producing a more complex idea:

उपसं गच्छसि
You go to meet (somebody).

Other translations are "approach in order to assemble" or "go in order to meet." Note that both of these translations are quite long; sometimes, it can be easier and clearer to use a shorter expression, even if this shorter expression is else accurate..

The prefix closest to the verb tends to have the most influence. For example, consider the slight difference in meaning between upasaṃgam  and samupagam :

समुप गच्छसि
You approach together (with someone else).

Although the examples here all clearly show the influence of the prefix on the verb's meaning, don't make the mistake of thinking that all prefixes do so. In many situations, a prefix doesn't do much anything at all; in others, a prefix may act in an unexpected way. But, we can still say that prefixes generally behave as described above.

You may have noticed that the m of sam changed to the anusvāra   in front of the g of gam. Prefixes follow the normal rules of sandhi.


Four common prefixes:  सम्  sam, वि vi, आ ā, and, उप upa

1. सम्  sam 'with, together; completely, absolutely', e.g. con-dense, San-skrit

If you've heard some Sanskrit words before, you've probably seen this prefix. It occurs in names like saṃjaya  and terms like saṃsāra . It's also the sam  in saṃskṛta , which is where the word "Sanskrit" comes from! In all three of these words, sam  takes the meaning of "completely" or "absolutely."

2. वि vi 'divided, asunder, apart; different', e.g. two, di-vide, bi-partisan 

3. आ ā 'near, toward, up to'

4. उप upa 'near, toward, next to; under, below', e.g. up, hypo-dermic, sub-marine, Upa-nishad

These prefixes are all very common. They are so common, in fact, that the second verse of the Bhagavad Gita contains all four of them! The verse is provided below so that you can see for yourself. ](Note that the verse uses many words and concepts that we haven't studied. Just pay attention to the highlighted parts for now.)]

दृष्ट्वा तु पाण्डवानीकं वि-ऊढं दुर्योधनस् तदा ।
dṛṣṭvā tu pāṇḍavānīkaṃ vi-ūḍhaṃ duryodhanas tadā
But then, having seen the army of the Pandavas arrayed, Duryodhana

-चार्यम् उप-सं-गम्य राजा वचनम् अब्रवीत् ॥
ācāryam upa-saṃgamya rājā vacanam abravīt
approached his master and spoke this word.

Even though we haven't studied much Sanskrit, we know enough to understand many parts of this verse.

dṛṣṭvā  comes from darś , which is related to paśya and means "see." And what is seen? pāṇḍavānīka , which is in the object case. We can't be sure of what this word means, but it contains the word pāṇḍava , which you might recognize. We see the word duryodhanaḥ , which changed to duryodhanas  due to sandhi. Duryodhana is the name of a character in the Bhagavad Gita. From all of this, we can say that Duryodhana sees something related to the Pandavas.

That's the first line; now, let's take a look at the second. We can guess that upasaṃgamya  comes from upasaṃgam , meaning "approach." And what is being approached? acārya , which is in the object case. You might be familiar with this word already; it refers to a teacher or spiritual master. [UKT ]

The rest of the line is difficult to understand, but rājā  should look familiar. This is a tricky noun. It seems as if the stem is rāja  and the noun is in the case-1 plural, but it's actually from a different class of nouns altogether. We can't say how it refers to the rest of the verse, but since Duryodhana is a king, the word probably describes him. From all this, we can say that Duryodhana, who is connected to the idea of "king" somehow, approaches a teacher.

We can combine these two lines and get a very loose translation: Duryodhana sees something related to the Pandavas and, being a king, approaches the master. This translation has some serious flaws, but it's a remarkable match with the correct one:

But then, having seen the army of the Pandavas arrayed, King Duryodhana approached his master and spoke this word.

UKT: If you knew something of the battle between Pandavas and Kauravas (sp?) described in Mahabharata, you might have trouble with the word 'see' because King Duryodhana, the father of Kauravas and uncle of Pandavas, was physically blind! [note to myself: check the facts!] - UKT110502

Contents of this page

Sanskrit suffixes : primary suffixes

From: http://www.learnsanskrit.org/start/words/primary 110502

In the previous lesson, we learned that a prefix is a group of sounds attached to the front of a word. A group of sounds attached to the end of a word, meanwhile, is called a suffix. In this lesson, we will study some of the suffixes that turn verbs into nouns. Such suffixes are often called primary suffixes because they're the first thing to follow the verb root.

In Sanskrit, there are many different primary suffixes. We'll take a look at the most common ones below. To use a suffix, though, we should know three things about it: its meaning, its gender, and the vowel change it causes.

Now, here is a summary of the suffixes -a, -ana, -tra gi:

suffix: अ -a 'various'

gender: m.
vowel change
: medium

suffix: अन -ana 'act of doing X' :

gender - n.
vowel change: medium

suffix: त्र = त ् र -tra 'means of doing X'

gender - n.
vowel change: medium

For अ -a and अन -ana, the root vowel may sometimes be strengthened to the best level if the result would contain the vowel.


suffix -a

a is an old and common noun suffix. As part of its complex history, it causes a final ca-varga [ {sa.} of akshara-row 2] consonant to shift to ka-varga [ {ka.} of akshara-row 1.].

UKT: Remember - Skt repha followed by a consonant becomes Pali conjunct of the two consonants. e.g. Skt r-{ga} is Pali {g~ga.}. My additions are within square-brackets. Since our aim is to relate Skt-Dev to Pal-Myan, I still have to find appropriate examples between Skt and Pal. - UKT110507 

सर्ज्  sarj  'send forth' [repha-{za.}] --> सर्ग sarga 'creation; the creation of the world' [repha-{ga.}]

विसर्ज्  vi-sarj  'send forth' [repha-{za.}] --> विसर्ग  vi-sarga 'the visarga' [{:}]

जय्  jay 'win, conquer' --> जय  jaya 'victory'

नय्  nay  'to lead' -->  नाय  nāya  'guidance, direction'

आगम्  āgam  'come, reach'  --> आगम  āgama ' "coming near", acquisition'  Agama


suffix -ana

-ana does not cause the same consonant shift that -a does. It's actually quite simple to use: just add it to the end of the root! Although it usually defines the act of doing something ceremonies and events, usually it is occasionally used more concretely, as in the second example below.

दर्श्  darś  'see'  -->  दर्शन  darśana  'the act of seeing; darśana

नय्  nay /{n}/ 'to lead' -->  नयन  nayana /{na.ya.na.}/ 'the act of leading or bringing'; "that which does leading" ', i.e., 'the eye'

उपनय्  upa-nay  'to lead to oneself'  -->  उपनयन  upa-nayana  'the act of leading to oneself, i.e. the ritual initiation into the study of the Vedas'


suffix -tra

-tra is also a simple suffix. It almost always defines the means of doing something.

नय्  nay {n} 'to lead' -->  नेत्र  netra {n-tra.} "means of leading", eye

Note the change from ay to e . This change was mentioned when we discussed compound vowel sandhi. To quote: It's easier to say that the roots of these verbs are bhav and nay , and that's the system we've followed; but, it's just as valid to say that the roots are bho and ne .

Contents of this page

Secondary suffixes

From: http://www.learnsanskrit.org/start/words/secondary 110502

Now we will study the secondary suffixes. These suffixes act on anything but verbs, including nouns, adjectives, and (sometimes) complete sentences.


Changes in the final vowel

The rule below is enough for almost all Sanskrit words:

If the suffix starts with a vowel or [semivowel] y , then the -a nouns lose their final vowel.

In this lesson, we will also consider a few of the -u nouns. Such nouns, as you might guess, have stems that end in -u . We will not study the endings of these nouns, but we will learn how they are used with the secondary suffixes. The -u nouns follow this rule:

If the suffix starts with a vowel or [semivowel] y , then the -u of the -u nouns becomes av .

As before, we must know a few things about the suffixes we're using. To review, we must know the following:

The new noun's gender
The nature of the new noun
The vowel change that the suffix causes

The following is a summary of the suffixes:

Suffix: -अ -a 'coming from X', 

Vowel change: b

Suffix: -अक  -aka 'a small X; coming from X'

Vowel change: none

Suffix: -त्व  -tva 'the quality of X, X-ness'

Gender: n.
Vowel change: none

Suffix: -मय  -maya 'made of X, full of X'

Gender: mfn
Vowel change: none

Suffix: -य -ya  'coming from X'

Gender: mfn
Vowel change: none


Suffix -a

The meaning of the suffix -a largely depends on the type of noun it modifies. When used with some noun X, it usually means "coming from X." The first vowel is always strengthened to the best level.

पुत्र  putra  'son, child'  -->  पौत्र  pautra  "coming from a son", a grandson

कुरु  kuru  ' Kuru (Arjuna's ancestor)' -->  कौरव  kaurava  "coming from Kuru", a descendant of Kuru

UKT: In the epic Mahabharata, the conflict was between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. Arjuna was a Pandava - one of the enemies of Kauravas. I still need to check the facts. - UKT110507


Suffix -ka

The suffix -ka is usually used to show 'smallness', but it often also describes the material from which something is made.

पुत्र  putra  'son, child'  -->  पुत्रक  putraka  'little son, darling son'

अश्व  aśva  'horse'  -->  अश्वक  aśvaka  'little horse', colt


Suffix -tva

Suffix -tva changes some noun X into " the quality of being X". In this way, it means the same thing as the English "-ness" suffix:

कृष्ण  kṛṣṇ a  'black'  -->  कृष्णत्व  kṛṣṇatva  'blackness'


Suffix -maya

Suffix -maya changes some noun X into "consisting of or being made of X".

आनन्द  ānanda  'bliss'  -->  आनन्दमय  ānandamaya  'consisting of bliss'


Suffix -ya 

The suffix -ya   has various meanings. It means much the same thing as the suffix -a . But in the neuter gender, -ya usually means something like "the state of being X".

चर्  car  'walk'  -->  आचर्  ācar  follow a path, practice, follow 
   -->  आचार  ācāra  custom, rules of conduct  
  -->  आचार्य  ācārya  one who knows the ācāra [acharya]


Contents of this page

Tatpurusha - the determinative compound

From: http://www.learnsanskrit.org/start/words/tatpurusha 110502

We've studied three different ways to make new words:

Adding a prefix to a verb to create a new verb.
Adding a suffix to a verb root to create a new noun.
Adding a suffix to a non-verb to create a new noun.

Now we will study a fourth. By this fourth method, we combine two nouns combine to create a new noun. This combination is called the compound [aka compound-noun]. Sanskrit is quite famous for it. [UKT: I prefer to use the term "notorious", because compounds are very artificial and can only be found in script. Remember, we still have to pronounce it, and your tongue and other organs have to articulate it. So there are bound to be sound breaks and pauses in it. So why don't we just split it up for the "ignorant  foreigners" to speak it out!] [UKT ]

UKT: See my note on compound (Linguistics).

In English, a typical compound involves two or three words; <wallpaper>, for instance, is just <wall> and <paper>. Sanskrit compounds were once about the same length, but over time, Sanskrit poets and writers tended to make their compounds longer and longer. In some literary styles, compounds can be made of as many as 30 different words! Wow!

Sanskrit has an extremely rich system of compounds. Partly for that reason, compounds are a vital part of Sanskrit grammar. Compounds were analyzed extensively by the ancient Indian grammarians, most of whom worked about 2500 years ago; as a carry-over from that tradition, Sanskrit terms will be used to describe the compounds we are going to study.

But what's so special about a compounds? The answer is that all of the words in the compound are taken as a single unit. A compound is unique because it's a series of words that are just chained together. But even though many words may be in a compound, only the last one is inflected. All other words appear as ordinary stems, with the rare exception. And between words in the compound, external sandhi applies.

For an example of a compound with well over 60 words, click here.


The compound: tatpuruṣaḥ

Now we will study the most common and flexible of the Sanskrit compounds. Its name is an example of it:

तस्य  (= त स ् य  ) tasya 'his' + पुरुषः  puruṣaḥ  'servant' -->  तत्पुरुषः  tatpuruṣa  'his servant'

The tatpurusha appears in almost every verse of the Bhagavad Gita, and it is almost impossible to find a Sanskrit work that does not contain it. After this lesson, your reading ability will grow tremendously, and each new lesson will unlock hundreds of new lines and verses.

We will now consider two types of tatpurusha compounds, and also some English examples.


Compound: Case-6 tatpurusha

Tatpurusha compounds are often described by the case that the first noun was "originally" in before the compound was formed. By this system, the word tatpuruṣa itself is a case-6 tatpurusha; that is, the first word (tad) is in case 6 before the compound is formed. Some English examples:

patch of cabbages → cabbage patch
leader of the world → world leader
bar of iron → iron bar

UKT: I wonder if the notorious example with which the Western English ESL teachers often make fun of the English used in India and Myanmar: "the cat of my aunt" instead of 'my aunt's cat' could be used as another illustration. -- UKT 110508

Just as in Sanskrit, the first word loses its inflection; note that <cabbages> becomes <cabbage>. Note that the first noun exists only to describe the second one; this is how the tatpurusha is structured, too. But unlike the English version of this compound, the Sanskrit version is written as a single unit. The words in a compound are never written separately. [UKT: But still you have to speak or sing it out! I feel long compounds are just gimmicks of writers who just want the ignorants out.]


Compound: Case-1 tatpurusha

The case 1 tatpurusha is a little more difficult to understand. An English example of it is <singer-songwriter>, i.e. a person who is both a 'singer' and a 'songwriter'. Most often, it's used to pair a noun with an adjective. Now for some Sanskrit examples:

कृष्णो  kṛṣṇo   'black'  + हस्तः  hastaḥ  'hand'  -->  कृष्णहस्तḥ  kṛṣṇahastaḥ 

नरः naraḥ  'man'  + सिंहः  siṃhaḥ  'lion' -->  नरसिंहः 'he who is both a man and a lion', i.e. Narasimha

UKT: Wikipedia also lists an article [which I haven't gone over as of today 110508] on Sanskrit compounds: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskrit_compounds 110508

Contents of this page

Special prefixes  a-, an-, sa-

From: http://www.learnsanskrit.org/start/words/asa 110502

The tatpurusha is traditionally associated with two special prefixes. These prefixes don't have the regular meaning of the tatpurusha, so it's easier to consider them separately. These two prefixes tend to make adjectives.


Prefix: a- / an-

The prefixes a- and an- show what something is not.

a- when in front of a consonant
an- when in front of a vowel

UKT: Remember 'consonant' and 'vowel', or for that matter semi-consonant and semivowel apply to the way you pronounce it and not the way you write it. An example in English is the word <herb>. Does it begin with a consonant or with a vowel? The British-English pronounces the <h>, so the word begins with a consonantal sound. But the American-English does not pronounce it, and so the word starts with a vowel sound.
   The {ha.} /h/ in Pal-Myan and ह ha in Skt-Dev are well pronounced as consonants. They are not like the Engl-Lat <h> which is sometimes 'silent'. Therefore, when you have to prefix a word that begins with {ha.} or ह ha you use a- . I'm waiting for comments from my peers. - UKT 110508


शोकः  śokaḥ 'sorrow'  -->  शोकः  aśokaḥ' "un-sorrow", sorrow-less

Greek, Latin, and Old English all had a version of the a/an prefix. This prefix survives in English words like "a-political," "an-archy," "in-appropriate," "im-mortal," and "un-able."


Prefix: sa-

The prefix sa- shows what something is with. Unlike the a- prefix, this one does not change; it is always sa-, even in front of vowels.

गजः  gajaḥ  'elephant'  -->  गजः  sagajaḥ  'with an elephant'

A phrase like sagajo naraḥ means the same thing as a phrase like gajena naraḥ . By using a word like sagaja , certain ideas become easier to express:

सगजेन गच्छति  sagajena gacchati  'He goes with the one who is with the elephant'.


UKT: The following are prefixes I have found
while working through the BEPS Sanskrit English Dictionary .


Prefix: ati-

अति (ati)
Skt: अति (ati) - extremely - OnlineSktDict
Skt: ati - ati is often prefixed to nouns and adjectives, and rarely to verbs,
  in the sense excessive, extraordinary, intense
  # excessively, too # exceedingly, very # in such compounds the accent is generally on ti - MonWilliWash
Pal: अति  ati - pref. (with v.)   over, beyond; (with n.) excessive, surpassing;
  (with adv.) very exceedingly - UPMT-PED009
Pal: {a.ti.} - - UHS-PMD0028


Contents of this page

Transforms from Pali-Myanmar to Sanskrit-Devanagari:
Conjuncts or conjoined consonants

by UKT:

I have come to notice that there are several types of transforms in going from Pal-Myan to Skt-Dev. Please note that I am not implying that Pali was the older language and that Sanskrit (especially the Classical Sanskrit of Panini) had been derived from Pali. You might be tempted to ask why I have left out the so-called "Vedic Sanskrit". The so-called "Vedic Sanskrit" is quite different from the Classical Sanskrit. It was the language of the Vedas, and many of its words had gone out of use by Panini's time. And therefore the term "Vedic Sanskrit" may not be legitimate at all. Because of which, I am using the term "Vedic language" dropping the suffix Sanskrit. In fact the Vedic is now a re-constructed language. There are more lateral sounds in Vedic than in Sanskrit. Of the two pairs of Skt-Dev vowels (each with short-long variations), it is only (or almost) the rhotic sounds that are found in Sanskrit.

We see the following transforms in going from Pal-Myan to Skt-Dev:
 - the repha transform 
 - the thibilant to sibilant transform 
 - the bilabial to labial-dental transform
 - the short to long vowel transform 

There are two types of conjunctions: same-lettered such as {k~ka.} (both the first and second are tenuis) and different-lettered such as {k~hka.} (the first is tenuis, but the second is voiceless or voiced). I've been observing that  usually a same-letter conjunct in Pal-Myan is usually transformed into Skt-Dev कर् (kar). This may be considered to be a special case of epenthesis.

Epenthesis n.pl. epentheses Linguistics 1. The insertion of a sound in the middle of a word, as in Middle English thunder from Old English thunor. [Late Latin from Greek from epentithenai to insert ep-, epi- epi- en- in ...] - AHTD

The following are examples of same-letter conjuncts of Pal-Myan being transformed into Skt-Dev कर् (kar). It should be noted here that the coda <r> imparts a a burring guttural sound and is known as a repha.

repha रेफ
m. a burring guttural sound, the letter r ( as so pronounced ) cf. Prāt. cf. ŚrS. ; a word cf. BhP. ; ( in prosody ) a cretic ( ? ) cf. Piṅg ; passion, affection of the mind cf. L. ; mfn. low, vile, contemptible cf. L. ( cf. repa )

UKT: First, see the list below and continue reading my note: I am of the opinion that the presence of highly rhotic r in Sanskrit and its absence in Pali-Myanmar shows the main difference between the two languages. While Sanskrit is IE, Pali-Myanmar because of its low rhoticity and presence of {la.}-sounds is not IE.  Was it related to Vedic? Was it the remnant of Magadhi Prakrit of the Buddha's period - the language of women and servants of the Brahmins. It was presumably the language of the Ari monks who were of Vajrayāna faith  (Skt: वज्रयान ).
   My line of conjecture depends on the present-day Bur-Myan idea of the {waiz~za} 'the perfect' waiting for the Fifth Buddha to spread the {Dam~ma.}. They have by means of "knowledge such as the casting of the runes", become free of the physical body, but continue to "live" in the mental-body. Once the Fifth Buddha appeared they would become his disciples and with him would pass into Nirvana. I admit that my conjecture is without any other supporting evidence.
   The Aris were persecuted and thoroughly uprooted by King Anawrattha in the 11th century probably because of political reason. However their practices are still being carried on by quite a large number of people locally known as {Bo:tau}. - UKT first written in 100613 and changed in 110608. ]

{kak~ka.Ti} (UHS-PMD0275) --> kakkaṭī 'f. a kind of cucumber, snake, pot' (UPMT-PED061)
  --> कर्कटी karkaṭī 'cucumber' (OnlineSktDict)
       कर्कटी karkaṭī  f.  cucumber (SpkSkt)

{kaN~Na.} (UHS-PMD0282) --> kaṇṇa 'm. the ear, rudder, corner' (UPMT-PED064)
  --> कर्ण  karṇa 'ear' (OnlineSktDict)
        कर्ण  karṇa  m. ear ; diagonal [geom.] (SpkSkt)

{kt~ta.ri.ka} (UHS-PMD0286) --> kattarikā 'f. scissors, a sailor' (UPMT-PED065)
  --> कर्तरिका  kartarikā 'f.  scissors' (SpkSkt)

  {kp~pa.Ta.} (UHS-PMD0291) --> kappaṭa  'm. torn cloth, rags' (UPMT-PED067)
  --> कर्पट  karpaṭa 'm.n. old patched garment' (SpkSkt)

{kp~pa.ra.} (UHS-PMD0291) --> kappara 'm. the skull, the elbow" (UPMT-PED067)
  --> कर्पर  karpara 'm. cranium [Anat. (Gk. kranion, kera head from Sanskrit) ]' (SpkSkt)

{kp~pa-a.} (UHS-PMD0292) --> kappāsa 'mn.; sī , f. cotton' (UPMT-PED067)
  --> कर्पास  karpāsa 'm. cotton, cotton wool, raw cotton' (SpkSkt)

{kp~pu-ra.} (UHS-PMD0292) --> kappūra 'mn. camphor' (UPMT-PED067)
  --> कर्पुर karpūra 'camphor' (OnlineSktDict)
       कर्पूर  karpūra 'n. camphor' (SpkSkt)

{km~ma.} (UHS-PMD0294) -->  kamma 'n. action, labour, business, deed, merit, karma' (UPMT-PED068)
  -->कर्म (karma) 'action or activity' (OnlineSktDict)
      कर्म  karma 'n . action, act (activity), work, business, performance, religious act, consequence of acts in a previous life' (SpkSkt)

{kait~ti.} (UHS-PMD0318) --> kitti 'f. fame, report' (UPMT-PED074)
  --> कीर्ती kiirtii 'fame' (OnlineSktDict)

[Note to myself: I still need to include UHS-PMD into the following list. The following list was done summarily and the dictionaries were not mentioned. Recheck individual entries giving the page references to UHS and UPMT. Don't forget the Romabama vowel change between UHS and UPMT. - 110404]

Pal-Lat to Skt-Dev

kassaka --> कर्षक  karṣaka

kumma --> कुर्म kurma

gadrabha -->  गर्दभ gardabha
gabbha --> गर्भ garbha
gabba --> गर्व garva

            --> चर् (char.h)

jiṇṇa ppp. (√jīr) old, aged, decayed - UPMT-PED098 --> जीर्ण  jīrṇa

tajjanī  --> तर्जनी  tarjanī  'forefinger'

dappa --> दर्प (darpa) 'pride' 
dabbha --> दर्भ (darbha) 'a sweet-smelling grass'

dugga -->  दुर्ग (durga) 'fort'
dujjana -->  दुर्जन (durjana) 'wicked person'

gāma --> ग्राम  grāma 
gotta --> गोत्र (gotra) 
cakka --> चक्र cakra
canda --> चन्द्र candra

 Skt कूर् (kīr)
कीर्ती kiirtii --> kitti

Skt कुर् (kur)
कुर्म kurma --> kumma

Skt गर् (gar)
गर्दभ gardabha --> gadrabha :
  Exception - One would expect Pali to be 'gaddabha': however it is not so. See UPMT-PED084 and PTS243.
गर्भ garbha --> gabbha 
गर्व garva --> gabba : here you see the labio-dental /v/ (IE) changing to bilabial /b/ (Tib-Bur) as well.

Skt चर् (char.h)
चर् (char.h) -->

Skt जीर्ण jīrṇa (jiirNa)
जीर्ण  jīrṇa --> jiṇṇa  ppp. (√jīr) old, aged, decayed - UPMT-PED098

Skt तर्जनी   tarjanī  
तर्जनी   tarjanī  'forefinger' --> tajjanī

Skt दर्प (darpa)
दर्प (darpa) 'pride' --> dappa 
दर्भ (darbha) 'a sweet-smelling grass' --> dabbha

Skt दुर् {dur~}
दुर्ग (durga) 'fort' --> dugga
दुर्जन (durjana) 'wicked person' --> dujjana

There are also cases of insertion of r (epenthesis) forming a special kind of conjunct - the {ra.ric} in Sanskrit:
Skt: ग्राम  grāma  --> gāma
Skt: गोत्र (gotra) --> gotta 
Skt: चक्र cakra --> cakka
Skt: चन्द्र candra --> canda 

{ak~hka.ra} (UHS-PMD0939) --> sakkharā 'f. gravel, sugar' (UPMT-PED209)
  --> शर्करा (sharkaraa) 'f. sugar' (OnlineSktDict)


To understand more of the above change consult articles on rhoticity such as Rhotic and non-rhotic accents in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhotic_and_non-rhotic_accents 100611

Contents of this page

क्ष kS (= क ् ष ) conjunct : a form of Pal-Myan {hka.}

by UKT 110405

In going from Pali-Myan {hka.} /kʰ/ to Sanskrit-Devanagari, the Sanskrit speakers [presumably Classical Sanskrit speakers - Vedic Sanskrit or Vedic speakers included?] arrive at two forms: ख kha (basic akshara) and क्ष kSa (conjunct = क ् ष ) with differing pronunciations. ख kha , the basic akshara, has the equivalent in Pali-Myan {hka.} /kʰ/.

In fact, it is found that, at least in some pair of words, we find {hka.} and {Sa.} used interchangeably. (Need to check with more examples - UKT110328)

रेखा (rekhaa)
Skt: रेखा (rekhaa) - line - OnlineSktDict
Pal: rekhā - f. a line, streak - UPMT-PED181

रेषा (reshhaa)
Skt: रेषा (reshhaa) - line - OnlineSktDict

The question we should be asking here is, is this because of the presence of a rhotic phoneme {r} preceding or is it a general rule. As a personal note I must add, lately one of my staff-members, Maung N Phyo Ko, from Thazi, central Myanmar, is found to be pronouncing most of the {hkya.}-words as {sha.}-words. We should note that in Pyinmana-Thazi-Yamthin area, we find a lot of people with Indian ancestry. We should also note that this area, the valley of {sa.moan}-river was one of the original homes of the ancient Pyus. {sa.moan}-river is probably the only river in Myanmar flowing from south to north. It is the upper part of a section of old Irrawaddy river which was broken into the upper (northern) and lower (southern) parts after the Popa eruption in ancient times. The southern part is the present Sittang river.]  - UKT110405

क्ष kSa as onset

However, the क्ष kSa , being unpronounceable, has no equivalent. The situation is similar to English speakers not being able to pronounce some combinations such as <kn>. They simply ignore the letter making it silent, e.g. <knee> /niː/ . The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_k 100622.

"A silent k occurs when the letter k occurs in a word but does not actually reflect the pronunciation of a voiceless velar plosive (/k/), or any sound for that matter. A silent k is quite common in the English language, most often preceding an n at the beginning of a word. There a rare exceptions to this rule; one example is Knoebels Grove located in Pennsylvania.

"In Old English the k was silent and so is. Cognates in other Germanic languages show that the k was likely a voiceless velar plosive in Proto-Germanic (compare German Knecht to knight, Knoten to knot, etc.)."

The solution is to ignore k and pronounce S (the dental sibilant) only as in English, or to pronounce क्ष kSa as a disyllable /kə.sa/ and introduce a new conjunct-form similar to {kn~si:}: {kSa.}. [derived from: {ka.} + {a.t} + {sa.} --> {k~sa.}]
Examples where this conjunct occur follows:

{hkt~ti.ya.} --> Kshatriya (Hindi: क्षत्रिय, kṣatriya  from Skt: क्षत्र, kṣatra )
{a.r hkt~ta.ra} --> Sri Ksetra (name of a Pyu city in Myanmar)

क्ष kṣ/kSh as coda : splitting into क ् ष --> {k~hka.}

In the above क्ष kSa is present as an onset. What happens when it is present as a 'coda'. It shows that going from Devanagari to Myanmar, kṣ is broken apart, and is substituted with a {hka.}. - UKT110326

पक्ष pakṣa  = प क ् ष   || {pak~Sa.} --> {pak~hka.}
Skt: पक्ष pakṣa - m. wing - SpkSkt
Pal: pakkha - m. a cripple, wing, side, faction, fortnight - UPMT-PED128
Pal: {pak~hka.} - - UHS-PMD0558

There is an alternate spelling for above : Skt: प्कश (pkasha) - m. wing - OnlineSktDict

रक्षा (rakShaa) = र क ् ष ा || {rak~Sa} --> {rak~hka}
Skt:  रक्षा (rakShaa) protection - OnlineSktDict
*Pal: rakkhati - v. to protect, ward off, guard - UPMT-PED177
Pal: {rak~hka} - - UHS-PMD0804

राक्ष rākṣa  = र ा क ् ष
Skt: राक्ष rākṣa  m. demon = र ा क ् ष - SpkSkt
Pal: rakkhasa - m. a demon, ogre - UPMT-PED177
Pal: {rak~hka.a.} - - UHS-PMD0804

वक्षोज (vakShoja) = व क ् ष ो ज
Skt: वक्षोज (vakShoja) - breasts - OnlineSktDict
*Pal: vakkhoja - n. a woman's breast - UPMT-PED185
*Pal: {wak~hka.} - - UHS-PMD0839

UKT: There are two points to note in connection with U Hoke Sein's definition in UHS-PMD0839.

UHS gives the meaning as {ring} 'chest' using the grapheme {ra.} /ɹ/ which is usually pronounced in the Irrawaddy basin dialect (the Yangon dialect) as / {ying}/ spelled with the grapheme {ya.} /j/. Thus the word {ring} should not be pronounced as the Eng-Lat <ring> but as /ɹɪŋ/.

UHS should have given the meaning as {ring-a:} 'breast' - a compound noun formed from 'chest' and 'flesh' usually used for a woman's breast.

विपक्ष (vipakSha) = व ि प क ् ष
Skt: विपक्ष (vipakSha) - of the opposite side - OnlineSktDict
Pal: vipakkha - adj. opposite, hostile. m. an enemy - UPMT-PED197
Pal: {wi.pak-hka.} - - UHS-PMD0887


Contents of this page

ज्ञ {za.} (= ज ् ञ ) conjunct:

UKT: Here we find another akshara that can be compared to a common Bur-Myan word :
   ज ् ञ  -->  ज्ञ
This on transliteration into Romabama gives:
  {za.} + viram + {a.}  --> ? {z~a.}
This should be compared to {si} , a common word in Bur-Myan 'serialization'
  {sa.} + {a.} + viram --> {si} : notice the difference in placing the viram.

प्रज्ञचल् (pra+chal.h) ( = प ् र ज ् ञ च ल ् )
Skt: प्रज्ञचल् (pra+chal.h) - to agitate - OnlineSktDict

प्रज्ञशंस् (pra+sha.ns.h)
Skt: प्रज्ञशंस् (pra+sha.ns.h) - to praise - OnlineSktDict

प्रज्ञसह (pra+sah.h)
Skt: प्रज्ञसह (pra+sah.h) - to withstand, endure - OnlineSktDict

यज्ञ yaja = य ज ् ञ
Skt: यज्ञ yaja - m. sacrifice, offering, praise, prayer, act of worship or devotion,
  devotion, worship, fire, worshipper, relating or belonging to sacrifice - SpkSkt

The word यज्ञ yaja is so difficult to pronounce that it became {yiz} dropping out the {a.} :
  {yiz} - n. sacrificrificial offereings [Skt: {ya.za.}] - MED2010-386


Contents of this page

A non-conjunct conjunct : {king:si:} vowel-sign

{king:si:} /|kin: si:|/ - n. ortho. miniature symbol of devowelized nga superscripted on the following letter. -- MEDict016

Compare the way in which the two words {hsing-kn:} and {thn~kn:} are written. The first is written horizontally, but the second is written with the {king:si:} (literally: "centipede-ridden") sign . There are two cues in Romabama to show that a {king:si:} is involved: use of umlaut over the peak vowel (Alt0239) and ~. The {king:si:} is actually not a conjoined sign and may be written horizontally. It is commonly found in Bur-Myan usually in words derived from Pali-Myan.

Bur-Myan: {kon-ku.mn}. - n. saffron [Sans {kon~ku.ma.} - MED2010-024
Pal: {kon~ku.ma.} - - UHS-PMD0323
Pal: kuṅkuma - n. saffron - UPMT-PED075
Skt: kuṅkuma n. saffron (Crocus sativus, the plant and the pollen
   of the flowers) Suśr. Ragh. Bhartṛ. &c - MonWilliWash

[Note to myself: the above example from MED2010-024 is probably wrong. I am finding that {king:si:} is the hallmark of Pal-Myan, whereas {::ting} belongs to Skt-Dev. This observation needs to be rechecked.]

Working through BEPS Sanskrit-English Diction I've come to notice that the Devanagari spelling for the same English word are spelled differently in OnlineSktDict and SpkSkt:

{::ting} - (literally 'dot above')
Skt: पंक (pa.nka) - mud - OnlineSktDict
Pal: paṅka - mn.  mud, sin - UPMT-PED128
  Translit-UPMT-Pal: {pn-ka.}

{kn:~Si:} (literally 'ridden by a centipede' : shown explicitly in Myanmar but not Devanagari)
Skt: पङ्क paṅka  m. clay, mud, slush, morass - SpkSkt
Pal: {pn~ka.} - UHS-PMD0560

It should be noted that OnlineSktDict is to help us understand Mahabharatta - the Hindu epic - whereas SpkSkt should be expected to give us the spelling of Classical Sanskrit of Panini. It should be noted that the two spellings sounded differently in Pali-Myanmar, however the two may not be distinguishable in English transcriptions. My knowledge of Sanskrit is next to zero and I hope someone would come to my aid. -- UKT101230

Contents of this page

UKT notes

Compound (Linguistic)

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_linguistics    110508

In linguistics, a compound is a lexeme (less precisely, a word) that consists of more than one stem. Compounding or composition is the word formation that creates compound lexemes (the other word-formation process being derivation). Compounding or Word-compounding refers to the faculty and device of language to form new words by combining or putting together old words. In other words, compound, compounding or word-compounding occurs when a person attaches two or more words together to make them one word. The meanings of the words interrelate in such a way that a new meaning comes out which is very different from the meanings of the words in isolation.

UKT: A compound such as अङ्गपच्चङ्ग aṅgapaccaṅga (retrieved from TamilCube-Pal Dictionary  http://www.dictionary.tamilcube.com/pali-dictionary.aspx 110704) are unnecessary compounds. It is made up of two words:
   अङ्ग aṅga - a limb, or body part
   पच्चङ्ग paccaṅga - major and minor limbs
Both Pal-Dev and Skt-Dev suffer from the same setback found in Bur-Myan: unnecessary compound words. What they need are "white-spaces" to break up such "compounds" - UKT110704

Formation of compounds

Compound formation rules vary widely across language types.

In a synthetic language, the relationship between the elements of a compound may be marked with a case or other morpheme. For example, the German compound Kapitnspatent consists of the lexemes Kapitn (sea captain) and Patent (license) joined by an -s- (originally a genitive case suffix); and similarly, the Latin lexeme paterfamilias contains the (archaic) genitive form familias of the lexeme familia (family). [UKT ]

Conversely, in the Hebrew language compound, the word בֵּית סֵפֶר bet sefer (school), it is the head that is modified: the compound literally means "house-of book", with בַּיִת bayit (house) having entered the construct state to become בֵּית bet (house-of). This latter pattern is common throughout the Semitic languages, though in some it is combined with an explicit genitive case, so that both parts of the compound are marked.

Agglutinative languages tend to create very long words with derivational morphemes. Compounds may or may not require the use of derivational morphemes also. The longest compounds in the world may be found in the Finnish and Germanic languages. In German, extremely long compound words can be found in the language of chemical compounds, where in the cases of biochemistry and polymers, they can be practically unlimited in length. [UKT ]

As a chemist, I must add: these names are just useless. I rely on the structural formulas and dedicated "trivial" names. However, as teachers and examiners (I was one for 33 long years in various universities in Myanmar-country), we tend to make the students' lives miserable by making them remember such useless things. -- UKT110704

German examples include Farbfernsehgert (color television set), Funkfernbedienung (radio remote control), and the jocular word Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitnsmtze (Danube steamboat shipping company Captain's hat).

In Finnish there is no theoretical limit to the length of compound words, but in practice words consisting of more than three components are rare. Even those can look mysterious to non-Finnish, take htuloskytv (emergency exit) as an example. Internet folklore sometimes suggests that lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas (Airplane jet turbine engine auxiliary mechanic non-commissioned officer student) would be the longest word in Finnish, but evidence of it actually being used is scant and anecdotic at best.

Compounds can be rather long when translating technical documents from English to some other language, for example, Swedish. "Motion estimation search range settings" can be directly translated to rrelseuppskattningsskintervallsinstllningar; the length of the words are theoretically unlimited, especially in chemical terminology.

Semantic classification of compounds

A common semantic classification of compounds yields four types:

exocentric (also bahuvrihi)
copulative (also dvandva)

An endocentric compound consists of a head, i.e. the categorical part that contains the basic meaning of the whole compound, and modifiers, which restrict this meaning. For example, the English compound doghouse, where house is the head and dog is the modifier, is understood as a house intended for a dog. Endocentric compounds tend to be of the same part of speech (word class) as their head, as in the case of doghouse. (Such compounds were called tatpuruṣa in the Sanskrit tradition.)

तस्य  (= त स ् य ) tasya 'his' + पुरुषः  (= प ु र ु ष ः ) puruṣaḥ  'servant'
  -->  तत्पुरुषः  (= त त ् प ु र ु ष ः ) tatpuruṣa   'his servant'

[Note myself: Notice that (= त स ् य ) changes to (= त त ् ) before being compounded. Why? The change is from a sibilant ending /ʃ/ to a plosive ending /t/. Is there a phonological explanation. Is it to make it into a prefix? I wait for an answer. But, I still need to check my observation. -- UKT110607]

The tatpurusha appears in almost every verse of the Bhagavad Gita, and it is almost impossible to find a Sanskrit work that does not contain it. [UKT: below is the meaning from Monier-Williams]

Skt: ○puruṣa m. the original or supreme spirit (one of the 5 forms of Īśvara [also ○ṣa-vaktra] Sarvad. vii) Kāṭh. xvii, 1 TĀr., x, 1, 5 f. LiṅgaP. i, 13 [Page 433, Column 2]
  # the servant of him KātyŚr. vii, 1, 8 # N. of a Kalpa period MatsyaP. liii, 41
  # a class of compounds (formed like the word tat-puruṣa, 'his servant') in which the last member is qualified by the first without losing (as the last member of Bahu-vrīhi compounds) its grammatical independence (whether as noun or adj. or p.)
  # two subdivisions of these compounds are called Karma-dhāraya and Dvi-gu (qq.vv.)
  # -vaktra m. before - MonWilliWash

Exocentric compounds (called a bahuvrihi compound in the Sanskrit tradition) do not have a head, and their meaning often cannot be transparently guessed from its constituent parts. For example, the English compound <white-collar> is neither a kind of collar nor a white thing. In an exocentric compound, the word class is determined lexically, disregarding the class of the constituents. For example, a must-have is not a verb but a noun. The meaning of this type of compound can be glossed as "(one) whose B is A", where B is the second element of the compound and A the first. A bahuvrihi compound is one whose nature is expressed by neither of the words: thus a white-collar person is neither white nor a collar (the collar's colour is a metaphor for socioeconomic status). Other English examples include barefoot and Blackbeard.

Copulative compounds are compounds which have two semantic heads.

Appositional compounds refer to lexemes that have two (contrary) attributes which classify the compound.

Types of compounds (linguistic)
from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_linguistics 110508

type: endocentric
description: A+B denotes a special kind of B
examples: darkroom, smalltalk

type: exocentric 
description: A+B denotes a special kind of an unexpressed semantic head
examples: skinhead, paleface (head: 'person')

type: copulative
description: A+B denotes 'the sum' of what A and B denote
examples: bittersweet, sleepwalk

type: appositional
description: A and B provide different descriptions for the same referent
examples: actor-director, maidservant


Formal classification

Noun-noun compounds

Most natural languages have compound nouns. The positioning of the words (i. e. the most common order of constituents in phrases where nouns are modified by adjectives, by possessors, by other nouns, etc.) varies according to the language. While Germanic languages, for example, are left-branching when it comes to noun phrases (the modifiers come before the head), the Romance languages are usually right-branching.

UKT: Direct translation of noun-noun compounds from one language to another can give rise to hilarious results. I remember an English sign-board,
   "Special Rat Eradication Team"
being directly translated into a Burmese compound without white spaces:
which can be understood as a team for eradication of only "Special Rats": they are not responsible for "Ordinary Rats"!
   I would have translated with recognizable white-spaces:
   {kywat  nheim-ning:y:  a.htu:a.hpw.} 'Rat eradication special-team'. The adjective {a.htu:} 'special' is for the {a.phw.} 'team' - not for rats! - from a sign-board in Rangoon in 1950s. - UKT110704

In French, compound nouns are often formed by left-hand heads with prepositional components inserted before the modifier, as in chemin-de-fer 'railway' lit. 'road of iron' and moulin vent  'windmill', lit. 'mill (that works)-by-means-of wind'.

In Turkish, one way of forming compound nouns is as follows: yeldeğirmeni windmill (yel: wind, değirmen-i:mill - possessive); demiryolu 'railway' (demir: iron, yol-u: road-possessive).


Verb-noun compounds

A type of compound that is fairly common in the IE (Indo-European) languages is formed of a verb and its object, and in effect transforms a simple verbal clause into a noun. [UKT ]

UKT: Never forget that Bur-Myan is Tibeto-Burman (Tib-Bur) and that what we are doing is to study BEPS (Burmese-English-Pali-Sanskrit speeches in Myanmar-Latin-Devanagari scripts together. That is, trying to link two language groups IE and Tib-Bur. I have to do it for a better inter-transcription between English and Burmese with the help of Romabama which I have invented to bring languages, and, hopefully, peoples together. - UKT 110508

In Spanish, for example, such compounds consist of a verb conjugated for third person singular, present tense, indicative mood followed by a noun (usually plural): e.g., rascacielos (modelled on "skyscraper", lit. 'scratches skies'), sacacorchos ('corkscrew', lit. 'removes corks'), guardarropas ('wardrobe', lit. 'stores clothing'). These compounds are formally invariable in the plural (but in many cases they have been reanalyzed as plural forms, and a singular form has appeared). French and Italian have these same compounds with the noun in the singular form: Italian grattacielo, 'skyscraper'; French grille-pain, 'toaster' (lit. 'toasts bread') and torche-cul  'ass-wipe' (Rabelais: See his "propos torcheculatifs").

This construction exists in English, generally with the verb and noun both in uninflected form: examples are <spoilsport>, <killjoy>, <breakfast>, <cutthroat>, <pickpocket>, <dreadnought>, and <know-nothing>.

Also common in English is another type of verb-noun (or noun-verb) compound, in which an argument of the verb is incorporated into the verb, which is then usually turned into a gerund, such as <breastfeeding>, <finger-pointing>, etc. The noun is often an instrumental complement. From these gerunds new verbs can be made: (a mother) breastfeeds (a child) and from them new compounds <mother-child breastfeeding>, etc.

In the Australian Aboriginal language Jingulu, (a Pama-Nyungan language), it is claimed that all verbs are V+N compounds, such as "do a sleep", or "run a dive", and the language has only three basic verbs: <do>, <make>, and <run>.

A special kind of composition is incorporation, of which noun incorporation into a verbal root (as in English <backstabbing>, <breastfeed>, etc.) is most prevalent (see below).


Verb-verb compounds : serial and compound verbs

Verb-verb compounds are sequences of more than one verb acting together to determine clause structure. They have two types:

In a serial verb, two actions, often sequential, are expressed in a single clause. For example, Ewe trɔ dzo, lit. "turn leave", means "turn and leave", and Hindi जाकर देखो jā-kar dekh-o, lit. "go-CONJUNCTIVE PARTICIPLE see-IMPERATIVE", means "go and see". In each case, the two verbs together determine the semantics and argument structure.

UKT: The word order is important for meaning in Bur-Myan. For example, the compounds formed from two simple verbs {a:} 'go', and {kr.} 'see' become different when the word order is changed:
{wa: kr.} 'go see' - imperative 'go and see'
{kr. wa:} 'see go' - imperative 'see where you are going' meaning 'take care'.

Serial verb expressions in English may include <What did you go and do that for?>, or <He just upped and left>; this is however not quite a true compound since they are connected by a conjunction and the second missing arguments may be taken as a case of ellipsis.

In a compound verb (or complex predicate), one of the verbs is the primary, and determines the primary semantics and also the argument structure. The secondary verb, often called a vector verb or explicator, provides fine distinctions, usually in temporality or aspect, and also carries the inflection (tense and/or agreement markers). The main verb usually appears in conjunctive participial (sometimes zero) form. [UKT ]

For examples, Hindi निकल गया nikal gayā, lit. "exit went", means 'went out', while निकल पड़ा nikal paRā, lit. "exit fell", means 'departed' or 'was blurted out'. In these examples निकल nikal is the primary verb, and गया gayā and पड़ा paRā are the vector verbs. [UKT ]

Similarly, in both English start reading and Japanese 読み始める yomihajimeru "start-CONJUNCTIVE-read" "start reading," the vector verbs start and 始める hajimeru "start" change according to tense, negation, and the like, while the main verbs reading and 読み yomi "reading" usually remain the same. An exception to this is the passive voice, in which both English and Japanese modify the main verb, i.e. start to be read and 読まれ始める yomarehajimeru lit. "read-PASSIVE-(CONJUNCTIVE)-start" start to be read. With a few exceptions all compound verbs alternate with their simple counterparts. That is, removing the vector does not affect grammaticality at all nor the meaning very much: निकला nikalā '(He) went out.' In a few languages both components of the compound verb can be finite forms: Kurukh kecc-ar ker-ar lit. "died-3pl went-3pl" '(They) died.'

Compound verbs are very common in some languages, such as the northern Indo-Aryan languages Hindi-Urdu and Panjabi where as many as 20% of verb forms in running text are compound. They exist but are less common in Dravidian languages and in other Indo-Aryan languages like Marathi and Nepali, in Tib-Bur (Tibeto-Burman) languages like Limbu and Newari, in potentially macro-Altaic languages like Turkish, Korean, Japanese, Kazakh, Uzbek, and Kyrguz, and in northeast Caucasian languages like Tsez and Avar.

Under the influence of a Quichua substrate speakers living in the Ecuadorian altiplano have innovated compound verbs in Spanish:
  De rabia puso rompiendo la olla, 'In anger (he/she) smashed the pot.' (Lit. from anger put breaking the pot)
  Botaremos matndote 'We will kill you.' (Cf. Quichua huauchi-shpa shitashun, lit. kill-CP throw.1plFut, तेरे को मार डालेंगे )

Compound verb equivalents in English (examples from the internet):
  What did you go and do that for?
If you are not giving away free information on your web site then a huge proportion of your business is just upping and leaving.
Big Pig, she took and built herself a house out of brush.

Caution: In descriptions of Persian and other Iranian languages the term 'compound verb' refers to noun-plus-verb compounds, not to the verb-verb compounds discussed here.


Compound adpositions : prepositions and postpositions

Compound prepositions formed by prepositions and nouns are common in English and the Romance languages (consider English <on top of>, Spanish encima de, etc.). [UKT ]

Japanese shows the same pattern, except the word order is the opposite (with postpositions): no naka (lit. "of inside", i.e. "on the inside of"). [UKT ]

UKT: Bur-Myan uses postpositions in stead of prepositions. I still have to come up with some good examples. -- UKT 110508

Hindi has a small number of simple (i.e., one-word) postpositions and a large number of compound postpositions, mostly consisting of simple postposition ke followed by a specific postposition (e.g., ke pas, "near"; ke nīche, "underneath").


Recent trends in compound formation

Although there is no universally agreed-upon guideline regarding the use of compound words in the English language, in recent decades written English has displayed a noticeable trend towards increased use of compounds. Recently, many words have been made by taking syllables of words and compounding them, such as pixel (picture element) and bit (binary digit). This is called a syllabic abbreviation. Moreover, the English way of spelling compound words is spreading to other languages.

There is a trend in Scandinavian languages towards splitting compound words, known in Norwegian as "srskrivingsfeil" (separate writing error). Because the Norwegian language relies heavily on the distinction between the compound word and the sequence of the separate words it consists of, this has dangerous implications. For example "rykfritt" (<smokefree>, meaning 'no smoking') has been seen confused with "ryk fritt" (<smoke freely>).

The German spelling reform of 1996 introduced the option of hyphenating compound nouns when it enhances comprehensibility and readability. This is done mostly with very long compound words by separating them into two or more smaller compounds, like Eisenbahn-Unterfhrung (railway underpass) or Kraftfahrzeugs-Betriebsanleitung (car manual).

UKT: More in Wikipedia article.

Go back compound-note-b

Contents of this page


From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C4%81lid%C4%81sa 110601

Kālidāsa (Skt: कालिदास 'servant of Goddess Kali' ) [UKT: I have seen the name being translated as the Black Slave - a very inappropriate translation!] was a renowned Classical Sanskrit writer, widely regarded as the greatest poet and dramatist in the Sanskrit language. His floruit cannot be dated with precision, but most likely falls within 4th Century CE . [1]

floruit - abbreviated fl. (or occasionally flor. ), is a Latin verb meaning "flourished", denoting the period of time during which something (such as a person, school, movement, or species) was active. In English, the word is also occasionally used as a noun indicating the timeframe in which someone "flourished. -- Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floruit 110601

The place bestowed to Shakespeare in English literature is considered akin to that held by Kālidāsa in Sanskrit literature. [2] His plays and poetry are primarily based on Hindu Puranas and philosophy.


Nothing apart from his works is known with certainty about the life of Kālidāsa, such as his period or where he lived. Little is known about Kālidāsa's life. [UKT ]

According to legend, the poet was known for his beauty which brought him to the attention of a princess (Vidyotma) who married him. However, as legend has it, Kālidāsa had grown up without much education, and the princess was ashamed of his ignorance and coarseness. A devoted worshipper of Kali (by other accounts of Saraswati), Kālidāsa is said to have called upon his goddess for help when he was going to commit suicide in a pond after he was humiliated by his wife, and was rewarded with a sudden and extraordinary gift of wit. He is then said to have become the most brilliant of the "nine gems" at the court of the king Vikramaditya of Ujjain. Legend also has it that he was murdered by a courtesan in Sri Lanka during the reign of Kumaradasa.

UKT: More in the Wikipedia article.

Go back Kalidasa-note-b

Contents of this page

khattiya (Pal)
kshatriya (Skt) : warrior or ruling caste

From: Dhammapada verses 294 and 295 http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload.php?verse=294 100528
See Dhammapada (in Burmese), Min.Relig.Aff., Myanmar, 2010, v.4 p135, for Burmese translation.

UKT: ksha of Skt always changes into kha of Pal. It is equal to Pal-Myan {hka.}, and therefore khattiya (Pal-Latin) = {hkat~ti.ya.) (Pal-Myan).

Lakundaka Bhaddiya Vatthu
Dhammapada Verses 294 and 295

Verse 294:

Mataram pitaram hantva
rajano dye ca khattiye
rattham sanucaram hantva
anigho yati
1 ( DP294-fn01) brahmano.

Having killed mother (i.e., Craving), father (i.e., Conceit), and the two kings (i.e., Eternity-belief and Annihilation-belief), and having destroyed the kingdom (i.e., the sense bases and sense objects) together with its revenue officer (i.e., attachment), the brahmana (i.e., the arahat) goes free from dukkha.

Verse 295:

Mataram pitaram hantva
rajano dve ca sotthiye
2 ( DP295-fn02) hantva
anigho yati brahmano.

Having killed mother, father, the two brahmin kings and having destroyed the hindrances of which the fifth (i.e., doubt) is like a tiger-infested journey, the brahmana (i.e., the arahat) goes free from dukkha.

DP294-fn01  anigho yati: goes unharmed, i.e., liberated from the round of rebirths (samsara). - DP294-fn01b
DP295-fn02  veyagghapancamam: veyaggha + pancamam, i.e., like a tiger + the fifth. There are five hindrances, nivaranas. The reference here is to the fifth hindrance, viz., doubt (vicikiccha). - DP295-fn02b

The Story of Thera Bhaddiya, the Short One

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (294) and (295) of this book, with reference to Thera Bhaddiya who was also known as Lakundaka Bhaddiya because of his short stature.

On one occasion, some bhikkhus came to visit and pay homage to the Buddha at the Jetavana monastery. While they were with the Buddha, Lakundaka Bhaddiya happened to pass by not far from them. The Buddha called their attention to the short thera and said to them, "Bhikkhus, look at that thera. He has killed both his father and his mother, and having killed his parents he goes about without any dukkha." The bhikkhus could not understand the statement made by the Buddha. So, they entreated the Buddha to make it clear to them and the Buddha explained the meaning to them.

In the above statement, the Buddha was referring to an arahat, who had eradicated craving, conceit, wrong beliefs, and attachment to sense bases and sense objects. The Buddha had made the statement by means of metaphors. Thus, the terms 'mother' and 'father' are used to indicate craving and conceit respectively. The Eternity-belief (Sassataditthi) and Annihilation-belief (Ucchedaditthi) are likened to two kings, attachment is likened to a revenue officer and the sense bases and sense objects (the ajjhatta and bahiddha ayatanas) are likened to a kingdom.

After explaining the meaning to them, the Buddha spoke in verse as given above.

Go back khattiya-note-b

Contents of this page

khetta (Pal)
kshetra (Skt) : field

From: http://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload.php?verse=356 100530

Dhammapada Verses 356, 357, 358 and 359
Ankura Vatthu

Verse 356 : [raga = lust]

Tinadosani khettani
ragadosa ayam paja
tasma hi vitaragesu
dinnam hoti mahapphalam.

Verse 356: Weeds damage fields; lust spoils all beings. Therefore, giving to those free from lust yields great benefit.

Verse 357 : [dosa = ill will]

Tinadosani khettani
dosadosa ayam paja
tasma hi vitadosesu
dinnam hoti mahapphalam.

Verse 357: Weeds damage fields; ill will spoils all beings. Therefore, giving to those free from ill will yields great benefit.

Verse 358 : [moha = ignorance]

Tinadosani khettani
mohadosa ayam paja
tasma hi vitamohesu
dinnam hoti mahapphalam.

Verse 358: Weeds damage fields; ignorance spoils all beings. Therefore, giving to those free from ignorance yields great benefit.

Verse 359 : [iccha = covetousness]

Tinadosani khettani
icchadosa ayam paja
tasma hi vigaticchesu
dinnam hoti mahapphalam.

Verse 359: Weeds damage fields; covetousness spoils all beings. Therefore, giving to those free from covetousness yields great benefit.

The Story of Deva Ankura

While on a visit to the Tavatimsa deva realm, the Buddha uttered Verses (356) to (359) of this book, with reference to a deva named Ankura.

The Buddha visited the Tavatimsa deva realm to expound the Abhidhamma to Deva Santusita, who had been his mother. During that time, there was a deva named Indaka in Tavatimsa. Indaka, in his last existence as a man, had offered a little alms-food to Thera Anuruddha. As this good deed was made to a thera within the period of the Buddha's Teaching he was amply rewarded for it. Thus, on his death he was reborn in the Tavatimsa realm and was lavishly bestowed with the luxuries of the deva world. At that time, there was also another deva by the name of Ankura in Tavatimsa who had given much in charity; in fact, many times more than what Indaka had given. But his charity was made outside the period of the Teaching of any of the Buddhas. So, in spite of his lavish and grand charities, he was enjoying the benefits of the life of a deva on a much smaller scale than Indaka, who had offered very little. As the Buddha was then at Tavatimsa, Ankura asked him the reason for the discrepancy in gaining the benefits. To him the Buddha answered,

"O deva! When giving charities and donations you should choose whom you give, for acts of charities are just like seeds. Seeds put into fertile soil will grow into b, vigorous plants or trees and will bear much fruit; but you had sown your seed in poor soil, so you reap poorly."

End of Chapter Twenty-four: Craving [XXIV.Tanhavagga]

Go back khetta-note-b

Contents of this page


From Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathi_language 091122

Marathi (मराठी Marāṭhī) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are 90 million fluent speakers worldwide. [2] Marathi is the 4th most spoken language in India [6] and the 15th most spoken language in the world. [3] Marathi is the oldest of the regional literatures in Indo-Aryan languages, dating from about AD 1000.[7]

Marathi is estimated to be more than 1300 years old, evolving from Sanskrit through Prakrit and Apabhramsha. Its grammar and syntax derive from Pali and Prakrit. In ancient times, Marathi was called Maharashtri, Marhatti, Mahratti etc.

Peculiar features of Marathi linguistic culture include Marathi drama, with its unique flavour of 'Sangeet Natak' (musical dramas), scholarly discourses called 'Vasant Vyakhyanmala' (Lectures in Spring), Marathi folk dance called 'Lavani', and special editions of magazines for Diwali called 'Diwali anka'.

UKT: More on the original webpage.

Go back maraaThii-note-b

Contents of this page

Sanskrit (Devanagari) transliterations

The following is a highly edited article
From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devanagari_transliteration 110407

There are several methods of transliteration from Devanāgarī to the Roman script, which is a process also known as Romanization in the Indian subcontinent.[1] The Hunterian transliteration system is the "national system of romanization in India" and the one officially adopted by the Government of India.[2][3][4]

Hunterian system

The Hunterian system was developed in the nineteenth century by William Wilson Hunter, then Surveyor General of India.[5] When it was proposed, it immediately met with opposition from supporters of the phonetic Dowler system, which climaxed in a dramatic showdown in an India Council meeting on 28 May 1872 where the new Hunterian method carried the day. The Hunterian method was inherently simpler and extensible to several Indic scripts because it systematized grapheme transliteration, and it came to prevail and gain government and academic acceptance.[5] Opponents of the grapheme transliteration model continued to mount unsuccessful attempts at reversing government policy until the turn of the century, with one critic calling appealing to ""the Indian Government to give up the whole attempt at scientific (i.e. Hunterian) transliteration, and decide once and for all in favour of a return to the old phonetic spelling."[6]

Over time, the Hunterian method extended in reach to cover several Indic scripts, including Burmese and Tibetan.[7][8] Provisions for schwa deletion in Indo-Aryan languages were also made where applicable, e.g. the Hindi कानपुर is transliterated as kānpur (and not kānapura) but the Sanskrit क्रम is transliterated as krama (and not kram). The system has undergone some evolution over time. For instance, long vowels were marked with an accent diacritic in the original version, but this was later replaced in the 1954 Government of India update with a macron.[9] Thus, जान (life) was previously romanized as jn but began to be romanized as jān. The Hunterian system has faced criticism over the years for not producing phonetically-accurate results and being "unashamedly geared towards an English-language receiver audience."[9] Specifically, the lack of differentiation between retroflex and dental consonants (e.g. द and ड are both represented by d) has come in for repeated criticism and inspired several proposed modifications of Hunterian, including using a diacritic below retroflexes (e.g. making द = d and ड =, which is more readable but requires diacritic printing) or capitalizing them (e.g. making द = d and ड = D, which requires no diacritic printing but is less readable because it mixes small and capital letters in words).[10]

UKT: Since for writing emails, ASCII is important, I have indicated which transliteration is ASCII or which is not. 

IAST (International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration) - non-ASCII

The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is the most popular academic standard for the romanization of Sanskrit. IAST is the de-facto standard used in printed publications, like books and magazines, and with the wider availability of Unicode fonts, it is also increasingly used for electronic texts.

ISO 15919 - non-ASCII

A standard transliteration convention not just for Devanagari, but for all South-Asian languages was codified in the ISO 15919 standard of 2001, providing the basis for modern digital libraries that conform to International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) norms. ISO 15919 defines the common Unicode basis for Roman transliteration of South-Asian texts in a wide variety of languages/scripts.

ISO 15919 transliterations are platform-independent texts, so that they can be used identically on all modern operating systems and software packages, as long as they comply with ISO norms. This is a prerequisite for all modern platforms, so that ISO 15919 has become the new standard for digital libraries and archives for transliterating all South Asian texts.

ISO 15919 uses diacritics to map the much larger set of Brahmic graphemes to the Latin script. See also Transliteration of Indic scripts: how to use ISO 15919. The Devanagari-specific portion is nearly identical to the academic standard, IAST (International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration), and to the United States Library of Congress standard, ALA-LC: [1]

Harvard-Kyoto - ASCII

Compared to IAST, Harvard-Kyoto looks much simpler. It does not contain all the diacritic marks that IAST contains. This makes typing in Harvard-Kyoto much easier than IAST. Harvard-Kyoto uses capital letters that can be difficult to read in the middle of words.


ITRANS is an extension of Harvard-Kyoto. Many webpages are written in ITRANS. Many forums are also written in ITRANS.

The ITRANS transliteration scheme was developed for the ITRANS software package, a pre-processor for Indic scripts. The user inputs in Roman letters [Latin script] and the ITRANS preprocessor converts the Roman letters into Devanāgarī (or other Indic scripts). The latest version of ITRANS is version 5.30 released in July, 2001.

Go back Skt-translit-note-b

Contents of this page

End of TIL file