Update: 2012-01-02 04:49 PM +0630


Sanskrit English Dictionary


from: Online Sanskrit Dictionary , February 12, 2003 . http://sanskritdocuments.org/dict/dictall.pdf  090907

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Dissimilar pairs or Mid-vowels - by UKT
/ {} ए (e) - e2-042top-2.htm
/ {} - ऐ (ai) - ei3-043b1-2.htm
/ {au:}/{AU:} - ओ (o) short - au3-043b2-3.htm
/ {au}/{AU} - औ (au) long - au2-043b2-4.htm

The vowel / {} - ऐ (ai) is not present in Pali, but is present in Burmese. It is also present in Sanskrit. Does it mean that Bur-Myan is older than Pal-Myan? Is it possible that Bur-Myan was in fact derived from an ancient Tib-Bur language? Is there justification for suggesting that a vowel-letter {} be invented?  -- UKT110320

UKT notes :
Two-three tone problem

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- the Dissimilar pairs or Mid-vowels

-- UKT 120101

Of the two front mid-vowels, / {} ए (e) and / {} - ऐ (ai), A. W. Lonsdale, Burmese Grammar and Grammatical Analysis , 1899, Ch01 para 009, says the second is distinctly Burmese and not to be found in Pali, although there are letters in Sanskrit nearly corresponding to it in sound.

UKT: I am beginning to have misgivings on the the term 'dissimilar pairs'. Obviously, when you take only /e/ & /ɛ/ and /o/ & /ɔ/ , they are "dissimilar".  But, when you recognized that each of the 4, has 3 registers each, e.g. /e/ - {.} , {} , {:} , or short & long, they are just like 'similar pairs'. Thus, I suggest that they be called 'mid-vowels' according to their positions in vowel quadrilateral shown above. -- UKT120101

UKT: The vowel /ɑ/ represented by vowel-letter and does not belong to the 'dissimilar-pairs', but a cardinal vowel. -- UKT120101

UKT: I have identified the front mid vowels / {} as /e/ and / {} as /ɛ/, each with its 3 pitch-registers:
/e/ - {.} , {} , {:} - close mid-vowel
/ɛ/ - {.} , {} , {:}   - open mid-vowel

UKT: It should be recognized that {o} and {au:} (without the red graphemes) are 'split vowels'. They are also found in Bengali split-vowels, ো & ৌ: , in which consonant goes into the central-position, e.g. কো comparable to . It reminds me of the so-called 'silent-e' or 'magic-e' of English phonics, tae --> tame [<m> dropping into the position of <>]. -- UKT120101

In the low back-vowels ओ (o) and औ (au) and their derivatives, the Two-three tone problem that exists between Indo-European languages (IE) (exemplified by English and Sanskrit) and Tibeto-Burman (Tib-Bur) (exemplified by Burmese) becomes very prominent. As for Pali and Magadhi, I remain uncommitted as to whether they were IE or Tib-Bur. Though this problem is present for all vowels, it becomes very prominent in the low back-vowels. It should be noted that Lonsdale considers औ {AU} to be distinctly Burmese because it is not found in Pali.

The back-vowels are more complicated than the front, because of lip-rounding and jaw movements. In Bur-Myan, the front-vowels are lip-spread but the back-vowels are lip-rounded, or simply "rounded". I have noticed various Bur-Myan speakers singing their back-vowels with varying degrees of roundness which would surely confuse the foreigners even if they were trained "phoneticians".

UKT: It seems that Bur-Myan {o} falls between the back mid vowel /o/ and /ɔ/, whereas {au:} is between /ɔ/ and /ɑ/ . The three pitch-registers:
/?/ - {o.} , {o} , {o:}
/?/ - {au.} , {au} , {au:}

If you are still stuck with the idea of dissimilar pairs, I would have to say that the back dissimilar pair (with modal register) is {o} & {au}, and not ओ (o) & औ (au). Whatever the case maybe we should note that the low back-vowels are so complex that we would have to rely on acoustic measurements and not on human phoneticians, particularly the Western ones and their followers in the East. - UKT 100525, rewritten 120101


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UKT notes

The two-three tone problem

by UKT

Our task of comparing English to Burmese is not easy because English have only two "tones" for vowels the short and the long, whereas Burmese has three - the creak, the modal, and the emphatic. The one way to reconcile them is to think in terms of 5 registers:

creak, short, modal, long, emphatic

The English short vowel is sometimes close to creak and sometimes to modal. Similarly the English long vowel is between modal and emphatic. For the vowel /a/, we have

{aa.}, {a}, {/ə/}, {aa}, {aa:}
-- the short-a and the long-a are transcribed as a and ā in Pali-Latin. I am citing Pali because it can serve as the bridge between Burmese and English. Since both Burmese and English do not have dedicated graphemes to represent the central vowel, schwa /ə/, I have to use {/ə/} for the modal. The Burmese schwa is found in words like {a.ni} meaning the "color red" in which schwa is represented by {a.}. In most Burmese-Myanmar words {a.} stands for the sound of {aa.} of the series {aa. aa  aa:} . Note that in Romabama, for simplicity sake, this series is usually represented as  {a. a a:}.

This problem (as far as I know) lacks a concise name, because of which I will refer to it as the two-three tone problem.

Go back two-three-note-b

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