Update: 2018-07-16 08:53 PM -0400


The Human Voice


by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA) and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL) . Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL Research Station, Yangon, MYANMAR :  http://www.tuninst.net , www.romabama.blogspot.com

index.htm | Top

Contents of this page 

UKT 180714: I've been intrigued for many decades by Sound produced as Human Voice. In fact, since early 1950s as a student studying for a science degree at the Rangoon University. Though I graduated as a Bachelor of Science with Chemistry honours, B.Sc.(Hons), I have always taken a keen interest in Physics based on fundamental ideas of Energy, Force and Mass.

I've been interested by instruments mimicking Human voice. Even as an old man of 80's - I'm now 84 - my interest has not waned. Now, I've the Internet and online encyclopaedias, in particular Wikipedia and search-engines like Google, I'm collecting books and articles updating my understanding of the world around me.

My library was getting bigger and bigger with print-on-paper books and articles, and as I move my family home from city to city, and then from country to country, most of my print-on paper library is gone. Even my computer-libraries have suffered. I'm now collecting almost exclusively PDF papers, which have to be backed up in a second computer, using flash memory sticks for transfer. The backing up is done weekly solely by myself. I'm now using my TIL online Tun Institute of Learning for storage and distribution of my work for free.

Human sound production [former hv1.htm] - human-snd.htm - update 2018Jul
Voice quality [former hv7.htm] - voice-qual.htm - update 2016Feb
Ledefoged's Phonation types : a cross-linguistic overview - phonat-type.htm (link chk 160215)
 (moved from RBM-COLLECT on 160215)
Vowel Theory: Tongue Constriction - vow-constrict.htm - update 2016Nov
Places of articulation of consonants: what the ancients could see [split from former hv1.htm] - POA-con.htm
Fricatives [split former hv7.htm] - frica.htm
Graphical representation of human sound - alephbeth.htm - update 2016Dec
  [former hv2.htm]
Parts in the interior of the mouth: what the phonetician could not have seen [former hv3.htm]
- interior.htm - update 2018Jul
odal voice [former hv4.htm] - mod-voice.htm
Wave nature of sound [former hv5.htm] - snd-wav.htm - update 2016Jan
How sound is produced and heard [former hv6.htm] - snd-hear.htm - 2016Jan


UKT notes
Doggie's Tale
Rober Boyle - the Skeptical Chemist
Spanish Ñ
tenuis consonant {pa.}
Tower of Babel
• The author, U Kyaw Tun .

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- UKT 180716

  Time doesn't stand still. So is my understanding of the world, and this little work would have to be updated from time to time.

I've been intrigued for many decades by Sound produced as Human Voice. In fact, since early 1950s as a student studying for a science degree at the Rangoon University. Though I graduated as a Bachelor of Science with honours in Chemistry, B.Sc.(Hons), I have always taken a keen interest in Physics based on fundamental ideas of Energy, Force and Mass. I was fortunate to get further training in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the Inst. of Paper Chemistry, Appleton, Wis., USA, where all  disciplines relating to Pulp and Paper industry were taught. Fluid Flow was one included and it has helped me to understand Human Voice better.

The basis of understanding the air-flow of human sound from the chest cavity to the lips, can be likened to the flow of air or water, freely (laminar flow) and constricted (turbulent flow). Laminar flow of voiceless (vl) phonemes is met with when air flows slowly with no obstructions in its path, whereas turbulent flow of voiced (vd) phonemes occurs when air is flowing fast with obstructions in its path.

UKT 180716: For a short account of Reynolds number which determines the nature of fluid (water or air) flow, see Reynolds number by R S Subramanian (publication date not given) in HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- RSSubramanian-ReynoldsNumb<Ô> / Bkp<Ô> (link chk 180716)
"below 2,300, we can expect the flow to be laminar, and when it is above approximately 4,000, the flow will be turbulent. In between these two limits, the flow is termed “transition flow.”

Two books by Peter Ladefoged have come into my hands some years ago. Yet because of my unprepared-ness, I had to stop going through them. But, as my knowledge of the human sound progresses, I have been going over them, incorporating what I have learned into my presentation again and again. The books and papers I have collected included:
1. Vowels and Consonants, 2nd. ed., by Peter Ladefoged, 2005
2. Phonetic Data Analysis: an introduction to Fieldwork and Instrumental techniques, by Peter Ladefoged, 2007
3. in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- GNClementsRRidouane-QuantalPhonetics<Ô> / Bkp<Ô> (link chk 180709)
- PJBJackson-PlosiveFricativeAspir<Ô> / Bkp<Ô> (link chk 180709)
- EChirkovaEtAl-VlNasalTibBur<Ô> / Bkp<Ô> (link chk 180709)

My friend, U Tun Tint of the MLC, used to say that: "(such and such) is the {pa-Li.thän} 'the sound of Pali speech' ..." at which I usually retorted that no one had heard the old Pali language being spoken in Lanka. No one has heard the Old Magadhi speech, the parent of Pali, spoken by Gaudama Buddha: no electronic means of voice recording had been invented then. The oldest recording of human voice found so far (as of 081023) was made in 1860.

The sound clip may be heard by clicking on: <)) (link chk 180714)
Those on my research computers can see the video in General section in TIL HD-VIDEO and SD-VIDEO libraries
- ELScott-AuClairDeLaLune<Ô> / Bkp<Ô> (link chk 180714)

UKT 161126: First Sounds has pioneered the recovery of sounds recorded on phonautograms - many of which were made before Edison invented the phonograph in 1877. The samples below are among the world's earliest sound recordings.

Go online to: http://www.firstsounds.org/sounds/ 101031, 161126
and go to: Watch Our Videos 161126
You'll watch an excellent clip of Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, the first person to preserve his voice and send it into the future. David Giovannoni recounts how First Sounds discovered and recovered Scott's recordings 150 years later.

Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville's Phonautograms [excerpt from this site are given below]
Charles Batchelor's Phonautograms (recorded for Thomas Edison)

The sound files of Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville's phonautograms released in 2008 by the First Sounds collaborative were created using Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's virtual stylus technology. Unfortunately, as these phonautograms were not made to be played back, they do not adhere to the most fundamental technical requirements of sound recording; their tracings are "malformed." Because modern audio processing software cannot handle such malformations, these precious phonautograms have remained mute. In the quest to better understand the work of pioneer phonautogram makers, Dr. Patrick Feaster of Indiana University, Bloomington, has devised an alternate approach to playback. Although it must necessarily ignore or misinterpret information contained in malformations, this approach is sufficiently robust to let us hear something from recordings that are otherwise too compromised to process.

Au Clair de la Lune - By the Light of the Moon (April 9, 1860)

Scott recorded the French folksong "Au Clair de la Lune" on April 9, 1860, and deposited the results with the Académie des Sciences de l'Institut de France in 1861. As with all four 1860 phonautograms on this page, the existence of a tuning-fork calibration trace allows us to compensate for the irregular recording speed of the hand-cranked cylinder. The sheet contains the beginning line of the second verse"Au clair de la lune, Pierrot répondit"and is the earliest audibly recognizable record of the human voice yet recovered.

The researchers from First Sounds thought the singer to be a woman singing to us through the veiled curtain of time. On making certain improvements - changing playback speed, the singer was taken to be Scott himself .

Original March 2008 release [online: http://www.firstsounds.org/sounds/1860-Scott-Au-Clair-de-la-Lune.mp3 101031]
Sept 2008 restoration [online: http://www.firstsounds.org/sounds/1860-Scott-Au-Clair-de-la-Lune-09-08.mp3 101031]
May 2009 restoration [online: http://www.firstsounds.org/sounds/1860-Scott-Au-Clair-de-la-Lune-05-09.mp3" 101031]

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My first two sources on Phonetics

UKT 180710:

Rather advanced in age, and after retirement from our regular work - as university lecturers and researchers in Chemistry - with my beloved wife Daw Than Than by my side and I, we ventured into a new field of study: Phonetics. In a way it was our Linguistic Honeymoon.

We were chemists and our knowledge of Phonetics was nil. Surfing the internet I came across the following two sources to which I will be indebted forever. Though my wife did not take much of an active role, she was a great help especially with my Burmese pronunciation, and helped to listened to the sound files and commented on my observations.
Online Phonetics Course (UNIL), Department of Linguistics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
(This source was downloaded in 2000 or a few years later, and instead of the original links, you can still get to them from: http://www.unil.ch/ling/page30184_fr.html -- UKT: 070823)
Properties of Consonants and Vowels, Kevin Russell, Linguistics Department, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 5V5, CANADA http://www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/arts/linguistics/russell/138/notes.htm 071217

American Heritage Talking Dictionary (AHTD)
   -- CD or online.

Daniel Jones, English Pronouncing Dictionary, 16 ed (DJPD16),
   Cambridge University Press 2003.

Official Myanmar Dictionaries -- the following three:
   • Myanmar Orthography (MOrtho)
      by (MLC) Myanmar Language Commission (MLC), Ministry of Education, 1986, pp 292
      Editor U Tun Tint.
   • Myanmar English Dictionary (MEDict)
      by Myanmar Language Commission, Ministry of Education, 1993, pp 635
      MEDict gives a pronunciation guide in non-PA script which I have marked /[...]/ to differentiate from Romabama /{...}/
   • (MMDict) (Travelling Pocket Myanmar Dictionary)
     Burmese-Myanmar to Burmese-Myanmar) by MLC (Myanmar-sar Commission Directorate, Ministry of Education), 1999, pp 401.

Pali Dictionary Compendium (UMgGyi) in Burmese-Myanmar (non-official name used by TIL)
{pa-Li. a.Bi.Daan-hkyoap} by {lèý-ti-paN~ði.ta.} U Maung Gyi, Rangoon, 1966 (1327BE), pp524

A Dictionary of Pali Language (Childers), R.C. Childers, Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co, London, 1909, 5th impr: 1974
  -- Devanagari characters

Pali-Latin (Shin Narada) in English
An Elementary Pali Course by Narada Thera, http://www.vipassana.info/pali_contents.htm

Pali-Myanmar Grammar (Pali-Myan-Gramm) (non-official name used by TIL)
{pa-Li. thad~da}, publications by Eastern Languages Department, University of Distance Education, Module {a.ra. 101 ka.}, by Daw Ohn Myint, 2001.

Universal Burmese-English-Pali Dictionary (UHS-Dict) - U Hoke Sein, First edition, 1980, pp1064 .

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UKT notes

Doggie's Tale

-- UKT 130613

Mnemonic The Doggie Tale: 
Little doggie cringe in fear -- ŋ (velar),
  Seeing Ella's flapping ears -- ɲ (palatal)
  And, the Shepard's hanging rear -- ɳ (retroflex).
Doggie so sad he can't get it out
  What's that Kasha क्ष when there's a Kha ख ?
  And when there's Jana ज्ञ what I am to do with Jha झ?
On top of all there're hissers, Sha श /ʃ/ and Ssa ष /s/,
  when I am stuck with Theta स /θ/ !" 

Little Doggie don't be sad,
  You are no worse than a Celtic Gnome
  Losing G in his name, he is just a Nome!

Note: In addition to ŋ (velar), ɲ (palatal), ɳ (retroflex), Bur-Myan has {än} - a nasal without a definite POA, because of which I specify the shortage as 3+1.

Note to digitizer: You will need to press Alt key for the following:
ª 0170, « 0171, ¬ 0172, ­ 0173, ® 0174, ¯ 0175, ° 0176, ± 0177,  ² 0178, ³ 0179 //
´ 0180, µ 0181, ¶ 0182, · 0183, ¸ 0184,  ¹ 0185, º 0186,  » 0187, ¼ 0188, ½ 0189 //
¾ 0190, ¿ 0191, 

Note to digitizer: you can copy and paste the following:
Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
Ḍ ḍ Ḥ ḥ Ḷ ḷ Ḹ ḹ Ṁ ṁ Ṃ ṃ
Ṅ ṅ Ñ ñ Ṇ ṇ Ṛ ṛ Ṝ ṝ Ś ś Ṣ ṣ Ṭ ṭ ɕ ʂ
• Instead of Skt-Dev ः {wic~sa.} use "colon" :
• Avagraha ऽ use apostrophe
• Root sign √ ; approx ≅
• Dev: च «ca» छ «cha»  श ś [ɕ] /ʃ/ ; ष ṣ [ʂ] /s/; स s [s] /θ/ ; ऋ {iRi.} & ॠ {iRi},
  viram ् , rhotic ऋ ृ
• Skt-Dev special phonemes: Ksa
• Undertie in Dev transcription: ‿ U203F
• IPA-, Pali- & Sanskrit nasals: ŋ ṅ ṅ ,  ñ ñ , ɳ ṇ ṇ, n n n , m m m
  Pali- & Skt {þé:þé:ting}: aṁ , aṃ 
  BHS - Ṃ ṃ Ṇ ṇ
• IPA symbols: ɑ ɒ ə ɛ ɪ ɯ ʌ ʊ ʃ ʧ ʤ θ ŋ ɲ ɳ ɴ ɔ ɹ ʔ /kʰ/ /ː/
  <church> /ʧɜːʧ/ (DJPD16-097)
  <sing> /sɪŋ/ (DJPD16-490) , <sign> /saɪn/ (DJPD16-488)
  <success> /sək'ses/ (DJPD16-515)
  <thin> /θɪn/ (DJPD16-535), <thorn> /θɔːn/ (DJPD16-535)
  circumflex-acute :
  ấ U+1EA5 , ế U+1EBF
  upsilon-vrachy  ῠ 
  small-u-breve  ῠ ŭ

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International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)

The acronym IPA can mean:
1. International Phonetic Alphabet, or
2. International Phonetic Association.

Not all the consonants given by IPA are found in English, and so it is very helpful to show them together.

From: AHTD

International Phonetic Alphabet
n. Abbr. IPA I.P.A. 1. A phonetic alphabet and diacritic modifiers sponsored by the International Phonetic Association to provide a uniform and universally understood system for transcribing the speech sounds of all languages. -- AHTD

From: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Phonetic_Association download 071106

International Phonetic Association (IPA)
(L'Association Phonétique Internationale (API)) is an organization that promotes the scientific study of phonetics and the various practical applications of that science. The IPA’s major contribution to the academic community is the International Phonetic Alphabet -- a notational standard for the phonetic representation of all languages. The acronym IPA is used to refer to both the Association and the Alphabet. The Association also publishes the Journal of the International Phonetic Association.

From: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Passy download 071106

Paul Édouard Passy (1859-1940) was a French linguist, founder of the International Phonetic Association in 1886. He took part to the elaboration of the International Phonetic Alphabet.

UKT: Please note that Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is updated all the time. At one time (I can't remember when), it listed under International Phonetic Association: "Formed in 1886 by a group of British and French language teachers, led by the French linguist Paul Passy."
   Updating involves changes to the textual content, and redirecting the online links. After realizing this, I started to the date when I downloaded the article.

From: Edward J. Vajda, Western Washington Univ. http://pandora.cii.wwu.edu/vajda/ling201/test2materials/phonetics.htm
vajda@cc.wwu.edu  download 071106 (Caveat: The following is UKT's edited version of the original . )

All systems of writing in use today represent the sounds of language. This connection can be viewed in two ways.
1. From sound to writing - orthography. Every written language has a system of rules for how to spell the spoken word. These rules are called the orthography, the writing rules of the language.
2. From writing to sound - orthoepy. Every written language has a system of rules for pronouncing correctly what is written. These rules are called orthoepy, or pronouncing rules.

Some writing systems, such as Spanish and Georgian, come close to achieving a one-to-one correspondence between sound and written symbol. This is not the case with English where there is no correspondence in words such as <rough, ghost, night>, and <gh>. The correspondence between sound and letter in English frequently involves meaning as well as sound.  Often, one must know the meaning of an English word to pronounce or write it correctly:  meet/meat; through/threw.  IPA, with the ideal goal of one-to-one correspondence, is meant to be a unified writing system of many different writing systems. (UKT: In these pages for TIL, we write with the "English alphabet" -- rather, English-Latin; we transcribe with the IPA. The IPA transcription are within square brackets [...], and when there is a special need, we write the English alphabet within <...>.)

Notice that an unmodified "English alphabet" could not be used to transcribe the many non-English sounds that occur in other languages. Using English letters to convey words of other languages is awkward and has in the past resulted in gross distortions of the pronunciation of foreign words: Peking, Ceylon, Cherokee.

We need an IPA to transcribe other languages, because there are more sounds (approximately 34 different sounds) in English than there are letters (26 different letters) in the English alphabet. Moreover, not every speaker of English pronounces the same word in the same way.

And the problem with English orthography and orthoepy cannot be solved simply by basic education. Even most highly educated people would need to be warned how to pronounce such toponyms as Puyallup, Sequim, Spokane. Or last names such as Vajda. A phonetic alphabet is necessary for dictionaries and guides to help English speakers pronounce their own language.

Notice that, like the system of scientific names, the IPA also uses Latin as a base, adding extra symbols or diacritic marks for various modifications of the basic sounds. Although it looks like English or Latin, the IPA is not truly biased in favor of English or of any other language. The phonetic transcription of English words may also differ radically from conventional English spelling:   cf. the transcription of "thigh," "phrase." 

NOTE: Before the IPA gained wide acceptance, American linguists employed a somewhat different set of symbols to transcribe English. Also note that some of the IPA symbols are not yet accepted by all linguists.

Limitations of the IPA:   Aside from the temporary, logistic problems of getting everyone to use the IPA, there is another more intrinsic limitation inherent to IPA or any other universal writing system. At the present time it is true that all sounds which contrast to reflect differences in meaning in any known language are represented in the IPA. It is also true that new symbols can easily be added to accommodate the discoveries of new sounds. However, the permanent, intrinsic problem with the IPA is that real sounds are infinitely variable. Sound spectrograms show that a single sound varies slightly each time it is pronounced.  Thus, the IPA could only capture a part of each individuals unique accent, or way of speaking (called an idiolect)

The differences within a language are not meaningful, but when comparing sounds across languages, the minute differences become more important. What seems to be the same sound in different languages may actually vary in minute degrees. (cf. the degrees of aspiration in the sound "t" in English, German, Georgian, Mongolian; or the degree or type of glottalization in the sound "t" in Georgian, Navajo or even in English hatbox.. Even [m] differs in English and Russian in slight ways that the IPA does not distinguish. Thus, the IPA would not be able to transcribe all the phonetic detail of, say, a Russian accent in English.

The IPA ignores minute differences between sounds if those differences never contrast with one another in any single language. The IPA symbols, therefore, are generalizations. The sounds of speech, however, are more complicated. 

Thus, when comparing nearly identical sounds from language to language one must be aware that the IPA is only accurate up to a point. To get a complete picture of native pronunciation, one must fill in the tiny phonetic details left out by the IPA. There is no real solution for this problem. Because of this, the IPA remains an imperfect and incomplete alphabet, despite the fact that it is the closest thing to an ideal alphabet we will probably ever have.

Even if linguists devised a complete set of transcriptions symbols -- perhaps based on sound spectograph readings rather than on the Latin alphabet -- the phonetician's task would still be incomplete. This is because languages change over time, and new symbols would have to be devised as sounds changed. All human languages change over time -- some quickly, others more slowly. Language is changing even now: your grandparents said [hw]; now most of you say [w]. The reasons for such changes are not always clear: language mixing (French borrowings caused the sounds v and z to become initial consonants; f into Slavic from Greek after 988). Languages isolated from contact with other languages tend to change more slowly, but change they do. Not all language change can by any means be traced to the interaction with different languages ([hw] to [w], for instance) [sk] became sh in Engl. from 5-6 cent AD. Words borrowed during that time, such as Latin <disk>, become <dish>. After 600 AD the rule stopped working, the new [sh] remained, but new words coming into the language retained sk. Large number of Danish borrowings occurred circa 700AD: sky, skull, ski. The Danish intrusion resulted in some interesting doublets: ship/skipper, shirt/skirt, (meanings change over time also).

UKT: E.J. Vajda's article does not mention the abugida system of writing, where the letters are known as akshara. The hall-mark of the akshara systems, such as the Burmese language written in Myanmar script (Bur-Myan), is their antiquity (some more than 2000 years ago -- the time of Emperor Asoka of India) and their phonemic basis, which makes them retain their pronunciation and the root meaning over time. Some, Sanskrit (one of the ancient languages written in akshara script) scholars when even to the extent of claiming that the akshara is unchanging and everlasting.
   "The word akshara means literally “immutable” or "imperishable." This designation is most appropriate, since grammatically syllables are stable parts that make up words. In the case of the mantric om ॐ = {OÄN} , this monosyllable came to represent the ultimate One, which is eternally unchanging (akshara, acala). The term akshara is used as a synonym for om in many scriptures, including the Bhagavad-Gîtâ (10.25), which has Krishna say, “Of utterances I am the single syllable.” -- http://www.traditionalyogastudies.com/articles_scholarly_om.html download 071106

In Bur-Myan, we have the saying that "What is written is correct, but what is pronounced is just sound". In other words, we are encouraged to pronounce words as they are written, probably to show that we are educated.

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Robert Boyle - the Skeptical Chemist

Boyle , Robert . 1627-1691 1. Irish-born British physicist and chemist whose precise definitions of chemical elements and reactions began the separation of chemistry from alchemy. In 1662 he formulated Boyle's law. -- AHTD

UKT: You should note that Myanmar was and still is a magical land -- the land of the Magi. The Chinese used to fear it and according to one Chinese writers of the 7th century (I still have to check the date), commented that the land had many "astrologers". Of course, Astrology and modern Astronomy are related. Any Burmese-Myanmar astrologer of note would know something of the related science of Alchemy. As a young college student when I started learning Chemistry in 1950, I already had my earful of Astrology and Alchemy. That also included some rudiments of the knowledge of the Runes.

I knew that Alchemy is a very expensive study to follow because of the cost of a very special kind of charcoal used to melt metals at high temperature.

With this background knowledge, I took Chemistry, and from the time I came across the very book the "Skeptical Chemist", Robert Boyle has been one of my heroes. Ever since a child, I was quite skeptical never being satisfied unless I had considered the nature of things, either by observation or experimentation. I remember at the age of 4 or 5, standing on the sea shore, looking at wave patterns formed in the sand and at the waves coming in, had come to the conclusion that there must be "particles" in water similar to "particles" of the sand. Imagine when I discussed it with my classmates. And when I told my elders, even my father who was a very knowledgeable person, failed to grasped what I was saying. I know my father would have understood, if only I could have described to him fully -- but alas, my childhood vocabulary was limited.

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Spanish Ñ

Where did the Ñ come from?
by Gerald Erichsen, http://spanish.about.com/cs/historyofspanish/f/tilde_origins.htm (download 070803)

As you could probably guess, the ñ came originally from the letter n. The ñ does not exist in Latin and is the only Spanish letter of Spanish origins.

Beginning in about the 12th century, Spanish scribes (whose job it was to copy documents by hand) used the tilde placed over letters to indicate that a letter was doubled (so that, for example, nn became ñ and aa became ã). I'm not sure why they used the tilde, except perhaps that it was quick to write, although it may be no coincidence that it is shaped vaguely like an N. The tilde was used not only with the n but with other letters as well.

The popularity of the tilde for other letters eventually waned, and by the 14th century, the ñ was the only place it was used. Its origins can be seen in a word such as año (which means "year"), as it comes from the Latin word annus with a double n. As the phonetic nature of Spanish became solidified, the ñ came to be used for its sound, not just for words with an nn. A number of Spanish words, such as señal and campaña, that are English cognates use the ñ  where English uses "gn," such as in "signal" and "campaign," respectively.

The Spanish ñ has been copied by two other languages that are spoken by minorities in Spain. It is used in Euskara, the Basque language that is unrelated to Spanish, to represent approximately the same sound as it has in Spanish. It is also used in Galician, a language similar to Portuguese. (Portuguese uses nh to represent the same sound.)

Additionally, three centuries of Spanish colonial rule in the Phillipines led to the adoption of many Spanish words in the national language, Tagalog (also known as Pilipino or Filipino). The ñ is among the letters that have been added to the traditional 20 letters of the language.

And while the ñ isn't part of the English alphabet, it frequently is used by careful writers when using adopted words such as jalapeño, piña colada or piñata and in the spelling of various personal and place names.

In Portuguese, the tilde is placed over vowels to indicate that the sound is nasalized. That use of the tilde has no apparent direct connection with the use of the tilde in Spanish.

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tenuis consonant

A tenuis consonant is a stop or affricate which is unvoiced, unaspirated, and unglottalized. That is, it has a "plain" phonation like [p, t, ts, tʃ, k], with a VOT (voice onset time) close to zero, as in Spanish p, t, ch, k, or English p, t, k after s (spy, sty, sky).
-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenuis_consonant download 071001

UKT: Many Myanmars are not aware that English letter <p> transcribed as /p/ has two distinct pronunciations: [p] and [pʰ]. <p> in <pin> is pronounced as {hpa.} as in {hping} (literally meaning <anus>). Only when <p> follows an <s> as in <spin> is it pronounced as {pa.}.

The Western phoneticians hold that the sounds of {hpa.} and {pa.} are the same: allophones of phoneme /p/. Since, to us the sounds of {pa.} and {hpa.} are very different from each other, we should emphasize that they are separate phonemes. In one of his personal communications to me, Zev Handel (Assoc. Prof. of Chinese and Linguistics, Univ. of Washington, http://depts.washington.edu/asianll/) (Oct 30, 2007) wrote:
   "In English, the following three sounds all occur: [b], [p], [ph].  For example, "buy" [baj], "pie" [phaj], "spy" [spaj].  But English speakers perceive only two distinct sounds.  They hear [p] and [ph] as identical.  Substituting [ph] for [p] in "spy", resulting in [sphaj], might sound a bit odd to an English speaker but cannot make any word other than "spy".  This is why we say that in English, the two distinct sounds [p] and [ph] belong to one phoneme, /p/.  A phoneme is a phonological concept.
   "But in other languages, [p] and [ph] are perceived as distinct by the speakers, and substituting one sound for another can change which word is being said.  Thai is an example of such a language.  In that language /p/ and /ph/ are distinct phonemes.
   "In many languages, such as Japanese, dental [s] and alveolar [SH] are perceived as identical, i.e. they are one phoneme.  But in English, they are distinct phonemes: "seat" and "sheet" are significantly different.
   "So, if "register" were a purely phonetic concept, then it could be described as a purely physical phenomenon: the way that the larynx is set during production of a sound.  But as a phonological concept, it is a whole collection of sound features that, taken together, are perceived as a distinctive form of pronunciation."

And for we should describe the {wag}-aksharas as:
c1 - tenuis; c2 - voiceless; c3 - voiced; c4 - voiced-pharyngealised; c5 - nasal

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Tower of Babel

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel 090930

The Tower of Babel
(Hebrew: מגדל בבל‎ Migdal Bavel  ; Arabic: برج بابل‎ Burj Babil). Note: both languages, write from right to left, whereas BEPS writes from left to right.

Tall tales as told by religionists: The Curse of Babel

According to the Book of Genesis, [1] was an enormous tower built at the city of Babylon (Hebrew: Babel, Akkadian: Babilu), a cosmopolitan city typified by a confusion of languages, [2] also called the "beginning" of Nimrod's kingdom. According to the biblical account, a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating from the east, participated in the building. The people decided their city should have a tower so immense that it would have "its top in the heavens." [3]

However, the Tower of Babel was not built for the worship and praise of God, but was instead dedicated to the glory of man, to "make a name" for the builders: "Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'" (Genesis 11:4). God, seeing what the people were doing, came down and confused their languages and scattered the people throughout the earth.

UKT 180710: God the Heavenly King, just like the Terrestrial kings, is ever on the look out for challengers who might replace him. I wonder what He would be planning now in face of modern humans trying to explore the Universe with rockets and space ships. Is there confusion in Heaven? Is the Gate-Keeper worried? I hope not!

I wonder what he would have thought of Gautama Buddha (a human being), and his trusted grammarian Shin Kic'si try to bring about understanding among human beings by use of written script - the Akshara. I'm not out to bring confusion into Heaven!

The Tower of Babel has often been associated with known structures, notably the Etemenanki, a ziggurat dedicated to Marduk by Nabopolassar (c. 610 BC). A Sumerian story with some similar elements is preserved in Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta.

UKT: More in Wikipedia article.

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U Kyaw Tun

Write up of 080327, 160110

B.Sc. (Honours in Chemistry) (University of Rangoon), M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.)

U Kyaw Tun joined the Department of Chemistry, University of Rangoon, as an assistant lecturer in 1955. He was first assigned teach General Chemistry to one large section - there were four each with about 200 - first year science students at the Yankin College. His duties were further extended the following year as lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry to the third year science students (those taking Chemistry) at the main campus at Kamayut. He was assigned to revise laboratory instructions on Qualitative Inorganic Analysis, and his work was in use up to the the mid-1960s, when the medium of instruction was gradually changed from English to Burmese.

He had served for 33 years in various universities and colleges throughout Myanmarpré: Rangoon University, Rangoon Institute of Technology, Mandalay University, Bassein College (now Bassein Univversity), Workers’ College and Taunggyi College (now Taunggyi University).

His last posting from which he retired was Associate Professor and Head of Department of Chemistry, Taunggyi Degree College.

He had undergone training for an academic year in 1975 in Advanced Research Techniques at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

To help himself in his study of languages, he had taken several on-line courses in linguistics, phonetics and writing systems.

Though trained as a scientist and engineer, U Kyaw Tun has a keen interest in the culture, history, religion and mythology of various peoples of the world. His knowledge of several languages: Burmese speech in Myanmar akshara, English, French, Pali speech in Myanmar akshara, Sanskrit speech in Devanagari akshara, Swedish and German has helped him in his cultural studies. He has an extensive knowledge of Hindu astrology, specializing the Ashtakavarga system.

U Kyaw Tun was a part-time columnist writing for the Working Peoples’ Daily (English) in Myanmar and was a member on the editorial board of the North Renfrew Times in Canada. He has given several public lectures in Canada on Buddhism particularly to scientists and engineers, and to non-Buddhists.

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