Update: 2011-09-22 12:23 PM +0800


Sanskrit English Dictionary


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

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/ {} 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 :


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- the dissimilar pairs

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

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 lip-rounding and jaw movements are involved. 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 sing 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:}
Thus, I would say the dissimilar pair (with modal register) is {o} and {au}, and not ओ (o) and 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. - UKT 100525


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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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