Update: 2016-04-06 04:06 AM -0400


Burmese Grammar 1899

Formation of words (syllables):
Changing peak vowel of a syllable


by U Kyaw Tun (UKT), Tun Institute of Learning, http://www.tuninst.net
From Burmese Grammar and Grammatical Analysis by A. W. Lonsdale, Education Department, Burma, British Burma Press, Rangoon, 1899. Copied by UKT and staff of TIL . Start: 2008 Aug.

indx-E4MS.htm | Top

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Formation of words (syllables)
Changing the peak vowel  -- ch04-1.htm
Medials -- ch04-2.htm
Coda consonants -- ch04-3.htm
Syllables with conjunct consonants -- ch04-4.htm
(Romabama vowels in rimes)
Pali derived syllables with coda consonants -- ch04-5.htm
Conjuncts including Kinsi {kn~si:} -- ch04-6.htm

UKT: When as a child I was going to school, we were made to "worship" the written words in Burmese-Myanmar. If a child were to step over a book with Burmese-Myanmar script in it, we have to get down on our knees and kowtow the "script" --  a tradition which makes us value our written language. Our written script is a sacred script used to write not only the Burmese language but also the Pali language -- the language of Gautama Buddha. We as Buddhists, worship not only the Buddha, but his Teachings as well -- recorded as Tipitaka. The Tipitaka is supposed to be guarded by the Goddess Thuyathati. Her counterpart in Hinduism is Saraswati, who is supposed to be the consort of Brahma. On the left is shown Thurathati and on the right Saraswati. The Shakti of Brahma, the Goddess Brahmi, is shown on the next file - ch04-2.htm .

Author's footnotes

UKT notes  -- note the author's Pali transcriptions: is used in place of ā , e.g., Pli for Pāli .
I am showing Lonsdale's transcriptions within Alt0171-Al0187: ..., e.g. (without slanting the character within)

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Chapter IV
Formation of words (syllables):
Changing peak vowel of a syllable

022. The vowels, when combined with consonants to form words, are always represented by symbols. [Lonsdale's "symbols" and TIL's "vowel signs" are the same.] When used with their own characters, they form either distinct words; as {a.} a 'to be dumb' ; {a} 'the cavity of the mouth' ; {I} 'this' ; {U.} u 'to lay an egg' ; or a part(s) of a compound word ; as, {a.Ba.} aba 'father' ; {n.AU:} an.-aw 'to be astonished' ; {hsw:n} hsw-an 'drawer' ; {U.pa.ma} u-pa-m 'comparison' ; {U.AU:} u-w (pronounced k-aw) the name of a bird ; {AZ.za} aw-z.


023. The symbols of the vowels and their names are given in the following table in which are included the symbols of {n}, {}, and {on}.

[This table spans p016 and p017.]

UKT: It is interesting to see {U.} used in place of {a.} in the spelling of {On}. The word in Devanagari and Tamil shown above is from:
The Seven Goddesses www.omsakthi.org/goddess/brahmi.html 081011
The reader should note that written Burmese has changed in the form of spelling, and also in the glyph form.
Thus, {ta.hkyaung:nging} is now spelled {tic-hkyaung:nging},
and in "the dot-below" represented in front of the {ha.ht:} is now shown after {ra.} as .
Such changes are a problem for old timers like me!
   The Lonsdale's term "symbol", implying the vowel symbol, is described in Romabama as "vowel sign" - a term used by Microsoft. Differentiate  "vowel letter" {I}, and  "vowel sign" (mute) from which with {a.}, we get {i} :
   {a.} + (mute) --> {i}
   {ka.} + (mute) --> {ki}
   {kya.} + (mute) --> {kyi}
Note: {a.} and {ka.} are the basic aksharas

UKT: Note that two forms of symbol is given for {a}: known as {weik-hkya.}, and {mauk-hkya.}. You can use either of the two to form words with pitch-register #2, the modal. The choice is quite arbitrary but is generally meant to make the resulting word easily recognizable and to make the hand strokes easy. e.g.
   {ka.} + (mute) --> {ka}
   {ka.} + (mute) --> {ka}
The first {ka} is the usual form, because it is easy to write.

24. The second symbol of {a} [UKT: pitch-register #2, the modal, called {weik-hkya.}] is used only in conjunction with the consonants , as the use of the first symbol [UKT: known as {weik-hkya.}] would make them assume the form of the other letters ; for example  {wa} might be read as {ta.}. [UKT: Therefore {wa} is preferred.] The second symbols of and are similarly employed.

25. The consonant with its annexed vowel symbol forms a monosyllable, and is pronounced as such; thus {mi.} is not read as ma-i but mi, where the consonant {ma.}, becoming the first letter of the word, drops its inherent vowel sound {a.} and blends with the sound of {I.}. This dropping of the vowel sound takes place not only with these combinations, but also in all other combinations in which the consonant is initial. [UKT: This state of affairs is now described in terms of the syllable of the form CV, where C is the onset and V is the peak vowel or the nucleus.] [{p017end}]

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26. The position of each vowel symbol when combined with a consonant, is shown below: -

{ka.}-syllables [i.e. syllables formed from {ka.}]:

UKT: This should be compared to vowels given in ch03.htm. :

UKT: A rationale for including {a.} in the modern consonant table is, syllables can be formed from {a.} as in the case of {ka.}

The other consonants are similarly combined.

27. The vowel {a.} may be united with the symbol of any vowels , , , , , and , in which case the combination has the power of the vowel represented by the symbol ; thus, = , = , etc. [{p018top end}]

UKT: Chapter IV has to be subdivided into smaller files to make the display faster. Para 28 is on the next file: ch04-2.htm .

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Author's footnotes


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UKT notes


Excerpt from: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakti 081012
[UKT: See my work on the Folk Elements in Burmese Buddhism by Dr. Htin Aung in http://www.tuninst.net/Myanmar/Folk-elements/indx-folk.htm 081012].

Shakti, meaning sacred force, power, or energy, is the Hindu concept or personification of the divine feminine aspect, sometimes referred to as 'The Divine Mother'. Shakti represents the active, dynamic principles of feminine power. In Shaktism, Shakti is worshiped as the Supreme Being. However, in other Hindu traditions of Shaivism and Vaishnavism, Shakti embodies the active feminine energy Prakriti of Purusha, who is Vishnu in Vaishnavism or Shiva in Shaivism. Vishnu's female counterpart is called Lakshmi, with Parvati being the female half of Shiva.

David Kinsley believes that the concept of "Shakti" may be derived from Lord Indra's [UKT: {thi.kra:ming:}] consort Sachi (Indrani), meaning power. (fn*). Indrani is part of a group of seven or eight mother goddesses called the Matrikas (Brahmani, Vaishnavi, Maheshvari, Indrani, Kumari, Varahi and Chamunda and/or Narasimhi), who are considered shaktis of major Hindu gods (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Indra, Skanda, Varaha/Yama and Devi and Narasimha respectively).

The Shakti goddess is also known as Amma (meaning 'mother') in south India, especially in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. There are many temples devoted to various incarnations of the Shakti goddess in most of the villages in South India. The rural people believe that Shakti is the protector of the village, the punisher of evil people, the curer of diseases, and the one who gives welfare to the village. They celebrate Shakti Jataras with a lot of hue and great interest once a year. Some examples of incarnations are Gangamma, Aarti, Kamakshamma, Kanakadurga, Mahalakshmammma, Meeenakshamma, Poleramma and Perantalamma.

fn* Hindu Goddesses Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Tradition by David Kinsley page 17 minor vedic Goddesses

Go back Shakti-note-b

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End of TIL file