Update: 2012-11-27 05:37 AM +0630


Romabama on Typewriter


U Kyaw Tun, M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.), Deep River, Ontario, Canada. Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR .

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Letters of Latin alphabet used
Romabama Rule 1 - ASCII characters
Romabama Rule 2 - English-Latin alphabet (use of capital letters)
Romabama Rule 3 - Extended Latin alphabet

UKT notes

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Letters of Latin Alphabet used

Romabama Rule 01

Use of ASCII characters.
Romabama is designed for writing e-mails  without using any special fonts. Only ASCII are used.


Romabama Rule 02

English-Latin alphabet
The 26 letters of the English-Latin alphabet are expanded to 52 letters by differentiating between the 26 small letter and 26 capital letters. Use of capital letters is rare in Romabama. However, the use of capital letters for "killed" r1c2 is preferable. eg. for {moaK} seems to be better than {moahk}. The rational for this is, English <k> is pronounced nearer to {hka.} (IPA [k]) than {ka.} (IPA [kʰ]). See Rule 03 for the use of capital letters of the extended Latin alphabet.

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Romabama Rule 03

Extended Latin alphabet and Digraphs
Diacritics and other suitable signs are introduced. Diacritics in Romabama are chosen in a way so that even if a diacritic is lost, the effect would be minimal. As for digraphs, I try not to use them, unless it is absolutely necessary.

(Alt0228) (Latin small letter A with diaeresis) , in n for {::ting} for :
   e.g. {a.n} -- voice, sound, noise -- MEDict599
(Alt0224)(Latin small letter A with Grave)
   for denoting {re:hkya. at} / ending in a killed non-nasal, as in {t} / ,
   e.g. {Dt-hsi} (petrol, gasoline -- MEDict218): alternate spelling {Daat-hsi}
   [I have been writing <aa> for this. However, I found that it is not suitable
   for writing vowels ending in killed non-nasals, I am using (Alt0224) tentatively.
(Alt0230) (Latin small letter Ae) in combination with (Alt0209) to denote {a.kri:t} as in {ky},
   e.g.   {ky-hsn} (cartridge, shell -- MEDict034). (I have always thought that the spelling is {ky hsn})
   See Representing the "killed" {a.} in my notes.
   Note: I have found that an unforeseen benefit of using Romabama is to make a person like me to be careful about the way he spells.
(Alt0198) (Latin cap letter Ae) in combination with (Alt0209) to denote {vowel-letter -a.kri:t} {}
   e.g. {.th} (guest --MEDict625)
AI- (cap a + cap i) The pronunciation of the name (Myanmar) and इसरमूल (Devanagari)
  (Aristolochia indica  Nagathain vol. 4, p.061) is always a problem because the vowel used is the vowel letter I
  (Myanmar) or इ U0907 (Devanagari) with the pronunciation {i.}. If we were to expand to show the pronunciation
  we would get  {aith-tha.ra.mu-li}. Based on this reasoning on pronunciation, I am spelling
  as {AIth~tha.mu-li}. The name of the plant was spelled {Ith~tha.mu-li} in Myanmar Medicinal Plants DB.

(Alt0240) (Latin small letter Eth)
   in row-3 akshara {a.}
   (Caution: the vd-pronunciation of English-Latin <>/<th> is also given as //)
(Alt0208) (Latin cap letter Eth)
   for row-3 akshara {a.}

(Alt0201) (Latin cap letter E with Acute) , for {},
   e.g. {-ka.} (acre -- MEDict613)
(Alt0233) (Latin small letter E with Acute) for {},
   e.g.  {:hkyam:} (peaceful -- MEDict614)
(Alt0200) (Latin cap letter E with Grave), as
   e.g. {a.Daip~p} (meaning -- MEDict565)
: (Alt0232) (Latin small letter E with Grave) for {:},
   e.g. {:maung:} (lance -- MEDict615)

  (Alt0239) (Latin small letter A with Diaeresis) and ~ (Tilde)
   to represent {king:si:}
   e.g. {n~ga.laip} (English -- MEDict622)
  (Alt0236) (Latin small letter I with Grave)
   for denoting {re:hkya. a.t} ending in a killed nasal, as in { }
   e.g. {y} (vehicle -- MEDict386)
(Alt0237) for denoting {a.w-hto: a-t} as
   e.g. {hkt} (age, era, period, time -- MEDict064)

  (Alt0241) (Latin small letter N with Tilde) for {a.} corresponding to <ny>
   e.g. {hkyi} (sour -- MEDict072)
(Alt0209) (Latin cap letter N with Tilde) for {a.} corresponding to <ny>
   e.g. {a.} (night -- MEDict156)

* OA (digraph) for use in place of {U.} for peak vowels in syllables without consonants in the onset,
   as in {OAc~sa} (property) -- MEDict625

The English <u> has 2 sounds, [ʌ] and [ʊ], exemplified in <but> [bʌt] (DJPD16-075) and <put> [pʊt] (DJPD16-436. To differentiate them in Romabama, I am using the forms of u as, <> for [ʌ] and <u> for [ʊ]. Thus,
e.g. {bt}
e.g. {pwat} / {put}

  (Alt0253) (Latin small letter Y with Acute)
   for "killed {ya.}" {ya.t}
   e.g. {k-hs} (save, rescue -- MEDict024)

* I am writing this note while I am in Canada, where I have to work alone without the assistance of my secretaries who are unable to accompany me to Canada because they are Myanmar citizens and getting Canadian visas for them is next to impossible. At my age (73), my memory is not reliable. Now, I am finding that I have to come up with spellings involving {U.} in words such as <property> /[ou' sa]/ (MEDict625; not listed in MOrtho). I am forced to use "digraphs" which might be mistaken for "diphthongs" (I maintain that Burmese has no diphthongs as commonly found in English). The tentative spelling I would have to use for <property> is {OAs~sa}, where {OA} is a digraph and not a diphthong. -- UKT, Canada, July 2007.

Continue reading on more extended Latin alphabet Romabama Rule 5

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UKT notes

Representing the "killed" {a.} in Romabama

Representing {ky} with the peak-vowel [] has never been easy for me. The fact that the peak vowel is a checked vowel does not help me either. A checked vowel is a vowel followed by a consonant, and in this case it is <> which has no equivalent in English. This means, I will have to choose the Romabama vowel arbitrarily. The pronunciation given by MLC is also not very helpful: {ky} is given as /[kji]/ (MEDict034) exactly the same as {kyi} /[kji]/ (MEDict028). Therefore, as a first approximation, I will consider the killed {a} to have no role in pronunciation other than to modify the preceding vowel in the rime {} (no equivalent in English).

According to DJPD16-009, "Pronouncing the letters AE", "The vowel digraph is a fairly low-frequency spelling. ... When not followed by <r>, the pronunciation is usually one of /iː/, /ɪ/ or /e/, the latter being most common in American-English pronunciation..." This makes me conclude that its pronunciation would be close to Burmese-Myanmar {i}. Thus, Romabama will transcribe: {ky} /kji/. -- UKT 080317

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