Sunday, 12 August 2012

Font Map

Update: 20120808


- a transcription-transliteration system
for BEPS (Burmese-English-Pali-Sanskrit) languages

by U Kyaw Tun, M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.), Daw Khin Wutyi, B.Sc., and staff of TIL Computing and Language Centre, Yangon, Myanmar. Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone.
indx-E4MS.htm | Top

Contents of this page

Rombama uses only one font: Arial Unicode MS. Other Unicode fonts may not display the files properly. As for Burmese fonts, I do not use any. Instead of a font, I use .gif pix and attach them to my text. These are formed on Paint and are standardized. The length of a .gif pix will vary according to akshara or aksharas, but the height is always set to 22 for a single line, 44 for a double line, etc.
The following example shows an example of a double line.

Below is the map which we use at TIL language laboratories. It is updated and distributed from time to time.

End of TIL file

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Romabama Rule 05

Update: 20120808

Introduction to Romabama

- a transcription-transliteration system
for BEPS (Burmese-English-Pali-Sanskrit) languages:
Rule 05

by U Kyaw Tun, M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.), Daw Khin Wutyi, B.Sc., and staff of TIL Computing and Language Centre, Yangon, Myanmar. Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone.
indx-E4MS.htm | Top

Contents of this page

Letters of Latin alphabet used
Romabama Rule 01 - ASCII characters
Romabama Rule 02 - Differentiation of capital and small letters
Romabama Rule 03 - Extended Latin alphabet and Digraphs
Romabama Rule 04 - Silent e and <e> as part of digraph <ei>
Romabama Rule 05 - Killed consonants
Romabama Rule 06 - {king:si:}/{kïn~si:} vowel-sign and repha
Romabama Rule 07 - Fossilized killed consonants
Romabama Rule 08 - Non-alphabetic characters
   Essentially ~ (tilde) is used to show the {a.þût} : examples from Skt-Dev
Romabama Rule 09 - Extension of Myanmar akshara matrix
UKT notes

Romabama Rule 05

- Killed consonants

- For specialized "killed" consonants
We find more problems with r2c5 rimes in the following:
There are theoretically 6 families involving r2c5 syllables. Only some are realised in practice, however, I have given the tentatively chosen rimes:
The rational for choosing the above is: though Romabama is meant only to show the Bur-Myan spelling, it should -- if possible -- show the pronunciation. And, therefore the peak vowel is chosen arbitrarily, and it and the following consonant (together the rime) is meant to show the pronunciation.

Romabama Rule 06 :


{king:si:} /{kïn: si:}/ - n. ortho. miniature symbol of devowelized nga superscripted on the following letter. -- MED2010-016
Compare the way in which the two words {hsing-kan:} and {thïn~kan:} are written. The first is written horizontally, but the second is written with the {king:si:} (literally: "centipede-ridden") sign . There are two cues in Romabama to show that a {king:si:} is involved: use of umlaut over the peak vowel e.g. ï (Alt0239) and ~. The {king:si:} is actually not a conjoined sign and may be written horizontally. It is usually found in words derived from Pali and Sanskrit, e.g. Skt-Myan {koä} (n. saffron -- MED2010-024) equivalent to Bur-Myan {koän-ku.män}.
Caution: There is an {a.þût} that is not exactly a {kïn~si:}, yet the consonant under it, is not a conjoined (horizontal conjunct) akshara as in {þa.kri:}: the glyph is . Such an {a.þût} is found in {kywun-noap.} (MEDict049) and {yauk-kya:} (MED2010-384). In {kywun-noap} there is only one {na.ngèý} and in {yauk-kya:} there is only one {ka.kri:}. For the time being, I am treating them as similar to {þa.kri:}, but without a ~ in between. I have simply hyphenated the two {na.} in {kywan-noap.}, and two {ka.} in {yauk-kya:}. I have asked my good friend U Tun Tint for an explanation. He has not responded yet! (UKT 070804)


Sanskrit repha becomes a same-letter conjunct in Pali, e.g. धर्म dharma (= ध र ् म ) becomes  धम्म dhamma (= ध म ् म ). This change will be represented as {Dar~ma.} --> {Dûm~ma.}

Romabama Rule 07 :

Fossilized killed consonants.

(Based on personal communication with U Tun Tint, formerly of MLC)
There are 4 fossilized characters dating back to the 13th century:
The derivation of {rwÉ} is illustrating. In the Pagan period (11th century to the 13th) and a few centuries after, the vowel {tic-hkaung:nging-ya.thut} had existed, but it has given way to {þa.wé-hto: wa.hswè:}. The changes have been:

Romabama Rule 08 :

Non-alphabetic character Visarga - the double dot

The most important non-alphabetic character is the colon < : > or the double-dot. In Bur-Myan it is the {wic~sa.pauk} which I usually shorten to {wic~sa.}. Its look-alike in Skt-Dev is the Visarga. In IPA it is the 'triangular-colon" /ː/.
• 'colon' representing Bur-Myan {wic~sa.} and its look alike Skt-Dev विसर्ग «visarga» -
It is stated that "visarga is an allophone of /r/" ( 120630), which shows their difference in nature. Whether they are the same or not is "irrelevant" to Romabama since its only function is differentiate them graphically and orthographically. Thus for example:
Skt-Myan (showing pitch-registers):
   {pa.ra.} (creak),  {pa.ra} (modal),  {pa.ra:} (emphatic)
Skt-Dev (vowel lengths):   
   {pa.ra:.} (very short), {pa.ra.} (short),  {pa.ra} (long) 
   From the way {pa.raH} was written, I was under the mistaken belief that it was a {ha.þût} - {pa.rah}. I now know that it is an English transliteration indicating Visarga. It indicates a very short vowel. I have represented the Visarga with 3-dots borrowed from Tamil ஃ -- UKT120807
Romabama differentiates between {pa.rah} ( {ha.þût})  and {pa.raH} . As to the pronunciation of Visarga, it is stated that:
-- 120630, 120807
"Visarga  is another interesting character in Sanskrit. It echoes the [h] sound in accordance with the vowel that precedes it. The echoing sound has half-the length of the corresponding vowel.
"namaḥ नम: - This must be pronounced as nama(ha) : (ha) has a vowel length of half-mātra [The preceding vowel 'a' is of one Mātra]" .

Now, this "irrelevancy" breaks down when Skt-Dev has to be introduced. Even the Two-three Tone problem is now affected when I started working on Gayatri Mantram of Rigveda verse RV 3.62.10. To take the specific case -- in the last line of the Mantra:  धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त् «dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt», how would Romabama represent  नः ? I now propose to use: 
{na:.} (short-creak), {na.} (creak), {na} (modal), {na:} (emphatic)
-- borrowing the 3 dot representation from Tamil

Other non-alphabetic characters

- ASCII characters that are not considered to be part of the Latin alphabet will be used.
• {poad-hprût} (instead of 'comma') - /
• {poad-ma.} (instead of 'period' or 'full-stop') - //
• 'period' or 'full-stop' and 'colon' are used for pitch-registers (formerly called "tones").
  They are equated to IPA suprasegmentals, e.g.
  {a.} [ă] (creak) ; {a} [a] (medial); {a:} [aː] (emphatic)
• 'hyphen' for separating syllables in the same word
• "middle dot" (Alt0183) will be used occasionally to show that {a.} is to be pronounced as /ə/,
  e.g. {a·ni}. However, for convenience sake, {} is allowed.
• ~ (tilde) will be used to show a ligature aka conjunct, of two akshara-consonants
  vertical: {paaHT.hsing.}, e.g. {k~ka.} - not pronounceable
  horizontal: {paaHT.twè:}, e.g.  {þ~þa.} - not pronounceable
  ¤ Essentially ~ (tilde) is used to show the {a.þût}.
We need the {a.þût} in Romabama to show if there is medial formation or no formation in transcribing Skt-Dev. The medial formation between an akshara and a medial former ( {ya.}, {ra.}, {wa.}, & {ha.}) is found only in Bur-Myan, and is not present in Skt-Dev.
{ak} - {a.þût} not fully represented in Romabama
{ak~} - {a.þût} fully represented in Romabama
अक्न akna {ak~na.} --> {} [no possibility of medial formation]
   - pp. of √ak.  [UKT: अक्न = अ क ् न  ] -- Mac002c1
अक्र akra {ak~ra.}
= अक्र = अ क ् र --> {a.k~ra.}/ {a.kra.} medial possible, or is it {ak-ra.} ?
- 1. a. inactive, indolent. -- Mac002c1
 Examples taken from A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary   by A. A. Macdonell 1929
• parentheses ( ) will be used by Romabama since it has been adopted as part of Burmese-Myanmar.

Romabama Rule 09 :

Formerly, there was a rule #10. It is now incorporated into rule #09 -- UKT120808

Extension of Myanmar consonant-akshara row 2
to accommodate Skt-Dev sounds

Though Bur-Myan & Pali-Myan akshara matrix is strictly for base consonants, Romabama has to include the medial consonants {kya.}, {hkya.} and {gya.} into row 2, to bring it into line with Pali-Latin & Skt-Dev akshara matrix.
Romabama gives only broad transcriptions which may be called phonemic transcriptions. The following is based on University of Manitoba, Linguistics Dept.
"It's common to distinguish between two kinds of transcription, based on how many details the transcribers decide to ignore:
• Narrow transcription: marked as [...], captures as many aspects of a specific pronunciation as possible and ignores as few details as possible. Using the diacritics provided in the IPA, it is possible to make very subtle distinctions between sounds.
• Broad transcription (or phonemic transcription): marked as /.../, ignores as many details as possible, capturing only enough aspects of a pronunciation to show how that word differs from other words in the language. ... one of the unspoken principles of broad transcription is that, when you're given a choice between two symbols and when all other considerations are equal (sometimes even when they aren't), you'll pick the one that's easier to type."
Romabama transcriptions are broad transcriptions to accommodate all the 4 spoken languages of BEPS with many gives-and-takes, or, as a chemical engineer would describe "a happy medial".

Extension of Myanmar consonant-akshara columns 1 & 5
to accommodate English-Latin sounds

The presence of dental fricative-sibilant /s/ in both Eng-Lat and Skt-Dev makes it mandatory to include special-conjuncts starting with the /s/ sound in the consonant akshara table: {S~pa.}, {S~ta.} & {S~ka.} in column#1, and, {S~ma.} & {S~na.} in column#5. 
Other graphemes are also inserted into the most logical positions.
The introduction of {S~pa.} series in column#1, and, {S~ma.} & {S~na.} in column#2, and others (what may be called the sibilant-onset series into Bur-Myan) would be a problem for font makers. To make their task easier, we may redefine the medials, as true medials and semi-medials (s-medials). Medials are sounds of {}, {ra.ric}, & {ha.hto:}. They are very natural for Bur-Myan, however, {la.hswè:} is rather difficult to pronounce and has been dropped in Irrawaddy dialect (the main dialect of Bur-Myan), but retained only in Dawei dialect. The {wa.hswè:} on the other hand is easier to pronounce and is included in the medial series. Therefore the present-day medial series comprises: {}, {ra.ric}, {la.hswè:}, {wa.hswè:} & {ha.hto:) - 5 in number. All other vertical conjuncts are deemed unpronounceable in Bur-Myan. Now that the dental fricative-sibilant sound, {Sa.}, has to be introduced because of Eng-Latin, we either have to adopt a new grapheme (which would be havoc in Pal-Myan), or introduce the s-medial series, written similar to a {wa.hswè:}, e.g., {S~pa.}. However, at least for this edition of Romabama, I intend to use {S~pa.} and leave the question of whether to adopt {S~pa.} or not to my Bur-Myan peers, and then change (if needed) in the next edition of Romabama.

UKT notes

End of TIL file