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Re: [Pali] Mystery (Khmer/Pali?)

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  • Robert Didham
    Hi Walter Just a quick preliminary note - no mystery really - these sasraslik are in the usual script (aksar moul) but I have not had time to work out the text
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 12, 2003
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      Hi Walter

      Just a quick preliminary note - no mystery really - these sasraslik are in
      the usual script (aksar moul) but I have not had time to work out the text
      yet and I don't read this at sight - it is a mixture of Pali and Khmer. It
      is hard to tell age but the condition suggests these are some of the very
      common touristy type of thing - the only thing that perturbs me is the way
      they appear to have been hacked off to shorten them. However, this was not
      uncommon if they went through the Pol Pot period because that was often the
      only way they survived. Without a closer look I am not suggesting they are
      that old - they do look recent - but the interlinear amendments to texts in
      another hand (and indeed occasionally in another script) are not uncommon
      and something I have seen many times on Tibetan manuscripts as well as
      Southeast Asian ones.

      A useful source for studying this script is Huffman's book on the Cambodian
      Writing System if you can find a copy in your local library (quite a common
      book so hopefully not too hard to find). There are a couple of what appear
      to be truncated vowel markers that puzzle me but it could have something to
      do with the circumstances of their creation.

      If I can find a bit of spare time I will have a closer look and try to
      identify the text


      Robert Didham

      >From: Walter <walter@...>
      >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
      >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [Pali] Mystery (Khmer/Pali?)
      >Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 08:53:55 +1100
      >Greetings Pali-people!
      >Recently some friends of mine returned from Cambodia
      >and brought me what they think is some Pali,
      >written on palm leaves, as a gift. If I am not
      >mistaken, the text is written in Khmer. I wonder
      >if anyone here can verify this and/or is able to
      >grasp the meaning of the text?
      >I have some Khmer samples to which I have compared
      >the text (in fact, I have an entire modern
      >Khmer/English dictionary), however modern typeset
      >Khmer appears to differ from this text. One
      >significant difference in the palm leaves is the
      >frequent presence of double-strokes at the top of
      >characters, radiating to the upper-left. I cannot
      >guess which typeset vowel these strokes may
      >represent, as I have very little experience with
      >Khmer. When I first saw the double-strokes, they
      >reminded me of Devanaagarii, as I have never seen
      >such strokes in the (small amount of) Thai or Lao
      >text that I have studied.
      >I have scanned and uploaded the various leaves
      >in their current order (which I suppose is jumbled),
      > http://pratyeka.org/khmer-pali/
      >The leaves were scanned in sets of four, fronts
      >then backs. There are only eight leaves (two
      >sets). Each of the four images are the best
      >part of a megabyte, so modem-users may have a
      >wait. All is not lost though - most browsers
      >will allow progressive display of JPEGs as they
      >download, so you can hopefully read while you wait.
      >The leaves appear to have been cut, such that some
      >of the text is probably missing. I believe that
      >they may in fact be cuttings from a practice or
      >damaged text, rather than forming a complete,
      >finished text in themselves.
      >I suppose that the contents could be quite
      >interesting if the leaves were old, though the
      >presence of what appears to be a pencil correction
      >on the front of leaf 5 suggests to me that they
      >are of recent origin...
      >Many thanks to anyone who can shed some light on
      >this mystery.
      >Walter Stanish
      >Sydney, Australia

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