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Pali Pronunciation

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  • Bhikkhu Pesala
    I have put sound files of thirty basic Pali words pronounced by Venerable Mettavihari on my website for the convenience of those new to Pali.
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 1 11:07 AM
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      I have put sound files of thirty basic Pali words pronounced by Venerable
      Mettavihari on my website for the convenience of those new to Pali.

      http://www.aimwell.org/Help/Pali/pali.html

      600 words in MP3 format can be found in the files section of this group.
    • dwoodsong
      I am a new at Pali, and am working my way through Warder s book. But I have only gotten through the first three lessons. I also have the CD that accompanies
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 26, 2005
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        I am a new at Pali, and am working my way through Warder's book. But I
        have only gotten through the first three lessons. I also have the CD
        that accompanies Warder's text. In one of the passages for reading,
        words such as "citta" are pronounced with a hard "c", as in
        English "cat." I had understood that "c" in Pali was always
        pronounced "ch". Could anyone please clarify this pronunciation issue.

        Thank you.
        Dave
      • Bhante Sujato
        Hi Dave, You re right, c should always be pronounced ch (unaspirated). I haven y heard the tape you refer to , but there may be some mistake there. It is
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 27, 2005
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          Hi Dave,

          You're right, 'c' should always be pronounced 'ch' (unaspirated). I
          haven'y heard the tape you refer to , but there may be some mistake
          there.

          It is one of the little blessings of Pali that, though the grammar may
          seem difficult at times, the pronunciation is quite straight forward.
          The spelling system is rational and phonetic, for which we have to
          largely thank the admirable linguistic science of the ancient Indians.

          Interestingly enough, this science was developed by the Brahmans of
          old for precisely the same reason that we study Pali: to read the
          language of the ancient scriptures.

          in Dhamma

          Bhante Sujato


          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "dwoodsong" <dwoodsong@y...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > I am a new at Pali, and am working my way through Warder's book.
          But I
          > have only gotten through the first three lessons. I also have the
          CD
          > that accompanies Warder's text. In one of the passages for reading,
          > words such as "citta" are pronounced with a hard "c", as in
          > English "cat." I had understood that "c" in Pali was always
          > pronounced "ch". Could anyone please clarify this pronunciation
          issue.
          >
          > Thank you.
          > Dave
        • Jim Anderson
          Dear Ven. Sujato and Dave, ... The problem with the English ch sound as in church is that it is an affricate in alveolar position. This is represented by
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 27, 2005
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            Dear Ven. Sujato and Dave,

            --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Bhante Sujato" <sujato@g...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Dave,
            >
            > You're right, 'c' should always be pronounced 'ch' (unaspirated). I
            > haven'y heard the tape you refer to , but there may be some mistake
            > there.

            The problem with the English 'ch' sound as in 'church' is that it is
            an affricate in alveolar position. This is represented by the symbols
            of the International Phonetic Alphabet as a digraph: t + an elongated
            s for sh, the t and sh being pronounced simultaneously. On the other
            hand, the Pali 'c' is to be pronounced further back in the mouth as a
            palatal (taaluja) according to classical Indian phonetics and nothing
            is said about it being an affricate.

            One could compromise by pronouncing something like an English 'ch' in
            palatal position which is what I do but it can easily be mistaken for
            a 'k' when heard by others. According to Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Primer,
            it seems that English once had a sound corresponding to Pali 'c' in
            palatal position (marked in the primer as a 'c' with a dot above it).

            Similar considerations can also be given to the English affricate 'j'.

            Best wishes,
            Jim
          • Bhante Sujato
            Hi Jim & Dave Hey, you re right. I never realized that English ch is not a palatal, but there it is just as you said, a t with a sh . I still don t think
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 28, 2005
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              Hi Jim & Dave

              Hey, you're right. I never realized that English 'ch' is not a
              palatal, but there it is just as you said, a 't' with a 'sh'. I
              still don't think the palatal 'c' sounds like a 'k' though.

              Bhante Sujato


              > The problem with the English 'ch' sound as in 'church' is that it
              is
              > an affricate in alveolar position. This is represented by the
              symbols
              > of the International Phonetic Alphabet as a digraph: t + an
              elongated
              > s for sh, the t and sh being pronounced simultaneously. On the
              other
              > hand, the Pali 'c' is to be pronounced further back in the mouth
              as a
              > palatal (taaluja) according to classical Indian phonetics and
              nothing
              > is said about it being an affricate.
              >
              > One could compromise by pronouncing something like an English 'ch'
              in
              > palatal position which is what I do but it can easily be mistaken
              for
              > a 'k' when heard by others. According to Sweet's Anglo-Saxon
              Primer,
              > it seems that English once had a sound corresponding to Pali 'c'
              in
              > palatal position (marked in the primer as a 'c' with a dot above
              it).
              >
              > Similar considerations can also be given to the English
              affricate 'j'.
              >
              > Best wishes,
              > Jim
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