Developing A Pāḷi Juncture-Splitting Tool. Any advice/thoughts?

Hello everyone, so very glad to finally have found this forum. I’m Calvin. Nice to meet you all! :raising_hand_man:

A bit of back story: a few months ago I’ve begun Pāḷi chanting regularly. The biggest hurdle that I had found in chanting personally is getting the tempo right, alternating between heavy syllables and light syllables, and keeping them in mind. It had persisted as a challenge, until the heavy syllables were all marked with a slash succeeding them (I like to call these marks as juncture signs), e.g. Mā / lā / gan / dha vile / pana dhā / raṇa maṇ / ḍana vibhū / sanaṭ / ṭhā / nā /. Then I started marking the Pāḷi texts on my paritta chanting book with slashes. And oh boy, chanting has gotten so much easier ever since.

So I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if chanting books are also published/printed with juncture signs in them? Possibly a separate, easier-to-chant version that is less daunting for Pāḷi-chanting beginners to read?

And perhaps a conversion tool to automatically add juncture signs would be useful, too, then anyone could create such version on their own? So I’ve been developing a juncture-splitting web app:

This is the first time I’ve made a web app and I’ve just recently started learning Pāḷi, not at all familiar with the many different chanting traditions. I’ve read several different references on Pāḷi phonology. While a lot of them are pretty much in concurrence, discrepancies are still to be found in some aspects and I suspect them to be regional variants.

If anyone is willing to inspect it, see what is wrong (e.g. the rules that are set in splittling the syllables), what could be improved (e.g. the coding, layout, writing) or added (perhaps a different conversion option for a regional style of chanting that is quite common in a certain country), or any general advice on how it could be made more useful, it would be greatly appreciated! :smile:

With much Metta :blush:


I recommend just trying to get used to it and the mind can read all book based chanting book at other places instead of having to use Augmented reality via phone via app after getting your algorithm running.

It becomes an instinct after a few years of chanting.

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I’m getting a blank page with this in the console:

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Hi Calvin,

It’s not working for me to put text in the boxes. Nothing seems to happen. I’m using Chrome on Linux.

While it’s obviously better to be able to do this all in one’s head (and even better to have the chants memorized!) I did do some markup by hand for the Karaniya Metta Sutta, which I’ve found quite tricky to scan, especially at the speed of the Sri Lankan group I’ve been sitting with! I then started breaking it up in a computer file. My thought was to use a raised dot rather than a slash, and bold the heavy syllables:
yantaṁ san taṁ pa∙daṁ a∙bhi∙sa∙mec∙ca,
It’s those triplets of short syllables that make those lines, especially the second one, challenging.

I’m not an expert on this, but I would caution that I understand that sometimes the rules get bent to make the metre correct.

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Vandami Bhante Paññādhammika :pray:,

Kamsiah Bhante for your kind recommendation! Still working on my chanting daily.

Sending much Metta :blush:

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Vandami Bhante @Snowbird :pray:,

Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention :man_bowing:.

I’ve looked into it and apparently the issue is rooted in the Python framework that is used (I use Streamlit). From what I’ve read, the apps that are build on this framework can’t seem to have them loaded when there is high latency present. Something that I could not do much to fix myself, unfortunately. Which is a bit of a letdown as I have grown to love working with it for it being so easy-to-use.

Best workarounds that I’ve found so far is for the end-users to browse in another browser/device, that could handle intermittent connection better. Hopefully this “solution” works for you. :crossed_fingers:

Apologies for the inconvenience, Bhante. Much Metta for you :pray:

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Hi Mike :person_raising_hand:,

Bold heavy syllables is a great idea! I was looking for a solution to mark the heavy syllables, but without the need of supplementing the text with a new symbol/character, as to preserving the original length of the input text. Tried using a different color on the heavy syllables but it didn’t feel easy to read. I will try to experiement with bolding and perhaps combining it with other methods :smile:.

As for putting the text in the box, have you tried pressing Ctrl+Enter after pasting the text? You could also click anywhere outside of the box for the command to run. It doesn’t live-convert the text, sadly (I haven’t figured out how to code this). Please do kindly let me know if that works for you :computer:.

I feel you. My monastic mentor chants faster than average. Breaking up the syllables was a lifesaver for me!

I have yet to discover a clear and complete set of rules in converting some of the /ʌ/ to /ə/ in Sri Lankan chanting. Would love to have it as an option for anyone who would like to learn Sri Lankan chanting style.

Duly noted :ok_hand:. Would you be kind enough to share which specific rules that you have in mind?

Heaps of Metta sent your way :small_airplane:

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There is a lot of information on Ven Ānandajoti’s site:
An Outline of the Metresin the Pāḷi Canon:

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This is what I’ve been looking for but didn’t know existed. Thank you, Mike. :smiling_face:

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