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Niggahīta Pronunciation

Another issue regarding Pāli I would like to present: Have you ever delved into the specifics of the niggahīta () pronunciation a bit? I heard about a controversy (in the parivāra commentary in particular detailed) regarding an interpretation of mukhadvāra (needs to be closed in the articulation process according to ancient grammars) as either referring to the mouth or the larynx. Have you any knowledge about this? Thank you in any case.

Mettā

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I have no idea, but Aditi pronounces niggahitā at the end of:

“yopi so, bhikkhave, bhikkhu vassasatupasampanno imasmiṃ dhammavinaye, sopi evamevaṃ aññatitthiye paribbājake sahadhammena suniggahitaṃ niggaṇheyya yathā taṃ anāthapiṇḍikena gahapatinā niggahitā”ti.

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She do pronounce niggahita at the end of the words with “ṃ”. But there are few obvious mispronunciations.
Ex: dha in dhammavinaye and
ñ and ña in aññatitthiye

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Thank you. We will be correcting pronunciations later this year. Any help would be appreciated. The best help will be to have recordings of correct pronunciations of mispronounced words. The robots are somewhat correctable but may or may not be able to provide totally correct pronunciations. :pray:

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Thanks for your reply. I meant actually how to produce the letter within a word not the word “niggahīta” itself :slightly_smiling_face: Interestingly, it seems that the recording employs both ways of pronouncing the . For “imasmiṃ” it seems articulated with open mouth, and in the word “evamevaṃ” with mouth being closed, though sounding more like a regular m only …

Mettā

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I don’t have any opinions on the topic, but my understanding is that you are correct, this is one of the very few areas where the exact pronunciation is not 100% clear. Of course, even native speakers would have some variation in pronunciation.

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The recording avails itself of the natural phonemes required for Hindi speech. Aditi is a Hindi robot. We’ve taken Aditi and modified it to understand Pali phonemes. After much discussion with Bhante Sujato and others, we have settled on the velar nasal:

"ṁ": "ŋ"

What is fascinating about this is that Aditi does not support the velar nasal. Aditi uses the retroflex nasal. :thinking:

So basically what you hear is how we hacked Aditi to do something that nobody quite understands how it works. We hacked Aditi until most people thought the hack sounded OK. Our hack isn’t officially supported by Amazon Web Services, it just happens to “work for us”.

You might say that we let the universal consciousness decide the issue for us.

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