This is just the type of advice and resource links I had been seeking. What you describe for the palatal row is what we have been attempting.
As an Anglophone student without linguistic training, I still find it useful to place the tongue properly. Even if the sound is not perfect, it helps one to remember the spelling and meaning more accurately. Then later on, possible to create a more authentic sound.
Question: When you mention the “beginning” of the hard palate, does this mean closer to the teeth or closer to the throat?
Getting the dental row as a dental, not alveolar is another nicety that makes our pali sound more authentic to Indian and Sinhalese friends.
This is a nice example Sinhalese style chanting of Dhammapada by Ven Ariyadhamma Maha Thero. But I still cannot clearly hear the palatal row! Also there is the insertion of the extra “n” sound on some of the double consanants, “Manopub-m-baṅgamā dhammā, manoseṭ-n-ṭhā manomayā”
The links on this site for the audio chanting are bad, but I was able to retrieve some of them by searching in youtube.
Vaṭṭaka Paritta YouTube
Thank you for this kindness.
Have added the audio (mp3) file on post #13.
Our English R is rather exotic and rare sound, internationally speaking. Did he have a difficult time?
This is a wonderful interactive IPA (international phonetic alphabet) chart with audio examples, bhante. Venerable @Pasanna has already provided a link to that very website, though, I see.
On that website:
AFAIK, c is t͡ʃ. Ch is just that, t͡ʃ, with apiration, t͡ʃ h. J is d͡ʑ. Jh is just that (d͡ʑ) with aspiration: d͡ʑh. You can click the t͡ʃ , d͡ʑ, t͡ʃ h,& d͡ʑh on the website to hear the audio.
I think the insertion of the n sound between double consonants is a feature of that particular style of chanting? It also requires you to change the “e” sound at the end of words to “ei”, so it leads to some different pronunciation. (e.g. in the khandha paritta, virupakkhehi mei mettem instead of virupakkhehi me mettam).
By the beginning of the hard palate, I mean, closer to the throat where you can feel the bony ridge at the top of the mouth (Indian phonology starts from the throat and moves forward). In one very old system (Sacred Books of the East= pre IAST), the palatal sounds were written as k, kh, g, gh, n, which shows how far back they are in the mouth. Monier Williams complained about this in the introduction to his dictionary but I think the early romanisers had a point, actually.
If there is ever a Pali guide for SC, I would suggest video and not just audio as visual cues can aide sound recognition, especially for dental sounds- you can actually SEE the tongue protude from the teeth in Sinhalese-style dental sounds.
My Sinhalese friends don’t understand me at all if I use alveolar sounds instead of retroflexes/dentals arghhhhgh!
That’s funny. I actually created the places of articulation diagram (not the head illustration, though. They somehow managed to remove the cc attribution)
And now I think it is incorrect.
The Sri Lankan pronunciation of the dentals clearly has the tongue touching the tips of the upper front teeth.
I have that same issue. I am listening to Suttas using text to speech and also recording the output. Naturally, at the current time, the Pāli nouns and names come out sounding inaccurate, but I have been trying to explore whether the programs can be adjusted. I am not in any way a technician so I was hoping that someone with deep programming skills had tried. The text to speech is so very useful for me to be able to cover much material as it burbles away in the background. Just this Pāli pronunciation issue. I’d like to know if you discovered anything yet. I seem to recall Yutadhammo Bhikkhu group were working on an app. Here is a link to that App… but I cannot yet vouch for the efficacy of it, and It only runs on Android, I am a Mac user.
Greetings @Rakkhitasamanera and welcome to the Discourse forum of Sutta Central
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Appreciate your hospitality and offer of friendly assistance.
So far the website has been such an excellent help and assistance to me on my path through the Suttas and in deepening my studies. Heartfelt gratitude.
My question is: Is there any easy way to download a complete discussion thread?
I am extremely interested in the Nāma Rupa discussion. Without going into details, the thread discussion here is 127 entries long. I would like to copy and paste it so i can Text to Speech it while i am doing other things. My question is: Is there any easy way to download a complete discussion thread? So I can copy and past it to Pages/Word
Thanks - it seems i just hit a button and got the whole copy/paste in one go, then pasted it to Pages without problem. It seems to be reading out ok, on Text to Speech so far. It will have a few extra bits, numbers and patches, but i can ignore them. Thanks
Update if any improvements. Just to be able to extract the chat , and names, without all the bits. So text to speech will flow. Gratitude. It’s a vitally important subject . I’ve no comment yet to make on it. i wish to absorb what is going on with the mainstream think first.
sadhu sadhu sadhu
Hi mikenz66. Cool. That was what was needed , thanks again.
You know what. After some thought & a little reading, I think there is entirely something else very weird going on with the palatal row…which are realised as palatal-alveolar affricates/ t͡ʃ/, /d͡ʑ/ in modern Indian languages like Hindi* (and possibly also Sinhala…although no studies???).
Some modern studies of Hindi (just one example: R. Prakash Dixit and Paul R. Hoffman’s 2004 Articulatory characteristics of fricatives and affricates in Hindi: an electropalatographic study https://www.jstor.org/stable/44526345?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents) suggest that the palatal row has either (a) moved forward to become palatal-alveolar in modern Hindi or (b) was never actually truly palatal at all.
The traditional system of Indian phonetics is very good in that it distinguishes features like place of articulation, voicing, aspiration, etc. However, sometimes the traditional phonetic classification can be proved inadequate (or wrong) by modern linguistics, which has more sophisticated research methods like real-time MRI, etc. The best example is the vowels (modern analyses does so much better than the traditional system!)- but also sounds like “dh” which are “murmured” rather than true aspirates in modern Indian languages (something the traditional system wouldn’t have picked up on, even if a murmured “dh” did exist in ancient times).
So the palatals may have just been mis-classified in the traditional system…I mean, I don’t have the time to do the dictionary-work to prove it (although it’s a hypothesis that could be easily explored through studies of historical phonetic shifts?). It’s just one potential explanation.
What I previously heard as a distinction by place of articulation when listening to speakers of Indian languages might have actually been some other irrelevant distinction- English doesn’t have a palatal/palatal-alveolar contrast pair, so I probably wouldn’t be able to hear it even if it did exist…hmmm. That being said, the info I gave previously would be correct if c/j it were true palatal stops .
TLDR version: @Coemgenu might just be right./ t͡ʃ/, /d͡ʑ/ etc, due to real possibility of ancient wrongness. More research needed.
I share the interest of pronouncing Pali as well as possible. Thanks Sobhana.
More specifically in “Namô Tassa Bhagavatô Arahatô Sammâ-Sambuddhassa”, I hear many pronounce the Sam in …-Sambuddhassa with more of an ‘m’ sound, ending with lips as in ‘sum’ or ‘…um’. Then when I heard Dhammaruwan’s chant (recorded when he was a young boy), he pronounced the Sam… ending with more of an …‘ng’ sound, more consistent with “Buddham Saranam Gacchâmi” where both …am in Buddham and Saranam ends with more an ‘…ng’ rather than ‘…um’.
Anyone with knowledge to share?
Thank you Nanda, I am glad to meet you. As far as I know, the nasal ending at the end of a syllable is influenced by the following consonant. as in saṅgha, sambuddha, or buddhaṃ ca > buddhañca. Where two consonants come together, Dhamma Ruwan has a way of pronouncing each sound distinctly, which I have not heard very often.
Thanks for sharing that bit of technical knowledge Sobhana.
I was very inspired by Dhamma Ruwan’s chants in particular the Dhammachakka Sutta; that was when i noted the difference with the ‘…um’ and the ‘…ng’ in the pronunciation of Sam in …-Sambuddhassa at the start where he chanted Namô Tassa Bhagavatô Arahatô Sammâ-Sambuddhassa.
May be his distinct pronunciation is a close or fairly accurate recall of the way Pali words were pronounced way back then in that previous life of his. And that slight variation in pronunciation had happened over the course of time.
For now I’m happy to chant the way Dhamma Ruwan chant Namô Tassa Bhagavatô Arahatô Sammâ-Sambuddhassa… I’m thinking it’s about 1500 years closer to Buddha’s time