"th" in Pali

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Justin
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"th" in Pali

Postby Justin » Tue May 26, 2009 7:42 pm

I have noticed that in Pali words containing the combination "th", the "h" is usually not pronounced -- as in Savatthi, Tathagata, et cetera.

However, in listening to mp3 recordings of various suttas, I have invariably heard the reader pronounce the name Anathapindika with the "h".

Does Anathapindika's name represent an exception to what I perceive as general rule, or is it being mispronounced? A small point, to be sure, but I am curious.

With metta,
Justin
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Re: "th" in Pali

Postby cooran » Tue May 26, 2009 8:41 pm

Hello Jason,

My understanding is that there are regional differences nowadays on how pali words are pronounced (in practice) ... a little like the various accents round the world of english-speakers ~ american, scottish, irish, australian, south african etc. Maybe Ajahn will correct me if this is wrong.

Alphabet and Pronunciation
Alphabet:
The Pāḷi alphabet consist of 41 letters: 8 vowels, the niggahīta (ṁ), and 32 consonants.

Vowels: a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, e, o
Niggahīta: ṁ
Consonants: k, kh, g, gh, ṅ, c, ch, j, jh, ñ, ṭ, ṭh, ḍ, ḍh, ṇ, t, th, d, dh, n, p, ph, b, bh, m, y, r, l, ḷ, v, s, h
Pronunciation: (pronounced similar to the example)

a as in but, hut; a in banana
ā as in father, cart, heart
i as in bit, tip, it
ī as in machine, keen, clean
u as in put, foot, push
ū as in rude, boot, youth
e as in way, fade, cape (long always except before a double consonant in which it is short - as in bed, bet, head)
o as in home, bone, know (long always except before a double consonant in which it is short as in not, saw, all)

ṁ as ṅ or m - pure nasal without release through the mouth (It is most characteristically stated as a humming sound produced when the vocal cords are vibrating and the air is emitted through the nose only. There are two prominent pronunciations which depends on the community).

k as in skin, cook, candle
kh as in king, backhand
g as in girl, good, gift
gh as in log-head, big-house
ṅ as in sing, finger, ink
c as in choose, chin, discharge
ch as in ranch-house, ranch-hand
j as in jug, gem, judge
jh as in hedge-hog
ñ as Spanish señor
ṭ as t but with the tongue tip curled back just under the hard palate (retroflection)
ṭh as th but with the tongue tip curled back just under the hard palate (retroflection)
ḍ as d but with the tongue tip curled back just under the hard palate (retroflection)
ḍh as dh but with the tongue tip curled back just under the hard palate (retroflection)
ṇ as n but with the tongue tip curled back just under the hard palate (retroflection)
t as in stay, stand (but with the rip of the tongue at the back of the teeth)
th as in light-house, ant-hill (but with the rip of the tongue at the back of the teeth)

d as in dog, dirt, door (but with the rip of the tongue at the back of the teeth)
dh as in mad-house, red-house (but with the rip of the tongue at the back of the teeth)
n as in name, north, no (but with the rip of the tongue at the back of the teeth)
p as in space, spend
ph as in top-hat, upheavel, uphill
b as in bag, born, bed
bh as in lab-host, rub-hard
m as in him, mother, map
y as in yes, year, you
r as in ram, ring, roam (pronounced smoothy and similar to english r, retroflex prositioning)
l as in lamp, light
ḷ same as l but with the tongue tip curled back just under the hard palate (retroflection)
v a labiodental approximant, a sort of in-between the english v and w.
s as in sit, story, smoke
h as in inherent, voiced fricative
* the digraphs dh, etc., are to be taken as single sounds, the h representing aspiration - double consonants are pronounced seperately the first having no release): example - dd in mad dog, gg in big game, etc., or pronounced long: example - nn in unnecessary
http://mail.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/dict-ep/index.htm

metta
Chris
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mikenz66
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Re: "th" in Pali

Postby mikenz66 » Tue May 26, 2009 10:46 pm

Hi Justin,

I'm not clear what you mean by "pronounced" and "not pronounced". The "h" indicates an aspirated sound, as in Thai (not pronounce "thigh", but as "tie" with aspiration).

As Cooran says, there will be variations. There will also be errors...

The problem with many of these words is figuring out the syllables.
A-na-tha-pin-di-ka not A-nat-hap-in-di-ka ...

Metta
Mike

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Justin
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Re: "th" in Pali

Postby Justin » Wed May 27, 2009 12:19 am

Perhaps "pronounced" was the wrong term to use. I suppose I had English in mind, in that the "th" sound we have in words like "thimble" or "thin" is absent in how words like Tathagata are rendered..."tah-TAH-gah-tah" instead of "tah-THAA [as in "thimble"]-gah-tah". I was curious how this applied to Anathapindika, given how the pronunciations I've heard spoken aloud seem to conflict with the use of the aspirant "th".

In any case, the pronunciation guide was most helpful, and I shall practice my aspirants more dilligently! :D

With metta,
Justin :anjali:
Cultivate generosity, the life of peace,
and a mind of boundless love.

Itivuttuka 16

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mikenz66
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Re: "th" in Pali

Postby mikenz66 » Wed May 27, 2009 12:25 am

I don't think "th" should ever be pronounced as in "thin". It is a "t" sound, as in "tin", but with aspriration.

Mike

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Dhammabodhi
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Re: "th" in Pali

Postby Dhammabodhi » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:39 pm

Hi Justin,

I'm a native hindi speaker, and I'd assume that the sounds/pronunciations are the same as Pali. The "th" sound in Pali has no equivalent in english, so its impossible to convey the correct pronunciation by writing. I'd suggest you look at the following video for Hindi alphabets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koEs1w2Sz0A

The second letter from the top is the sound you are looking for. And in "Ta-thaa-gata", the "thaa" is the sound of "th" with an additional "aa" in the end. I think whoever pronounces it differently is making a mistake(unless Pali has different pronunciations than hindi).

Given my assumptions,IMHO, the examples "light-house" and "ant-hill" are a bit misleading.
Metta,
Dhammabodhi
(this "dh" sound is also an aspirated sound, if you want I can send you the link for the right pronunciation)
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Re: "th" in Pali

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:01 pm

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tiltbillings
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Re: "th" in Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:42 pm

th is pronounced as in hothouse, hot-house. tathāgata. TAT-hā-gata.

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Re: "th" in Pali

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:56 pm


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Re: "th" in Pali

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:58 pm


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Re: "th" in Pali

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:37 am

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Re: "th" in Pali

Postby Individual » Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:11 am

The above answers are very good.

The only thing I have to add: There is no "th" in Pali. It's pronounced PAH-LEE.
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Re: "th" in Pali

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Re: "th" in Pali

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Re: "th" in Pali

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Re: "th" in Pali

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:05 am

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Re: "th" in Pali

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Re: "th" in Pali

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Re: "th" in Pali

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Re: "th" in Pali

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