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In laying down a mode in which Singhalese letters may be exhibited in European characters, we have had two important ends in view : first, a desire to adhere to the plan laid down by Sir W. Jones, and which is closely followed by all recent writers; and secondly, a wish not to encumber the vowels by diacritical † signs.

VOWELS. It will be seen that in the Sanscrit of a gioicu C9ū ed e and o are respectively exhibited by the Roman characters which are appended to these letters. A difficulty has therefore arisen in representing e, , : , and ou. Although e is used for ed in Sanscrit, yet since it would be more correct to use diacritical marks to such of the letters as are only long, a slight departure from Sir. W. Jones's system is here desirable. We therefore recommend the adoption of the following:

Short-o=a g=i e=a = @= 0 qu=ẹ !

Long-=ā õ=i en=ū ed=ē =o or=ē 9, whether expressed, or inherent in a consonant, sounds like

a in 'adieu;' e. g. cc ala 'yalm, bulb;'ace al-la ‘palm.' It will be perceived that in the o is inherent, and that

in the same is suppressed by the sign'. mis sounded like a in 'father,' as one āla desire.' When

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it is necessary to inflect this with a consonant, the symbol for the latter takes the addition of ; thus, in oce alla having seized,' them is inherent in

* The writer regrets to say that his atten:ion having been directed to the subject only at a late stage of his studies, he was unable to follow a uniform system of spelling throughout this work.

† Since the use of various diacritical marks by different writers tends to embarrass the student, it would be po less simple than necessary to regard all marks on the top of a letter, whether the saine be a (-) 0 () as being indicative of a long sound.

Although Singhalese Grammarians seem to think that al and on are mer-ly variations of ¢, and of; yet judging from their sounds at least, we think that they more nearly approach than 9. We therefore adopt ę for ou and e lor oro

2 has the sound of e and i in Ethiopia ;' and its equivalent

symbol when incorporated with a consonant is n ; asas

salli “money.' vi sometimes written g has the sound of ee in' peel;' or ea in

deal.' Its symbol in consonants is @, as ce malli ‘younger brother.' sounds like u in 'pull;' and its symbols (when the same is incorporated with a consonant) are » or u; as ace mulla

'nook,' e de kulla a winnowing fan.' er takes the sound of oo in ‘pool;' and its symbols attached

to consonants are W and w;as med nūl 'thread'; Quc co kūdella.leech.'

has the power of the first letter in the English alphabet. It is represented by 6 when the same is infected with

a consonant; as noce kella ' a little girl.' ed. This is the long sound of the last, as a in ‘ale;' and its

symbols are av; as 6¢ ¢ déwal' things.' has the sound of o in poll. It takes on as its inflected symbols in consonants; as adco kolla 'boy.' is sounded like o in ‘own'; and is inflected with consonants by the signs 3 3; as 90210kūrala korle' [a re

venue division of the Island.] az is one of the vowels deficient in the Nagari. It is sounded

like a in “and.' Its substitute in consonants which are

inflected with it is u; as ooce rella 'wave.' au This is the long sound of the last, and has the sound of

a in 'dam.' Consonants when inflected with it taken as once kella piece.'

CONSONANTS. has the sound of c in cut; [but k may be exclusively employed to express it.] oo that of g in gun ; y has the sound of j in justice ; ĉ is sounded like t in tusk; a like d in done ; com as kn in knock; [but it is not necessary to perpetuate the distinction between on and on, when we express the Singhalese by Roman characters.] o like the

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theta in Greek; [we may adopt th to express this in English.] & as th in thus ; [a d with a dot under it may be used to express this letter.] os like the n in nut; o like the p in papa; b) as b in but; 6 as m in mug ; - as y in

; yard; o is sounded like rin run ; e like lin lunch; È like v in vulture; [we see no objection to v or w being indiscriwinately used to represent this letter.] w like sin sun; oo like h in hunt; e sounds the same as C, but it is said that where greater force than usual is intended to be given to this sound, e is used, which is a lingual, whereas the e is a dental (this is an unnecessary distinction]; and o has the sound of n in the French termination mon, and may be expressed in English by an n with a dot under it. The above consonants may be divided thus ;

1 Gutturals
2 Palatines .
3 Cerebrals 0, 2,6 @?, 0, 0, 2,~,00, 6, & o.
4 Dentals O, 9,8.
5 Labials

O, 2, O. Of the last 8 characters, on may be included in the 1st class, w in the 2nd, 6 in the 3rd, mand e in the 4th, & in the 5th, and the o is a nasal. We have adopted the above classification in conformity with a dictum of the Commentator to the SidathSan.jarawa, who in reference to the union letters @, ç, and e," says, that they are formed by the coalition of the

* letters @, ę, and a with the last of the cerebrals, dentals, and labials respectively. Vide infra, note 4.

Before concluding we may notice a difficulty to which allusion is made by the Rev. B. Clough, in the Introduction to his Dictionary. He says

“ The want of an acknowledged standard of spelling has, notwithstanding the perfection of the alphabet, created a

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•®, @, e and @ (which may be expressed in English by äg, äd, nd, mb) are compound letters in wbich two sounds are melted into one sound.

degree of orthographical irregularity and confusion which will require much attention effectually to correct. Almost every writer seems to have adopted a system of his own, having been solely guided by the manner in which the sound of the word struck his ear. But in a language and alphabet like the Singhalese, in which there is so nice a discrimination

a of sound distinguishing words of totally different meanings, such a practice could not fail to prove most fatal to correct spelling; hence, in familiar correspondence especially, scarcely two persons will be found to spell alike. These irregularities originate chiefly in the misapplication of the bindu o; the five nasals e, wę or cę, 6on, on and o with their corresponding symbols; the three sibilants ca, o and er, and the symbols t and substituted for the letter 6."

The student will perceive that these anomalies proceed from an inattention to the derivation of words, and the different powers of the constituent parts of some of the compound letters; e. g.

is compounded of and @; and where its full sound is lost in compounding words, people are apt to substitute on or o for ; as 03 lotus,' and 'flowers,' when compounded are written 63 Ostoc, Odowe, or aos 20¢; but the last alone is correct.

on is sometimes written for 6; as for OB 1;'and if we look to the root of this word we must at once perceive that of is here incorrect.

o is compounded of o and m; and therefore the o alone must be used when this letter loses in composition its compound sound; as onęc becomes mo&c 'river-water,' and not msięw.

ę in composition frequently leaves merely the on with which ę is compounded; as Są 'to break,' a obroken.' It would therefore be incorrect to use o or 9, to express the os in @os.

e is compounded of soand @; and son alone should therefore be used where it is alone retained in composition, or where it is mute before a; as 0.60.39'a pandit.'

A distinction exists between on and son. The first is a dental, the second a cerebral. In composition where the sound of n occurs together with a dental in the same syllable, the former is preferable, and when it occurs in conjunction with a cerebral the latter should be employed. But where n is associated with any other organ-letters the student may

be guided by the usage of Sanscrit writers.

The distinction between cand e can only be learned by an attention to usage ; although we may remark that the latter is more frequently used with gutturals.

With reference to a wę, o, w, ca and o, see our remarks in the Introduction, p. lxii.

28 is the symbol for the suppressed sound of w.

a on the top of a letter, is a Sanscrit symbol for the suppressed 8, and it is used for the sake of brevity, as a doctrine.'

The other difficulties attending a correct spelling in Singhalese, are easily obviated by an attention to the powers of the letters; see Introduction: also chapter I, and notes at p.p. 17, 25, &c. &c.


Note 4.-page 2. The author of the Elu Prosody says in the beginning of his work, that the letters , ê, ę, and @, are respectively formed by the coalition of the simple consonants o, a, ę, and @, with the final letter of each of the classes to which they respectively belong. That is to say; dividing the consonants into 5 classes as in Sanscrit (see Wilson's Grammar, p. 2), and the guttural o being coalesced with the final nasal of its species , produces 29, thus cow ganga river;' the cerebral a being united with the final nasal of its species on, produces @, thus ç@ daždu sticks; 'the dental ę being united with the final nasal of its species 89, produces ę, as

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