Imatges de pÓgina
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in wę sağda ‘moon;' and the labial @ being blended with the final nasal of its species @, produces @, as in q@ amba 'mango.' It would thus seem that is a letter proper to the Singhalese. This is however a mistake, arising from the circumstance of many Sanscrit and Pali characters being included in the Singhalese alphabet, and therefore from an adoption by Sanscrit scholars (see Vadankavipota) of the Sanscrit division of the consonants into Gutturals, Palatines, Cerebrals, Dentals, and Labials. The only Grammar extant in the Singhalese, and which labours to redeem the Singhalese alphabet from being improperly amalgamated with Sanscrit and Pali characters, is the Sidath’Sangarawa. Its author in shewing the 10 vowels and 20 consonants proper to the language, has proved that the 5 Jong vowels and the last consonant o are necessary characters in the Singhalese, and that the long must be considered distinct from the short vowels. He has shewn this necessity by producing examples; 1st, where the 5 long vowels are separately used, as in on, e, ere, ed, and @oso (see p. 2); and 2ndly, where they are inflected with consonants, as in eso, a, , ne, and esi. If the long vowel sounds occur in the language; and, moreover, they are also inflected with consonants by other signs; it appears but reasonable that the student should be informed of their formation. So with respect to the o, the grammarian has proved the existence of its sound both singly, and in union with other letters in the Singhalese language, and thence its necessity to be treated in the alphabet. When we consider, therefore, the urgent necessity there exists for such a course, especially in view of other systems of ancient grammars, which give in their alphabets long as well as short letters for the same radical sound (e. g. the e n in Greek); we may pronounce the grammarian's labours misapplied, but that we are told by his commentator, that this part of the gram

was written in reference to the opinion of certain philologers, (probably the writer of the Elu Prosody was one

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amongst the number) that 'it was unnecessary to treat of the five long vowels, and the last consonant o.'

The commentator says (we here state the substance of his remarks], 'Grammarians think that the five long vowels are unnecessary to be treated as separate characters, because they are inherent in, and are produced from the 5 short; and that in a manner similar to the formation of ę, q@, &c, (vide supra) the wis formed by a union of the letter Go with the last guttural @. Now it is to be observed;-Ist, that by giving the genus as in other instances, the species would not here be indicated by giving the 5 short vowels alone; nor, in the grammars of Maghada and Sanscrit languages, &c., is the genus given in this respect to indicate the species. It is therefore desirable to shew the long vowels separately;—2ndly, to suppose that o is formed by a union of co and @, is to suppose that @ exists in the Singhalese language, which the very disputants do not shew; because they give only 24 letters, i. e. the same characters that we have given, minus the 5 long vowels and the o. And if we include @ as a letter proper to the Singhalese, we shall be introducing a superfluous character, because its scund in a positive state is not found in our language like the cerebral 5m, which by a union of a produces @; or the dental y, which by a union of ę produces ę, or the labial 8, which by a union of a produces 2. And for these reasons we affirm that the o is formed (not by a union of @ands, but] by a coalition of o and us: hence, therefore, the necessity for the o being shewn as a separate character. And if it be objected that o is a mute, and that its sound does not occur except in its coalition with another character; our answer is simple: that the o as a mute alone occurs in divers systems of grammar. Furthermore, to employ @, which is a sonant, and has a separate independent existence as a mute only (for we have seen that it is of no use in the Singhalese), would

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be less desirable than o, which sui generis is a mute. for these views we have the authority of pandits.'


Note 5.- page 3. The grammarian has, it will be perceived, omitted to give us an example from poetry, shewing the imperfect sound of o; perhaps, because the learner can easily find out one for himself. It may, however, not be amiss to give a couplet here from the Kaviasekare, in order more fully to illustrate the text:

සු ර හ ඟ ත ර ච රඟ

අමා වැසි වසිනා රඟ
“Like the waves of the Ganges,
And the falling-rain like ambrosial food;"

Note 6.- page 7.


Nothing presents a more formidable task to the student upon his entrance on the study of the Singhalese, than the ascertainment of the roots of words, owing to what is called “ the changes of vowels.” The Singhalese in this respect presents a peculiarity distinguishable from the Sanscritwhich only possesses what is known as Vriddi and Guna modifications of vowels, upon certain and fixed rules.

The examples given at p. 7, § 14 a, shew that this change is not confined in the Singhalese to any particular letters, as it is not restricted to any vowels in the Sanscrit. It may be stated, however, that when several vowels in one word are changed, they are frequently found converted to the next in order as found in the alphabet. Thus, for instance, (see p. xxxii.) the word & (P) () which is derived from Ecoc, contains two vowel sounds, g and q. Now in changing the g into e, the vowel next but one to g, it is necessary


to change the o into e, which is the next but one to e.

0. We thus obtain cw (09) 0 (e) otherwise written ouo. Sometimes also, the change is entirely for the sake of euphony; in which case euphonious sounds are preferred without an adherence to rule or order. Thus, for instance, we and one are changed into ocore, and the same into wed libertine;' 008 and cor623 are changed into tog@sou 23, see its definition infra.

Note to § 14 e at p. 8. By an oversight of the translator, a short passage in the text has been left untranslated. We therefore give $ 14 de novo.

e. is Icino ĉ is the changing of the mood or tense of) the verl; as 0.00€ 6,00nere 'blind to his own fault,' [literally, “His own faults will not be seen.']t 2008go Cocoros :: 90033'O supremne peacock! take thy lodge

도 ing in the flowered tree at that season.' I

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Note 7.-- page 8. At page 8 we have taken the liberty of rendering an expression contrary to the ineaning of the writer of the Grammar. We have done so, because we were able to shew that the grammarian was in error. He

says inflected letter such as 92, is o 9.2.0 or long in quantity (see $ $ 15, 62, and notes.) If in this respect the grammarian stood alone as an authority, we should perhaps have been disposed to believe that this was a cle: ical error; but when we find that the author of the Elu Prosody also lays down, that ez is proso‘lially more than one syllabic instant,' there

* This is an example selected rom the Kawsilumina.

+ Here the verb is put in the suure instead of the present tense, in which it is usually put to express an abstract idea.

$ See note (t) at p. 8.

can be no room left for such a belief. If therefore we regard qc as being equal to more than one syllabic instant, ou would, as a matter of course, be more than two syllabic instants, which it is not. Thus in the following (see Appendix A, p. 62.)

o@nequenos Socne 8 359 =18
Owocos como o 0.09

99 =18 -which are the two first lines of a stanza constructed upon the uniform metre of 18 syllabic instants to a line-ou does not stand for more than two instants. Nor, except in theory, do we any where find that ou is more than one syllabic instant. If again, ou is to be considered longer than q, nu will for the same reason be longer than mo, which it is not.

For the purpose of proving the inaccuracy of the grammarian's doctrine, we shall assign to op, which is here left in doubt and uncertainty, a definite quantity. Let us suppose that the expression“ more than one syllabic instant” means 11 syllabic instants. How then does the case stand ? Take for instance the following stanza ; and we cannot select a better specimen:

qoOCIç Sanatoomuomo 17

su OS @9 no ot come one on er 17 BS ne i q0g of ostea cuo - 17

මු ද ලි ත මා ලග ත ව න් මන් ත ව කු ම = 17 This is a stanza constructed upon the uniform metre of 17 syllabic instants to a line: and if we assign 17 instants to qu in the 1st line, we shall give it 174 syllabic instants, and thus render the same unequal to the rest of the stanza, which is not the case. Hence it is clear that op'. is prosodially one syllabic instant and no more.

This view appears to be fully confirmed by a reference to the quantity of consonants when they are inflected with the letter Qu. Thus in the second line of the above stanza,

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