Sinhala

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Re: Sinhala

Postby Massimiliano B » 2012-06-08, 23:14

Thank you księżycowy for your interest and support! :)

As I sometimes say, I know I should learn English or another important language instead of minor languages, but I would like to know a little bit of each one of the 6000 languages of the world :D


Let's begin!

I've already studied the phonology.


VOWELS
Sinhalese has short and long vowels. Here are the short ones:

i, e, æ, ǝ, a, u, o.

This is a phonetic transcription using the symbols of IPA, so they are pronounced exactly as they are written :), namely the letter i is like the i in 'bit', e like in 'bed', æ like in 'hat', ǝ like the a in 'sofa' or the sound of -io- in -tion (for example 'station') or of -iou- in -ious (as in 'obvious'), a is like in 'far', but without the lengthening of the vowel due to the presence of the letter r, u is like in 'shoot', but shorter, and o is like in the word 'coat', but shorter.

There is also a set of corresponding long vowels:

ii, ee, ææ, ǝǝ, aa, uu, oo.

They have the same sound of the short vowels, but held longer.

The difference between short and long vowels is very important. It may distinguish two different meanings. For example:

danǝ = 'burning', but daanǝ = 'putting'


CONSONANTS

p, c, k, t are pronounced like the red letters in the words 'spoon', 'chin', 'school', 'steam', namely without the release of breath (it can be heard when p, t, k aren't preceded by a consonant). It is important to note that the letter t is produced with the tip of the tongue behind the upper teeth.

T is a voiceless retroflex plosive (IPA symbol ʈ)

b, j, g are pronunced like in the words 'bin', 'jam' and 'gone'

d is a voiced t

D is a voiced retroflex plosive

ŋ is th e sound of ng in 'sing'

f is like f, but sometimes is a bilabial sound.

s is always like the s in 'sand'

š is produced like the English sh in 'shin'

ñ is like the Spanish ñ in señor ('mister'), or similar to the English ny in 'canyon'

ň, m̌ and ŋ̌ symbolize the prenasalization of the consonants d, D, b, g. When I heard for the first time the word for 'you' (plural) I thought I heard obela, but the actual pronunciation is om̌bela. The syllabe division is not om-be-la, but o-m̌be-la. The letters m̌ , ň and ŋ̌ are pronounced very fast, as they were one sound with the following letter. They appear only before d, D, b, g. So we'll have the following combinations: ňd, ňD, m̌b, ŋ̌g.

y is produced like the English y in 'yet'.

l is like the l in 'let', never like the l in 'bowl' (in the second example, the back of the tongue is raised. This never occurs in Sinhalese)

r is a short trill.

w is like the English w but it's also accompanied by the v. This sound lies between w and v.

I think this is all!



A short look at the word order.
The word order is Subjec-Object-Verb (SOV), but the emphatic construction is SVO.

Here is a non-emphatic sentence:

mee bas-ekǝ kalutǝrǝTǝ yanǝwa (literally: this bus-the Kalutara-to go): 'This bus goes to Kalutara'

mee: this
bas-ekǝ : bas means 'bus'. ekǝ is the definite ending used with loan words. Thus bas-ekǝ means 'the bus'
kalutǝrǝ : Kalutara
-Tǝ: to. It is attached to the end of the word.
yanǝwa: go. The verb dosn't inflect for person or number. This form is the present tense.

bye :)
Last edited by Massimiliano B on 2012-06-13, 16:20, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Sinhala

Postby Meera » 2012-06-09, 17:12

Thanks for this Massimiliano B! I'm really interested in Sinhala also! Keep up the notes.
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Re: Sinhala

Postby Massimiliano B » 2012-06-10, 14:32

Thank you Meera! :)


Sinhalese consonants may occur doubled. A doubled consonant is like a single consonant, but held longer. Examples:

parakku = late
poDDǝ = a little
rajjuruwo = king
passe = after
koocciyǝ = train
pipiññǝ = cucumber


Some words differ only in the length of a consonant:

ekǝ = one
ekkǝ = with



Here is a list of words. The stress usually is on the first syllable:

mehee = here
iňdǝla = from
kolǝm̌bǝTǝ = to Colombo
bas-ekak = a bus
bas-ekǝ = the bus
TikæT-ekak = a ticket
TikæT-ekǝ = the ticket
tiyenǝwa = there is
dǝ = question marker
nææ = no
mahattea = sir
mee = this
meekǝ = this one
meekeŋ = by this one
yanǝwa = is going
yanne = is going (emphatic)
yannǝ = go!
kohaaTǝ = to where
ow = yes
nitǝrǝmǝ = always
dæŋ = now
hoňday = fine (or: it's fine)
kiiyǝ = how much
rupiyal = rupees
dekay = two
mennǝ = here you are



Sinhalese nouns have a definite and an indefinite form. This distinction occurs only in the singular.

-ekak marks the indefinite form. It means "a/an". So, bas-ekak means "a bus" and TikæT-ekak means "a ticket".

-ekǝ marks the definite form. Thus, bas-ekǝ means "the bus" and TikæT-ekǝ "the ticket"

These markers are used often with words borrowed from English, as bas and TikæT.

Next time I'll talk about the difference between emphatic and non-emphatic verb form. First I have to understand it better :) .

All these things can be found here: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/de ... o=ED025759
(see Introduction and pages 1, 2 and 3).

Bye :)
Last edited by Massimiliano B on 2012-06-10, 20:38, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Sinhala

Postby Meera » 2012-06-10, 20:21

Awesome! Thanks sooo much.
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Re: Sinhala

Postby księżycowy » 2012-06-12, 15:14

For those of us without natives, here's a site with lessons and audio. It's only complete through Unit 2 - Lesson 2, but it still should give enough audio to be useful:
http://www.speaksinhala.com/index.htm

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Re: Sinhala

Postby Massimiliano B » 2012-06-13, 14:54

Thank you księżycowy !


In spoken Sinhala, verbs don't change to agree with the nouns. There is a simple and an emphatic verb form. In the following sentence, the word in blue is the simple present of the verb "to go": mee bas-ekǝ kalutǝrǝTǝ yanǝwa (literally, "this bus-definite Kalutara-to goes) = "this bus goes to Kalutara". A simple present verb is always at the end of the sentence.

The next sentence has an emphatic present. This kind of verb is used when something is has :shy: to be emphasized. For example, in this sentence: "It is to Kalutara that this bus goes", the part "to Kalutara" is emphasized. In Sinhala, the emphasized part is usually placed after the verb in its emphatic form. The verb in red is the emphatic form of the verb "to go": mee bas-ekǝ yanne kalutǝrǝTǝ (literally: this bus-definite goes Kalutara-to)= "It is to Kalutara that this bus goes".

Here is another example of emphatic sentence. In this sentence, the emphasized part is the word kohaaTǝ ("where"): mee bas-ekǝ yanne kohaaTǝ dǝ? (literally: This bus-definite goes where-to?) = Where is this bus going?". The last word (dǝ) is the question marker. It turns an affirmative sentence into a question. It is important to remember that the word kohaaTǝ ("where") never occurs with a simple verb. So, a sentence like this: mee bas-ekǝ kohaaTǝ yanǝwa dǝ?, or this: kohaaTǝ mee bas-ekǝ yanǝwa dǝ?, are impossible because they have a simple verb. An answer to the previous sentence could be this: mee bas-ekǝ kalutǝrǝTǝ yanǝwa (this bus to Kalutara goes) = this bus goes to Kalutara.

So, yanǝwa is the simple form, while yanne is the emphatic form. The stem of the verb is the part which precedes -nǝwa.


All these things can be found here: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/se ... &source=ae, lesson 1. It's a great book !! :)


Bye :)
Last edited by Massimiliano B on 2012-12-04, 1:44, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Sinhala

Postby TeneReef » 2012-06-13, 15:52

It is very complicated. It's a shame you can't write colloquial Sinhala in Sinhala script because the script works only for the formal written laguage. :(
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Re: Sinhala

Postby Massimiliano B » 2012-06-13, 16:12

It is possible to write all the sentences I've written in my previous posts in Sinhala script. It is the first half of the book I'm studying that uses the latin alphabet, in order to introduce the student directly into the spoken language. The Sinhala writing system is used from lesson 5.

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Re: Sinhala

Postby Meera » 2012-06-14, 18:45

Massimiliano B wrote:Thank you księżycowy !


In spoken Sinhala, verbs don't change to agree with the nouns. There is a simple and an emphatic verb form. In the following sentence, the word in blue is the simple present of the verb "to go": mee bas-ekǝ kalutǝrǝTǝ yanǝwa (literally, "this bus-definite Kalutara-to goes) = "this bus goes to Kalutara". A simple present verb is always at the end of the sentence.

The next sentence has an emphatic present. This kind of verb is used when something is to be emphasized. For example, in this sentence: "It is to Kalutara that this bus goes", the part "to Kalutara" is emphasized. In Sinhala, the emphasized part is usually placed after the verb in its emphatic form. The verb in red is the emphatic form of the verb "to go": mee bas-ekǝ yanne kalutǝrǝTǝ (literally: this bus-definite goes Kalutara-to)= "It is to Kalutara that this bus goes".

Here is another example of emphatic sentence. In this sentence, the emphasized part is the word kohaaTǝ ("where"): mee bas-ekǝ yanne kohaaTǝ dǝ? (literally: This bus-definite goes where-to?) = Where is this bus going?". The last word (dǝ) is the question marker. It turns an affirmative sentence into a question. It is important to remember that the word kohaaTǝ ("where") never occurs with a simple verb. So, a sentence like this: mee bas-ekǝ kohaaTǝ yanǝwa dǝ?, or this: kohaaTǝ mee bas-ekǝ yanǝwa dǝ?, are impossible because they have a simple verb. An answer to the previous sentence could be this: mee bas-ekǝ kalutǝrǝTǝ yanǝwa (this bus to Kalutara goes) = this bus goes to Kalutara.

So, yanǝwa is the simple form, while yanne is the emphatic form. The stem of the verb is the part which precedes -nǝwa.


All these things can be found here: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/se ... &source=ae, lesson 1. It's a great book !! :)


Bye :)


Thanks for this :)
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Re: Sinhala

Postby księżycowy » 2012-06-14, 19:48

Massimiliano B wrote:Thank you księżycowy !

Not a problem! And it's been very interesting reading your notes thus far (as always). :good4u:

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Re: Sinhala

Postby Meera » 2012-06-15, 1:39

BBC has news in Sinhala, it also has thirty minute news casts in Sinhala:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/


Also, Normally I wouldn't recomend any phrasebooks, but the lonley planet Sinhala is pretty good if you want to learn some basic phrases :)
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Re: Sinhala

Postby Meera » 2012-06-15, 1:46

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Re: Sinhala

Postby Meera » 2012-06-15, 1:57

http://teledramaindex.blogspot.com/
This blog has full episodes of Sinhala dramas :mrgreen: I cant stop watching.
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Re: Sinhala

Postby Meera » 2012-06-15, 2:00

Sri Lankan Broadcasting Company
http://www.slbc.lk/
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Re: Sinhala

Postby Massimiliano B » 2012-06-15, 17:07

Very useful links :)

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Re: Sinhala

Postby Massimiliano B » 2012-06-16, 20:08

Here is a sentence from Colloquial Sinhalese (lesson 1) with grammatical explanation:

mehee iňdǝla kolǝm̌bǝTǝ bas-ekak tiyenǝwa dǝ? (literally: here from Colombo-to bus-a there-is?) = Is there a bus from here to Colombo?

The word mehee means "here".

iňdǝla means "from". It is placed after the word to which it refers. Here, the word is mehee (here). mehee iňdǝla means "from here".

In the word kolǝm̌bǝTǝ, the final part -Tǝ is called the dative case. It is an equivalent of the English "to a place". Thus, kolǝm̌bǝTǝ means "to Colombo".

bas-ekak is the indefinite form of bas ("bus"). The indefinite is equivalent of the English "a/an". So, bas-ekak means "a bus".

tiyenǝwa means "there is". dǝ is the question mark, so "tiyenǝwa dǝ?" mean "is there?".



Now a few words about the demonstrative:

mee means "this". Example: mee bas-ekǝ = "this bus". The noun which follows the demonstrative adjective mee is always in the definite form. bas-ekǝ is the definite form. It means "the bus". So, literally mee bas-ekǝ means "this the bus" :)

meekǝ = this one. This is the demonstrative pronoun.



Now a look at the instrumental case. In order to say "by (a bus)" or "with (a hammer)", the termination -eŋ or -iŋ has to be added to the noun or pronoun. -eŋ and -iŋ are the instrumental case. -iŋ is usually used with the indefinite form of the noun. In the examples below the instrumental case is the red part:

meekǝ ("this one") becomes meek("by this one");

bas-ekǝ ("the bus") becomes bas-ek ("by the bus");

bas-ekak ("a bus") becomes bas-ekǝk ("by a bus").

Usually, the part with the instrumental case is at the beginning of the sentence.


A short look at the imperative. It ends in -nnǝ-. So, yannǝ means "go!"


Now I'm able to say "Go to Colombo by the bus!":

bas-ekeŋ kolǝm̌bǝTǝ yannǝ! (lit.: bus-the-by Colombo-to go!).


kiiyǝ means "how much/how many". It is usually followed by the question marker dǝ:

TikæT-ekǝ kiiyǝ dǝ? (lit. ticket-the how much?) = "How much is the ticket?". Here is the answer:

rupiyal dekay (lit. rupees two) = two rupees.

The word rupiyal is plural. It means "rupees". In the plural there is no distinction between definite and indefinite. The definite singular is rupiyǝlǝ ("the rupee"). The indefinite singular is rupiyǝlak (a rupee").
rupiyǝlǝ and rupiyǝlak have not the terminations -ekǝ (definite) and -ekak (indefinite) usually used with English and other foreign words. Words like rupiyǝlǝ have no particular ending in the definite form, and add -k in the indefinite form.

:)

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Re: Sinhala

Postby Meera » 2012-06-17, 4:17

So helpful! Thank you.
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Re: Sinhala

Postby Massimiliano B » 2012-06-24, 16:53

There are four noun classes in Sinhala.



Class 1: nouns with a direct definite form in -ekǝ:

Direct
(Definite) pækæT-ekǝ = the pack
(Indefinite) pækæT-ekak = a pack
(Plural) pækæT = packs, the packs (the plural doesn't distinguish between definite and indefinite)

Dative
(Definite) pækæT-ekǝTǝ = to the pack
(Indefinite) pækæT-ekǝkǝTǝ = to a pack
The book I use (Colloquial Sinhala, available here: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/de ... o=ED025759) doesn't quote the dative plural. Maybe the reason is that it doesn't exist, or maybe it will be introduced later.

Instrumental
(Definite) pækæT-ekeŋ = by the pack
(Indefinite) pækæT-ekǝkiŋ = by a pack
(There is no plural instrumental for this noun in the book)



Class 2: nouns with a direct definite form in -ǝ and an instrumental definite in -eŋ. The plural is not predictable and must be learned for each noun:

Direct
(Definite) suwǝňdǝ = the aroma;
Indefinite) suwǝňdak = an aroma
(Plural) suwǝňdǝwal = aromas, the aromas

Dative
(Definite) suwǝňdǝTǝ = to the aroma
(Indefinite) suwǝňdǝkǝTǝ = to an aroma
(No plural in the book)

Instrumental
(Definite) suwǝňdeŋ = by the aroma
(Indefinite) suwǝňdǝkiŋ = by an aroma
(No plural)



Class 3: nouns with a direct definite in -ǝ and an instrumental in -iŋ. The plural is not predictable and must be learned for each noun. In Colloquial Sinhala the author uses the word kolǝm̌bǝ (Colombo) (which, inasmuch as it is a city, has neither indefinite nor plural) because it is one of two words (the other is kalutǝrǝ) of this class that has occurred in the first two lessons of the book:

Direct:
(Definite) kolǝm̌bǝ = Colombo

Dative:
(Definite) kolǝm̌bǝTǝ = to Colombo

Instrumental:
(Definite) kolǝm̌biŋ = by Colombo



Class 4: nouns with a direct definite form in -ee or -e. Ex. maatǝlee (name of a city; it has neither indefinite nor plural):

Direct:
(Definite) maatǝlee = Matale (name of a city)

Dative:
(Definite) maatǝleeTǝ = to Matale

Instrumental:
(Definite) maatǝleŋ = by Matale




A few new words:

oyǝ (or: arǝ. I don't know the difference now) = those
monǝwa = what
laŋ̌gǝ = near, with
laŋkaawe = of Sri-Lanka.
bohomǝ = very
rasay = tasty
balannǝ = look, notice, see
aa = oh!
særay = strong
huŋ̌gak = many
denaa = people
paawicci = use (noun)
kǝrǝnǝwa = do, make
mamǝ = I, me
maTǝ = to me
api = we
apiTǝ = to us


Sentences:

mamǝ kalutǝrǝTǝ yanǝwa = I'm going to Kalutara
maTǝ pækæT-ekak dennǝ = give me a pack!
api kalutǝrǝTǝ yanǝwa = We are going to Kalutara
apiTǝ pækæT-ekak dennǝ = give us a pack!

:)

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Re: Sinhala

Postby Meera » 2012-06-24, 20:41

So interesting thanks!
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Re: Sinhala

Postby Massimiliano B » 2012-06-24, 22:42

Thank you for your appreciation! You have also to thank the book Colloquial Sinhala :) !!!

I'm not sure the correct translation of kolǝm̌biŋ is "by Colombo" and that of maatǝleŋ is "by Matale", because it doesn't make sense to me. Nevertheless, that is the only logical translation. However, the instrumental means "by means of", so one can better understand its use with nouns like bas-ekǝ ("the bus") which becomes bas-ekeŋ ("by the bus") in the instrumental case.


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