Pictures of Luce’s Tables

This gallery contains 4 photos.

This is something a little different than what I usually post.  These are pictures of tables from: Luce, Gordon H. 1959. Chin Hills-Linguistic Tour (Dec. 1954)-University Project. Journal of Burma Research Society 42(1). 19–31. (See Research page). The pages themselves … Continue reading

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Sai Aina Thu (The Account of The Elephant Celebration)

This text is my reverse transcription into the Sizang community script of one text collected by Theodore Stern in the 1950’s and printed in: 1984. Sizang (Siyin) Chin texts. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 8(1). 43–58.

Sai Aina Thu

Ni dang lai in, kapu kapa te nuntak lai in, sai a ka ciangin, a lu pua aa khua mual pan mual suak aa, thau tam mama kap aa a sai a ai hi.

Tua a aina aa, nu taw pa taw khuang tum aa, siel ki taw daak tal thua in, sun taw zan taw a lam hi.

A sai ai ni in khua mual aa a lam phot hi.

A sai lu siia mihing li in zawng aa a sai ai pa sai lu tungah to sak hi.

A khua mual pan in inn dong pua aa, lap pui hi.

Tua a sai aina in siel khawng khui khawng ngo hi.

A thi ciangin a sai ai a ki tep te na in diel kang khai hi.

Siel ai te in a vom khai hi.

Sahang ai te in a san khai hi.

Tua a ai pa thi zok ciangin, a innkuanpui te in tua diel khai thei nawn ngawl hi.

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Song Lyric Comparison: “Innkuan Ki-it Le(a)ng”

I was listening to some videos posted by Sizang Burmese Mission Church (link in the right-hand side of this site), and came across a post-wedding prayer service for the bride and groom.  Before the end of the service, held in the bridegroom’s home, a hymn was sung.  I don’t have a Sizang Hymnal, but I have a Tedim Hymnal.  Being curious as to whether this song was in the hymnal, I searched arbitrarily for the word innkuan (family), which was often said in the song.  Sure enough, I found the hymn on page 400 of Tedim Labu (Staff Notation), called “Innkuan Ki-it Leng”.

As I read along, however, I heard distinct differences in the lyrics.  Sometimes it was only a standard /s/ –>/tʰ/ transformation (ex. siangtho in Tedim is Thiangtho in Sizang “holy”), but certain words, such as leng in the Tedim title became something like /lɪaː/ as I listened.  The audio wasn’t that clear, so I decided to look on SBMC’s website to see if they had any song lyrics posted.  They do on their downloads page, so I looked in the songbook, and sure enough, found the Sizang version: “Inkuan Ki-it Leang”.  Let me put the lyrics side-by-side for you all to compare.  The verses are the 1st and 2nd, but the choruses are from the 3rd.

Tedim Sizang
I kimkot teng kilawmna,
Innkuan ki-it leng;
Aw ging khempeuh lungdamna, Innkuan ki-it leng;
Lungnopna le kicinna,
Kiheina teng maitaina;
Hun khempeuh nuam mahmah a, Innkuan ki-it leng.
Ih kiimkot teng ki itna
Innkuan ki it leang;
Aw nging theampo lungdamna,
Innkuan ki it leang;
Thinnopna le ki cinna
Omna po ah maitai na;
Hun theampo nuam lalawm a, Innkuan ki it leang.
Bukno khat sung zong nuamna, Innkuan ki-it leng;
Huatna enna omlohna,
Innkuan ki-it leng;
I paina teng ah nuamna,
Leitung khempeuh lungdamna;
Lungdamna dim nuntakna,
Innkuan ki-it leng.
Buukno khat sung zong nopna Innkuan ki it leang;
Huatsa ki een om ngawl na
Innkuan ki it leang.
Ih paina teng ah nopna,
Leitung theampo lungdamna;
Lungdamna dim nuntakna
Innkuan ki it leang.
Innkuan sung ki-it leng,
Pasian van pan hong nuihpih,
Innkuan ki-it leng.
Innkuan sung ki it leang
Pathian van pan hong nui pui,
Innkuan ki it leang.

Looking at a few things between the two, we can see where there are glottal stops in certain Tedim words (reflected by in the orthography) verses the possible lack of the glottal stop in the Sizang words.  E.g. <nuihpih> vs. <nui pui>.  The reverse also happens, where there is a glottal in Sizang, but not in Tedim: S: <Ih> vs. T: <I>.  We also see complete word replacements: <khempeuh> –> <theampo>, <mahmah> –> <lalawm>, vowel length: T: <bukno> vs S: <buukno>, large inflections: T: <nuamna> S: <nopna>.

It’s interesting to reflect on these differences, and it makes me wonder if there is also a difference in the meaning of each word.  E.g. although mahmah in Tedim may morphologically equate to lalawm in Sizang, is there a semantical difference between the two words?  Or is lalawm not at all related to mahmah but placed there for semantic reasons?  These are things that keep me up at night…

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Mang pha maw,
Mang Thian Khual

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Siyin Bible Revision Committee Meeting pan thu pawl khat

This dicusses a lot of issues about the Sizang orthography and word/morpheme relationships. More on this later…
ဒီဆောင်းပါးထဲမှာ စီး​ယင်း​စာလုံးပေါင်း​သတ်ပုံ နဲ့ စကား​လုံ/morpheme အဆက်​အသွယ်​တွေ​ကို ပြော​ပါ​တယ်။ ကျနော်​လည်း ဒါ​နဲ့​ပတ်​သတ်​ပြီး နောက်မှ ဆွေးနွေး​ပါ​မယ်။


Sizang lai ih at ciang standard tatak om ngawl ahikom, khat vavei ih lungman vangau ni om thei hi. Pawl khat in aki tel vaseng tu at vaziau in khen mang lel leang phabel ci ngaisun aa, pawl khat in vanh min le sim khat ahi peuma ngawm leang hoi ci in ngai sun hi. Son ciang ol tubang ahihang, at tatak leang ahaksatna mun tam mama om hi.

Ih lai thupi bel ahi, Sizang Lai Thiangtho standard in koi leang hoi bel vak ci in ka ngaisun hi. Ahihang, ih Lai Thiangtho sung ngawngawn mun khat le mun khat hong ki bang ngawl mun hong om lalai ciang, ih lung mang seseam hi. Pawl khat sia ngaisutna ki bang ngawl, idea ki bang ngawl ahikkom, lungman hun zong om thei hi. Sontena: –

Lai Thiangtho le Laithiangtho
Tha Thiangtho le Thathiangtho koi sia dik zaw ziam?

Mihing atamzaw ii…

View original post 1,283 more words

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Current Progress

To make further progress here at Sizangkam I am doing the following: Continue reading

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G.H. Luce အကြောင်း

Gordon Hannington Luce /ဂေါဒန် ဟန်းနီင်တုံ လူဆ်/ (၁၈၈၉-၁၉၇၉) သည် ဗမာပြည်၌ သုတေသနပြုခဲ့သည့် အင်္ဂလိပ်လူမျိုးဘာသာဗေဒရှင်ဖြစ်ပါသည်။ သူ့၏ဇနီးသည် ဆရာဖေမောင်တင်၏ညီမ၊ မတီတီဖြစ်ပါသည်။ Continue reading

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The Goal of This Site

Language and Community

I believe that a language can not be bought nor sold.  However, I do believe in a sense of “Language Ownership”, where any given language and its cultural value can be ascribed to a certain people.  I disagree that said people have total control over what constitutes as “their language” or not, as far as normalization is concerned.  But I hold fast, that whenever an individual, such as myself, attempts to learn or study a language of another people, he must do all he can to work alongside native speakers of the language in its documentation and study.

This website is not only a tool for myself or any other linguist or language learner to utilize, but it is also for the Sizang mi te themselves.  I have not studied their language long, but I hope to pursue an academic career in learning it and do so in cooperation with the Sizang people.

There is only one page of this site so far that is not open to the public, which is the “Private” page.  The reason is because that section of the site, at this particular time, is a quick-reference for me to access my research materials, and I do not have full permission to publicize everything that is there.  Therefore, I have privatized that page until further notice.

Plans for The Site

  • I plan to upload several more audio files and various collections of Sizang texts, with the intention of analyzing them morphologically and phonologically.
  • I plan to provide Sizang cultural information, as well as Sizang music and sermons.
  • I plan to invite native Sizang speakers to write in their language on this site.
  • I plan to upload videos of myself speaking the Sizang language
  • More plans to come

The Languages of The Site

For convenience, the majority of the site has been written in English, but all text will soon be translated into Burmese, the lingua franca and national language of Burma (Myanmar).  Most Sizang also speak Burmese, but there are also some that do not, so English will be helpful to those few.

In the future, I hope to be able to write more in Sizang.  I will demonstrate my level in future posts.

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