- February 14, 2020 at 12:08 pm #26899
This post is from Lang (cubibobi).My questions are about plurality and capitalization in Sinhala script:I have seen the use of ā for plurality, such as citta and cittā, sutta and suttā. Adding an “s”, such as in suttas, is clearly and English imposition. In Sinhala, are citta and cittā two different words?Secondly, is there a distinction in capitalization in Sinhala script? For example, is dhamma (what one bears) written differently from Dhamma (teaching of Buddha)?Thank you,
- February 14, 2020 at 12:21 pm #26900
Lang asked: “In Sinhala, are citta and cittā two different words?”
Those are Pali words and WRITTEN with the Sinhala script as චිත්ත and චිත්තා.
– Note the slight difference.
The Sinhala words are සිත and සිත්.
– We know that English words are thought and thoughts.
Lang asked: “Secondly, is there a distinction in capitalization in Sinhala script? For example, is dhamma (what one bears) written differently from Dhamma (teaching of Buddha)?”
No. There are no capital letters in Sinhala.
– dhamma (what one bears) is written as ධම්මා (in plural)
– Dhamma (teaching of Buddha) is written as බුද්ධ ධම්ම. Note that ධම්ම here is in the singular.
P.S. I missed Lang’s following comment: “I have seen the use of ā for plurality, such as citta and cittā, sutta and suttā. Adding an “s”, such as in suttas, is clearly and English imposition.”
The plural of citta and sutta SHOULD BE cittā and suttā.
– I have been writing the plurals as cittas and suttas, since that may make it easier for many to understand.
– But I am going to discuss this in the next post, and also try to adhere to the correct way in the future.
- February 14, 2020 at 2:24 pm #26902cubibobiParticipant
I think I see the difference: there is an extra mark at the end to indicate plurality, the mark that looks like the letter “C” reversed; and written in English, I believe this is represented as the dash above the letter a: ā.
If this is the case, then does it apply to nouns ending in vowels other than a, such as:
1 bikkhu –> many bhikkhū
1 bikkhuni –> many bhikkhunī
Back to the word “dhamma”. Is it true to say that:
“dhamma” as in what one bears is always plural: dhammā
“dhamma” as in buddha dhamma is singular: dhamma
- February 14, 2020 at 2:55 pm #26904
Yes to all.
There are some subtleties in Pali grammar that I have not discussed. That could be “too much” to cover at once.
– But with the next few posts, I will try to cover some key aspects.
- February 14, 2020 at 4:51 pm #26906cubibobiParticipant
Thank you, Lal.
As we spend more and more time on puredhamma.net, we are more drawn to Pali, so knowing a bit more about the language like this is exciting.
On an unrelated matter, I wrote these responses in Internet Explorer. Lal mentioned a bug in the system, and often posts did not get published. I experienced that several times, and Lal helped me post. I was using either Chrome or Firefox then, and this time, I used IE, and it went through! You may want to give it a try.
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