Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Division of the day

At least 18 expressions are used in Tanii to distinguish stages of the day and night. As can be seen from the sketch below, these are particularly concentrated at points of transition such as dawn and the darking time of dusk.

  1. 1. paro ronge khonii : first crowing of the rooster before dawn
  2. 2. paro ronye khonii : second crowing of the rooster.
  3. 3. aro jimi jama : dawn (lit. "hazy morning")
  4. 4. aro konchi : early morning
  5. 5. danyi chadu : sunrise
  6. 6. aji indu : time for going to paddy field (8: 30-9:30 am)
  7. 7. alo apin diidu : lunch time
  8. 8. alo liipa : noon
  9. 9. alyin dalyi : afternoon
  10. 10. alyin apin piichan miidu : dinner cooking time (3-4 pm)
  11. 11. aji inii adu : returning from fields (5-6 pm)
  12. 12. danyi adu : sunset
  13. 13. alyin : evening
  14. 14. alyin jimi jama : late evening, dusk (lit. "hazy evening").
  15. 15. alyin kamo (lit. "dark evening")
  16. 16. piilo karlindo : moon is appearing in the sky.
  17. 17. ayo liipa : middle of the night/midnight
  18. 18. ayo-yolyan : late in the night (lit."late night").
The day is broadly divided into four periods: aro (morning), alo (day),alyin (evening), ayo (night), each of them further subdivided into several moments. As one may expect, Tanii language is much less specific about time during the night. It is to be noted that there is no specific word for "afternoon", that period of the day (alyin dalyi) being simply named in reference to the evening. The early stages of dawn are marked by a "first crowing of the rooster" (paro ronge khonii), followed by a second crowing (paro ronye khonii) which seems to mark the real dawn. In olden days both were probably important in directing domestic activities. Early morning (aro konchi) begins with a period of morning twilight between darkness and sunrise, and similarly evening begins with a period of evening twilight, when the sun has set but the darkness is not yet complete. Significantly, these moments are named respectively "hazy morning" (aro jimi jama) and "hazy evening" (alyin jimi jama), in reference to the mist cover which is a common sight of the Apatani Valley (see some pictures here) The "hazy evening" is followed by a "dark evening" (alyin kamo) that also marks the transition from day to night. The moment the sun is at its zenith is the "middle of the day" (alo liipa). Symetrically there is a "middle of the night" (ayo liipa), just as in English with "midday" and "midnight". The stages of the day are further delineated with references to routine tasks such as going to and from paddy fields, preparing of having meals.



taj said...

I completely disagree with you, this is my language, and I too have a inborn knowledge of it, may be not scientific enough! Your remark about SUN not being mentioned for any event of the day in Tanii smacks me! It shows you have not researched enough and just jolted something for sake of a lazy hand.

I did not read further your blog.. shall read another day when my temper is down to ozone's level.

Go forward, this is disgusting. What about " Alo Danii" "Danii Lolyiha".

Man.. there are people watching!!

PB said...

Chill out man ! There seems to be some misunderstanding from you side on what this blog is and what it is not... We are not here to preach the truth but to share, each of us, a bit of our knowledge, that for the benefit of all. I think none of us is perfectly fluent in Tanii, and certainly not me. So we are very much open to constructive criticism. About the absence of word or expression refering to the sun, I was only talking about that list of 16 terms which is, of course, provisional. That's why I started this post by writing "At least 16...". In this regard you remark is justified : Danyi chadu (time of sun rise) and danyi adu (time of sun set) are used in sentences such as : "Danyi chama rampa insa" (Let's go before sun rises), or Danyi aku maranpa akusa (let's return back before sun sets). This is my mistake here as I should have added those words in the list. This will be corrected. Alo Danyi, or rather Danyi alo, is a different matter. If I'm not mistaken, this is not traditional Tanii word but a more recent innovation that was coined following the English model : Danyi alo for Sunday (just as English SUN + DAY) and Piilo alo for Monday (as English MOON + DAY). Moreover, this does not refer to a moment of the day (which is the topic of this post), but to a particular day of the week. About alo lolyiha, I have never heard of this word. Maybe you are refering here to "alo lolyang" (the whole day), but that is also not a particular moment of the day. Pls check your spelling.

taj said...

No PB: As per me there is no words in Tanii for days of weeks from time immemorial.Though you could invent it from your imaginative mind. Ah.. and, "Dani Alo" has no connection with English, how on earth you supposed it? And yes ..my spelling I am ready to accept it might be wrong, but taking yours to be correct, "Dani Lolyang" refer to mid day...Ok.

Anyway I appreciate your effort though. I might not be a good critics but ..sure man 'am not a hypocrites.

PB said...

@ Taj,
Don't get me wrong and pls read me carefully: I mentioned Alo Danyi or Dalyi alo just because you mentioned it as being used in Tanii, and I explained that according to me it is NOT a traditional word. Now, get your information updated : this word is not imagined by me but appears in several publications using Tanii language. One of them is a school textbook entitled "Kiije Tanii agun chinsa" published by Popi Sarmin Society in 2005-2006 in collaboration with the Directorate of School Education Govt of AP. Through this booklet the pupils of Class 7 are tought the seven days of the week : Danyi alo for Sunday, Piilo Alo for Monday, then Tapan alo, Narin alo, etc.
Thanks for appreciating our effort anyway, and your critics are always welcome.

taj said...

Those text book you mentioned I am aware of it. There too the addition of words for week days: sunday, monday etc only an addition of vocabulary by consensus for the benefit of future generation.

And I stand by what I said, that there is no original words for week days in Tanii. When there were no weeks in Tanii how could there be names for those days?

NPR said...

Kapyo japa niika comments pa paya aro pacho. Before criticizing at others work you have to place yourself in their shoes. Niika blog author mika remark miinin mi ngo agree miila kema...

...can you ever imagine how much of pains and devotions are required to post a single aritcle in this blog??? That too by a person who is non-Tanii speaker. Instead of you appreciating his contributions, you are remariking so badly "It shows you have not researched enough and just jolted something for sake of a lazy hand". Pls mind that, its easy to watch and stay dumb than you trying by yourself.

Coming to the point, as per my knowledge are concerned there is no part/division of the day as “ALO DANYI” . And this another word ”ALO LOLYAN” is same as of “ALO LIIPA “ (Mid Day or Noon) mentioned by the author. If we add suffix “HE” after ”ALO LOLYAN” then it becomes a counting word ”ALO LOLYANHE (Ten Days)”.

Lastly, we also agree with you there are no original Tanii names neither for days nor for week. Here in our blog, we are only trying to save Tanii agung through internet by documenting our Tanii knowledge. Let us be more positive towards criticizing each other , LET US SAVE TANII BY SPEAKING , LEARNING AND TEACHING TANII AGUNG.

Hornbill express said...

Guys, it doesn't matter if some particular names that we do not have in TAnii are added by inventing a new word for them (as long as they conform with our daily usage). And this exercise should not be frowned upon as our dialect seriously lack many essential words....
I really appreciate the efforts put forth by the author of this blog... (but I thought the author belonged to Tanii community). Great Job anyway!!

Keep the flame alive...

Echchbee said...

I have visited your blog. I am a Apatani and found it very inofrmative and infact a very good innovation. I would like to add that we Tanii people never use proper 'N' and 'NG' at the ending syllable of any word. It's only nasalaised pronounciation of 'N' and its derivatives and can be depicted correctly as 'Ñ' or 'ñ'. e.g. In case of words you use in your blog like 'MURUNG' can be wiritten as MURUÑ; Ajin can be written as Ajiñ; Likewise 'Dirang' can be written as 'Dirañ'. All these connotes nasalised pronounciation of N derivatives as is used in Tanii phonetics. I hope you will look thoroughly and initiate the same. Thank you.

PB said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PB said...

To Hornbill,
I'm not the owner of this blog. Only, as NPR is a bit busy at the moment, I try my best to add a post from time to time, though I am myself busy with another project. Do contribute yourself if you feel like. This blog is open to all.

To Echchbee,
Thanks for visiting. I agree with your comment. Most, if not all "N" sounds occuring at the end of one syllable are nasalysed, ie. correspond to the final velar nasal ŋ. But of course this ŋ character is not suited for computer typing and we have to look for something more practical. The common practice is to write ŋ either as N or NG. I personally started posting in this blog by writing NG, as many Taniis still do. But later I realised that, since all final velar are nasalysed, there is no need to mark this sound with a G, so I suggest to write it as Ñ or N. According to me, a simple N is sufficient and more practical than Ñ. As a rule, all N occurring at the end of one syllable are to be pronounced as ŋ, and I have adopted this way of writing in recent posts.
On the other hand, initial velar nasal (ie ŋ occuring at the begining of one syllable) needs to be marked to be distinguished from N, and therefore should be written by using either Ñ or NG. I have personally adopted NG which is more practical to type on a computer.

To summarize, the word for 'cooked rice' is noted apin in this blog, not aping; the word for 'friend' is ajin, not ajing. The personal pronoun 'I' is ngo, and the verb 'to laugh' is ngar. A similar practice has been adopted in "Tanii agun lusa" blog.

taj said...


The burst of emotion on seeing one's language being distorted should be understood. For now,whosoever cares may feel, to put mildly misunderstood, for putting facts as it is. Time will tell!!

About "ALO LOYAN" "ALO LIIPA" & "ALO DANYI" did I mention any? I said what about "DANI ALO" & "DANII LOYANG". I don't know from which village of Tanii you belong but may be, since there are many vocal variation I'll take yours as yours. But, to my knowledge, since reading this post and asking elders for clarification, Danii Lolyang" refers to Mid-day in Tanii.

And yes original post of PB said there was no words connected to sun for periods of day in Tanii.

tdtara said...

@ taj and All
I agree and it is obvious that "One will burst on seeing one's language being distorted", but what i feel is that it can be corrected without using such a harsh words... and it should also be understood that how Author and other contributers are spending their little spare time out of their busy life in posting articles in the blog... and we should be thankful to non-tanii who is working for betterment of we TANII people.
Anyway,dear everybody,lets talk and criticize in constructive way and lets learn and save our language.

dani sulu said...

PB, Taj and NPR

Alo Lolyang aka alo liipa aka danyi lolyang all refers to mid day. DANYI CHADU and DANI ADU are also commonly used word for the time of sun rise and and sun set.( Oh you have it in your list PB). Danyi is usually used as a context for meausrement of time during the day. eg. danyi niim kane doku/ Danyi nitang pa dah? ( What is the position of sun?) This is/was commonly used sentence while asking the time. Atleast this was the way we and our elders used to ask when we were growing up. Another common term was Danyi ney oho doku/ako doku( how high or low is the sun) depending on whether it is morning or evening.
Many a time people would reply something like Danyi bije kalyang doku(Danyi is at the height of bamboo tips)for the morning session and in the evening they would reply DANYI reke abya kane doku(Sun is at the height of reke abya i.e stair used to climb reke.)
So Danyi in many ways are central to the measurement of the day.

Names of the days of the weeks are news to me. I dont understand why they should introduce something which didnot exist in apatani. We can very well take to usual sunday, mondya etc. In order to make a language living and thriving we must make it open and dynamic or else it will be condemned to the dustbin of of history along with so manr languages which refuse to change with time.

I am with PB in not using those dipthong etc. in depicting pronounciation, but using simple english alphabept and pronouncing it according to apatani pronounciation. There cant be any uniform accent for apatanis as each village has different accent for same word.
So do, I suppose is with english...... american and uk english pronounce separately for same word. We need not unncecssarily go for something which doesnt exist, instead,we must help in growing and preserving what is ours in a dynamic manner. When Oxford can add new foreign words to english vocabulary every year, why shouldnt we be ready to use english words for the words that dont exist in Apatani.

And I like when tempers fray and thoughts are wielded like swords, I like the sparks that come out from that clash. ahhhm!Specially in such bloggs where each of us can choose our words and place it rather than trying to shout down each other which often happens when we sit down face to face. Here we have the privilige of shaping our thoughts in leisure and putting it for others consideration.

PB said...

@ Dani Sulu,
Thanks for this informative comment.

taj said...

@PB, NPR & dani,

Thanks sullu,

Alteast you espoused, what I could not in a coherent manner.

Sorry if I hurt any sentiments in the process.

Lol... my ozone level is down...LOL

Carry on PB

buru said...

hmmm... Its a good sign if wordy duels occur in a blog..a sureshot sign of its being highly active, esp in an Apatani blog;))

we need more tajs and PBs! Hopefully tanii agung will be introduced into Ziiro schools soon, and npr and pbs names will be there on record for all time to come.

carry on taj , npr and PB

PB said...

Thanks ! Certainly we need more Burus too ;) And let's not forget what other Apatani bloggers are now doing on the net to preserve and promote their own language: