Saturday, April 18, 2009

The very basics of Tanii syntax : word order (1)

The words in a Tanii sentence have a certain order which is quite different from the word order in English or Hindi. See how puzzling it can be for a non-Tanii speaker:

Mo ngiimi, ngiika lemba hokii tolyiku ho gari pa bagiiku*.
--me- my village from went down car by carried/brought

In this sentence, the only construction that follows the word order in English is ..... 'my village'...

What does it mean ? Well, simply this :

"He gave me a lift when I was returning from my village."

To explain the rules for this sentence construction alone would require several posts. So let's start here from the very begining, i.e. by outlining the basics of Tanii morphosyntax (word order and sentence construction) in the most simple way:

1. The basic order is Subject-Object-Verb (SOV), that is, Tanii is a verb-final language as are most Tibeto-Burman languages.

Molu yasan mi babindo
-- -- -O------------ V
They are carrying wood together.

Note 1: Unlike English and many Western languages, it is not always necessary to include a verb.

Insi subu pe ha ?
Is that a mithun (literally. "that mithun + interr. ?")

Siika tarii si hu kii ?
Whose shirt is this ? (lit. 'this shirt whose ?')

Note 2: It is also not necessary to include a pronoun at the begining of every sentence. As a rule, things which are already understood/known or can be deduced from context are often not said. Quite often a simple Object-Verb structure is a complete sentence, ie. the subject is omitted. This is especially true when the subject is a personal pronoun.

Apin diitiiku ha ?
Have you had your lunch/dinner ? (lit. "have already eaten rice ?")

No hokii ?
Where are you coming from (lit. 'where from' ?)

2. Adverbs always occur pre-verbally, although they do not always immediately precede the verb.

Aki hii goropa pido
The dog is barking loudly

Ngo so kiiran adu
I often come here

3. Adjectives can precede or follow the head noun they qualify.
  • labi ala : right hand
  • tado tasan: yellow bead or necklace
  • ato abi-tarii: own/personal cloth
  • kochi haman: bitter vegetable (usual name for the Spiny Sowthisle, Sonchus Asper).

  • yasan sensii: dried wood
  • subu pulu: white mithun
  • hime dema: bad/naughty boy
  • biidan dara: stiff cliff

Note: a small number of adjectives can occur both before and after a head noun, depending on their use.

anyan niti : new year
niti diiro-yasi : new/modern medicine

Note regarding double adjective (adjective that qualifies another adjective): where English systematically puts it in first position, Tanii rather puts it in second position.

lanchan koman: dark red

pilan ranban: brownish yellow

4. As a rule determiners follow the head noun.

Subu si ano dorrodo
This mithun is very big

But Tanii also has "split determiners". Here, one part precedes the noun while the other part follows it.
hiika hime si
that kid

5. Numerals follow the head noun.

Miyu ako
One person

Subu dornye
Two mithuns

6. When numerals are combined with adjectives, the order is:


Subu atu dore

N---- A --Num.

One mithun calf

alyi anii dorngohe

N----A -----Num.

Five sows/female pigs

alyi-lyinii atu kone

N----A -----A ---Num.

one small female pig.

7. Questions particles occur pre- and post-verbally.

  • - a) The question particles or wh- constituents (who, what, when, why, etc.) precede the verb.

niida akindo ?

When will they come ?

Mo niido kii Ziro ho dudu ?
How long has he been living in Ziro for ? (lit. since when ?)
  • - b) The "yes/no question"particles follow the verb.

No aya siido ha ?
Are you alright ?

*Retrieved from "Tanii agun lu'sa" blog.



June said...

Your blog is a fabulous effort. Languages of Arunachal are dying and I am sadly one those who only knows english. I wish there was a site like this for my dialect too.

Kanno said...

Good job. "No" in "no hokii" would mean 'where' and not 'you'.

PB said...

@ June
Thanks for your kind words...and I hope some effort of preservation will be undertaken for your mother tongue too. Keep visiting.

@ Kanno. Thanks for pointing out this mistake, which I have corrected in the text. Some people suggest that the word for "where" should be written as "noho", instead of "no" (or noh). That, of course, would avoid the confusion with the personal pronoun for "you". What do you (or others) say ?

Kanno said...

@PB. In 1997, the Apatani Cultural and Literary Society (ACLS) organized a workshop entitled "Let us write in Apatani" in which enlightened citizens including Hage Kojeen, Tadu Tayung, Liagi Miri, Tage Taki, Haj Dodung, Dr. Hage Taki, Nani Ribia, Padi Richo and Lt. Kuru Hassang (to name just a few) participated in the two-days active deliberations. The workshop was also attended by YD Thongchi, who was the Deputy Commissioner, Ziro at the time. Of the many significant recommendations, one was to spell similar-sounding words (like 'no', 'pila') differently. As a follow up of this workshop the ACLS published a booklet in which alphabets to be used in writing Apatani language was suggested and similar-sounding words were compiled with suggested spellings. The Apatani Primer (used in teaching Apatani as third language) by Popi Sarmi Society followed these recommendations and so did the first edition of Habung Donyi's Apatani Dictionary. Sadly, the original booklet seems to have faded into oblivion. Since there is now a resurgence of interest in our language among the youngsters like you, it may be right time to revisit what has already been done in the past.

PB said...

@ Kanno,
Thanks for this valuable information. Unfortunately I also don't have a copy of this original booklet. But I found that Habung Donyi and the Apatani primers by Popi Sarmin Society (2005 ed.) don't exactly follow the same rules for writing the language. For example, there are a lot of H letters in the dictionary, either occuring in final position or between a consonant and a wovel (eg. bh, gh), which are absent in the primers. The spelling which I am using in this blog is closer to that of Popi Sarmin Society. Only the rules adopted for word spacing are a bit different, as I chose to follow grammatical principles instead of phonological principles. That is, I consider as "words" units that can stand alone in a sentence and have a meaning, as opposed for eg. to verb suffixes that have a dependent nature and, despite having a meaning, cannot stand alone without being attached to a verb root. Thus 'lugobiine' is a word, whereas 'biine' alone is a grammatical suffix, just as in English 'played' is a word while 'ed' is only a verb suffix or verbal inflection.

Kanno said...

Whereas both PSS and HD followed the recommended letters, PSS did not follow the recommendations on spellings; HD did. That is the reason, you see more 'h' in an attempt to vary the spellings. In addition, PSS did not follow the use of underlined 'e' as a vowel as was suggested by ACLS. One of the tragedies of developing the Apatani language has always been disagreement among the writers (strong opinion? ego??) as is happening now even among the young bloggers right now.
However, this is beside the point. What I am suggesting is to take steps not to invent the wheel all over again.

GT said...

@ kanno
ACLS made recommendation on how to write or spell words in Apatani and brought out booklet on it... i wonder where that booklet is? wasn't it meant for general public? why is it that even pss have not cited recommendation of ACLS in Apatani Primer series brought out to be taught in schools in ziro? if you can find a copy of apatani primer of pss then try to teach your children and see if u can encourage them to read and write Apatni that way. what about the school teachers and students who don't know or read about the recommendations of ACLS... u can imagine.

i could not subscribe to your view: "One of the tragedies of developing the Apatani language has always been disagreement among the writers (strong opinion? ego??) as is happening now even among the young bloggers right now."

what shall be the basis for agreement if blogger like me, NPR, PB and tdtara could not find that so-called recommendation booklet of ACLS? also i must say here that because few respectable peoples brought out that recommendation doesnt mean that everything in the recommendation is fool proof. otherwise, why should same respectable people like hage kojin, hibu tadi, bamin tada and habung donyi (editorial team) recommended in 2nd edition of HD's Apatani Dictionary that 'n' or 'ng' shall replace 'ñ' in a word having nasalized 'n' sound.

in contrary to your view, disagreement is a good if there is rationale behind it... that's way we can clear misconceptions evolve a standard form of written Apatani.

you disagree when you do not get proper explanation it is not always because of ego or strong opinion.

wish more ppl visit my blog and disagree with me about the content in the blog i shall be grateful to them rather than thinking them as egoistic.

NPR said...

Hi to all!!
I personally never knew about the existence of the Apatani Cultural and Literary Society (ACLS) and regarding PSS,I could recall its presence through few Apatani audio cassettes released under this banner. Nice to see a good and knowledgeable discussion flowing in.....carry on guys!!

Anonymous said...

It is sad, sad fact that young educated young people do not know about important organizations of their society. Although I am not an Apatani I feel pity for the tribe.

GT said...

@ anonymous
thnx for your concern for Apatani community. infact not many young ppl are aware of existence of ACLS so when npr says that she/he is not aware of its existence i was not surprised. organisation/institution are known by their works...except for publication of Nikung Dapo- a booklet on Apatani customary law where ACLS was involved, i've not seen a work worthy of its name- APATANI CULTURAL AND LITERARY SOCIETY- in last 8 years of my living here at ziro... neither have i seen works done before. from the comments on this blog only i come to know that ACLS also organised an workshop on Apatani language 'let us write in Apatani' way back in year 1997. here again i'm surprised at fast paced approach of ACLS: everything about letters, spellings and others were decided in just one sitting. no need for another sitting was felt...[no complaints though if written language of Apatani can be developed in one day????]

Let Us Save Tanii is doing what ACLS should be doing(some one tell me that ACLS has done more than this blog for Apatani communities regarding preservation of its culture and language). big pats for NPR and PB for their commendable works. It's good to see young educated ppl like NPR rise to an occasion and spare some time to contribute back to society she/he belongs.

Anonymous said...

Your pages are interesting. It reflects the hard-work you must have put in to develop them. I wish to lay down a few of my observations which might be of any use:-
1. There are too many words with (‘) sign in the middle of word, eg du’mo, ka’laa, to’pa, khe’du, a’ba, in’ba, etc. You may have attempted to show the way they should be pronounced but instead of conveying any positive direction they create confusion. These words should best be written plainly, I mean, without the use of (‘) signs. Pronunciation of a word may be shown separately, preferably after it within two slashes (/.../) as exemplified in the Apatani Dictionary. There are words in English which are pronounced quite differently from the way they are written. Yet we know how to pronounce them. Let’s see these English words –
Girl, Knife, psychology, Culture, Digestion, tsar, psoriasis so on ......

Here the sequence of alphabets used in the words and the actual manner they are pronounced are quite different from the layman’s point of view. But we do pronounce them correctly because the manner in which they should be pronounced are shown through the use of phonetic symbols in English dictionary. We may also employ similar method by using IPA or any other symbols which suit ours. It may not be possible always to coin such word which exhibits its own accurately pronunciable characteristic in itself. In such case pronunciation can be shown through the use of phonetic symbols. There should be no vivisection on the body of the word through the use of any symbol. I tried to write down your words in long hand; they presented a very messy appearance.
2. We should, as far as possible, have differently spelled words for different connotations, that is, each word should able to convey its own meaning. Let’s see these English words-
sell, shell, cell, etc
Fill, feel, pill, peel, etc

Although their pronunciations are quite alike yet the letters that constitute each word are different; and we know just at a glance what each word conveys. Let’s examine some of our words as coined in the Apatani Dictionary-
Annii (mother)
Anii (the person who has come)
Aniih (to swallow)
Anniih (leaf)

From the above example we can immediately identify which word conveys what meaning (once we are used to it). This ensures clarity and dispels confusion. In my opinion the use of letter ‘h’ to make certain word unique is perfectly alright. Through the use of phonetic symbols we can always show which word should be pronounce what way or which letter should remain silent.
You seem to have not made any attempt in this respect. You have spelled many words with same set of letters in same sequence. If we go by your style, we will end up having too many words with same spelling. This is not a healthy trend.
3. The spelling of many words used by you are quite different from the words coined in the Apatani Dictionary. Of course one need not agree on everything whatever is written there. But we should avoid having differences as far as possible. It is high time we started having one source as a model and started drawing from it to maintain uniformity. It is right time you pioneers work together and set the wheel of standardising the written form in motion. Only this way we can progress toward maintaining a standardised form of written Apatani language. Else it is a hopeless case. If this trend of deviative approach continues there is every likelihood of your present work being repudiated by someone with his own version. If this happens then it is Pandora’s Box with its lid opened. I have discussed with some of my friends on this issue. We are of unanimous opinion that the Apatani Dictionary by Habung Donyi is perfect. His work on verb roots and the list of verb particles are superb. We do not think there is much need for modification in the dictionary. Only thing that needed done in the dictionary is its phonetics. This, I think, can be done in due course of time in the manner as stated above. May be the author is already on the job. We fail to understand why this dictionary can not serve as a model?
5. Any imported word should be used in its original form; eg bazaar should not be written as bazar as it has been done.
6. Apa Tani should be continued to be written as Apatani in a single word as this is the popularly used nomenclature in all official records until of course there is a concerted effort by the society as a whole to change it. This is not likely to be an easy task. STC is recognised as Apatani only and not Apa Tani. To change it we will require constitutional amendment.
7. Your pictorial presentation of vegetables with their equivalent names in English or Botanical names are very interesting though the resolution of photographs needed some enhancement. I did not know many of their names in English. Do keep it up. Try to collect more photographs. Name of some vegetables are not found in the dictionary; we may bring them to the author’s notice for inclusion.

GT said...

@ anonymous

I agree with you that we shall have commonly agreed pattern of spellings for the words in Apatani; everyone should strive for that. From the day I could get a copy of Apatani Dictionary by HD, I had no doubt in my mind that it should be the basis for developing Apatani language.

The dictionary, though has run into 2nd revised edition, is not even one year old in the hand of public (you know why). One should have patience with people like me who write common-place Apatani (instinctive writing). However, this is not to say that everyone does that (instictive writing).

We have dictionary in Apatani- that is a great asset but there should also be a working guiding principles of the language involving various linguistic parameters such as morphology, phonology, phonetics and syntax. (I can’t help guessing that these thing were put into places during the workshop which was organised by ACLS in 1997. In that case it’s just about publishing it.) You know all these parameters are closely related. A word is not merely a combination of letters it has to represent the sounds and tones of a meaningful utterance.

English is a very complex language. Comparison of English with Apatani should not be made as an excuse but to clarify and make thing simpler. The words such as psychology, tsar, cell etc., in English (if I’m not wrong) are imported words (or words derived from other language) just as we used imported words like bazaar, school etc., in Apatani. In others that you mentioned like know, no, knight, night etc., 'kn-' is pronounced slightly different from 'n-' alone. And 'kn-' is very consistent in sound it represent in different words such as know, knot, knack, knell, knee etc. Same is the case with '-i-' and '-ee-' in words like fill, feel, pill, fill etc. Regarding 'p-' and 'f-' in word 'pill' and 'fill' the tips for pronouncing them are taught in lower primary classes. Also let us not forget that it requires 8 to 9 years of studying English that make one able to pronounce and identify the words in English with some degree of competence. Our effort should be to make reading and writing Apatani simple and easy. Teaching Apatani for 8, 9 years in school is not feasible.

Let us examine some words from English such as meaningful, beautiful; movement, moment; chilly, tally; book, hook, look; try, cry etc., Here the sounds represented by groups of letters such as –ful, -ment, -lly, -oo-, -ry etc. are consistent for different words. We also should ensured that the groups of letters such as –mie and –mmi in the words like ‘amie’ [tail], ‘tamie’ [housefly], ‘tammi’ [weeds, grass], ‘ammi’ [elder sister], etc. as entered in HD’s dictionary, should be consistent for different words. It is not the case in some words. For above words, ‘ammi’ for tail and ‘amie’ (or ammie) for elder sister sound more appropriate to me. Similarly, there are many such combination of letters (a, ah, bha, ba, bho, bo, bi, bee, bhi, bih etc.) which I feel are not used consistently in different words. I think discussing such discrepancies should not be misunderstood for inventing wheel again and again.

Regarding use of (’) in words like a’ba, dii’ba etc., I made it clear in footnote in a post entitled ‘Letters and Words inApatani’ which are provided below for you:
“**Note: Apostrophe/accentuated mark [’] is being used after verb root in a word (as in a’ba) to make the verb root distinguisable in a word which helps in pronounciation and comprehension of the word. Its use is not mandatory.”
Again, that is not without reason - in the words containing verb roots, they (verb roots) form stressed syllable in the words in Apatani. Accentuated mark(’) is placed after vowel of stressed syllable. Sometime, even in English instructional manual, this mark is used to show the point of stress in words while uttering.

Anyway, thanks for your comment and your valuable suggetions. I shall definitely be working towards some of your suggestions.

Anonymous said...

We are happy to see that you also agree that there should be homogeneity in writing Apatani. Yes we should also agree to disagree on certain points.

Use of consonants or vowels (singly or jointly), we think, are not always consistent even in English. They are differently pronounced. Let’s see some examples-

Back is different from bath.
Bed, beguile, bedeck, germinate are different.
Engineer, need, see, seer are different. Whereas need and neat are same.
Big, lift, etc are different from bifurcate, bible, life, etc. Whereas bible and bus are same.
Blink is different from blind.
Moon, mood, etc are different from look, book, etc. Whereas moon and fluke are same.
Cloud is different from melody. Whereas cloud and clarion are same.
Fulminate is different from fulfil.
Untie is different from footsie.
Sieve is different from siesta.
Abhor is different from abhorrent.
Ache is different from arch. Whereas ache and bake are same.
{So on.............}

Having said that we appreciate your endeavour.

Please do carry on the good work keeping in view our larger interest.

PB said...

@ anonymous,
Habung Donyi’s dictionary is undoubtely a milestone in the development and preservation of Tanii language. Notwhistanding the strengths of this laudable enterprise, there are also several weaknesses. Since your remarks were about word transcription, my comments will be limited to this topic only. The main problem regarding HD’s spelling system is its lack of consistency. Let me explain this briefly.

1. Tanii has long and short sounds in both vowels and consonants. Long consonants are numerous in HD’s dictionary, and are simply noted by doubling the letter (eg. chikkan). But for vowels it is a different matter. In the dictionary one finds many occurences of long /u/ (written as ‘oo’) and /i/ (written as ‘ee’, sometimes as ‘ie’). But one hardly finds any long /a/ (noted as aa), and virtually no long /o/ and /ii/. This uneven distribution of long vowels is not in line with studies from linguists (Abraham, 1985, Post, passim) indicating that all vowels have short and long forms which are uniformly distributed. The reason for the absence of long /o/ and long /ii/ in HD’s dictionary seems to be purely “practical”, not linguistically grounded: following the transcription rules adopted by author, a long /o/ would be noted by doubling the letter, and therefore ‘oo’ could be mistakenly pronounced as long /u/. And transcribing a long /ii/ by just doubling the letter would necessitate to write ‘iiii’, which looks ackward. The result is inconsistent: certain long vowels are transcribed accurately from a phonological point of view, whereas others are not. On this point at least, GT’s attempt to review the spelling of certain words is justified.

2. There is no obligation to write a language following phonological principles strictly, i.e. by writing words exactly as we hear them. Very few standard writing systems indeed have been developed on this basis. Should we go by this way, then definitely IPA would be the best choice, and we would simply have to adapt certain signs to be typed more easily. The result may be quite accurate from a phonological point of view, but I doubt many Apatanis would vouch for it. For a written language also carries semantic information which are provided by the constituents of the word itself and greatly facilitates understanding. For eg. the English prefix ex- conveys the idea of “out or outside”, poly- means “plural” the suffix –ly is used to transform an adjective into an adverb, –tion functions as a nominalizer, etc. This way, someone who is not too familiar with the language can easily grasp the meaning of words such as “excavation”, “exclusively”, “expatriation”, “exoskeleton”, “polyphony”, “multipartism”, etc. Of course the semantical information is transmitted correctly as long as the constituents of the words are written always using the same spelling, regardless of the way their pronounciation may vary from place to place or from one speaker to another.
Apatani is typically a language in which a lot of semantic information is carried this way, in the sense that most syllables “have a meaning”. More accurately, most syllables derive from words that have a meaning. For example, the first syllable of most words related to the hand or to the action of taking by the hand is LA, derived from ALA = hand. In one of the very first posts of this blog I stressed the importance of having a uniform spelling for every such “root-word” (See: ‘Learning Apatani language: an easy way to memorize nouns). Habung Donyi also has attempted to do so, especially in the preliminary part devoted to “verb roots” and “verb particles”. But at the same time, because he attaches too much importance to pronounciation, the spelling he chose for many words just make root-words unrecognisable.
(to be continued)

PB said...

One finds for eg. in the first edition of his dictionary:
Giih: to carry firewood
Giilo: to unload.
The spelling adopted by HD gives the false impression that the two words are unrelated. But giilo is formed by combining the root verb gii (to carry) and the suffix –lo indicating a downward motion. Thus the root-word should be written using the same spelling in both cases. If the author chooses giih, then the word for ‘unload’ must be written as giihlo, not giilo. Would we accept to see “load” and “unlod” in an English dictionary ? If not, why should we accept it for Apatani ?
Similarly, one finds the following set:
garche (to divide a field);
gardin (field located upward),
garko( downward field).
gahro” (of a field) vast
HD’s spelling gahro makes it very difficult to identify the common root relating all these words. Actually his “gahro” is formed by combining GAR (class. for paddy fields) with RO (adjectival root meaning ‘big’ or ‘large’). Other words constructed in a similar way are ‘gartu’ small (field), ‘gare’, one field, ‘garpii’, ‘garta’, etc. Thus the “correct” spelling should be GARRO or GARO, but not GAHRO.

3. Writing according to the way people speak can be misleading. In English, “C’mon” and “gotta go” are no doubt closer to conversational speech than “Come on” and “got to go”. But should we, on this basis, accept “C’mon” as the standard written form in a dictionary in place of “Come on” ? Obviously the answer is no. Now look at the following entries found in HD’s dictionary (1st edition):
“Diichi-tayi” (instead of diichi-tanchi => choosy about food and drink)
“Diichi-taye” (instead of diiche-tanche => to share food and drink)
“blu-bla” (instead of bulu-bula/ biilu-biila => to do sth hurriedly)
Here the common element of the compound word (-chi, -che, bii-) cannot be identified anymore. This may be accurate from a phonetic point of view (at least according to the dialect spoken in the author’s village), but it certainly hampers a global understanding of the language.

4. Putting too much stress on pronounciation can lead to other confusions. Certain words for example are counted twice in HD’s dictionary:
Whii pron. that one he or she (found in the dictionary under the W section).
Hii : that. (found under the H section)
There is only one word, HII, but this single word has 2 distinct grammatical functions, just like the English word “that”:
- 1. (demonstrative adjective) the, that (at some distance from the speaker, but close to the addressee). Hiika ude hii pero do. That house is big.
- 2. (pronon) that. Hii ngiika ude. That is my house.

5. I see no reason for /k/ sound to be transcribed in 3 ways, namely C, CK or K. Why to write “cobyan” (bracelet) while all Apatanis use Kobyang or Kobyan ? And why to write cotta (buttock) with a C, whereas kokhe allo (hip bone) is written with a K, as would also be koga (occiput). Aren’t these three words (kota, kokhe allo, koga) sharing the same root-word KO ?

6. I personally find that HD’s writing system makes too much use of H letter, not always with a reason. Why are “AKHHO” (stalk) or TAKHHII (squirrel) written with 2 H ? Coupled with double wovels and double consonants which are also plentiful, this makes dictionary searching particularly difficult. HD’s spelling not only could be made more consistent, but it could be simplified. I agree with GT that efforts should be made to read and write Apatani in a simple and easy way.

I hope these comments will be helpful. Note that the above examples refer to the 1st edition of HD’s dictionary (I am yet to get the revised edition) and some may have become irrelevant due to the revision work. With concerted and meticulous effort I think most difficulties and inconsistencies can be overcome, but this requires further analysis of Tanii language in its various aspects, and is likely to take time.

GT said...


I’m least interest in discussing about English language. Every aspect of it is well defined. There may be some exceptions but that too are clearly explained.

‘Back is different from bath’. But you see, back, hack, sack, lack, rack are very consistent so are bath, path etc. In English vowel sound changes with different combination of letters or letter which follow(s) it- as seen in back and bath. Same is the case with double vowels ee, oo, ea etc. In seer ‘ee’ sounds different from seed: Similarly, seer, deer, engineer, peer,…etc., and seed, heed, need, ..etc., are consitent. ‘Blink is different from blind’. What about link, blink, shrink,… etc ., and blind, mind, hind, kind.. etc. {…so on and so forth}

Now coming to Apatani which should be our subject:

I agree with PB that in Apatani each syllable of a word (most of the words) appears to posses a meaning e.g, aba [a+ba](come+ together), apyo [a+pyo]( to come+easy/ easy to come), diipyo [dii+pyo]( to eat+ good/ good to eat) etc. So it is all the more important to be more consistent in their spellings for pronounciation as well as for meaning.

PB has cited some examples from HD’s dictionary. Let me elaborate little further:

‘bo’ is verb root which acc. to HD means ‘to pull or drag’
‘bho’ is verb root which acc. to HD means ‘to move from one place to another horizontally’ (means move across)
‘kabbo’ is a verb which acc. to HD ‘1. to see across, 2. to move across to see sth’

My take:

‘bho’ (to move across) is being devised to avoid confusion with ‘bo’ (to pull/ drag)- accepted. Why ‘kabbo’? Why not ‘kabho’?

kabbo= ka (see)+ bbo (across, move across)
kabho= ka (see) + bho (across, move across)

Which you think is more appropriate?

This is just an example. This is the kind of thing when I say there should be consistency in spellings used in the dictionary. And this is the kind of thing due to which I prefer to write common-place Apatani (one sees everywhere- in orkut forum, in Apatani sms, in letters exchanged by friends etc.)

Anonymous said...

I think we have discussed on someone’s work and in his absence too long enough. With regard to your observations, I can only say, only the author of the dictionary will be able to explain accurately.

Now let’s see what you have done from the point of consistency -

You say you are least interested in discussing English language. Are you? Everything you have attempted in your blog are written and translated in English. Comparisons have been drawn in the context of Apatani language. Yet you say you are not interested in discussing English? Again you say in one breadth every aspect is well defined. Yet again in another breadth you say “There may be some exceptions but that too are clearly explained.” Can’t there be some exceptions in our (even in your) case with explanations? Are you 100% perfect person?

Let’s see some more cases-
1. PB writes, No hokii? Where are you coming from?
GT writes, ‘Noh’ for where.
2. PB writes, Siika tarii si hu kii? Whose shirt is this?
GT writes, ‘whukii’ for whose.
(Now will you both tell us whose is correct? Or you have the liberty to spell as you like and despise others as incorrect.)

Both of you are very keen on having simple Apatani language. I do agree with you if we can evolve one. Let’s see the following words-

1 PB writes, Yasan sense. Dried wood. How do we pronounce “sense”? can’t it be “sensii”?
2. GT writes Knii or nii for what. How do a lay Apatani pronounce Knii? Do you think every Apatani is as knowledgeable as you are? Why not just keep it “nii”?

The above cases are just examples. If we dig in there will be many more cases in your just 25 pages material.

The blog on the review of the Apatani Dictionary is not opening properly. I have started thinking this may have some bearing on our present discussion. If this is so, it is not right. The blog should be restored forthwith. Just because someone’s work differ from your’s, it doesn’t always mean that you are always correct and his work should be sabotaged.

GT said...

@ anonymous

thanks for going through my blog and pointed out few things...

i thought you were well versed with the scheme of spellings based on ACLS recommendation (as i came to know from a comment). i was expecting you to explain and clarify my confusion on spelling things so that i have no hesitation to follow them... but you seemed to reserve them for HD. ok...never mind (bit disappointed though).

it's not a question of my being 100% man. if one thinks that a language like Apatani should flourish, it has to be made simple, easy and free from confusion as far as possible.

I cannot agree with some people's claim that written form of Apatani language is fully developed and diverging a bit from HD's dictionary or that matter from that so-called recommendations on letters and spelling of words etc, are disturbing and doing discredit to the language

my contention is: the process of development of written Apatani has just started with HD's dictionary. it will take a natural course of development unless ofcourse organisation like ACLS, in true spirit, form a committee on language development comprising few Apatanis like HD and others who are well versed in the language and engage a linguist or a scholar who has the working knowledge of sino-tibetans and tibeto-burmese language groups for the purpose. Such committee (if ever form) shall not decide everything on single sitting but make a series of well co-ordinated sittings to discuss pros and cons.
...well that's a wishful thinking.

Now coming to the points you raised: PB and I agree to disagree in many counts... however, we are looking for consensus not by outright rejection of ones views but by mutual discussion on various pros and cons. Again we never totally overlooked HD's dictionary, either.

Web is such a tool! ppl like PB, I and few others, living miles apart from one another, discussing through forum like this, e-mail or web chatting on stupid thing like this one... rightly so some elderly ppls are intimidated by our presence.

Anonymous said...
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NPR said...

Warning: personal attacks, especially by anonymous comments, will not be tolerated in this blog and will be deleted.

tdtara said...

@ All
Personal attack !!! Niimop??.. ...very bad.
"comments column" should be used more on Discussion in constructive way rather than personal attack or in destructive way, and it would be better if we discuss it more openly without hiding one's identity so as to detail discussion(+ve way) can be made by physically meeting also-if needed.
By the way, Really there is need of simple and distinguish spelling for each words like

Takhii-(Head lice/ squirrel)
Tiipe-(tattoo/leech) etc etc.. These words are understandable while used in talking/sentence but while writing its very confusing. So we need more involvement from people having specialization in linguistic/related fields to have a simple,distinguish and fixed spelling for TANII words.

yubbey said...

It is wonderful effort and definitely it will help our younger Apatani generation to understanding the being Apatani.