Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Burma v. Myanmar (was: A BrSc a? & Nyuu Romaji)

From:Douglas Koller, Latin & French <latinfrench@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 23, 2002, 19:06
Ray wrote:

>When a language has irregular spellings, 'spelling pronunciations' are >always a possibility, e.g. the surname 'Menzies' /"mINiz/ is now often >pronounced /"MEnzi:z/. I wonder if /mjVmmV/ is not, in fact, a spelling >pronunciation adopted by the present military regime - together with its >insistence that the outside write {Myanmar} - to distance itself from the >"old Burma".
Your last sentence is what I've always assumed, even before I met the Burmese guy, to be why the current regime has foisted "Myanmar" on the foreign press and those of us (including me) who wish to be geopolitically au courant and "correct". Whether it's your intriguing spelling pronunciations theory or there being two distinct words (perhaps the "ma" part could mean something like "kingdom/country" (à la the "guo" in "Zhongguo"), while the "Bur" and "Myan" parts could be different morphs (à la "Beijing" vs. "Beiping"), is well beyond my ken. Unfortunately, that colleague and I weren't that tight, so I felt a little reticent to delve into politically delicate territory (*really*, I'm not a mole for the Central Committee). Kou