4 BURMA,, PRESENT.
For instance, in the example given by Csoma de Koros in his grammar of the Tibetan language, the translation of " in a book seen by me" would become in both these latter languages "me by seen book a in."
The Burmese language, according to August Schleicher's classification * belongs, in common with the other Indo-Chinese tongues, to the type of the isolating languages, consisting of mere roots, incapable of forming compounds, and not susceptible of inflectional change. With few exceptions all words are derived from original roots, which, by being used with affixes or prefixes, are converted without inflection into different parts of speech. It is written from left to right, has no division between the words, and is wholly monosyllabic, with the exception of polysyllabic words introduced from the Pali dialect, and even these are pronounced as if each syllable of them was a distinct word.f
The alphabet consists of ten vowels and thirty-two consonants. The vowels are written in their original character only when they form the initial syllable of a word of Pali origin. When combined
* Compendium der Vergleichenden Grammatick der Indogermanischen Sprachen, von August Schleicher, 8vo. Weimar, 1S66.
t From this has arisen the system complained of by Colonel Yule, of hyphenized aggregation of syllables, when Pali names are written in English. See "Mission to A va," p. 106.t From this has arisen the system complained of by Colonel Yule, of hyphenized aggregation of syllables, when Pali names are written in English. See "Mission to A va," p. 106.