Southern Thai
ภาษาไทยถิ่นใต้
Pronunciation/pʰaːsǎː tʰaj tʰìn tâːj/
Native toSouthern Thailand, Kedah, Kelantan and Tanintharyi Region
EthnicitySouthern Thai
Peranakans
Malaysian Siamese
Thai Malays
Native speakers
4.5 million (2006)[1]
Kra–Dai
Thai script
Thai Braille
Official status
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byNone
Language codes
ISO 639-3sou
Glottologsout2746
Southern Thai is not endangered according to the classification system of the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Southern Thai (ภาษาไทยถิ่นใต้ [pʰaːsǎː tʰaj tʰìn tâːj]), also known as Dambro (ภาษาตามโพร [pʰaːsǎː taːm pʰroː]), Pak Tai (ภาษาปักษ์ใต้ [pʰaːsǎː pàk tâːj]), or "Southern language" (ภาษาใต้ [pʰaːsǎː tâːj]),[citation needed] is a Southwestern Tai ethnolinguistic identity[2] and language spoken in southern Thailand as well as by small communities in the northernmost Malaysian states. It is spoken by roughly five million people, and as a second language by the 1.5 million speakers of Pattani and other ethnic groups such as the local Peranakans communities, Negritos, and other tribal groups.[citation needed] Most speakers are also fluent in or understand the Central Thai dialects.

Classification

Further information: Tai–Kadai languages, Tai languages, and Tai peoples

Southern Thai is classified as one of the Chiang Saen languages—others being Thai, Northern Thai and numerous smaller languages, which together with the Northwestern Tai and Lao-Phutai languages, form the Southwestern branch of Tai languages. The Tai languages are a branch of the Kra–Dai language family, which encompasses a large number of indigenous languages spoken in an arc from Hainan and Guangxi south through Laos and Northern Vietnam to the Cambodian border.

Dialects

Phonyarit (2018)[3] recognizes the following nine main dialects of Southern Thai, based on tone split and merger patterns.

Southern Thai (Eastern)

Southern Thai (Western)

Takbai dialect

Distribution

In Thailand, speakers of Southern Thai can be found in a contiguous region beginning as far north as southern part of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province and extending southward to the border with Malaysia. Smaller numbers of speakers reside in the Malaysian border states, especially Kedah, Kelantan, Penang, Perlis, and Perak. In these areas, it is the primary language of ethnic Thais as well as of the ethnically Malay people on both sides of the Thai-Malaysian border in Satun and Songkhla provinces. Although numerous regional variations exist and there is no one standard, the language is most distinct near the Malaysian border. All varieties, however, remain mutually intelligible. For economic reasons, many speakers of Southern Thai have migrated to Bangkok and other Thai cities. Some have also emigrated to Malaysia, which offers not only economic opportunity but also a culture which shares the Islamic faith practiced by some speakers of Southern Thai.

History

Malay kingdoms ruled much of the Malay Peninsula,[citation needed] such as the Pattani Kingdom and Tambralinga, but most of the area, at one time or another, was under the rule of Srivijaya. The population of the Malay peninsula was heavily influenced by the culture of India transmitted through missionaries or indirectly through traders. Numerous Buddhist and Hindu shrines attest to the diffusion of Indian culture. The power vacuum left by the collapse of Srivijaya was filled by the growth of the kingdom of Nakhon Si Thammarat, which subsequently became a vassal of the Sukhothai Kingdom. The area has been a frontier between the northern Tai peoples and the southern ethnic Malays as well as between Buddhism and Islam.

Phonology

Tones

The majority of speakers using Southern Thai varieties display five phonemic tones (tonemes) in citation monosyllables, although effects of sandhi can result in a substantially higher number of tonal allophones. This is true for dialects north of approximately 10° N and south of 7° N latitude, as well as urban sociolects throughout Southern Thailand. In between, there are dialects with six- and seven-tone systems. The dialect of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province (approximately centered on 8° N latitude) for example, has seven phonemic tones.[4]

Initials

Labial Dental/
Alveolar
(Alveolo-)
Palatal
Velar Glottal
Nasal /m/
/n/
ณ, น
/ɲ/
[a]
Plosive/
Affricate
tenuis /p/
/t/
ฏ, ต
//
/k/
/ʔ/
[b]
aspirate //
ผ, พ, ภ
//
ฐ, ฑ, ฒ, ถ, ท, ธ
/tɕʰ/
ฉ, ช, ฌ
//
ข, ฃ, ค, ฅ, ฆ[c]
voiced /b/
/d/
ฎ, ด
Fricative /f/
ฝ, ฟ
/s/
ซ, ศ, ษ, ส
/h/
ง, ห, ฮ
Approximant /w/
/l/
ล, ฬ
/j/
ญ, ย
Rhotic/Liquid /r/
  1. ^ In some dialects.
  2. ^ Implied before any vowel without an initial and after a short vowel without a final.
  3. ^ ฃ and ฅ are no longer used. Thus, modern Thai is said to have 42 consonant letters.

Clusters

In Southern Thai, each syllable in a word is considered separate from the others, so combinations of consonants from adjacent syllables are never recognised as a cluster. Southern thai has phonotactical constraints that define permissible syllable structure, consonant clusters, and vowel sequences. Original Thai vocabulary introduces only 11 combined consonantal patterns:

Finals

All plosive sounds are unreleased. Hence, final /p/, /t/, and /k/ sounds are pronounced as [p̚], [t̚], and [k̚] respectively. Of the consonant letters, excluding the disused ฃ and ฅ, six (ฉ ผ ฝ ห อ ฮ) cannot be used as a final and the other 36 are grouped as following.

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal /m/
/n/
ญ, ณ, น, ร, ล, ฬ
/ŋ/
Plosive /p/
บ, ป, พ, ฟ, ภ
/t/
จ, ช, ซ, ฌ, ฎ, ฏ, ฐ, ฑ,

ฒ ,ด, ต, ถ, ท, ธ, ศ, ษ, ส

/k/
ก, ข, ค, ฆ
/ʔ/[a]
Approximant /w/
/j/
  1. ^ The glottal stop appears at the end when no final follows a short vowel.

Vowels

The vowels of the Southern Thai are similar to those of Central Thai. They, from front to back and close to open, are given in the following table. The top entry in every cell is the symbol from the International Phonetic Alphabet, the second entry gives the spelling in the Thai alphabet, where a dash (–) indicates the position of the initial consonant after which the vowel is pronounced. A second dash indicates that a final consonant must follow.

  Front Central Back
short long short long short long
Close /i/
 -ิ 
//
 -ี 
/ɯ/
 -ึ 
/ɯː/
 -ื- 
/u/
 -ุ 
//
 -ู 
Mid /e/
เ-ะ
//
เ-
/ɤ/
เ-อะ
/ɤː/
เ-อ
/o/
โ-ะ
//
โ-
Open /ɛ/
แ-ะ
/ɛː/
แ-
/a/
-ะ, -ั-
//
-า
/ɔ/
เ-าะ
/ɔː/
-อ

The vowels each exist in long-short pairs: these are distinct phonemes forming unrelated words in Southern Thai, but usually transliterated the same: เขา /khaw/ means "he/she", while ขาว /khaːw/ means "white".

The long-short pairs are as follows:

Long Short
Thai IPA Example Thai IPA Example
–า /aː/ ฝาน /faːn/ 'to slice' –ะ /a/ ฝัน /fan/ 'to dream'
–ี  /iː/ –ิ  /i/
–ู  /uː/ –ุ  /u/ หนุน /nun/ 'jackfruit'
เ– /eː/ เล /leː/ 'sea' เ–ะ /e/
แ– /ɛː/ แขบ /kʰɛːp/ 'hurry' แ–ะ /ɛ/ แหยะ /jɛʔ/ 'leftover'
–ื-  /ɯː/ คืน /kʰɯːn/ 'to return' –ึ  /ɯ/
เ–อ /ɤː/ เ–อะ /ɤ/ เงิน /hɤn/ 'money'
โ– /oː/ โหนด /noːt/ 'palmyra palm' โ–ะ /o/ จก /tɕok/ 'mirror, glass'
–อ /ɔː/ เ–าะ /ɔ/

The basic vowels can be combined into diphthongs. For purposes of determining tone, those marked with an asterisk are sometimes classified as long:

Long Short
Thai script IPA Thai script IPA
–าย /aːj/ ไ–*, ใ–*, ไ–ย, -ัย /aj/
–าว /aːw/ เ–า* /aw/
เ–ีย /ia/ เ–ียะ /iaʔ/
–ิว /iw/
–ัว /ua/ –ัวะ /uaʔ/
–ูย /uːj/ –ุย /uj/
เ–ว /eːw/ เ–็ว /ew/
แ–ว /ɛːw/
เ–ือ /ɯa/ เ–ือะ /ɯaʔ/
เ–ย /ɤːj/
–อย /ɔːj/
โ–ย /oːj/

Additionally, there are three triphthongs. For purposes of determining tone, those marked with an asterisk are sometimes classified as long:

Thai script IPA
เ–ียว* /iaw/
–วย* /uaj/
เ–ือย* /ɯaj/

Differences from Central Thai

Although of the major regional languages of Thailand, Southern Thai is most similar in lexicon and grammar to Central Thai, the varieties are sufficiently different that mutual intelligibility between the two can be problematic. Southern Thai presents a diglossic situation wherein registers range from the most formal (Standard Central Thai spoken with Southern Thai tones and accent) to the common vernacular (usually a contracted form of Thai expressions and with some amount of loan words from Malay). The Thai language was introduced with Siamese incursions into the Malay Peninsula possibly starting as early as the Sukhothai Kingdom. During this and successive kingdoms, the area in which Southern Thai is spoken was a frontier zone between Thai polities and the Malay Sultanates.[citation needed] Malay vocabulary has been absorbed into the lexicon, as a considerable number of Malay speakers lived in or near Patani polity and interacted with the Thai speakers through trade; and the Malay language was formerly considered to be a lingua franca of the southern part of the Malay peninsula.

Southern Thai is mainly a spoken language, although the Thai alphabet is often used in the informal situations when it is written.

The words used that are etymologically Thai are often spoken in a reduced and rapid manner, making comprehension by speakers of other varieties difficult. Also, as Southern Thai uses up to seven tones in certain provinces, the tonal distribution is different from other regional varieties of Thai. Additionally, Southern Thai speakers almost always preserve ร as /r/ in contrast to Northern Thai, the Lao-based Isan language, and informal registers of Central Thai where it is generally realized as /l/.

Differences between Southern Thai and Central Thai
Dambro Siam English
หร่อย
rɔːj
อร่อย
àʔ rɔ̀ːj
delicious
ม่าย
maːj
ไหม
mǎj
question particle
แหลง
lɛːŋ
พูด
pʰûːt
to speak
จังหู้
tɕaŋ huː
มาก
mâːk
a lot
ดีปรี
diː priː
พริก
pʰrík
chilli
หลุหละ
lu.laʔ
สกปรก
sòk.kà.pròk
dirty
หยีบ
jiːp
ยี่สิบ
jîː sìp
twenty
บาย
baːj
สบาย
sàʔ baːj
to be well
ยานัด
jaː nát
สับปะรด
sàp.paʔ.rót
pineapple
นากา
naː kaː
นาฬิกา
naː lí.kaː
clock
ขี้มัน
kʰiː man
ขี้เหนียว
kʰîː nǐaw
stingy
พรือ
pʰrɯː
อะไร
raj
what?
ยัง
jaŋ
มี
miː
to have
แค
kʰɛː
ใกล้
klâj
near
พี่บ่าว
pʰiː baːw
พี่ชาย
pʰîː tɕʰaːj
older brother
เกือก
kɯak
รองเท้า
rɔːŋ tʰáːw
shoe
ตอเช้า
tɔ.tɕʰaːw
พรุ่งนี้
pʰrûŋ.níː
tomorrow
พร้าว
pʰraːw
มะพร้าว
máʔ.pʰráːw
coconut
หลาด
laːt
ตลาด
taʔ.làːt
market
ตู
tuː
ประตู
praʔ.tuː
door
แล
lɛː
ดู
duː
to see
นายหัว
naːj.hua
หัวหน้า
hǔa.nâː
boss

References

  1. ^ Southern Thai at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; landforms a growing larger by the second Reports submitted by States parties under article 9 of the Convention: Thailand (PDF) (in English and Thai). United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  3. ^ Phonyarit, Ratchadaporn (2018). Tonal Geography of the Southern Thai Dialects. Paper presented at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, held May 17–19, 2018 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  4. ^ Diller, Anthony (1979). Nguyen, Dang Liem (ed.). "How Many Tones For Southern Thai?". South-east Asian Linguistic Studies. Pacific Linguistics, the Australian National University. 4: 122.

Sources