Tai Tham alphabet

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For the Unicode block, see Tai Tham (Unicode block).
Tai Tham
Tai Tham script sample.png
Type
Languages Northern Thai, Tai Lü, Khün
Time period
c. 1300–present
Parent systems
ISO 15924 Lana, 351
Direction Left-to-right
Unicode alias
Tai Tham
U+1A20–U+1AAF

The Tai Tham script (Northern Thai: ᨲᩫ᩠ᩅᨾᩮᩬᩥᨦ, Northern Thai pronunciation: [tǔa.mɯ̄aŋ] About this sound listen, tua mueanɡ; Tai Lü: ᦒᧄ , Tham, "scripture"), also known as the Lanna script or Tua Mueang, is used for three living languages: Northern Thai (that is, Kham Mueang), Tai Lü and Khün. In addition, the Lanna script is used for Lao Tham (or old Lao) and other dialect variants in Buddhist palm leaves and notebooks. The script is also known as Tham or Yuan script.

The Northern Thai language is a close relative of Thai and member of the Chiang Saeng language family. It is spoken by nearly 6,000,000 people in Northern Thailand and several thousand in Laos of whom few are literate in Lanna script. The script is still read by older monks. Northern Thai has six linguistic tones and Thai only five, making transcription into the Thai alphabet problematic. There is some resurgent interest in the script among younger people, but an added complication is that the modern spoken form, called Kammuang, differs in pronunciation from the older form.[1]

There are 670,000 speakers of Tai Lü of whom those born before 1950 are literate in Lanna script.[citation needed] The script has also continued to be taught in the monasteries. There are 120,000 speakers of Khün for which Lanna is the only script.

Name board outside a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai written with Lanna characters: Wat Mokhamtuang (and street number 119 in Thai)

Consonants[edit]

Consonants are divided into two groups: main consonants (พยัญชนะหลัก) and added consonants (พยัชนะเติม). There are 33 main consonants, and there are 15 added consonants. The main consonants are those from Pali. The main consonant group is further divided into two groups: categorized (พยัญชนะวัคค์, vagga) and uncategorized consonants (พยัญชนะอวัคค์, avagga). There are 25 categorized consonants, and there are 8 uncategorized consonants. The added consonant group consists of consonants that have been added to write Tai sounds that do not occur in Pali.

Categorized
Obstruents Nasals
main added main added main added main
Lanna-1.png

/k/
hiɡh
Lanna-2.png
khá
/x/
hiɡh
Lanna-3.png
khá
/x/
hiɡh
Lanna-4.png
ka᷇
/k/
low
Lanna-5.png
kha᷇
/x/
low
Lanna-6.png
kha᷇
/x/
low
Lanna-7.png
nga᷇
/ŋ/
low
Lanna-8.png
chá
/t͡ɕ/
hiɡh
Lanna-9.png

/s/
hiɡh
Lanna-10.png
cha᷇
/t͡ɕ/
low
Lanna-11.png
sa᷇
/s/
low
Lanna-12.png, Lanna-jh-Lue.png
sa᷇
/s/
low
Lanna-13.png
nya᷇
/ɲ/
low
Lanna-14.png
la tá
/t/
hiɡh
Lanna-15.png, Lanna-ratha-Lue.png
la thá
/tʰ/
hiɡh
Lanna-17.png
da᷇
/d/
mid
Lanna-15-5.png
la tha᷇
/tʰ/
low
Lanna-16.png
la na᷇
/n/
low
Lanna-18.png

/t/
hiɡh
Lanna-19.png
thá
/tʰ/
hiɡh
Lanna-20.png
ta᷇
/t/
low
Lanna-21.png
tha᷇
/tʰ/
low
Lanna-22.png
na᷇
/n/
low
Lanna-23.png

/b/
mid
Lanna-24.png

/p/
hiɡh
Lanna-25.png
phá
/pʰ/
hiɡh
Lanna-26.png

/f/
hiɡh
Lanna-27.png
pa᷇
/p/
low
Lanna-28.png
fa᷇
/f/
low
Lanna-29.png
pha᷇
/pʰ/
low
Lanna-30.png
ma᷇
/m/
low
Uncategorized
Lanna-31.png
nya᷇
/ɲ/
low
Lanna-44.png

/j/
mid
Lanna-32.png
ha᷇
/h/
low
Lanna-33.png
la᷇
/l/
low
Lanna-34.png
wa᷇
/w/
low
Lanna-35.png

/s/
hiɡh
Lanna-36.png

/s/
hiɡh
Lanna-37.png

/s/
hiɡh
Lanna-38.png

/h/
hiɡh
Lanna-39.png
la᷇
/l/
low
Lanna-40.png, Lanna-a.png
á
/ʔ/
mid
Lanna-41.png
ha᷇
/h/
low
Lanna-lae.png, Lanna-lae-Lue.png
lāe
/lɛ̄ː/
Lanna-na.png

/nāː/
Lanna-ss.png
sǒr sǒnɡ ho᷇nɡ
/sɔ̌ː sɔ̌ːŋ hɔ᷇ːŋ/
Lanna-nyny.png
nya᷇ nya᷇
/ɲa᷇ʔ ɲa᷇ʔ/
Lanna-rarong.png
ra rōnɡ
/la᷇.hōːŋ/
Lanna-42.png
lu᷇e
/lɯ᷇ʔ/
Lanna-43.png
lūe
/lɯ̄ː/

Vowels[edit]

Northern Thai language written in Tai Tham script in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Vowels are written at various locations around their consonant, like Thai.[2] There are special letters for initial vowels, and many vowel combinations.

Pali vowels[edit]

Tai Tham Lanna-40.png - Lanna-aa.png Lanna-Pali-i.png Lanna-Pali-ii.png Lanna-Pali-u.png Lanna-Pali-uu.png Lanna-Pali-e.png Lanna-e.png -Lanna-aa.png
-ᩣ -ᩮᩣ,-ᩮᩤ, ᩒ
IPA /ʔáʔ/ /ʔāː/ /ʔíʔ/ /ʔīː/ /ʔúʔ/ /ʔūː/ /ʔēː/ /ʔōː/

Tonal markers[edit]

Lanna-tone1.png
mai yo
/máj.jɔ́ʔ/
Lanna-tone2.png
mai kho chang
/máj.xɔ̌ː.t͡ɕáːŋ/

Tai Tham and Other Scripts[edit]

Categorized letters[edit]

Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/ká/ Lanna-1.png -᩠ᨠ က
/xá/ Lanna-2.png -᩠ᨡ
/xá/ Lanna-3.png -
/ka᷇/ Lanna-4.png -᩠ᨣ
/xa᷇/ Lanna-5.png -
/xa᷇/ Lanna-6.png -᩠ᨥ Lao-Pali-gh.png
/ŋa᷇/ Lanna-7.png -᩠ᨦ
Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/t͡ɕá/ Lanna-8.png -᩠ᨧ
/sá/ Lanna-9.png -᩠ᨨ Lao-Pali-ch.png
/t͡ɕa᷇/ Lanna-10.png -᩠ᨩ
/sa᷇/ Lanna-11.png -
/sa᷇/ Lanna-12.png -᩠ᨫ Lao-Pali-jh.png
/ɲa᷇/
/ja᷇/[3]
Lanna-13.png -᩠ᨬ Lao-Pali-ny.png
Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/tá/ Lanna-14.png -᩠ᨭ Lao-Pali-T.png
/tʰá/ Lanna-15.png -᩠ᨮ Lao-Pali-Th.png
/dá/ Lanna-17.png -᩠ᨯ ฑ,ด Lao-Pali-D.png,ດ
/tʰa᷇/ Lanna-15-5.png -᩠ᨰ Lao-Pali-Dh.png
/na᷇/ Lanna-16.png -᩠ᨱ Lao-Pali-N.png
Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/tá/ Lanna-18.png -᩠ᨲ
/tʰá/ Lanna-19.png -᩠ᨳ
/ta᷇/ Lanna-20.png -᩠ᨴ
/tʰa᷇/ Lanna-21.png -᩠ᨵ Lao-Pali-dh.png
/na᷇/ Lanna-22.png -᩠ᨶ
Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/bá/ Lanna-23.png -᩠ᨷ
/pá/ Lanna-24.png -
/pʰá/ Lanna-25.png -᩠ᨹ
/fá/ Lanna-26.png -
/pa᷇/ Lanna-27.png -᩠ᨻ
/fa᷇/ Lanna-28.png -
/pʰa᷇/ Lanna-29.png -᩠ᨽ Lao-Pali-bh.png
/ma᷇/ Lanna-30.png -᩠ᨾ

Uncategorized letters[edit]

Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/ɲa᷇/
/ja᷇/[3]
Lanna-31.png ᨿ -᩠ᨿ ย ต่ำ
/já/ Lanna-44.png - ย กลาง, อย
/há/
/lá/
Lanna-32.png -᩠ᩁ
/lɯ́ʔ/ Lanna-42.png -
/la᷇/ Lanna-33.png -᩠ᩃ
/lɯ̄ː/ Lanna-43.png -
/wa᷇/ Lanna-34.png -᩠ᩅ
Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/sá/ Lanna-35.png -᩠ᩆ Lao-Sanskrit-sh.png
/sá/ Lanna-36.png -᩠ᩇ Lao-Sanskrit-S.png
/sá/ Lanna-37.png -᩠ᩈ
/há/ Lanna-38.png -᩠ᩉ
/la᷇/ Lanna-39.png -᩠ᩊ Lao-Pali-L.png
/ʔá/ Lanna-40.png -᩠ᩋ
/ha᷇/ Lanna-41.png -

Numerals[edit]

Arabic numerals 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Hora digits
Tham digits
Thai numerals
Lao numerals
Burmese numerals
Khmer numerals

Sanskrit and Pali[edit]

The Tai Tham script (like all Indic scripts) uses a number of modifications to write Pali and related languages (in particular, Sanskrit). When writing Pali, only 33 consonants and 12 vowels are used.

Plosives (วัคค์ ᩅᩢᨣ᩠ᨣ᩼ vagga)[edit]

class unaspirated
unvoiced
สิถิลอโฆษะ
aspirated
ธนิตอโฆษะ
unaspirated
voiced
สิถิลโฆษะ
aspirated
voiced
ธนิตโฆษะ
nasal
นาสิก
velar Lanna-1.png[ka] Lanna-2.png khá [kha] Lanna-4.png ka᷇ [ga] Lanna-6.png kha᷇ [gha] Lanna-7.png nga᷇ [ṅa]
palatal Lanna-8.png[ca] Lanna-9.png[cha] Lanna-10.png ca᷇ [ja] Lanna-12.png sa᷇ [jha] Lanna-13.png nya᷇ [ña]
retroflex Lanna-14.png[ṭa] Lanna-15.png thá [ṭha] Lanna-17.png da᷇ [ḍa] Lanna-15-5.png tha᷇ [ḍha] Lanna-16.png na᷇ [ṇa]
dental Lanna-18.png[ta] Lanna-19.png thá [tha] Lanna-20.png ta᷇ [da] Lanna-21.png tha᷇ [dha] Lanna-22.png na᷇ [na]
labial Lanna-24.png[pa] Lanna-25.png phá [pha] Lanna-27.png pa᷇ [ba] Lanna-29.png pha᷇ [bha] Lanna-30.png ma᷇ [ma]
tone class H L

Non-plosives (อวัคค์ ᩋᩅᩢᨣ᩠ᨣ᩼ avagga)[edit]

glottal palatal retroflex dental labial tonal class
Lanna-31.png nya᷇ [ya] Lanna-32.png ha᷇ [ra] Lanna-33.png la᷇ [la] Lanna-34.png wa᷇ [va] L
Lanna-35.png[śa] Lanna-36.png[ṣa] Lanna-37.png[sa] H
Lanna-38.png[ha]

Unicode[edit]

Tai Tham script was added to the Unicode Standard in October, 2009 with the release of version 5.2.

Block[edit]

The Unicode block for Tai Tham is U+1A20–U+1AAF:

Tai Tham[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1A2x
U+1A3x ᨿ
U+1A4x
U+1A5x  ᩖ  ᩘ  ᩙ  ᩚ  ᩛ  ᩜ  ᩝ  ᩞ
U+1A6x     ᩢ  ᩥ  ᩦ  ᩧ  ᩨ  ᩩ  ᩪ  ᩫ  ᩬ
U+1A7x  ᩳ  ᩴ  ᩵  ᩶  ᩷  ᩸  ᩹  ᩺  ᩻  ᩼  ᩿
U+1A8x
U+1A9x
U+1AAx
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 7.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

Fonts[edit]

There are currently a few fonts that support this range.[4] Thai people are used to typing the Thai script by placing a front vowel before a consonant; this might cause incorrect input method for Tai Tham script because the consonant must be always typed before the associated vowel, regardless of the relative written position of the vowel, similar to typing the Khmer, Myanmar or Tamil script.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Natnapang Burutphakdee (October 2004). Khon Muang Neu Kap Phasa Muang [Attitudes of Northern Thai Youth towards Kammuang and the Lanna Script] (PDF) (M.A. Thesis). Presented at 4th National Symposium on Graduate Research, Chiang Mai, Thailand, August 10–11, 2004. Asst. Prof. Dr. Kirk R. Person, adviser. Chiang Mai: Payap University. P. 7, digital image 30. Archived from the original on 2013-06-14. Retrieved June 8, 2013. "The reason why they called this language ‘Kammuang’ is because they used this language in the towns where they lived together, which were surrounded by mountainous areas where there were many hill tribe people." 
  2. ^ see examples of syllabic vowels in Ian James' rendition of Lanna, New Lanna at SkyKnowledge.com
  3. ^ a b In Tai Lue
  4. ^ Tai Tham fonts, Southeast Asian Unicode fonts for Windows computers, Alan Wood’s Unicode Resources

External links[edit]