Help talk:IPA/Thai and Lao

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Should [a:] be given as the or an alt trans. for mid tone? It is frequently not marked.

Should diphthongs end in [ə]? They don't quite reach [a], and that would have the benefit of making it clear that they're diphthongs.

kwami (talk) 06:40, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

First remark above is too garbled to understand. (Now I see: "the or an".) I would support unmarked midtone (I'm never in favour of alternatives in these pages). The IPA handbook uses [a] in diphthongs; The RTGS also uses a; let's stick to the familiar usage.
Another question: should we list the long vowels (being simpler) first?
Woodstone (talk) 07:01, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
We have both marked and unmarked tones in the articles, so until that is cleaned up we should have both here too. But there are only a few articles. — kwami (talk) 08:52, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Changed the a-final diphthongs to ə-final, following Lao. This is also more intuitive from German etc, and it's doubtful the Thai vowels ever actually reach [a]. — kwami (talk) 20:05, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

What's that based on? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 20:21, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
What I've seen is phonemic /a/ but phonetic [ə] (or [ɛ, o] before [j, w]). We have that description for Lao, and our vowel chart (from the Handbook?) has the target as [ɜ] rather than [a]. — kwami (talk) 21:41, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

IPA diacritic for Lao low falling tone[edit]

Dearest all,
Where is this diacritic: a̭ (below the a) from? Is it an official IPA symbol? If so, would you please give me some references? I have attempted to replace it with a᷆ as it is an IPA symbol for low falling tone, but my edits have been reverted. The other symbol that I have seen in transcription for the Lao low falling tone is ȁ (, but we do not see it for Lao here on Wikipedia. If a᷆ is not to be preferred (I assume it's a fairly new IPA symbol; so, we don't see it in linguistic articles on Lao outside of Wikipedia), then I think ȁ should instead be used because it is at least an IPA symbol. However, I will stop reverting edits now as I do not see a point in doing so anymore.
--Alif Silpachai (talk) 07:47, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

The official IPA symbol is not used much because it's difficult to read; it also doesn't have the best font support (though maybe that's not the problem it used to be). Usually when those newer diacritics are required, phoneticians just switch to Chao tone letters. Since Thai tone is fairly simple, we went with diacritics, and this is the single case where the basic five don't suffice. A subscript grave accent was used in the IPA until 1989; since it was never reassigned, it would still be understood to have that value. That would avoid the legibility problem of the new symbol. The double-grave for bottom tone might also work. (It's not officially a falling-tone symbol, but it's not uncommon to apply symbols a bit loosely.)
In checked syllables, we could simply transcribe it as low, since it's the only low tone. — kwami (talk) 08:08, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your response. It would be difficult to write superscripted Chao letters here on Wikipedia like the way they do in linguistics articles. Personally, I think Chao letters should be used in phonetic transcriptions not phonemic. Alternatively, some linguists simply use numbers to indicate which tone it is: 1 = first tone, 2 = second tone etc. If the diacritic has been outdated for 24 years then I don't see a point in using it anymore. We should either use the new and proper diacritic (a᷆) or ȁ. How do I put this into a vote? --Alif Silpachai (talk) 08:35, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Northern Thai?[edit]

We apparently have a separate Help:IPA for Northern Thai but this help page still seems to encode for Northern Thai. If we're already covering Lao and Thai together, I'm not sure if we would need a separate guide for Northern Thai. Thoughts? — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 22:04, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Now also an Isan Thai column was added. However there is no difference at all, except some omitted letters. This does not serve any purpose. The idea of this page is to show how each symbol is rendered in IPA. It does not matter if a variant of Thai does not use all symbols. I propose to revert to only one column for Thai. −Woodstone (talk) 05:13, 6 September 2017 (UTC)

Isan Thai is basically Lao written in Thai script, so there may be an argument for a separate column, but I think it can be handled with footnotes. The only real difference in Isan that's relevant to this page is that <ร> and <หร> are /l/ or /h/ (eg. รำ = /lám/; รัก = /hāk/) and <ญ> and <หญ> are /ɲ/ and ฉ, ช, ฌ (/tɕʰ/) aren't used. Tone contours are also different, but I think that's already handled sufficiently on this page. So it's a little more than "some omitted letters" since a few letters have different values, but that can easily be indicated with footnotes. Northern Thai, on the other hand, is perhaps different enough to warrant the current situation of being a separate IPA Help page.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 23:18, 6 September 2017 (UTC)
@WilliamThweatt: In the case of Northern Thai, do you mean differences in spelling? Mr KEBAB (talk) 09:30, 9 September 2017 (UTC)

Correspondence between IPA tones and Thai/Lao tone marks (Mai ek/tho/etc.)[edit]

This article gives the IPA tones present in Thai and Lao, but it fails to show which tone marks (called mai ek/eak, mai tho/toh, mai tri/dtree/ti, and mai chattawa/juttawa/catawa) correspond to such tones. According to this external link on Thai tone marks, mai eak is low2, mai toh is falling3, mai dtree is high4, and mai juttawa is rising5; no tone mark means mid tone, I assume. Probably the same applies to Lao. It would be useful to add those tone marks to the tones table in this article. Thank you. (talk) 16:52, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

It is much more complicated than that. The tone marks don't "correspond" to tones. The tone is an integral part of the spoken word, just as important as the consonants and vowels. In writing, the tone of a spoken word is indicated with combinations of high/mid/low class consonants, vowel length, final consonants and, sometimes, tone markers. The tone indicated by a particular spelling depends on all 4 of these factors, not just the tone marker. Furthermore, Thai tones are different than Lao tones. In fact, different dialects within both Thai and Lao have different tone contours and even totally different tones. Central Thai has 5 tones, Chiang Mai Thai has 6 tones, most Lao and Isan dialects have 6 tones, while some have 7 and Lao in Luang Prabang has 5. So, in central Thai, a mai ek with a low class consonant indicates a falling tone, but a mai ek with a mid class consonant indicates a low tone. In most dialects of Lao, a mai ek with either a low or mid class consonant indicates a mid level tone. There is no one-to-one correspondence between tone marker and spoken tone. See Thai language, Thai alphabet#Tone, Lao language#Indication of tones and Isan language#Vientiane Lao Dialect for more info and references.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 20:33, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Help talk:IPA which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 16:18, 15 July 2017 (UTC)