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Matching Sanskrit devanagari with the Thai script

Vowel & consonant graphemes (letters), syllables, and orthography

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Matching Sanskrit devanagari with the Thai script

Postby leftyloosey » Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:38 pm

I stumbled across this "Rosetta Stone" recently on the net. It's a jpg that matches Sanskrit to Thai, Khmer, Burmese, and Lanna. Apologies if this is already a well-known matching, it's new to me and I thought it was pretty cool.
Attachments
DevanagariScriptMatching.JPG
Chart for matching the devanagari script with Thai and other southeast Asian languages
DevanagariScriptMatching.JPG (140.5 KiB) Viewed 17015 times
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Re: Matching Sanskrit devanagari with the Thai script

Postby Pirin » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:20 pm

.....
Last edited by Pirin on Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Matching Sanskrit devanagari with the Thai script

Postby Richard Wordingham » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:01 pm

There are arguments either way for whether it is or that should be identified with the unsplit consonant. As the Thai and Tham (whether Lanna- or Khuen-style) letters are clearly related and derivative, there is a case for splitting them from the rest. But, if you want to include musikatoan (ប៉), what about treisap (ប៊)?

There is a definite error with the Tham entry under . The Tham letter () corresponds to Thai - as in Thai บัณฑิต. Khmer (and the Khom script for Thai) uses the letter for /d/.

I don't think the Tham phonetic equivalent of is a script equivalent. I think the Thai letter is actually historically related to the Lao phonetic equivalent lo lot (LO LING in Unicode, an infamous error). The Lao variant of Tham has a corresponding equivalent, not yet encoded. The Tham form given, U+1A49 TAI THAM LETTER LOW HA, looks like a deliberate modification of the letter corresponding to .

Finally, a lot of the new Thai letters correspond to the Devanagari forms with nukta.
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Re: Matching Sanskrit devanagari with the Thai script

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:08 am

leftyloosey wrote: It's a jpg that matches Sanskrit to .... Apologies if this is already a well-known matching, it's new to me and I thought it was pretty cool.


Most of the South East Asian scripts are Brahmic scripts. Sanskrit is not a writing system so that several writing systems are used for representing Sanskrit, among them Devanagari, Thai, and Latin (applying transliteration rules such as IAST or H-K).

Suvarnabhumi (สุวรรณภูมิ) airport is such a transliteration interpreting the ro han (รร) as a Sanskrit -ar (assuming the term would be Pali it would be -an), but leaving out the e.g. majuscule convention (suvarNabhumi) required for H-K.

The transcription of สุวรรณภูมิ, using RTGS for transcription, would be Suwannaphum.

Concerning the relationship of the obsolete Thai letters kho khuat and kho khon, and even more the Thai so so, with Devanagari:

a) For which language the writing system Khün is used, and btw., why a (German?) umlaut is used for the spelling of this writing system?
b) I always thought (without any good reason) that the Thai letter So So was introduced to represent in Thai the So Sang of Lao phonetically. b1) How the corresponding letters of Cho Chang and So So are called in Lanna and Khün? b2) Why Lanna has a "So So" at all?
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Re: Matching Sanskrit devanagari with the Thai script

Postby Richard Wordingham » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:00 pm

(a) The Tham script is used for Pali (formerly also amongst the Shan), Tai Khuen, Tai Lue, Northern Thai (until the script's use was prohibited by law) and, reportedly, Lao. It gets its name from its religious use. While the use of <ue> / <ü> for the high back (or mid) unrounded vowel may be perverse, it is well established.

(b1) I've had great difficulty finding the native names of the letters and other symbols. That is why Unicode does not reflect them. Text books use names which are transcribed (i.e. with the sound represented) in Thai as จ๊ะ and ซะ, which leaves a 4-way ambiguity for "ส๋ะ"! The best I can dig out for these two are for Northern Thai and are transliterated into Thai as ช ช้างเทียวช้า and ซ ซ้าไป่สาน (a sort of basket).

(b2) The merger of the sounds of cho chang and so so does not seem to be established throughout Northern Thai (the Thai dictionaries I have make no mention of it); the 'standard' is that it is the low counterpart of the equivalent of cho chan, which is a high consonant in Tai Khuen, Tai Lue and Northern Thai.
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Re: Matching Sanskrit devanagari with the Thai script

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:49 pm

Thank you very much Richard, your post is very valuable for me.

In your original post I had overlooked this statement:

Richard Wordingham wrote: As the Thai and Tham (whether Lanna- or Khuen-style) letters...
.

While looking on the jpg I just was wondering what the difference of Lanna and Khuen actually is. Could you give me the term (Akson) Tham in Thai letters?

There is a point where I do not understand the message:

Richard Wordingham wrote:...the 'standard' is that it is the low counterpart of the equivalent of cho chan, which is a high consonant in Tai Khuen, Tai Lue and Northern Thai.

You are speaking in the preceding part of the sentence about a merger. The 'it' in the quotation is the merger? If 'it' is the Thai/Siamese so so I also do not understand the sentence. My simple thoughts up to now were
จอ จาน = mid class (and therefore phonetically different from the, in the phayanchana, following high and low class consonants)
ฉอ ฉิ่ง = high class
ชอ ช้าง = low class (and "therefore" phonetically identical with cho ching)
ซอ โซ่ = low class ... ooops, low class, by shape similar to cho chang, different from it only by phonetics, thus, representing - only phonetically - Lao so sang. I guess a too simple thought as in Lao ໂສ້ is written with so suea, and, therefore requiring mai tho but not ek.

Sorry that I'm posting a request for clarification concerning the quoted part of your post.

Two additional questions deriving from your post:

1. Do you think that modern Lao script is more Khmer or more Tham derived? Eventually a stupid question since Tham may be a variant of Lao (or vice versa) but my guess, comparing the shapes, is Khmer because I see more similarities of modern Lao script with modern Khmer script.
2. The Laotian spelling reform (about 40 years ago): For the script, what did mean it: Only obsolete letters (such as Thai so so??? Thai kho khon, Thai tho montho etc.) were eliminated, or were also new letters introduced --- and, do you have a jpg from the Phayansana Lao before the reform?

Thx a lot in advance.
Last edited by Thomas on Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Matching Sanskrit devanagari with the Thai script

Postby Richard Wordingham » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:19 am

There are two basic script families involved - the Mon family and the Thai family. The Thai family is more related to the Khmer family, but the resemblance is not very useful. The Thai family includes the Sukhothai script, the scripts designated as 'Thai', Thai Nithet, Thai Noi and Lao. The Mon family includes the modern Burmese script (disregard the Shan complication) and the Tham script, i.e. the Dharma script (Thai ธรรม), including the reformed version. 'New Tai Lue'.

It seems that those who use several scripts are well aware of the correspondences between the scripts, and spelling habits and innovations have been transferred between them. Thus the Sukhothai additions to the script have been copied in the Tham script, and the Lao yo ya (= Siamese อย functionally and in corresponding words) is common to the Thai Noi, Thai Nithet, Lao and Tham scripts. One can see similar transfers if one looks at the 'Khom script', the Thai and Lao variety of the modern Khmer script used for writing Thai and Lao as well as Pali.

The main difference between Thai Noi and Lao is that Thai Noi did not use tone marks. A tendency to omit tone marks can be seen in older forms of other scripts.

Before the Lao spelling reform, there was an attempt to add or revive the missing letters needed to write Pali (and Sanskrit?) in the Lao script rather than the Tham script. Apart from this, I get the impression the Lao spelling reform had little effect on the complement of the Lao script as used for Lao.

You said you could see no reason for Lanna to have an equivalent of so so - I assume this is because you have heard of merger between the sound it represents and the sound represents cho chang in Northern Thai. This is not what is reported for Chiangmai and Chiangrai dialects, though it seems to have happened in my wife's home village.

The tone-class categories of the consonants are not the same in all Tai languages. For most Tai languages, one can start with a common preliminary division into four groups, and then combine these four basic groups into the two or three tone-classes. (This is the basis of the 'Gedney box', an effective method of summarising tone development in most Tai-Kadai languages.) The divisions, in terms of proto-Tai consonants and the resulting Thai consonants, are:

Group 1: Originally voiceless fricatives, voiceless resonants and voiceless aspirates:
*h(), *x(), *s(), *f();
*hr(), *hl(หล), *hw(หว); (In SW Tai, *hr merged with *h)
*hŋ(หง), *hɲ(หญ or หย), *hn(หน), *hm(หม);
*kh(), *ch(), *th(), *ph()

Group 2ː Originally voiceless unglottalised stops:
*k(), *c(), *t(), *p()

Group ɜ: Glottalised consonants:
*ʔ(), *ʔj(อย), *ʔd(), *ʔb(). (Thai has generally replaced อย by or หย as the tone rules permit.)

Group 4: Originally voiced consonants:
*ɣ(), *z(), *v();
*j(), *r(), *l(), *w();
*ŋ(), *ɲ(), *n(), *m(); (Thai has generally replaced by - *j and *ɲ merged in the dialects discussed here.)
*ɡ(), *ɟ(), *d(), *b()

In Thai and Lao, Group 1 constitutes the high consonants, Groups 2 and 3 constitute the mid consonants, and Group 4 constitutes the low consonants. In these languages, the original voiced stops have become voiceless aspirates. (*ɟ > /s/ makes matters more complex.)

In Northern Thai and Tai Khuen, Groups 1 and 2 constitute the high consonants, Group 3 constitutes the mid consonants, and Group 4 constitutes the low consonants. In these languages (or are they a single language?), the original voiced stops have become unaspirated voiceless stops, as also in Tai Lue and Shan. (*ɟ > /s/, as in Lao and Shan, is known for at least one dialect.)

In Tai Lue and in the Tak Bai dialect of Southern Thai, Groups 1, 2 and 3 constitute the high consonants and Group 4 constitutes the low consonants. There are no mid consonants.
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Re: Matching Sanskrit devanagari with the Thai script

Postby Thomas » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:55 pm

Richard, thank you very much for this comprehenisive answer. I will have to study your explanations a little bit longer to fully understand them. Thank you very much again!
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Re: Matching Sanskrit devanagari with the Thai script

Postby Thomas » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:20 am

Richard Wordingham wrote:You said you could see no reason for Lanna to have an equivalent of so so - I assume this is because you have heard of merger between the sound it represents and the sound represents cho chang in Northern Thai. This is not what is reported for Chiangmai and Chiangrai dialects, though it seems to have happened in my wife's home village.


I guess this refers to my question (literally):

r2d2 wrote: b2) Why Lanna has a "So So" at all?
Last edited by Thomas on Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Matching Sanskrit devanagari with the Thai script

Postby Thomas » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:50 am

Richard, I think my preceding remark is too enigmatic. I should be clearer. There is something missing:

--- Have deleted most parts of my preceding post now ---

I recall, several years ago near Yasothon, that a relative was asking me something about the photos, taken at Ko Chang, on the table. I did not understand the meaning of the term 'lup' she used in her question. I had, however, with me a Thai-German dictionary so I asked the lady to show the term 'lup' in this dictionary. She did so, kindly, and started her search in section lo ling ... until :oops: ... we need ro ruea ... and now I understood the lady as well, rup, the photos!!!
Thus, how 'lup' will be written in Lao? Guess with lo lot?! Or lo ling?
Asking myself where the lady would have searched for 'elephant' ... in a Thai dictionary?!
As already outlined my thoughts about the relationship of Thai letters and Lao phonetics are without any good reason.

Just the spelling of Lao So So, ໂສ້ , is a disproof of all my thoughts I had about this issue. I would have expected that it is written with So Sang ek but not So Suea tho ...

I'm not so well acquainted with Northern Thai but I would not assume that this So Sang/Cho Chang phenomenon is present in Northern Thai: เชียงใหม่ Chiang Mai ... never seen a transcription using Siang Mai (discussions are more around how to represent the vowel).
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