Writing Thai | Dead Syllables and Live Syllables

By March 17, 2009Writing Thai Script

Dead Syllables and learn thai grammar dead and live syllables Live Syllables | Thai Script

There are 2 kinds of Syllables in Thai which are Dead and Live Syllables.

Thai syllables can be categorized into 2 groups which are Dead syllables and Live syllables. In Thai language, words can consist of more than one syllable.

To read and pronounce each syllable correctly you will need to know about the syllables whether they are dead syllables or live syllables. We spend a longtime practising this with our students at our Thai Language School.

Thai grammar

To know this you need to understand about the rules of dead and live syllable

Rule no. 1: Dead syllables end in Short Vowels

Rule no.2: Live syllables end in Long vowels

Rule no.3: Dead syllables end in Stop final letters group

Rule no.4: Live syllables end in Sonorant final letters group

The dead syllables and live syllables play a major role in Thai tones and pronunciation. To use the right tone markers you will need to know the three groups of Thai consonants and the two groups of Thai vowels.

A Dead Syllable consists of a Short Vowel or a Stop Final Consonant. For example:

Final Consonants

ก ไก่                                                      ด เด็ก                                        บ ใบไม้

gɔɔ gài (chicken)                   dɔɔ dèg (child)                              bɔɔ baimái(leaf)

Short Vowels

–ะ               –ิ              –ึ              –ุ              เ–ะ              แ–ะ

โ–ะ              เ–าะ            –ัวะ           เ–ียะ         เ–ือะ         เ–อะ

A Live Syllable consists of Long Vowel or  a Sonorant Final Consonant. For example:

Sonorant Finals

ง        ngɔɔ nguu (snake)

น        nɔɔ nǔu (mouse)

ม        mɔɔ máa (horse)

ย        yɔɔ yág (giant)

ว          wɔɔ wɛ̌ɛn (ring)

Long Vowels

–า               –ี              –ือ            –ู              เ–                แ–

โ–                –อ               –ัว             เ–ีย           เ–ือ           เ–อ

At this stage, you will need to know more about Thai final letters.

What are the Stop final letters and Sonorant final letters? Check our other blogs.

Gaew
Thai Language Teacher