Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Siamese(Thai) architecture (1350–1500)
Thai (Siamese) Language
the language of the Khon Thais in Thailand; the official language of Thailand. Thai belongs to the Thai group of languages; its deeper genetic links have not been established. There are four dialects: central (the basis of the literary language), northern, northeastern, and southern.
Structurally, Thai is a syllabic language. The syllable generally corresponds to the morpheme and is thus the basic structural unit, characterized by a specific tone. Thai has five tones that serve to distinguish meaning. Phonologically, there are 20 consonants and 24 vowel phonemes, of which 18 are monophthongs and six are diphthongs. The vowels are paired according to length and shortness. Word formation occurs chiefly by means of compounding. Morphologically, Thai is an analytic language; the grammatical meaning of the content word is transmitted by auxiliary words.
Typologically, Thai belongs to the root-isolating languages. The written language, established in 1283, derives from southern Indian script, probably through Khmer writing.
REFERENCESMorev, L. N., Iu. Ia. Plam, and M. F. Fomicheva. Taiskii iazyk. Moscow, 1961.
Noss, R. B. Thai: Reference Grammar. Washington, D.C., 1964.
L. N. MOREV