There is a theory, applicable to all human languages, that is even encoded in what certain words mean in linguistics. Namely, "related" is taken to be a claim about genetic (historical) relations between languages. When we say that English and German are related, we mean that they historically derive from a single language. When we say that English and ...
I can't comment on Lao, but I know that the Thai word originally meant "water skipper" (insects of the family Gerridae). Nowadays these bugs can be called จิงโจ้น้ำ /ciŋ.côo náam/, according to my older Thai neighbor. Thai-language.com includes this now-secondary meaning from the Royal Institute 1982 dictionary (http://thai-language.com/id/136374). You can ...
Wouldn’t Thai เปล่า be the etymological equivalent of Lao ບໍ່ ? My impression is that เปล่า is mainly used as a question tag and response, as in
เป็นหวัดหรือเปล่า? (Do you have a cold?) เปล่า (No.)
(ไม่ would also be possible here, but sounds more formal.)
But the Longdo dictionary entry also has it in preverbal position:
I see no contradiction here:
Lao: ຊ (ຊ ຊ້າງ) [so sâːŋ]
is a direct equivalent of
Thai: ช ช้าง [tɕʰo tɕʰáːŋ]
This even includes the meaning of the verbose name of the consonant ("an elephant").
Many other words "behave" the same, they preserve their written forms but pronounced according to each language's standards:
"nation" ชนชาติ [tɕʰon tɕʰâːt] - ...
"ໜຽວ" is 1 syllable, "ຽ" /iːə/ is a typical Lao diphthong with falling sonority, and "ວ" is a consonant /w/, so this is a CVC-type syllable, /n/-/iːə/-/w/, /niːəw/. Note, that /w/ is allowed as the coda in Lao syllables (See A Grammar of Lao, p. 35, section "3.3 Final consonants." Lower on that page there is a list of Lao vowel phonemes and there are no ...
The symbols the Thai and Khmer scripts share but which are not used in Classical Sanskrit are few. They are these:
Consonant: Khmer ឡ [lɑː] and Thai ฬ [ḷa]. This symbol is used in Pali and Vedic Sanskrit words for the sound [ḷ] which does not exist in Classical Sanskrit.
These vowel diacritics: Khmer ឹ [ə]/[ɨ] and Thai ◌ึ [ɯ] and their long counterparts; ...
This video from Youtube, Stories behind Polite Endings in Thai ครับ/ค่ะ and Lao, answers all of your questions. Let me write down some excerpts from there:
The polite particles came from legacy words of master/servant relations. As you know, social status and relationship of people in a conversation impacts on the style of such conversation;
Does Lao ...
My best guess is that the final syllable is from the Khmer word for to walk. It makes sense based on how the Khmer word for stairs is spelled. At least I cannot find any other good explanation as I do not know where the Thai syllable ได should come from besides Khmer.
ដើរ /daə/ to walk, to go, to move, to operate; to be working, to be operating (e.g. ...
I found one paper on the Internet which presents a syllabification algorithm for Lao:
Syllabification of Lao Script for Line Breaking
I don't find it fully describes what it purports to though and it seems to cover syllable structures I'm so far unaware of in Lao.
I have found this one, the icu_tokenizer.
The icu_tokenizer uses the same Unicode Text Segmentation algorithm as the standard tokenizer, but adds better support for some Asian languages by using a dictionary-based approach to identify words in Thai, Lao, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and using custom rules to break Myanmar and Khmer text into syllables.
It's likely that the Laotian borrowed the Vietnamese dish. Pho originates in Northern Vietnam in either Hanoi or Namdinh. Over time Northern Vietnamese migrated South and brought the dish with them. Note that pho is the name of the noodle not the dish, similar to bun (bún), mien (miến), mi (mì). The reason pho became of the name of the dish is because it is ...
For a good overview, see the document N. J. Enfield's "A Grammar of Lao" (Google Books), section 2.2.2 Revolutionary reforms. I believe, it answers all your questions, except probably a dictionary:
Note that they are not actually reforms. Instead, I would call them attempts of standardization. The difference between the two may be (vaguely and informally) ...
บ is used in Thai as a negative particle in poetic contexts, I think.
For example, in the บทสวดมนต์ สรภัญญะ :
ตัดมูลเกลสมาร, บ มิหม่นมิหมองมัว
"Who have cut the roots of defilements and are not sorrowful, not dark and gloomy."
Translation source: http://paultrafford.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-buddha-prayer-song-translated.html?m=1
Another word widely heard in Laos when they want to make a sentence more polite, I hear "ໂດຍ" or "ໂດຍຂ້ານ້ອຍ". After asking some friends who speak Lao as a mothertongue, they always use "ໂດย", the shorten form of "ໂດຍຂ້ານ້ອຍ" which is older and more polite, with people in general but prefer using "ເຈົ້າ" with people in higher age and rank, additionally for ...
My Lao friend says that in Luang Prabang they pronounce ໃ as /əə/, e.g. ໃຈ /cəə/ (he wrote it ເຈີ). Historically in both Thai and Lao, this grapheme was /aɯ/. So yes, they are still distinguished in the Luang Prabang dialect.
For Zhuang, the entry by Luo Yongxian in the Routledge language family series for the Tai-Kadai languages is a good overview. The Institute of Language and Culture for Rural Development at Mahidol University in Bangkok, in conjunction with one of the ethnic minority universities in China, has also produced a multilingual dictionary for one variety of Zhuang ...
There’s no reason to assume this is a borrowed word, although Tai languages have borrowed some words with this shape (minor syllable – major syllable, or “sesquisyllabic”) from Khmer and Mon. Marvin Brown in “From Ancient Thai to Modern Dialects” includes several words with the กระ- minor syllable on his list of common Tai etymons, such as กระดูก /kradu:k/ “...
The Thai vowel อู is a high, back, rounded vowel.
The corresponding Lao vowel is very similar and for the Khmer one I can’t comment.
The first element of the Vietnamese diphthong in mười is the vowel ư,
which is a high, central, unrounded vowel.
Vietnamese also has a vowel u, which is like อู is a high back rounded vowel.
The spelling issues in this case are identical in Thai and Lao.
กว่า /kwaa/ (low tone) ‘more than’
กว้าง /kwaang/ (falling tone) ‘broad’
ด้วย /duay/ (falling tone) ‘also’
ด่วน /duan/ (low tone) ‘urgent’
Here are some examples from Thai. In the first two, the [w] letter is a glide, so the tone mark goes above or slightly after it. It is part of the ...
Thai and Lao are prime areas of exploration for the interface of lexical and post-lexical tone phonology. There does seem to be a lack of tone sandhi in the same way that many varieties of Chinese, such as Standard Mandarin or mainstream Xiamen (Amoy) & Taiwanese Hokkien / Southern Min have.
But Lao does have some interesting features in its synchronic ...
For the Vietnamese central (?) vowels you might find this discussion interesting:
especially Palomnik's contributions.
French 'eu' and 'u' are in fact regularly represented by ơ and ư in loanwords from French, although the French vowels are rounded and the Vietnamese are not.