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Tai Tham alphabet

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Tai Tham alphabet

Tai Tham
Type
Languages Northern Thai, Tai Lü, Khün
Time period
c. 1300–present
Parent systems
ISO 15924 Lana, 351
Direction Left-to-right
Unicode alias
Tai Tham
U+1A20–U+1AAF

The Tai Tham script (Northern Thai: ᨲᩫ᩠ᩅᨾᩮᩬᩥᨦ, Northern Thai pronunciation:    , tua mueanɡ; Tai Lü: ᦒᧄ , Tham, "scripture"), also known as the Lanna script or Tua Mueang, is used for three living languages: Northern Thai (that is, Kham Mueang), Tai Lü and Khün. In addition, the Lanna script is used for Lao Tham (or old Lao) and other dialect variants in Buddhist palm leaves and notebooks. The script is also known as Tham or Yuan script.

The Northern Thai language is a close relative of Thai and member of the Chiang Saeng language family. It is spoken by nearly 6,000,000 people in Northern Thailand and several thousand in Laos of whom few are literate in Lanna script. The script is still read by older monks. Northern Thai has six linguistic tones and Thai only five, making transcription into the Thai alphabet problematic. There is some resurgent interest in the script among younger people, but an added complication is that the modern spoken form, called Kammuang, differs in pronunciation from the older form.[1]

There are 670,000 speakers of Tai Lü of whom those born before 1950 are literate in Lanna script. The script has also continued to be taught in the monasteries. There are 120,000 speakers of Khün for which Lanna is the only script.

Name board outside a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai written with Lanna characters: Wat Mokhamtuang (and street number 119 in Thai)

Consonants

Consonants are divided into two groups: main consonants (พยัญชนะหลัก) and added consonants (พยัชนะเติม). There are 33 main consonants, and there are 15 added consonants. The main consonants are those from Pali. The main consonant group is further divided into two groups: categorized (พยัญชนะวัคค์, vagga) and uncategorized consonants (พยัญชนะอวัคค์, avagga). There are 25 categorized consonants, and there are 8 uncategorized consonants. The added consonant group consists of consonants that have been added to write Tai sounds that do not occur in Pali.
Categorized
Obstruents Nasals
main added main added main added main


/k/
hiɡh

khá
/x/
hiɡh

khá
/x/
hiɡh

ka᷇
/k/
low

kha᷇
/x/
low

kha᷇
/x/
low

nga᷇
/ŋ/
low

chá
/t͡ɕ/
hiɡh


/s/
hiɡh

cha᷇
/t͡ɕ/
low

sa᷇
/s/
low
,
sa᷇
/s/
low

nya᷇
/ɲ/
low

la tá
/t/
hiɡh
,
la thá
/tʰ/
hiɡh

da᷇
/d/
mid

la tha᷇
/tʰ/
low

la na᷇
/n/
low


/t/
hiɡh

thá
/tʰ/
hiɡh

ta᷇
/t/
low

tha᷇
/tʰ/
low

na᷇
/n/
low


/b/
mid


/p/
hiɡh

phá
/pʰ/
hiɡh


/f/
hiɡh

pa᷇
/p/
low

fa᷇
/f/
low

pha᷇
/pʰ/
low

ma᷇
/m/
low
Uncategorized

nya᷇
/ɲ/
low


/j/
mid

ha᷇
/h/
low

la᷇
/l/
low

wa᷇
/w/
low


/s/
hiɡh


/s/
hiɡh


/s/
hiɡh


/h/
hiɡh

la᷇
/l/
low
,
á
/ʔ/
mid

ha᷇
/h/
low
,
lāe
/lɛ̄ː/


/nāː/

sǒr sǒnɡ ho᷇nɡ
/sɔ̌ː sɔ̌ːŋ hɔ᷇ːŋ/

nya᷇ nya᷇
/ɲa᷇ʔ ɲa᷇ʔ/

ra rōnɡ
/la᷇.hōːŋ/

lu᷇e
/lɯ᷇ʔ/

lūe
/lɯ̄ː/

Vowels

Northern Thai language written in Tai Tham script in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Vowels are written at various locations around their consonant, like Thai.[2] There are special letters for initial vowels, and many vowel combinations.

Pali vowels

Tai Tham - -
-ᩣ -ᩮᩣ,-ᩮᩤ,
IPA /ʔáʔ/ /ʔāː/ /ʔíʔ/ /ʔīː/ /ʔúʔ/ /ʔūː/ /ʔēː/ /ʔōː/

Tonal markers


mai yo
/máj.jɔ́ʔ/

mai kho chang
/máj.xɔ̌ː.t͡ɕáːŋ/

Tai Tham and Other Scripts

Categorized letters

Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/ká/ -᩠ᨠ က
/xá/ -᩠ᨡ
/xá/ -
/ka᷇/ -᩠ᨣ
/xa᷇/ -
/xa᷇/ -᩠ᨥ
/ŋa᷇/ -᩠ᨦ
Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/t͡ɕá/ -᩠ᨧ
/sá/ -᩠ᨨ
/t͡ɕa᷇/ -᩠ᨩ
/sa᷇/ -
/sa᷇/ -᩠ᨫ
/ɲa᷇/
/ja᷇/[3]
-᩠ᨬ
Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/tá/ -᩠ᨭ
/tʰá/ -᩠ᨮ
/dá/ -᩠ᨯ ฑ,ด ,ດ
/tʰa᷇/ -᩠ᨰ
/na᷇/ -᩠ᨱ
Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/tá/ -᩠ᨲ
/tʰá/ -᩠ᨳ
/ta᷇/ -᩠ᨴ
/tʰa᷇/ -᩠ᨵ
/na᷇/ -᩠ᨶ
Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/bá/ -᩠ᨷ
/pá/ -
/pʰá/ -᩠ᨹ
/fá/ -
/pa᷇/ -᩠ᨻ
/fa᷇/ -
/pʰa᷇/ -᩠ᨽ
/ma᷇/ -᩠ᨾ

Uncategorized letters

Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/ɲa᷇/
/ja᷇/[3]
ᨿ -᩠ᨿ ย ต่ำ
/já/ - ย กลาง, อย
/há/
/lá/
-᩠ᩁ
/lɯ́ʔ/ -
/la᷇/ -᩠ᩃ
/lɯ̄ː/ -
/wa᷇/ -᩠ᩅ
Tai Tham Thai Lao Burmese Khmer
IPA Alphabet Subs.
/sá/ -᩠ᩆ
/sá/ -᩠ᩇ
/sá/ -᩠ᩈ
/há/ -᩠ᩉ
/la᷇/ -᩠ᩊ
/ʔá/ -᩠ᩋ
/ha᷇/ -

Numerals

Arabic numerals 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Hora digits
Tham digits
Thai numerals
Lao numerals
Burmese numerals
Khmer numerals

Sanskrit and Pali

The Tai Tham script (like all Indic scripts) uses a number of modifications to write Pali and related languages (in particular, Sanskrit). When writing Pali, only 33 consonants and 12 vowels are used.

Plosives (วัคค์ ᩅᩢᨣ᩠ᨣ᩼ vagga)

class unaspirated
unvoiced
สิถิลอโฆษะ
aspirated
ธนิตอโฆษะ
unaspirated
voiced
สิถิลโฆษะ
aspirated
voiced
ธนิตโฆษะ
nasal
นาสิก
velar [ka] khá [kha] ka᷇ [ga] kha᷇ [gha] nga᷇ [ṅa]
palatal [ca] [cha] ca᷇ [ja] sa᷇ [jha] nya᷇ [ña]
retroflex [ṭa] thá [ṭha] da᷇ [ḍa] tha᷇ [ḍha] na᷇ [ṇa]
dental [ta] thá [tha] ta᷇ [da] tha᷇ [dha] na᷇ [na]
labial [pa] phá [pha] pa᷇ [ba] pha᷇ [bha] ma᷇ [ma]
tone class H L

Non-plosives (อวัคค์ ᩋᩅᩢᨣ᩠ᨣ᩼ avagga)

glottal palatal retroflex dental labial tonal class
nya᷇ [ya] ha᷇ [ra] la᷇ [la] wa᷇ [va] L
[śa] [ṣa] [sa] H
[ha]

Unicode

Tai Tham script was added to the Unicode Standard in October, 2009 with the release of version 5.2.

Block

The Unicode block for Tai Tham is U+1A20–U+1AAF:

Tai Tham[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1A2x
U+1A3x ᨿ
U+1A4x
U+1A5x  ᩖ  ᩘ  ᩙ  ᩚ  ᩛ  ᩜ  ᩝ  ᩞ
U+1A6x     ᩢ  ᩥ  ᩦ  ᩧ  ᩨ  ᩩ  ᩪ  ᩫ  ᩬ
U+1A7x  ᩳ  ᩴ  ᩵  ᩶  ᩷  ᩸  ᩹  ᩺  ᩻  ᩼  ᩿
U+1A8x
U+1A9x
U+1AAx
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 7.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

Fonts

There are currently a few fonts that support this range.[4] Thai people are used to typing the Thai script by placing a front vowel before a consonant; this might cause incorrect input method for Tai Tham script because the consonant must be always typed before the associated vowel, regardless of the relative written position of the vowel, similar to typing the Khmer, Myanmar or Tamil script.

References

  1. ^ Natnapang Burutphakdee (October 2004). ]Attitudes of Northern Thai Youth towards Kammuang and the Lanna Script [Khon Muang Neu Kap Phasa Muang (PDF) (M.A. Thesis). Presented at 4th National Symposium on Graduate Research, Chiang Mai, Thailand, August 10–11, 2004. Asst. Prof. Dr. Kirk R. Person, adviser. Chiang Mai: Payap University. P. 7, digital image 30. Archived from the original on 2013-06-14. Retrieved June 8, 2013. The reason why they called this language ‘Kammuang’ is because they used this language in the towns where they lived together, which were surrounded by mountainous areas where there were many hill tribe people. 
  2. ^ see examples of syllabic vowels in Ian James' rendition of Lanna, New Lanna at SkyKnowledge.com
  3. ^ a b In Tai Lue
  4. ^ Tai Tham fonts, Southeast Asian Unicode fonts for Windows computers, Alan Wood’s Unicode Resources

External links

  • ISO/IEC 10646:2003/Amd.5:2008 Universal Multiple-Octet Coded Character Set (UCS) -- Amendment 5: AMENDMENT 5: Tai Tham, Tai Viet, Avestan, Egyptian Hieroglyphs, CJK Unified Ideographs Extension C, and other characters
  • Tai Tham Unicode Font
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