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Thai language

Thai (th. ภาษาไทย (paasaa thai), lit. the language of Thai) is the official language of Thailand, and of no other country. Central Thai[?] is the official dialect of Thailand though the Thai Yuan dialect and Lao dialect are spoken by many people in the north and northeast regions of the country. It is part of the Tai/Daic language family, whose origin is uncertain but which is sometimes linked to the Austro-Asiatic[?], the Austronesian or Sino-Tibetan language families. Thai is a tonal language, with both lexical and grammatical uses of tones. The Thai alphabet originates from the Devanagari script via Pali, and is quite complex from the perspective of Unicode and computer text rendering, because:

  1. It is an abugida script.
  2. Vowels associated with consonants are nonsequential: they can precede, follow, or surround their associated consonant(s).
  3. Tone markers can occur at several places relative to the vowel grapheme.

From the perspective of linguistic typology, Thai can be considered to be an analytic language. Like many Asian languages, the Thai pronomial and inflectional system includes markers for the sex and relative status of both speaker and audience. This combination of tonality, complex orthography, relational markers, in addition to a complex phonology, can make Thai a difficult language for many Europeans to learn.



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