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Lanna Tai of the 16th century: A preliminary study of the Sino-Lanna Manual of Translation
|dc.description.abstract||Our current understanding of the historical phonology of the Lanna Tai language, a variety of Southwestern Tai spoken by the majority in the northern part of Thailand, is largely limited to two stages: modern dialects and the reconstructed Proto-Southwestern Tai. This paper presents a study on an intermediate stage in the 16th century by applying a graphemic analysis to the Chinese transcription of the pronunciation of the Lanna Tai vocabulary as it appears in the Lanna version of the Sino-Xenic Manual of Translation (Chinese: 華夷譯語Huá-Yí Yìyǔ), a Chinese document produced in the early 16th century for communications on diplomatic mission between the Ming Chinese imperial court and the Lanna kingdom (Yongbunkeat 1968; Shintani 1974). By comparing the correspondences between the Chinese characters and the transcribed Lanna Tai lexical items, this study shows that 16th century Lanna Tai differs from modern Lanna Tai dialects in terms of retaining the original contrast between the pairs of 1) *r and *h, 2) *x and *kh, and 3) *ch and *s. On the other hand, 16th century Lanna Tai might have not fully symmetricised the Proto-Southwestern Tai vowel inventory since there is evidence for the acquisition of only the two long non-front mid vowels *oː and *ɤː, but not for the front mid vowel *eː and two short non-central low vowels *ɛ and *ɔ. In addition, the tone system of the 16th century was almost identical to the modern dialects as well. This study is the first to propose the sound system of Lanna Tai in an intermediate stage between the proto-language and the current language.|
|dc.title||Lanna Tai of the 16th century: A preliminary study of the Sino-Lanna Manual of Translation|
|prism.publicationname||Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society|
|Appears in Collections:||
A. Research Papers (Peer-Reviewed)|
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