Thai Tones – Background Notes

The five tones of Central Thai (Siamese) have idealized forms that are produced and have been tested synthetically to determine recongition boundaries. However, in running speech there is considerable variation that can be Intraspeaker differences (different tone articulations at different points in time) Interspeaker differences (differences between individuals and between groups) Stressed syllables High and low tones neutralized to mid tone on short checked syllables (unstressed). See: Gandour 1975. Laryngeal coarticulation (which sometimes happens, not always and not with all speakers) Tone has also been proposed as being segmental, namely assigned to > Thai is a mora-timed language, which has a bimoraic requirement on stressed syllables. This is evidenced by segment dis- tributional requirements, including the epenthesis of a glottal stop to augment underlyingly open syllables containing short vowels. -- Moren & Zsiga