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linguistic interference

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Lahu-Garu Thai Phonetic Alphabet-Pi

Professor Emeritus Vichin Panupong, Ph.D.

Associate Fellow of the Academy
The Royal Institute

The system of transliterating and transcribing Pi sound into Siam-script used in
King Chulachomklao of Siam Pi Tipiaka 1893 Edition is an efective way of
philological recording of the Pi Tipiaka. The pronunciation and defnition of
Pi sound in the 1893 Edition were well-preserved to be as close as possible to
those in the original Pi sound as convened in the First Great Tipiaka Council
over 2500 years ago. With reference to the Siam Phonetic Alphabet-Pi
introduced by the King of Siam in the above-mentioned Tipiaka, and following
Kaccyanavykarana-Pi Grammar, this article further explains a phonetic
symbol of /a/ () vowel in the Siam Phonetic Alphabet-Pi as orthographic
symbol which distinctively separates fnal /a/ and cluster /a/ from one another;

[ ] Mai-a () uniquely signifes /a/ sound, [ ] or Mai Wanchakarn

() signifes a fnal /a/, and [ ] or Mai Yamakkarn () signifes
a cluster sound. This Siam Phonetic Alphabet-Pi with Mai-a () is

instrumental in developing the orthographic system of the Thai Phonetic

Alphabet-Pi, a set of which has been proposed to the Academy of Arts and was

published in the Journal of the Royal Institute of Thailand in 2012. Benefting

from that, this article introduces a new Lahu-Garu orthographic system (

for Pi as well as a set of symbols for

transcribing lahu (quick) and garu (long) sounds. Lahu symbol is defned here as
a vowel sound quickly pronounced and lightly printed

[ ] [ ] [ ]. Garu

means a vowel sound pronounced longer and printed in bold








. These



and transcribing into the Lahu-Garu Thai Phonetic Alphabet-Pi


Furthermore, this new approach also helps solve the problem of linguistic
interference of the Thai alphabet in writing and reading the Pi sound.
Keywords : Pi, transliteration, transcription, orthography, KaccyanavykaranaPi, Mai-a Siam Phonetic Alphabet-Pi, Lahu-Garu Thai Phonetic AlphabetPi, linguistic interference