Towards the Phonology of Thai English


  • Suthinee Peerachachayanee


Thai English, Phonological Features, World Englishes, English as a Lingua Franca, Pronunciation


Thai English or ‘Tinglish’ is an emerging local English variety spoken by Thai people to other English speakers who share different lingual and cultural backgrounds. This study was set to identify phonological features of Thai English and its phonological processes. The speech data were collected from 30 university students who were in different majors at a private university. The data were obtained through three different tasks, including presentations, reading passages, and class observations. The recording analysis revealed that Thai English includes a smaller set of consonant phonemes (17 phonemes) compared to English (24 phonemes). It is particularly evident in fricative sounds where there is no voicing contrast, while most of the other consonant phonemes remain the same. In addition, nineteen Thai English vowels were observed in which the original English vowels are replaced by Thai regional qualities; three diphthongs are pronounced as plain long vowels. For suprasegmental features, Thai English speakers tend to equally stress each syllable, and there is no vowel reduction. Besides, each syllable is equipped with a Thai tone according to certain rules.


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