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BANGKOK 20 November 2018 20:52

Richard W

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About Richard W

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  1. What a silly comment. Why should "farangs" know better? Farang clearly means white people, so are you saying that white people are superior to Asians? Farangs should know better because the use of seatbelts is usually mandatory in most of Farangland.
  2. Richard W

    Can'T Get Unbuntu To Boot

    I too have had a bit of a problem booting with Version 2.26.32-33 of the kernel (once only), though switching off and retrying solved the problem for me. (I run Windows 7 and 32-bit Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx). Your problem may be related to Bug 819610. If the problem has gone away for your oldest kernel version, you might want to try booting to Version 2.26.32-32.
  3. Richard W

    Omitted Vowels

    Ahom and Zhuang are relevant that they appear provide evidence of how Thai (or its ancestor) used to be. They're interesting because they strongly suggest that the loss of clusters has started from a roughly central region and spread out. Incidentally, some clusters have been acquired - Thai has acquired ปร-. ตร- and (ถร-/)ทร- (after simplifying PT *pr-, *tr-, *thr- and *dr-), and Northern Thai has acquired a large set of clusters with /w/ as second element. From the fact that Lao uses a version of ร for the low /h/ consonant, I strongly suspect that it did exist when Lao started to be written, and then became /h/. Tai Lue seems not to have completed the change of [r] to [h] until the 20th century - assuming it is now thoroughly complete. The Great Consonant Shift is the main reason that initial Thai consonants have rather different values from the Indian originals, and is why the systems of writing tones is so complicated. Example shifts, which did not change spellings, are: ด [ʔd] > [d] ต [t] > [t] (unchanged) ถ [tʰ] > [tʰ] (unchanged) ท [d] > [tʰ] (southern dialects, e.ɡ. Thai and Lao) ท [d] > [t] (northern dialects, e.ɡ. Northern Thai, Shan, Tai Lue, Red Tai) ธ [dʰ] > [tʰ] (not relevant to native words - pre-shift Thai pronunciation unclear) น [n] > [n] (unchanged) หน [hn] or [n̥] > [n] (starting point uncertain) This change did not result in words formerly pronounced differently being pronounced the same - differences remained, apparently originally in the phonation of the vowel, but ultimately (in Tai) in the tone. This general set of changes also occurred in Cham, Mon-Khmer and Sinitic dialects. The change is still spreading in the island of Hainan. The system of writing derives India, though note that it was initially developed for early Prakrits. Inherent vowels are also used for native words, though Lanna and Lao scripts have an explicit vowel symbol for short /o/. Edited to remove unwarranted IPA g.
  4. It might be, but the assumption is frequently clearly false. Residing legally in Thailand is often not easy for foreign *husbands*, and permanent residence is much harder to come by. (The treatment of foreign husbands and foreign wives is equal according to Thai law, but this seems to be a case of equal but not identical.) In a lot of English-Thai marriages, husbands have a day job and wives a night job, thereby facilitating the splitting of child raising. This is not conducive to the formal study of English. My wife had to abandon her formal study when the local college switched the course days from days when she was not working to days when she was working. Fortunately, language competence was not a requirement back when my wife got her ILR.
  5. Richard W

    Omitted Vowels

    Sound changes spreading across languages is actually quite common. The Great Thai Consonant Shift is part of a change extending across Asia, affecting most of Chinese, Mon and Khmer at least. The sound(s) of English <oi> were borrowed - they did not develop natively. Also, the occurrence rules can be changed under foreign influence. But for the influence of French, /v/ and /dʒ/ would not occur word-initially in English. Once can consider what a hard time the natively developed /ʒ/ (as in vision) has in maintaining itself at the start and end of words. However, a foreign /p/ eventually established itself in Irish, and the foreign /f/ is now established in most, if not all, Slavic languages.
  6. Richard W

    Omitted Vowels

    There may well be a connection, but initial /r/ is preserved in some dialects of Northern Zhuang. (In some dialects, it has become [ɣ] - yet others merge it with [l].) Again, Northern Zhuang (at least, the Wuming dialect) is particularly good at preserving the consonant blends, or at least the liquid part: Proto-Tai *pl- Thai ปลา Wuming pla PT *pr- Thai ตาก Wuming rak PT *phl- or *phr- Thai ผัก Wuming plăk PT *br- Thai พราก Wuming plak PT *ʔbl- or ʔbr- Thai ดาย Wuminɡ ʔdai PT *ml- or *mr- Thai แมลง Wuming neŋ PT *tl- Thai ตัก Wuming răk PT *tr- Thai ตา Wuming ra PT *thr- Thai ห้ำ Wuming răm PT *dl- Thai ลาย Wuming rai PT *dr- Thai ราก Wuming rak PT *nl- or *nr- Thai น้ำ Wuming răm PT *kl- Thai กล้า Wuming kla PT *kr- Thai กรง Wuming ruŋ (But most cognates, including Wuming, have mai tho tone) PT *khl- Thai ขัง Wuming klăŋ PT *khr- Thai ข่าง Wuming raŋ PT *xr- Thai หา Wuming ra PT *kw- Thai กว่า Wuming kwa PT *khw- Thai ขวา Wuming kwa (But Wuming tone is what one would expect from *gw-) PT *ŋw- Thai วัน Wuming ŋɔn PT *xw- Thai แขวน Wuming wen (but mai tho tone) PT *ɣw- Thai ควัน Wuming xɔn Source: Fang Kuei Li, A Handbook of Comparative Tai (1977) Actually, I think it was the realisation that Thai matched Austronesian better than Chinese. The number sets in Tai-Kadai split between the Chinese (and I'd say Chinese rather than Sino-Tibetan) set and an Austronesian set. The currently developing idea is that Tai-Kadai has developed rather like the Austronesian Cham languages. From a preferred CVCVC word structure, it became sesquisyllabic (like Mon-Khmer languages) and then monosyllabic, a stage some of the Cham languages are now going through, with some horribly irregular simplifications of the clusters. There are a very few Kadai dialects (one Buyang, one Laha) that preserve sesquisyllabic reflexes of the Austronesian words. The best source of information I know is to look up Laurent Sagart's works on the Internet and his contributions to the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database. (Veera Ostapirat's work seems to be mostly out of reach, presumably safely tucked away in books and journals.) Laurent Sagart has also been pushing the idea that Austronesian is itself related to Sino-Tibetan - including by some of his contributions to the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Databank.
  7. Richard W

    Omitted Vowels

    And on no account rely on phonetic Thai (solecistic "สัทอักษร") for vowel length. This forum actually had a comprehensible fully capable Roman transcription in its early days - RTGS plus length and tone and the removal of the two other ambiguities.
  8. Richard W

    Omitted Vowels

    Agreed, though some are hypercorrections, as in ทรมาน, and many are (correct) Sanskritisations. By the Khmer-speaking élite, I am inclined to agree. However, many of the combinations seem to have long been alien to Thai and its precursor. This doesn't account for Lao, which has lost all the clusters with /r/ and /l/. The erosion of such clusters has occurred across the Tai languages, with the geographical extremes of Northern Zhuang (Guangxi), Ahom (Assam) and Southern Thai preserving them best.
  9. As the wife got an EEA permit on the basis of it, it will have been valid in the UK, subject to the usual restrictions relating to incapacity to marry, such as pre-existing marriages.
  10. My guess is that it was meant as a last opportunity for your wife-to-be to check that you have actually as much money as you appear to.
  11. Two proposals strike me as fundamentally wrong. The attachment requirement is nasty. It will disqualify many British-Thai couples from settling in Britain. The basic principle is that the couple should be significantly more attached to Britain than any other country. In a great many cases, the attachment to Britain rather than to Thailand is purely financial. Requiring the foreign spouse to have visited Britain twice seems onerous - but I notice from their statistics that a surprisingly high proportion of Thai wives settling in Britain had visited before they settled, so perhaps things have changed over the past decade or so. I notice that the Danes, whose system is given as the example, actually waive the attachment requirements on the foreign spouse when the Danish spouse is reasonably mature and has a *long* association with Denmark, e.g. 28 years residence. (The Danish points requirement seems a real killer - many Thais could only qualify via self-employment, in the unlikely case that there is no required income level for it.) On a historical note it appears that Queen Alexandra would not have qualified - no prior visits to Britain! The previous two queens consort, Queen Caroline and Queen Adelaide, would only have got visas under the Danish 28-year waiver, though they wouldn't have got fiancée visas for their marriages under current rules. (Queen Adelaide would only have needed a visitor's visa for her marriage to the future William IV, as they started married life in Hanover. I don't know whether she would have qualified for settlement when they moved to Britain.) One unpleasant change is the treatment of couples moving to Britain after residence overseas. The probationary period on spouses is intended to discourage foreigners marrying British residents to themselves acquire British residence. On that basis, extending the probationary period from two years to five years is reasonable, provided that recourse to benefits is allowed. However, totally disallowing years spent together overseas is inappropriate.
  12. Richard W

    Thai Men

    You should get a warning for promoting the idea of there being no regional differences between people. Tumbled lies like that encourage racism. There's apparently a significant genetic contribution to baldness, so it would be very odd for there to be no regional differences. Whites suffer most and American Indians least. Confusingly, though, there is also some evidence that diet has an effect - fat seems to encourage baldness.