WORD STUDY

Point 1. The meaning of lɛ́ɛw. You have now had several examples of the use of the word lɛ́ɛw 'already,' though it has not always been translated in exactly that way. In the examples shown immediately below that part of the English translation which most nearly expresses the meaning of the word lɛ́ɛw in the particular Thai example is put in bold face:

Phîisǎaw phǒm tɛ̀ɛŋŋaan lɛ́ɛw. 'My older sister is already married.'
khǎw pay bâan lɛ́ɛw. 'He has gone home' or 'He has already gone home';
also, 'He
had gone home' or 'He had already gone home.'
khun kin ʔaahǎanthîaŋ lɛ́ɛw rʉ̌ʉ yaŋ khráp. 'Have you eaten lunch yet?'

From these examples, then, you will notice that lɛ́ɛw simply means that whatever it is you are talking about has already happened. The word lɛ́ɛw also occurs in a numberr of set phrases with special translation. These set phrases should be memorized. Those you have had so far are:

dii lɛ́ɛw.

'That's good.'
thùuk lɛ́ɛw. 'That's right.'
phɔɔ lɛ́ɛw. 'That's enough.'


Point 2. The question phrase rʉ̌ʉ yaŋ. In the Basic Sentences of this unit you have had a new question phrase rʉ̌ʉ yaŋ, which is composed of rʉ̌ʉ 'or' and yaŋ 'still, yet.' The phrase has the same meaning as the English word 'yet' when used in questions, such as, 'Have you eaten yet?' The sentences below contain examples of this question phrase followed by both a 'yes' answer and a 'no' answer.

khun sʉ́ʉ sôm lɛ́ɛw rʉ̌ʉ yaŋ khráp. 'Have you bought oranges yet?'
sʉ́ʉ lɛ́ɛw khráp. 'Yes.' Also simply: khráb. 'Yes.'
yaŋ khráp. 'No.'
khǎw pay bâan lɛ́ɛw rʉ̌ʉ yaŋ khráp. 'Has he gone home yet?'
pay lɛ́ɛw khráp. 'Yes.' Or: khráb 'Yes'
yaŋ khráp. 'No.'

Point 3. The position of nʉ̀ŋ. This word may be placed either before or after the classifier, e.g., phûuchaay nʉ̀ŋ khon 'one man' or phûuchaay khon nʉ̀ŋ 'a man.' If placed before, it is a number-word (Unit 2, p.61); if placed after, it is a descriptive word (Unit 3,p. 89). Only nʉ̀ŋ is used in both ways.

Point 4. The use of câʔ and cáʔ. The words cáʔ and cáʔ are used like khráp (employed by men) or khâʔ and kháʔ (employed by women) except that the social status of the person spoken to is different. Men use khráp when speaking to people of the same age and social position and also to older people or people of higher social position. Women use khâʔ and kháʔ in the same circumstances. The words câʔ and cáʔ, on the other hand, are used by both men and women when speaking to children and also when speaking to people of lower social position, such as servants. Besides this, the words are also used between intimates; therefore a man might use them when speaking to his wife or sweetheart and two women who are very close friends might use them when speaking to each other.
Because of the fact that the words
cáʔ and cáʔ sometimes imply intimacy, care must be taken in using them. As far as what polite words you yourself should use are concerned, you will be able to get along in all ordinary circumstances if you follow the suggestions below:
1) When speaking to children us
câʔ and cáʔ.
2) When speaking to salespeople or tradesmen, omit the polite word altogether. You may also do this when speaking to servants, if you wish.
3) When speaking to friends, elders, or superiors, use
khráp (if you are a man) and khâʔ and kháʔ (if you are a woman).

Point 5. The words mɔ̌ɔ and phɛ̂ɛt. Both mɔ̌ɔ and phɛ̂ɛt mean 'doctor,' but phɛ̂ɛt is more formal and more precise than mɔ̌ɔ. The difference between the two words is therefore something like the difference between 'physician' and 'doctor' in English, for phɛ̂ɛt always refers to a person who treats physical ills, but mɔ̌ɔ, while it means this, too, also has a wider meaning, as in mɔ̌ɔduu 'astrologer, fortune-teller' (from 'the looking doctor').

Point 6. Some special phrases.

dây ŋən 'to make money,' lit. 'to get money,' composed of dây 'to get, obtain' and ŋən 'money, silver.'

dəən thaaŋ 'to travel,' lit. 'to walk the way,' composed of dəən 'to walk' and thaaŋ 'path, way.' However, the phrase dəən thaaŋ refers to any kind of travelling and does not have to be on foot.

hěn dûay 'to agree (with what has been said),' lit. 'to see with,' composed of hěn 'to see' and dûay 'with by means of; also.'

maa hǎa 'to come see (a person),' lit. 'to come look for,' composed of maa, 'to come' and hǎa 'to look for.'

mii ʔaachîip 'to make a living,' lit. 'to have a living,' composed of mii 'to have' and ʔaachîip 'living, livelihood, occupation.'

pay hǎa 'to go see (a person),' lit. 'to go look for,' composed of paj 'to go' and hǎa 'to look for.' Compare with maa hǎa above.

thâa yàaŋ nán 'in that case,' lit. 'if it is that way,' composed of thâa 'if,' yàaŋ 'kind, sort; way (of doing something),' and nán 'that.'

tham ŋaan 'to work,' lit. 'to do work,' composed of tham 'to do, make' and ŋaan 'work, job, ceremony.'

Point 7. Some compounds.

ʔaahǎanthîaŋ 'lunch, luncheon, noon meal,' lit. 'noon food,' from ʔaahǎan 'food' + thîaŋ 'noon.' Note that ʔaahǎanthîaŋ means the 'lunch' that you eat at noon; it does not refer to the kind of lunch that you pack up and take along with you.

khonkhǎaykhɔ̌ɔŋ 'salesman, salesperson,' lit. 'selling person,' from khon 'person' + khǎay khɔ̌ɔŋ 'to sell things.'

khonŋaan 'worker, laborer, hand,' lit. 'work-person,' from khon + ŋaan 'work, job.'