Investigating the Outlines of Semantic Prosody in Thai

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Pornthip Supanfai


To date, there have been relatively few studies of semantic prosody in languages other than English. This study primarily aims to implement the two major approaches to semantic prosody in the literature on the Thai language for the first time in order to set out the parameters for subsequent research in this area. Three Thai words were selected for analysis: /kreeŋcay/ ‘considerate’, /kɔ̀ɔhâykə̀ət/ ‘cause’, and /chɔɔ̂ p/ ‘like’ (in the sense of enjoying (doing) something). Each word was investigated using two contrasting approaches: one oriented towards contrasting negative and positive polarity of evaluation and the other oriented around the Sinclairian concept of the Extended Unit of Meaning. The findings reveal that both approaches can be viable routes to examine the semantic prosody of the words under study, although they are useful for different purposes.


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Supanfai, P. (2018). Investigating the Outlines of Semantic Prosody in Thai. REFLections, 25(2), 98–119. Retrieved from
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