All the words we've encountered so far have started either with a single consonant, or with
a glottal stop (อ). There are many words, however, which start with a consonant cluster.
However, in Thai the range of possible such clusters is limited to:
The tone of the word is determined by the initial consonant. So, for example:
Rather illogically perhaps, the tone mark is written above the second consonant of the cluster.
So, for example:
Unfortunately, when reading polysyllabic words we can no longer rely upon a consonant associated with a vowel
to be the first consonant of a syllable when that consonant is ร/ล/ว. We need to look at the preceding
consonant to determine whether or not we're dealing with a consonant cluster.
Here are some polysyllabic words, most with consonant clusters to read: