Lesson 28

Unwritten Linking Syllables


In some words an additional, unwritten, linking syllable is added to make pronunciation easier. For example, ผล (fruit) as a stand alone word is pronounced /phǒn/, and ไม้ (plant) is pronounced /máy/. However, the compound word, ผลไม้ (fruit) is pronounced /phǒnˑ​laˑ​máy/ − the linking syllable /la/ has been added. The linking syllable is pronounced with the written final consonant of the first syllable, plus an unstressed /a/.

Similarly วัสดุ (material) is pronounced /wátˑsaˑdù/ and อพยพ (to migrate) is pronounced /òpˑphaˑyóp/.

Here are some common words that have a linking syllable:

Note: ปกติ (usually) can be pronounced either /pòkˑkaˑtì/ or /paˑkaˑtì/. Similarly, มกราคม (January), which we encountered in the previous lesson pronounced /máˑkàˑraaˑkhom/, can also be pronounced /mòkˑkàˑraaˑkhom/.

Here are some words to read, all of which have one or more linking syllables. Beware though that some of them also included unwritten /a/, as encountered in the previous lesson.

Finally, here's a selection of common words, some with unwritten /a/, and others with linking syllables. Can you tell which is which?