Grammar was published in 2002 by Orchid Press in Bangkok. It covers
all aspects of Thai sentence structure (over 500 topics) illustrated
with typical Thai sentences that catch the sound of modern spoken
Thai (over 2000 sample sentences).
The book was
written for people learning Thai at the intermediate and advanced
level and much of the information is new, based on analysis of Thai
grammar by the authors. The book uses same phonetic system and tone
markers described on this webpage, and examples are also written in
Thai script (see the sample pages). Because of the complexity of the
English and Thai examples given, native Thai speakers will also find
the book useful for studying English and for understanding the grammar
of their own language.
The authors spent
many years collecting and analyzing samples of spoken Thai, starting
when they worked together at a refugee camp in Thailand. Many other
people contributed to the book, most of them language teachers and
trainers working in the same refugee camp. The American author organized
the book and found the various sentence patterns, while the Thai author
analyzed the structures and explained usage. Together they developed
descriptions and rules of Thai syntax covering all the patterns they
were able to find.
from Amazon US:
important and comprehensive book on Thai ever
This book is a genuine breath of fresh air in the domain of Thai language
studies. It breaks new ground in many areas, and any intermediate
student will want to have this book.
I could quibble: nobody needs a new system of Thai transliteration,
but the authors have thunk up their own, and it's not as good as they
think. As a friend said long ago, "The last thing anyone needs
is a new system of Thai transliteration." Why?? Picture the avid
student of Thai, trying to deal with 15 books with 15 different systems
But ignore the quibble: this book is really a crowning achievement,
going instantly to the head of the class. It is full of real sentences
and real language. In this respect, it puts the eccentric reference
grammar by Moss (written decades ago) into a much-deserved shade.
Good luck on understanding the difference between "pen"
From Thai Students Webpage (University Students in Thailand operating
Review by "mrentoul":
A new book on the grammar of spoken Thai has been released, and it
must be the best book on Thai I've seen. Thai Reference Grammar, by
James Higbie and Snea Thinsan, is a reference book rather than something
you're likely to polish off in one sitting. The authors analysed examples
of spoken and colloquial Thai, then came up with their own examples
to illustrate how sentences are built. It comes to more than 400 pages,
and must represent thousands of hours of work.
The authors consulted
Thai speakers interested in passing on the language, to find out what
makes it tick. The transliteration system is good: it gives you the
length of vowels as they exist in spoken Thai.
This can be different
from their value in written Thai, and in fact the authors change the
Thai spelling of some words, given in their examples, to show the
way the words are pronounced (kao, for he, has a high tone in spoken
Thai but rising tone in written Thai) in cases where this differs
from the written version!
The book does
not confine itself to spoken Thai, however; for any given word ('so',
for example, in the sense of consequently or therefore) it will give
you the six or seven Thai words in use, and show you how they are
deployed; and will tell you which are in every-day use and which you're
likely to encounter mainly in writing ie the formal ones you can avoid.
The authors seem
to know exactly what trips up or holds back a learner. You'll find
an entire chapter here devoted to the order of events (before, after,
in three days time), another to tenses, another one again to the use
of 'gor', and yet another to end-sentence particles.
This book is a
serious and comprehensive study of Thai. I know of none better, and
have read plenty. It is accessible, though will take you a while to
get through: I spent three hours with it today, and covered less than
half a chapter!
Not only is this a pretty cool grammar book, but this book also gives
you the essential information to take your "classroom thai"
and transform it more into "common speech." I use this book
all the time, and I highly recommend it to any and all intermediate
and advance students.