ThaiARC Thai Verse Index

| Transcription Guide |

Text from: Thomas J. Hudak (1990)
The Indigenization of Pali Meters in Thai Poetry.
Monographs in International Studies.
Southeast Asia Series No. 87. Athens: Ohio University.
(with author's permission)

Note: transcriptions of Thai words provided here do not include tone marks.

      The most common type of kaap in Thai are
  • yaanii with eleven syllables per baat,
  • cha1bang1 with sixteen syllables, and
  • suraangkhanaang with twenty-eight syllables
  • .

     Constraints exist for the number of syllables per baat, the number of baat per stanza, and the rhyme pattern. The only tone requirement states that the final syllable of every stanza be written without a tone mark. In modern pronunciation, these syllables have the mid or rising tone, those tones which developed from the ancient A tone. Based on this evidence, Gedney maintains that the kaap forms and their requirements must have been established and first used in Thai prior to the tone split.
      The yaanii meter has eleven syllables per baat divided into two wak of five and six syllables respectively. Four wak complete a stanza. With its slow rhythm, yaanii is used for descriptions of nature and beautiful objects.
      In chabang, sixteen syllables per baat are arranged in wak of six, four, and six syllables. Three wak complete a single baat and stanza. Commonly found with the chan meters, the chabang meter is often used for narrative and descriptive purposes.
      A single suraangkhanaang stanza has twenty-eight syllables. One stanza consists of one baat. One baat has seven wak with four syllables per wak. With twenty-eight syllables per stanza, suraangkhanaang has a fast rhythm and is frequently used to describe anger, fighting, and high emotion.
      Most chanthalak claim that the Thai kaap forms had their origin in Indic meters. Gedney,on the other hand, believes that "the kaap forms were borrowed in toto form Cambodian." Evidence for Gedney’s claim comes from a number of sources. First, in the Cambodian corpus of poetry there exists an exact counterpart for each of the Thai kaap forms:

  bat promkit
  bat pumnil
  bat kakate.

These counterparts have parallel structures with almost identical rhyme schemes. The only exception rests in Thai yaanii which lacks rhyme between the third and forth waak4. A second source of evidence for the Cambodian influence lies in the konlabot genre. Like the kaap, these Thai forms also have exact counterparts in Cambodian. Finally, Thai classical literature is full of Cambodian loanwords, often complete lines. This is particularly true for the earlier kaap compositions, composed when Cambodian influence was strong in Thailand.

The following is a list of kaap
with versification pattern and audio samples.

Poetry reading performed by Mr. Thaworn Sikkhakosol,
Lecturer of Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University.
1. kaapyaanii
2. kaap chabang
3. kaapsuraangkhanaang
      kaapsuraangkhanaang 28
      kaapsuraangkhanaang 32

     The following is a list of combination versification pattern of kaap and khloong, with kaap wrapped in khloong
4. kaap h@@khloong
5. kaap khapmayh@@khloong

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