Polysemy of Words Expressing Human Body Parts of The Middle Part Area in Thai Language in Vietnam (With reference to Vietnamese)

Author: Ha Thi Mai Thanh (Tay Bac University, Vietnam)
Speaker: Ha Thi Mai Thanh
Topic: Language Minorities and Majorities
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2020 General Session


This article identify the structure and new denotations of expressions of human body parts (HBPs) in Thai language reflecting polysemy. In this article the researchers apply the following methods: field research methods of linguistics, description, comparison – collation. This article surveys Thai rhymes, fairy tales, riddles and riddle songs, rhyming stories, children’s songs and linguistic data of daily speeches in the northwest of Vietnam. The article uses theories on word meaning and the transformation of word meaning. This article applies the method of analyzing meaning components to set up the significative meaning structure of words expressing HBPs in Thai language, thus identifying the semantemes chosen to be the basis for the transformation. In polysemy of words expressing HBPs of the middle part, polysemy of words expressing the following parts were studied: xlăng – lưng (back), hua chaư – tim (heart). Directions of semantic transformation of words expressing HBPs in Thai language are as diversified and of multi-levels as Vietnamese. Besides, in Thai language there are some differences in the 4 scopes of semantic transformation compared with Vietnamese including “things that look like HBPs”, “human intelligence”, “human personality” and “human emotion”. Polysemy of words expressing HBPs of the middle part area in Thai language will outline a list of linguistic phenomena which serve as the basis to work out cultural and national features in the light of perception and categorization of the reality of Thai minority with reference to Vietnamese.

Keywords: Words expressing human body parts, Thai language, polysemy