Naraset Pisitpanporn

Research Institute For Languages And Cultures Of Asia, Mahidol University, Thailand




The Phnom Penh Third Person Pronoun /kee/


People who live in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, may or may not speak Phnom Penh Khmer which is one of the varieties of Khmer spoken in Phnom Penh. However, the dialects used by Phnom Penh residents share some features with other Khmer varieties; for example, they use /kee/ as a third person pronoun. However, the /kee/, used in the daily speech of Phnom Penh dwellers, apart from its use as the third person pronoun, also functions as a question marker. As a question marker, /kee/ plays a role in helping identify people who are Phnom Penh dwellers from those who are non-Phnom Penh dwellers. The /kee/, as a question marker, has not yet been reported on in any document although it is a common feature of language found in Phnom Penh city. This paper gives an overview of the use of /kee/ among people living in Phnom Penh.



Ehrman, Madeline E. 1972. Contemporary Cambodian: Grammatical Sketch. Washington: Foreign Service Institute. 

Pisitpanporn, Naraset. 1999. ‘A note on colloquial Phnom Penh Khmer.’ Papers from the Ninth Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, 243-248. Program for Southeast Asian Studies, Arizona State University.