Songgot Paanchiangwong

The university of Social Sciences and Humanities, Hanoi




A report on syntactic interference of Thai numeral phrase structure to Vietnamese numeral phrase structure spoken in Udon Thani province, Thailand


Udon Thani, a province in the northeastern of Thailand, is the place where contains of the biggest Vietnamese community (Sophana: 2005, 10). At this present time, there are three generations of Vietnamese immigrants who still communicate to each other in Vietnamese. Since they arrived and settled down at Udont Thani province, they have had to live in Thai language society, worked with Thais so that Thai language might be involved directly in their Vietnamese language. The Vietnamese immigrants in Udon Thani Province can be called “bilingual (Thai-Vietnamese)” which their Vietnamese is influenced directly by Thai. That’s why syntactic interference has occurred especially with a Vietnamese numeral phrase structure. This paper will present how syntactic interference is occurred.

Syntactic interference of Thai numeral phrase structure on Vietnamese numeral phrase structure has occurred when Vietnamese immigrants in Udon Thani province talk about the number of something.  They unexpectedly re-order members of the Vietnamese numeral phrase structure followed the structure of Thai numeral phrase. For example, Vietnamese immigrants in Udon Thani province say; Con ơi! đưa cho m cc mt cái nhé!  ‘My son! give me a glass’, but the standard Vietnamese is; Con ơi! đưa cho m mt cái cc nhé!

This phenomenon is a kind of interference called syntactic interference; it appears when patterns from language A carried over into language B or when patterns of language B are interpreted in term of patterns of language A (Ilse Lehiste: 1998, 15).  This phenomenon can be occurred because of language contact with Uriel Weinreich calls “Interference in Grammatical Relations” in the type of “Order”.