Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This paper analyzes the word chɔ̂ɔp in Thai, which normally signifies three different meanings, namely 'to be right', 'to like' and 'often'. The result of the analysis shows that it is more likely that the polysemy of chɔ̂ɔp arises from pragmatic motivation. Pragmatic motivation, which covers factors such as speakers' attitude, intention, point of view, behavior and social standing, can affect actual use of language. Pragmatically, the word chɔ̂ɔp that means 'to be right' can easily lead to an action of agreement. In other words, when we regard something right; we tend to agree on it without argument. This attitude is related to another meaning of chɔ̂ɔp in the way that the degree of agreeability is strengthened into the meaning 'to like', or even 'to love' and 'to enjoy' sometimes. Also, when we like something, or even love and enjoy some activity, this kind of feeling can motivate us to do it again and again and thus we come to have a characteristic behavior. This typical behavior can consequently cause semantic features like [habitual] and [iterative] to occur. With the semantic feature [iterative], the word chɔ̂ɔp then has yet another meaning as 'often'. This paper also discusses the grammaticalization of the word chɔ̂ɔp from a verb which means 'to like' into an adverb of frequency that means 'often' i.e. there is a change of word class or part of speech. It was found that there are many cases of chɔ̂ɔp that appear syntactically and semantically ambiguous, or, in other words they are in a transitional period of word class change. This paper indicates that such an ambiguity or incipient grammaticalization is motivated by the speaker's attitude and point of view.

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