One of the factors in determining a syllable’s tone is whether or not the syllable is “live” or “dead.” This is pretty easy to understand. A “live” syllable is one that is sonorant – a syllable that doesn’t cut off immediately at the end. Syllables that end in long vowels are considered sonorant and “live.” Also, if a syllable ends with one of the following consonants, it is considered live, too:
The following vowels, although classified as “short” vowels, are considered to have live endings when detmining tone. This only applies to syllables that have no final consonant.
|ai||ไ- ไ– ใ- -ัย ไ-ย|
Dead syllables are short vowels and any of the other consonants not mentioned above. To learn these, it’s probably easiest to remember the live consonants and vowels, knowing that anything else is considered “dead.”