- Proto-Sino-Tibetan: *ngyaɣ (Coblin, 1986); *ŋyɑ (Chou, 1972)
- Proto-Tibeto-Burman: *s-ŋya (Matisoff, STEDT); *ngya (*B) (Coblin, 1986); *ŋya (LaPolla, 1987; Benedict, 1972); *ŋyɑ (Chou, 1972)
The Min Nan colloquial readings possibly suggest a *s.ŋ- initial for Old Chinese, which developed via *s.ŋ- > *h.ŋ- > *hŋ- > *ŋ̊- > *h-. The literary reading developed regularly from Middle Chinese, with denasalisation of ŋ- to give the homorganic voiced plosive.
- Old Chinese: 魚 ("fish"), 漁/䱷 ("to fish") (both: /*ŋa/ (ZS))