First attested in the Jīlín lèishì (鷄林類事 / 계림유사), 1103, as Late Old Korean 南木 (Yale: *nàmò(k)). Also attested in the same source as 南 (Yale: *nàm) and as 南記 (Yale: *nàmkí). Ultimately from ancestral *나ᄆᆞᆨ (Yale: *nàmòk). Perhaps related, via ancient language contact, to Old Chinese 木 (*C.mˤok, “tree”).
In the Hangul script, first attested in the Yongbi eocheonga (龍飛御天歌 / 용비어천가), 1447, as Middle Korean 나모 (Yale: nàmwò). The Middle Korean word had two allomorphs, surfacing as 나모 (nàmwò) in isolation and when followed by a consonant-initial suffix and as 나ᇚ (nàmk-) when followed by a vowel-initial suffix. The distinction is no longer maintained in most Korean dialects, although in some dialects the base form is based on nàmk- rather than nàmwò.
|Revised Romanization (translit.)?||namu|
Syllables in red take high pitch. This word always takes high pitch only on the second syllable, except before consonant-initial multisyllabic suffixes, when it takes full low pitch.
- 나무는 종이를 만드는 재료로 쓰인다.
- Namuneun jong-ireul mandeuneun jaeryoro sseu-inda.
- Wood is the material used to make paper.