Reconstruction:Proto-Sino-Tibetan/m-lawŋ

Asterisk.svg
This Proto-Sino-Tibetan entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.
Asterisk.svg
This Proto-Sino-Tibetan entry contains reconstructed words and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.

Proto-Sino-TibetanEdit

EtymologyEdit

  • Proto-Sino-Tibetan: ?
    • Proto-Tibeto-Burman: *m-lawŋ (Matisoff, STEDT); *m-loŋ (Matisoff, 2003); *(m-)loŋ (Benedict, 1972; Weidert, 1987)

Old Chinese had two words for “boat”:

  • (OC *tjɯw), ultimately from Proto-Mon-Khmer *ɗuuk ~ *ɗuk (boat, canoe). It occurs in Shang bronze inscriptions and was commonly used in central and eastern China.
  • (OC *ɦljon), from this PTB root, is only found in later texts and by Han times had completely replaced the previous synonym. It was used in western China.

The latter character is interpretable as a nominal derivative of the verb 沿 (OC *lon, “to go downstream a river”) (Sagart, 1999). However, an alternative proposal about the origin of PTB *m-lawŋ has been advanced by Sidwell (2006) and Schuessler (2007). They regard it as area word of Austroasiatic descent, possibly from Proto-Mon-Khmer *d₂lu(u)ŋ ~ *d₂l(u)əŋ (boat), whence Mon ဂၠုၚ် (klɜ̀ŋ, canoe, small boat). The PMK root may in turn be a deverbal noun from Proto-Mon-Khmer *luŋh ~ *luuŋh ~ *ləŋh (to hollow, excavate, bore); compare Khmer លុង (lung, to dig a hole) and Vietnamese trũng (concave). This aligns with the fact that, according to the Yijing, ancient Chinese canoes were originally hollowed tree trunks. Compare also Burmese လှိုင်း (hluing:, uneven surface) and Mizo lawng (to take out the heart of a wild plantain tree).

For a similar root in Southeast Asia see also Proto-Austronesian *ʀuqaŋ (hole, pit), whence Tagalog guang (gap, hole) and Malay ruang (hollow space; ship's well); and Proto-Austronesian *luaŋ (hole in the ground), whence Tongan luo (pit, depression) and Samoan lua (hole) (Sidwell, 2006; Blust, ACD).

NounEdit

*m-lawŋ

  1. boat

DescendantsEdit

  • Old Chinese: /*Cə.lon/ (B-S), /*ɦljon/ (ZS) ("boat, ship")
    • Middle Chinese: (zywen, /ʑiuᴇn/) ("boat, ship")

      Japanese:  (ぜん, ​zen)
      Korean:  (, seon)
      Vietnamese: thuyền ()

      • Modern Mandarin
        • Beijing: (chuán, /ʈ͡ʂʰu̯a̠n³⁵/, boat, ship)
      • Wu
        • Shanghai: (/z̻ø²³/, boat, ship)
      • Yue
        • Cantonese: (/su̯ɔn²²/, boat, ship)
    • Min Nan
      • Xiamen: (/t͡sun²⁴/, boat, ship)
      • Teochew: (/t͡suŋ⁵⁵/, boat, ship)
  • Kuki-Chin:
    *looŋ (boat, ship, vessel) (VanBik, 2009)
    • Central Chin
      • Lushai [Mizo]: lawng (boat)
    • Mikir [Karbi]: telong (boat)
  • Lolo-Burmese-Naxi
    • Lolo-Burmese
      • Loloish:
        *loŋ¹ ~ *loŋ² (Bradley, 1979)
        • Yi: (lo, boat, ship)
      • Burmish
        • Written Burmese: လောင်း (laung:, long and narrow canoe)