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-Tibetan: ?
    • Proto-Tibeto-Burman: *r-mi(y)-n (Matisoff, STEDT); *r-miy (Chou, 1972)

A collective suffix *-n is found in Burmese and Chinese branches of Sino-Tibetan (Matisoff, 2003; Schuessler, 2007), although in the case of Chinese may in fact reflect an earlier velar coda *-ŋ, which palatalized after *-i-, as pointed out by Sagart (1999: 135). He compares Chinese (OC *min, “people”) with (OC *mraːŋ, “population”), which, according to him, belong to the same word-family, but the latter retained the velar coda *-ŋ because of the preceding low vowel *-a-. Palatalization of velar codas *-ŋ and *-k preceded by *-i- appears to be well attested (Baxter, 1992), and caused the merging of *-iŋ, *-ik rhymes with *-in, *-it respectively.



  1. man, person, human being


  • Old Chinese: /*miŋ/ (B-S), /*min/ (ZS) ("people, folk, civilian")
    • Middle Chinese: /miɪn/

         Japanese:   (みん, ​min)
            Korean:   (, min)
            Vietnamese:  dân ()

      • Modern Mandarin
        • Beijing: (mín, /min³⁵/)
      • Cantonese
        • Guangzhou: /mɐn²¹/
  • Himalayish
    • Tibeto-Kanauri
      • Bodic
        • Tibetan
          • Written Tibetan: མི (mi, person, man, human being)
  • Lolo-Burmese-Naxi