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Hmong-Mien and Austroasiatic look-alikes

Andrew Hsiu
December 2017
Please cite as: Hsiu, Andrew. 2017. Hmong-Mien and Austroasiatic look-alikes. <https://sites.google.com/site/msealangs/home/blog/hm-aa>.
Please note that this is a working draft that will be periodically updated.


Cai, et al. (2011) suggests that Hmong-Mien peoples are patrilineally descended from an offshoot of Mon-Khmer peoples who had gone through a genetic bottleneck due to geographic isolation. Other genetic studies suggest an affiliation with Tibeto-Burman peoples. However, there has yet to be a linguistic argument linking Hmong-Mien and Austroasiatic. At the moment, Hmong-Mien is best treated as an independent language family. It should be noted that the bulk of Hmong-Mien vocabulary, especially cultural items, are of Tibeto-Burman and Sinitic origins (Ratliff 2010).

Proto-Hmong-Mien, Proto-Hmongic, and Proto-Mienic reconstructions are from Ratliff (2010), who also lists various Hmong-Mien and Austroasiatic look-alikes. Austroasiatic forms are from the MKED. Forms with pound signs (#) are my own quasi-reconstructions.

Pletase note that these are initial look-alikes compiled for further analysis. No sound correspondences have been worked out, and there are no claims about whether the Hmong-Mien reconstructions and the compared Austroasiatic forms are indeed related.

I consider Hmong-Mien to an amalgamation of various language branches and phyla (or rather, various separate early Neolithic communities) that had undergone rapid mixing (or "creolization" according to Scott Delancey) about 2,500 years ago in the plains of northern Hunan. Hmong-Mien thus has several lexical layers, which I have listed below from earliest to latest. Interestingly, each lexical layer tends to be restricted to specific semantic domains. Please also see <PHM origins.xlsx> and <Cultural items SE Asian phyla.xlsx> (attached below).
  1. Native Hmong-Mien layer: many basic words such as 'to eat'
  2. Austroasiatic (a "missing" branch that shows many lexical similarities with Khmuic): many basic words (various body parts, natural phenomena, numerals 'two' and 'three')
  3. Kra-Dai / Pre-Austronesian? (I believe that Kra-Dai may have borrowed many lexical items from Hmong-Mien rather than vice versa, since correspondences are usually irregular, suggesting borrowing rather than a close genetic relationship. Some of these words, such as 'monkey' and 'snake', are found only in some rather than all Kra-Dai branches. Many words are exclusively shared by Kra-Dai and Hmong-Mien that are not found in Austronesian, Sino-Tibetan, or Austroasiatic, which are curiously often animal names such as 'monkey', 'turtle', 'snake', 'rat', and 'dog'.)
  4. Tibeto-Burman (a "missing" branch that Paul K. Benedict refers to as Donor Miao-Yao): numerals 4-9 and mostly cultural words, including some kinship terms and the words for 'sun' and 'moon'.
  5. Old Chinese: mostly technological words



References
Cai X, Qin Z, Wen B, Xu S, Wang Y, et al. (2011) Human Migration through Bottlenecks from Southeast Asia into East Asia during Last Glacial Maximum Revealed by Y Chromosomes. PLoS ONE 6(8): e24282. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024282
Phillips, Timothy C. 2012. Proto-Aslian: towards an understanding of its historical linguistic systems, principles and processes. Ph.D. thesis, Institut Alam Dan Tamadun Melayu Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi.
Ratliff, Martha (2010). Hmong–Mien-language history. Canberra, Australia: Pacific Linguistics. ISBN 0-85883-615-7.
Sidwell, Paul and Felix Rau (2015). "Austroasiatic Comparative-Historical Reconstruction: An Overview." In Jenny, Mathias and Paul Sidwell, eds (2015). The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages. Leiden: Brill.


List of look-alikes

bone
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *tshuŋX
PAA    *cʔaːŋ

blood
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *ntshjamX
PAA *saːm ‘to bleed’
Vietic *ʔa-saːmˀ
Khmer    cʰiem
Mon    chim

nose
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *mbruiH
PAA    *mɔːh, *muːh, *muːs

tooth
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *hmjinX
PAA *lmVɲ
Khmer    tmɨɲ
Khasic    *lmǝɲ
Bolyu    man4
Mang    mun51
Semelai    lmɔɲ
Aslian    *ləmooɲ

cry
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *ʔɲæmX
Khmuic    *ɲiəm; *ɲəm; *ja/əːm
Katuic    *ɲaam, *ɲiim
Bahnaric    *ɲəm; *ɲɨːm

tree
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *ntju̯əŋH
Khmuic    *cʔɔːŋ
Khasic    *dɛɛɲ

dream
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *mpeiH
Proto-Hmong-Mien (Ostapirat 2014)    *mpəi
Vietic    *s-poː
Pearic    *poʔ
Palaungic    *pɔʔ
Monic    *([k]m-)pɔɔʔ
Khmuic    *-mpoʔ
Katuic    *ʔmpəw
Bahnaric    *ʔmpəw
Aslian    *ʔəmpuaʔ

child
Proto-Mienic     *kʷjeiB

meat
Proto-Mienic     *ʔaB
Khmuic    *ʔah

flower
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *bi̯aŋ
Vietic    *poːŋ
Bugan (Nala)     puŋ55
Bugan (Manlong)     poŋ44

fruit
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *pji̯əuX
Proto-Hmong-Mien (Ostapirat 2014)    *pɣeu
Palaungic    *pleeʔ
Khmuic    *pleʔ
Vietic    *pleːʔ; *tleːʔ
Katuic    *palaj
Bahnaric    *plaj
Khmer    plae
Pearic    *pliː
Aslian    *pəlɛɛʔ
PAN    fruit     *buaq

water
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *ʔu̯əm
Khasic    *ʔum
Palaungic    *ʔoom
Khmuic    *ʔom
Palaungic > Khmuic (Sidwell Khmuic paper)

two
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *ʔu̯i
Khasic    *ʔaar
Palaungic    *lʔaar
Vietic    *haːr
Nicobaric    #ʔaː(r)

three
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *pjɔu
Proto-Hmong-Mien (Ostapirat 2014)    *pɣu
PAA    #pɛː

ant
Proto-Hmongic    *mbrɔD
(Pre-Hmongic mɔɔʔ ?)
Palaungic    *smuuc
Monic    *smɔɔc
Khmuic    *smuːc
Khmer    srɑmaoc
Katuic    *smuuc
Bahnaric    *smoːc

wind
Proto-Hmong-Mien    *N-cæwH
Mon    ca
Pramic    *ksɔːj
Vietic    *kʰjɔːʔ

medicine
Proto-Hmong-Mien    *N-kjaj
Vietic    *k-jaːʔ
Khmuic    *ʔjaː
cf. Tai, Chinese

name
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *mpɔuH
Proto-Hmong-Mien (Ostapirat 2014)    *mpɣu
Palaungic    *muus
Pearic    #mi:s
Khmuic    *-məh
Khmer    cmʊəh
Katuic    *-rmɨh

sky
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *wɛŋ ~ *ɴɢɛuŋ
Khmuic    *-waːŋ
lwaːŋ   sky   (Khmu [Cuang])
#5170 PKC *waan SKY / HEAVEN

sweet
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *Kam
sweet    *ŋaam    proto Katuic    Sid2005:R:98
sweet    *ŋaam    proto Palaungic    Sid2010:R:759
sweet    *ʔŋaːm    proto Bahnaric    Sid2011:R:998
sweet, tasty    *hɲəəm    proto Palaungic    Sid2010:R:336
cf. Chinese gan / kam

village
Proto-Hmong-Mien    *rəŋX
Palaungic    *ʔjəəŋ
Pramic    *bloːŋ
Khasic    *cʰnɔŋ
Nyah Kur    dóoŋ
#5776 PTB *grwaŋ VILLAGE / CROSSROADS

skin
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *N-top
Vietic    *-taː
Pramic    *ktɔh
Pray-Pram    *-tɔh

raw/unripe
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *ɲu̯emX
Palaungic    *ʔiim
Vietic    *k-roːŋʔ

insect
Proto-Hmong-Mien    *klæŋ
Proto-Hmongic    *klaŋC 'maggot'
Khasic    *kʰɲaŋ
Katuic    *ʔakan, *kan
Proto-Tai    *m.le:ŋA
Comment: Pan-Asian form; TB origin likely?

liver
Proto-Hmong-Mien    *-hri̯ən
*riəŋ   intestines   (proto Palaungic)
*-riǝŋ   intestines   (proto Khmuic)
ʰriəŋ   intestine, bowel   (Khmu [Cuang])
[Compare AA forms for 'liver']
Khmuic    *lɔːm
Vietic    *lɔːm; *t-kaːn
Katuic    *lɔɔm
Bahnaric    *kləːm
Khmer    tlaəm
Comment: Semantic shift from PAA 'intestines' to 'liver'

intestines
Proto-Hmong-Mien    *hɲeuŋX
*snəər   intestines   (proto Khasic)

laugh
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *krət
*k(-)raː₁s   to laugh   (proto Khmuic)   Sid2013:R:206
*kriːh   to laugh   (proto Pramic)   Sid2013:R:pP-206
*krɛːs   to laugh   (proto Pray-Pram)   Sid2013:R:pPP-206
Palaungic    *kɲaas
#1108 PTB *s-r(y)a-y/s/t = *s-rya-t LAUGH

hear
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *hnəumX
Khmuic    *hmɲɛŋ

see
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *bu̯ət
Pray-Pram         *məːc

tail
Proto-Hmong-Mien     *tu̯eiX
Vietic    *dɔːj, *tɔːj
Khmer    kɑntuy
Palaungic    *-taʔ

head
Proto-Hmong-Mien    *S-phreiX
Katuic    *pləə
Khmuic    *-poŋ
Khasic    *kʰlɛɛʔ
#392 PTB *p-laŋ HEAD / FOREHEAD

louse
Proto-Hmong-Mien    *ntshjeiX
PAA *ciːʔ

horn
PHM *klɛɔŋ
Khmuic *krəŋ
Vietic *k-rəŋ

fat/grease/oil
Hmongic *grəŋ A
Khmuic *kləɲ
Khasic *kʰlɛɲ

HM parallels with Khmuic: meat, sky, water, see, skin, horn, fat
HM parallels with Vietic: flower, tail

Ĉ
Andrew Hsiu,
Jan 30, 2018, 12:52 PM
Ĉ
Andrew Hsiu,
Jan 30, 2018, 12:38 PM
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