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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: *dɣwjəm (Coblin, 1986)
    • Proto-Tibeto-Burman: *d-wam (Matisoff, STEDT; Benedict, 1972; Weidert, 1987); *d-wam(*A) (Coblin, 1986); *d-wɑm (Chou, 1972)

Old Chinese had *-m final, as suggested by Shuowen ( - phonetic), which is preserved only in a few Min dialects, e.g. Amoy, Fu'an, Yong'an; elsewhere the final changed mainly to .

Other languages in East Asia have words which look similar to the OC form: Korean (gom, “bear”), Japanese くま (kuma), Ainu カムィ (kamuy); also, compare Proto-Mon-Khmer *[k]mum (bear, black bear) (Mon ကၟဳ (mɛm), Khmer ឃ្មុំ (kmum) (as in ខ្លាឃ្មុំ (klaa kmum, sun bear))), Vietnamese hùm (tiger).

The Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus), whose habitat was probably one of the closest to the Proto-Sino-Tibetan Urheimat, hence the species that this PST root might have originally referred to.



  1. bear


  • Old Chinese: (*C.ɢʷəm (B-S), *ɢʷlɯm (ZS), bear)
    • Middle Chinese: /ɦɨuŋ/
      • Modern Mandarin
        • Beijing: (xióng, /ɕi̯ʊŋ³⁵/)
      • Cantonese
        • Guangzhou: /hʊŋ²¹/
      • Wu
        • Shanghai: /ɦiʊ̆ŋ²³/
    • Min
      • Min Nan
        • Taiwan: /him²⁴/
  • Himalayish
    • Tibeto-Kanauri
      • Bodic
        • Tibetan
  • Tangut-Qiang
    • rGyalrongic
  • Lolo-Burmese-Naxi
    • Lolo-Burmese
      • Burmish
      • Loloish
        • Northern Loloish
          • Yi (Liangshan): (wo, bear)
  • Karen: *thamᴬ (Luangthongkum, 2013)

See also[edit]