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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, “gom”), 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: /çim²⁴/
  • Himalayish
    • Tibeto-Kanauri
      • Bodic
        • Tibetan
          • Written Tibetan: དོམ ‎(dom, bear)
  • Lolo-Burmese-Naxi
    • Lolo-Burmese
      • Burmish
      • Loloish
        • Northern Loloish
          • Yi (Liangshan): ‎(wo, bear)
  • Karenic:
    /*thamᴬ/ (Luangthongkum, 2013)

See also[edit]