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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: *gryam (Coblin, 1986), *gyam(ʔ) (Chou, 1972)
    • Proto-Tibeto-Burman: *g-ryum, *gryum (Matisoff, STEDT; Benedict, 1972; Chou, 1972; LaPolla, 1987)
[1] Salt.



  1. salt; salty, salted; to salt


  • Old Chinese: (*ɴ.rom (B-S), *g.lam (ZS), salt); (*ɴ.rom-s (B-S), *g.lams (ZS), to salt); (*Cə.ɡˁrom (B-S, *grɯːm (ZS), salty)
    Note: Vowels of the two above did not match in MC, and some (e.g. Schuessler) have therefore treated them as unrelated. Here that possibility is considered unlikely, hence treated as doublets.
    • Middle Chinese: (jiᴇm, jiᴇmH, salt; to salt), (ʔɨɐm, ʔɣiᴇm, to salt), (ɦɣɛm, salty)

         Japanese:   (えん, ​en)
            Korean:   (, yeom)
            Vietnamese:  diêm

         Thai:  เค็ม (kem, salted, saline)
            Lao:  ເຄັມ (khem, salted, saline)

      • Modern Mandarin
        • Beijing: (yán, /i̯ɛn³⁵/, "salt"; yàn, /i̯ɛn⁵¹/, "to salt"), , (yān, /i̯ɛn⁵⁵/, "to salt"), (xián, /ɕi̯ɛn³⁵/, "salty")
  • Himalayish
    • Tibeto-Kanauri
      • Bodic
        • Tibetan
          • Written Tibetan: རྒྱམ་ཚྭ (rgyam tshwa, a kind of salt, ocean salt) (Benedict (1972) considered this to be a loanword from Old Chinese)
      • Lepcha: ᰟᰩᰮ (vóm, salt)
    • Mahakiranti
      • Kiranti
        • Eastern Kiranti = Rai
  • Jingpho-Nung-Asakian
    • Jingpho
      • Jingpho [Kachin]: jum (salt)
  • Lolo-Burmese-Naxi
  • Karenic:
    • Sgaw: ဟီ (, salty)

See also[edit]