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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: ?
    • Proto-Tibeto-Burman: *kyaŋ (Matisoff, STEDT)

There is perhaps a codaless variant, which may be an allofam or a product from the confusion with other species of Zingiberaceae (e.g. galangal); compare Tibetan སྒ (sga) (whence སྒེའུ (sge'u), སྒ་སྐྱ (sga skya)) ~ ལྒ (lga) ~ རྒ (rga) ("ginger"), Japanese 生姜 (shōga, ginger), Proto-Bahnaric (AA) *kjaː₁ ("ginger"), Thai ข่า (kha, galangal), Lao ຂ່າ (khā, galangal).

It's unknown how this relates to

  • Proto-Vietic *s-gəːŋ / s-kəːŋ ("ginger")
    > Vietnamese gừng / gầng
  • Proto-Hmongic *qʰinᴮ ("ginger")
    > White Hmong qhiav
  • Proto-Mienic *kʰjuŋᴬ ("ginger") (possibly a Chinese loan)
  • Proto-Tai *χiːŋᴬ ("ginger")
    > Thai ขิง (kǐng), Lao ຂີງ (khīng), Shan ၶိင် (khing1)
  • and Khmer ខ្ញី (kɲəj, ginger).
[1] Ginger, root of Zingiber officinale.



  1. ginger


  • Old Chinese: /*kaŋ/ (B-S; ZS) ("ginger")
    • Middle Chinese: , , 𧅁 /kɨɐŋ/

         Japanese:   (きょう, ​kyō)
            Korean:   (, gang)
            Vietnamese:  khương

         Japanese:  生姜 (しょうが, ​shōga)
            Korean:  생강 (生薑, saenggang)
            Vietnamese:  sinh khương

      • Modern Mandarin
        • Beijing: (jiāng, /t͡ɕi̯ɑŋ⁵⁵/)
      • Cantonese
        • Guangzhou: /kœːŋ⁵⁵/
      • Wu
        • Shanghai: /t͡ɕiã⁵³/
    • Min
      • Min Nan
        • Taiwan: /kiũ⁵⁵/
  • Lolo-Burmese-Naxi
    • Lolo-Burmese