- Proto-Sino-Tibetan: ?
- Proto-Tibeto-Burman: *r-mi(y)-n (Matisoff, STEDT); *r-miy (Chou, 1972)
A collective suffix *-n is found in Burmese and Chinese branches of Sino-Tibetan (Matisoff, 2003; Schuessler, 2007), although in the case of Chinese may in fact reflect an earlier velar coda *-ŋ, which palatalized after *-i-, as pointed out by Sagart (1999: 135). He compares Chinese 民 (, “people”) with *min氓 (, “population”), which, according to him, belong to the same word-family, but the latter retained the velar coda *-ŋ because of the preceding low vowel *-a-. Palatalization of velar codas *-ŋ and *-k preceded by *-i- appears to be well attested (Baxter, 1992), and caused the merging of *-iŋ, *-ik rhymes with *-in, *-it respectively. *mraːŋ
- Old Chinese: 民 /*miŋ/ (B-S), /*min/ (ZS) ("people, folk, civilian")
- Written Tibetan: མི (mi, “person, man, human being”)
- Written Burmese: မိန်းမ (min:ma., “woman, female”)