Appendix:Proto-Sino-Tibetan/s-la

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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[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Camellia sinensis, the species from which tea is nowadays usually extracted.
Sonchus oleraceus, one of the bitter taste plants that referred to.
  • Proto-Sino-Tibetan: ?
    • Proto-Tibeto-Burman: *s-la (Matisoff, STEDT)

Cognate with *lap ‎(leaf), *lep ~ ljap ‎(flat, thin, flat object); see there for more cognates.

This root is the eventual source of the words for "tea" in most non-Sino-Tibetan languages of the world, mostly borrowed from Chinese . Two Chinese sources of borrowing are usually distinguished:

  1. the affricativised varieties (e.g. Beijing Mandarin, Guangzhou Cantonese): which pronounce with an affricate initial /t͡sʰ, ʈ͡ʂʰ/.

       English:  chai
          Korean:   (cha, “cha”)
          Japanese:   ‎(ちゃ, cha)
          Vietnamese:  trà, chè

  2. the plosive varieties (e.g. Min Nan) /t/.

       English:  tea
          Korean:   (da, “da”)
          Japanese:   ‎(, da; ta)

The Chinese word might have originally been a loan from Loloish (Tibeto-Burman) *la ("leaf, tea"), as tea may have originated in Sichuan (Lolo area) (Sagart, 1999). Alternatively, Qiu (2000) suggests that it was a semantic extension from the root *la, the name of a bitter plant (Sonchus oleraceus).

A similar-shaped etymon exists in Proto-Mon-Khmer: *slaʔ ‎(leaf) (Modern Mon သၠ ‎(hlaʔ, leaf), Khmer ស្លា ‎(slaa, areca palm), ស្លឹក ‎(slǝk, leaf, sheet), Vietnamese ‎(leaf)).

More at Tea#The word "tea" on Wikipedia.

Definitions[edit]

  1. leaf
  2. tea
  3. flat object

Descendants[edit]

  • Old Chinese: /*rlaː, laː, ɦlja/ (ZS), /*lˁra, lˁa, l̥a/ (B-S; unlisted, theoretical) ("bitter taste vegetable; weed; white flower; poison, harm; tea")
    • Middle Chinese: /ɖɣa, ʑia, duo/, /ɖɣa/

         Tibetan:   ‎(ja, tea)

      • Modern Mandarin
        • Beijing: ("tea") (chá, /ʈ͡ʂʰa³⁵/)
      • Cantonese
        • Guangzhou: /t͡sʰɑː²¹/
      • Wu
        • Shanghai: /z̻o²³/
    • Min
      • Min Nan
        • Taiwan: /te²⁴/
  • Lolo-Burmese-Naxi
    • Lolo-Burmese
      • Burmish