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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: *liek (Coblin, 1986)
    • Proto-Tibeto-Burman: *m-lyak ⪤ *s-lyak ⪤ *g-lyak (Matisoff, STEDT); *(m-)lyak ~ (s-)lyak (Benedict, 1972; Weidert, 1987; Coblin, 1986); *m-lyak ⪤ *s-lyak (LaPolla, 1987; Michailovsky, 1991)

Other cognate roots in STEDT:

The words for "to lick" and "tongue" in many languages have similar shapes, compare:



  1. to lick



  1. tongue


Descendants listed hereafter are mainly for words with the sense "to lick" only. Words with the sense "tongue" in daughter languages are mostly cognate to these and can be found at *m/s-laj ~ s-lej.

  • Old Chinese:
    , , , 𦧇, 𦧧 (*Cə.leʔ (B-S), *ɦljeʔ (ZS), to lick)
    (*l̥ʰeːmʔ, to entice)
    (*mə-lək (B-S), *ɦljɯɡ (ZS), to eat)
    (*mə-lək (B-S), *ɦljɯɡ (ZS), to eat away, to erode; eclipse)
    / (*s-m-lək-s (B-S), *ljɯ (ZS), to feed, to rear)
    • Middle Chinese: , , , 𦧇, 𦧧 (ʑiᴇX); (tʰemX); , (ʑɨk); (zɨH)

         Japanese:   (しょく, ​shoku)
            Korean:   (, sik)
            Vietnamese:  thực

      • Modern Mandarin
      • Cantonese
        • Guangzhou: /lɑːi³⁵/ (colloquial: 𦧺); /sɑːi³⁵/ (literary); , /lɛːm³⁵/ (colloquial); /tʰiːm³⁵/ (literary); , /ɕɪk̚²/; /t͡ɕiː²²/
  • Himalayish
    • Tibeto-Kanauri
  • Lolo-Burmese-Naxi
    • Lolo-Burmese
      • Burmish
      • Loloish
        • Northern Loloish
          • Yi (Liangshan): (yot, to lick, to lap up)
  • Karen: *hlajᴮ (Luangthongkum, 2013)

See also[edit]