A proto-Kra-Dai preinitial

The three principal subgroups of Kra-Dai are Kra (a.k.a Ge-Yang), Hlai (Hainan Island) and  Kam-Tai. While many Kra-Dai (or Tai-Kadai) languages are largely monosyllabic, in some languages main syllables are preceded by CV minor syllables (‘preinitials’) which correspond to the initial syllables of Austronesian words, as first noted by Li Jinfang for the Kra language Buyang, where an unusually large number of these forms can be found. A list of these, with their Austronesian cognates, was given in Sagart (2005). Guillaume Jacques (2017) has studied the correspondences of the Buyang (Langjia) preinitial qa0– in the Kam-Tai branch.

A correspondence for Buyang preinitial qa0– has now been observed in Hlai dialects: tsɯ²- in Baoding and kɯ2– in Heitu. Although not shown here, the corresponding words in Tongshi, also a Hlai dialect, have preinitial ʔɯ3. Buyang Langjia data are from Li Jinfang (1999); Hlai data from Ouyang and Zheng (1983). The first three words originate in Austronesian prototypes beginning in *q-.

source

Buyang

Baoding

Heitu

shoulder

PAN qabaRaX

qa⁰ʔba¹¹

tsɯ²va²

kɯ²va²

mortar

PAN qaS1elu

tsɯ²rau¹

kɯ²rau³¹

nail

PAN qurip

qa⁰lip¹¹

tsɯ²li:p7

grass ash

qa⁰tu¹¹

tsɯ²tau³

kɯ²tou³

back

qa⁰ʔdiŋ²⁴

tsɯ²tsʰuɲ³

kɯ²tsʰun³

neck

qa⁰ʑɔ³¹²

tsɯ²zoŋ³

kɯ²zuŋ³

References

Jacques, Guillaume. 2017. On the status of Buyang presyllables: a response to Professor Ho Dah-an. Journal of Chinese Linguistics vol. 45, no.2 (June 2017): 451-457.

Li Jinfang (1999) Buyang Yu Yanjiu. Beijing: Zhongyang Minzu Daxue.

Ouyang Jueya 歐陽覺亞 and Zheng Yiqing 鄭貽青. 1983. Li Yu Jian zhi 黎語簡誌. Beijing: 北京, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences中国社会科学院.

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