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Reconstruction ofKhmer dialects

The Proto-Khmeric language is the reconstructed proto-language of the Khmeric languages. It has been reconstructed by Sidwell & Rau (2015), whose reconstruction is based on the sound laws provided in Ferlus (1992). It is agreed by most scholars that this language was phased out by 300 CE.

Reconstructed forms

The reconstructed Proto-Khmeric forms below are from Sidwell & Rau (2015: 273, 340-363).

Gloss Proto-Khmeric
all *gr?p
ashes *phe:h
bark (of tree) *smp?:k
belly *bu?
big *luo? ~ *ruo?
to bite *tki:r ~ *tk?:r, *kat
black *kmaw
blood *?ha:m
boat *duok
bone *c
breast *t?h
to burn (vt.) *tut, *?us
candle *dian
claw/nail *krc?:k
cloud *-(b/w)?:k
cold *r?a:(r)
to come/arrive *m?:k
die (of a person) *slap
dog *c?:, *ck?:
to drink (water) *phik
dry (adj./stat.) *pra?
ear *(t/c)rci?k
earth/soil *ti:
to eat *cie
eye *pn?:k
fat/grease/oil *kla?
feather *sla:p
fire *?us
fish (n.) *tri:
fly (v.) *h?:r
foot *:?
full (vessel) *be:?
give *?o:j
good *l:
green *kci:
group *buak
hair (of head) *suk
hand *t?j
to hear/listen *stap
heart *klim
horn *sne:?
I *?a?
to kill *psi?t, *smlap
know *cih, *sgal
leaf *slik
to learn *rian
to lie (down) *tiek
liver *tl?:m
long *w?:?
louse (head) *ci:
man/husband *?mo:l
meat/flesh *sac
moon *kh?:
mountain/hill *bn?m, *duol
mouth *mat
name *?m?h
neck *k?:
new *tmi:
night *j?p
nose *crmuh
not *t ~ *t ~ *?it
oil *prie?
one *muoj
person/human *?nak
rain *pli
red *krh?:m
road, path *gnl?:?
root (of a tree) *ris
round (object) *wiel, *rwi?l, *rw
sand *ksac
see *j?l, *gh?:?
sit *guj
skin *sp?:k
sleep *ti:k
small *tic, *cma:r
smoke (n.) (?*ps?:?)
to offer *?uon
to speak, say *srti:
to stand *?h?:r
star *pka:j
stone *tm?:
sun *t?aj
to swim *h?:l(?)
that (dist.) *n?h
this (prox.) *nih
tongue *?nta:t
tree *?h?:
two *bier
to walk, go *t?:r
warm/hot *ktaw
water *t?k
white *sku:, *s?:
woman/wife *knsaj, *kntaj

Lexical innovations

Selected Khmeric lexical innovations:[1]

Gloss Proto-Austroasiatic Old Khmer Modern Khmer Surin Khmer
'fish' *ka? tri:~tre: tr?j tr?j
'chicken' *?i?r - moan m?an
'dog' *c?:? c?k?: ckae ?k?:

See also


  1. ^ Sidwell, Paul (2021). "Classification of MSEA Austroasiatic languages". The Languages and Linguistics of Mainland Southeast Asia. De Gruyter. pp. 179-206. doi:10.1515/9783110558142-011.

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