Analysis of Min basic lexicon and reconstruction of the Swadesh wordlist for Proto-Min
Marina Lorentz (Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies, Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow))
Journal of Language Relationship, № 18/1-2, 2020 - p.126-169
The paperʼs main goal is to reconstruct a Swadesh wordlist for Proto-Min, taking into account basic lexicon from more than 30 dialects pertaining to that group of Sinitic dialects. This requires etymological analysis of the main lexemes that are relevant for such a reconstruction, with particular emphasis placed on ambivalent cases and lexical replacements that took place in Proto-Min compared to Classical and Late Old Chinese stages of the literary language. General analysis of the data allows to distinguish between several lexical layers which may be related to different waves of ethnic migrations, and shows that it is impossible to derive even the inherited Sinitic basic lexicon of Proto-Min in its entirety neither from Late Old Chinese, nor from Classical Chinese.
Keywords: dialectology, Old Chinese language, Middle Chinese language, Min dialects, lexicostatistics, basic lexicon