I am blogging for the first time in thirteen days. I'll explain why I was gone next time. For now, I'll mark my return with a post about Tangut 1lhwio 'to return', analyzed in the Mixed Categories of the Tangraphic Sea as


1lhwio 'to return' = left of 1nɔ̃ɔ̃ 'after' + bottom of 1ba 'to return'

I don't know why lh-graphs are placed in Mixed Categories along with dz- and dʐ-graphs.

lh may be from pre-Tangut *kl-. There is a vaguely similar Proto-Kuki-Chin word *kluŋ ~ *klun 'to arrive/return', but I would expect a Tangut cognate to have a nasal vowel: e.g., *lhwiõ. Moreover, I doubt that Tangut would share a word with Kuki-Chin in India, Burma, and Bangladesh, but not with other, closer branches (though the possibility that Tangut retained a Proto-Tibeto-Burman word lost in its Qiangic sisters cannot be ruled out).

There is also a Proto-Kuki-Chin *looy 'to return / go home'. Did Tangut lose final *-y after rounded vowels? Although Tangut may have had rhymes like -ay and -ey, it probably did not have -oy and -uy.

Medial -wi- may be from an earlier presyllable:

*Pɯ-klo > *Pɯ-lho > *Pɯ-lhio > *P-lhio > lhwio

The left-hand component of 1lhwio

is often associated with negation, yet it has no such function here. The left two-thirds of 1nɔ̃ɔ̃ 'after' are phonetic:


1nɔ̃ɔ̃ 'after' = all of 1nəu 'to violate' (which looks like NEGATE + PERSON) + right of 1pe 'outer, exterior'

But in 1lhwio 'to return', what looks like 1nəu 'to violate' is presumably semantic, not phonetic. To go after something is to face its back, and to return is to go back. (This metaphor is not exclusively English. The root of German Rücken 'back' is also in zurück 'back (adverb)' and zurückgehen 'to return', lit. 'back-go'.)

1ba 'to return' contains all of 1lhwio 'to return' on its bottom, so it must have been derived from 1lhwio 'to return' rather than the other way around. The Combined Homophones and Tangraphic Sea has the derivation


1ba 'to return' = 1lɨəə 'to return' + all of 1lhwio 'to return'

which forms a circle when combined with


1lhwio 'to return' = left of 1nɔ̃ɔ̃ 'after' + bottom of 1ba 'to return'

Could 1lɨəə 'to return' (and even 1lhwio) be cognate to this set of l-motion verbs?

1lia < *Cɯ-la 'to come'

1lɨə̣ < *Sɯ-lə 'to arrive'

2liẹ < *Sɯ-le 'to arrive'

1lia < *Cɯ-la 'to return' (written as 'to come' + 'hand')

1lɨə̣ < *Sɯ-lə 'to return' (written as 'hand' + 'to come')

Chinese 來 'come' cannot be related, since it had an initial *mr- in Old Chinese.

The shared (bottom) right component (Boxenhorn alphacode: wir; function unknown) of

1lhwio 'to return' and 1ba 'to return'

only occurs in the right-hand position except in

1ɣwe < *Pʌ-Ke 'to exchange'

which has a left-hand variant (Boxenhorn alphacode: wis). This skewed distribution may be significant.

wir is shared by another tangraph for 'return':

1tị < *S-ti

Could this be the true source graph for the right side of lhwio 'to return'?


The Tangraphic Sea derivation of tị treats wir as an abbreviation of 'to have':

1tị 'to return' = left (and center) of 2gææ 'happy' + (top and bottom) right of 1diu 'to have'

What does returning have to do with possession? Or happiness? Well, I am happy to be back ...

11.11.00:54: 1tị < *S-ti 'to return' has a Proto-Central Chin lookalike *triin 'to return', but once again I am skeptical about any relationship. A pre-Tangut *S-triin (with the same prefix as the ancestor of the attested word) would have become *tɪ̣, not *tị.

Other lookalikes are Old Chinese 至 *tits 'to arrive' and 底 *tiʔ 'to come to'.

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