The connection between Pyu and Nungish

Nathan Straub 曹內森 nstraub at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jun 4 15:40:57 UTC 2014

Dear all,

Would anyone know why Paul Benedict said that Pyu was closest to the
Nung(ish) subgroup? (*Sino-Tibetan Conspectus* p.196 n.494, and pp.9-10
n.33.) He cites Robert Shafer's 1943 article in HJAS on the Pyu
inscriptions, which compares them with Karen, but don't really mention
Nungish. On p. 196, Benedict compares Pyu tones with Burmese and Nungish,
but doesn't sound very conclusive there about which language is closer,
although he says on p. 10 that Pyu is closer to Nungish than to
Lolo-Burmese proper.

Uwe Krech has a chapter called "Reassessment of Myazedi Pyu" in *Medieval
Tibeto-Burman Languages IV*, which gives a lot of helpful information, but
doesn't specifically state why Benedict made the connection, either.

Benedict seems to hint that the answer is in his comparative sketch of Pyu
in *Sino-Tibetan Linguistics*, vol. 12, Appendix VI, which as far as I know
is still unpublished.

Any ideas?


We are sent into this world for some end.  It is our duty to discover by
close study what this end is & when we once discover it to pursue it with
unconquerable perseverance.
JQA at age 12 to his brother Charles (June 1778)
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