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Turkic etymology :

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Proto-Turkic: *ed, *ed-gü
Altaic etymology: Altaic etymology
Meaning: 1 thing, goods 2 good, excellent 3 good action, benefit
Russian meaning: 1 вещь, добро, имущество 2 хороший, отличный 3 благодеяние
Old Turkic: ed 1 (OUygh.), edgü 2
Karakhanid: 1, eδgü 2 (MK, KB)
Turkish: iji 2
Tatar: ige, ijge
Turkmen: ejgi-lik 3
Yakut: ütüö 2
Dolgan: ötüö 2
Tuva: eki 2
Tofalar: e'kki 2
Kirghiz: ijgi-lig 3
Noghai: ijgi 1
Balkar: igi,izgi 1
Salar: ī 1
Comments: ЭСТЯ 1, 245-247, 248-249, 329-330, VEWT 35-36, EDT 33, 51, Stachowski 201. PT *ed-gü is derived from PT *ed 'thing, goods' (Лексика 326) ( > Mong. ed, MMong. (SH etc.) ed, see Щербак 1997, 113). Mong. edege- 'to feel better, recover' (Dag. edge-) is also possibly < Turkic.

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Altaic etymology :

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Proto-Altaic: *ĕda
Nostratic: Nostratic
Meaning: thing, goods
Russian meaning: вещь, добро
Turkic: *ed
Mongolian: *aǯi- / *ada-
Tungus-Manchu: *idegē (/*e-)
Comments: A Western isogloss.

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Mongolian etymology :

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Proto-Mongolian: *aǯi- / *ada-
Altaic etymology: Altaic etymology
Meaning: 1 household 2 work
Russian meaning: 1 домашнее хозяйство 2 работа
Written Mongolian: aǯi 1, aǯil (L 61) 2
Khalkha: 1, aǯil 2
Buriat: ažal, adal 2
Kalmuck: aǯǝl 2
Ordos: aǯi 2
Dagur: aǯil (Тод. Даг. 118)
Comments: КРС 29.

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Tungus etymology :

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Proto-Tungus-Manchu: *idegē (/*e-)
Altaic etymology: Altaic etymology
Meaning: thing
Russian meaning: вещь
Evenki: ideɣē
Nanai: idē̃ 'reason' (Он.)
Comments: Cf. also Il. egdekē 'clothes'. ТМС 1, 298.

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Nostratic etymology :

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Eurasiatic: *HVdV
Meaning: thing
Borean: Borean
Altaic: *ĕda
Uralic: *atV
References: Suggested by V. Glumov.

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Uralic etymology :

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Number: 34
Proto: *atV
> Nostratic: > Nostratic
English meaning: thing
German meaning: Sache, Ding
Finnish: asia 'Sache' ( > Saam. aš'še -šš- 'cause, reason; guilt')
Estonian: asi (gen. asja) 'Sache, Ding, Gegenstand, irgend etwas' (?)
Saam (Lapp): āttâ -đ- 'thing, thingamy', āttâ- -đ- 'do smth. indefinite' (N), āhta 'unbedeutende Sachen' (L)
Khanty (Ostyak): ot (V), ăt (DN), ȧ̆t (O) 'Sache, Ding', ot- (Vj.), ŏt- (Kaz.), ȧ̆t- (O) 'aufrichten, ausbessern, wiederherstellen'
Mansi (Vogul): ut (LO) 'Sache, Ding, Wesen', (N) 'Dings, etwas, was' (?)
Hungarian: izé (dial. izej, izeje, izély) 'Ding, Dings, Dings da'
K. Redei's notes: *i6t3
Addenda: ? Sk tak
K. Reshetnikov's notes: A quite strange case - vowel correspondences are absolutely irregular. The Mansi forms may be borrowed from Khanty. Hun. i- < *ɨ- (which could partly clarify the picture): doubtful because of the palatal vowel in the second syllable (iz-é, not **iz-a). The Lapp. form rather points to *ätV.
References: FUV; SKES; DEWO 207; Coll.CompGr 411; SzófSz.; MSzFgrE; TESz; Хелимский МКФУ-6 Тез.; Koivulehto über Fi \asia: Vir. 1982: 264.

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Long-range etymologies :

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Borean (approx.) : HVTV
Meaning : thing; interrog. stem
Eurasiatic : *HVdV
Sino-Caucasian : *(HV)dV
Austric : MY *tV 'who'
Amerind (misc.) : *ta 'interrogative' (R 394) [+ A K]
African (misc.) : Cf. Macro-Khoisan *TV "interr. stem".

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Sino-Caucasian etymology :

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Proto-Sino-Caucasian: *ʡǟdV
Meaning: interrog. stem
Borean etymology: Borean etymology
North Caucasian: *ʡǟdV
Sino-Tibetan: *tŭ-
Comments and references : Cf. also ND *da- 'what, who'.

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North Caucasian etymology :

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Proto-North Caucasian: *ʡǟdV
Sino-Caucasian etymology: Sino-Caucasian etymology
Meaning: thing; interrogative pronoun
Proto-Avaro-Andian: *[h]idV
Proto-Tsezian: *hɔdV (~ ħ-, -a-)
Proto-Khinalug: de-l
Proto-West Caucasian: *t:V
Notes: Cf. also HU: Hurr. edǝ 'body, thing', Ur. edi- 'thing' (see Diakonoff-Starostin 1986, 26). It is not quite clear which meaning is original - 'thing' or 'what', because both are rather widely reflected.

    We should also mention a quite isolated form: Lak. ta 'when', which has an irregular devoiced t-, but possibly reflects the same EC root.


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Avar-Andian etymology :

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Protoform: *[h]idV
North Caucasian etymology: North Caucasian etymology
Meaning: 1 thing 2 what (interrog. pronoun)
Chamalal: ed 2
Tindi: eja 1, e-la 2
Karata: hede-la 1,hed 2
Comments: Cf. also a tabooistic use in Tind. eja 'penis'. The semantic correlation 'thing' - 'what' (interrog. pronoun) is also observed elsewhere, cf. e.g. PN *fu-(n) 'what' - *fu-ma 'thing' etc.

    Other Andian languages reflect a similar stem: PA *dan(HV) 'thing' - which may be actually a later contraction < *Hida-nV (with a frequent nasal suffix). Cf. And. dan, Cham. dā̃, Kar. Tok. da (plur. dan-dibi), God. dãji 'thing'.


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Tsezian etymology :

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Proto-Tsezian: *hɔdV (~ ħ-, -a-)
North Caucasian etymology: North Caucasian etymology
Meaning: instrument, tool
Bezhta: hada
Comments: Since this root is used in Andian languages both to denote 'thing' and the interrogative pronoun 'what', it seems quite probable that it was also used by the Tsez. language (in a reduplicated shape) for some of its interrogative pronouns: Tsez. didiju 'which', didu-r 'how'.

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Khinalug etymology :

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Khinalug root: de-l
North Caucasian etymology: 2297
Meaning: where
Khinalug form: de-l
Comments: Кибрик-Кодзасов-Оловянникова 1972 have a notation t:e-l (one wonders whether the form tä-killi 'from where' is not a misspelling for *dä-killi).

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Abkhaz-Adyghe etymology :

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Proto-West-Caucasian: *t:V
North Caucasian etymology: North Caucasian etymology
Meaning: an interrogative stem
Abkhaz: -da
Abaza: -da
Adyghe: tā-r
Kabardian: da-r
Ubykh: da-, dʁa-
Comments: PAT *-da (an interrogative suffix meaning 'who' in verbal forms); PAK *t:a- - an interrogative stem, used in several pronouns (Ad. ta-da, tǝ-da 'where', tā-r 'which', Kab. da-na 'where', da-pśa 'how much', dar 'which'); Ub. da-, dʁa- - an interrogative prefix ('how', 'in which way').

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Sino-Tibetan etymology :

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Proto-Sino-Tibetan: *tŭ-
Sino-Caucasian etymology: Sino-Caucasian etymology
Meaning: who, interrogative pronoun
Chinese: *duj,*dru who.
Tibetan: du how many.
Burmese: ǝti which.
Kachin: gǝde2, mǝde4 how many?.
Lushai: tu who? whose?.
Lepcha: to pron. rel. interr. who, which, what
Comments: Cf. Kulung da:lɔi 'when', da:nai 'how', deppɔi 'how many'.

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Chinese characters :

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Modern (Beijing) reading: shuí
Preclassic Old Chinese: duj
Classic Old Chinese: dwǝj
Western Han Chinese: dwǝj
Eastern Han Chinese: ʒ́wǝj
Early Postclassic Chinese: ʒ́wij
Middle Postclassic Chinese: ʒ́wij
Late Postclassic Chinese: ʒ́wi
Middle Chinese: ʒ́wi
English meaning : who
Russian meaning[s]: 1) кто?; чей?; с отрицанием никто; ничей; 2) кто-либо, кто-угодно; всякий
Comments: For OC *d- cf. Min forms: Xiamen cui2, Fuzhou sui2.
Sino-Tibetan etymology: Sino-Tibetan etymology
Dialectal data: Dialectal data
Radical: 149
Four-angle index: 860
Karlgren code: 0575 u
Jianchuan Bai: -to7
Shijing occurrences: 15.3, 17.2, 17.3, 35.2, 38.4, 48.1, 48.2, 48.3, 54.4

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Chinese Dialects :

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Number: 2073
Chinese etymology: Chinese etymology
MC description : 止合三平脂襌
ZIHUI: 6142 1207
Beijing: ṣuei 12; ṣei 12
Jinan: ṣei 12; ṣuei 12 (lit.)
Xi'an: fei 12
Taiyuan: suei 1
Hankou: suei 12
Chengdu: suei 12
Yangzhou: suǝi 12
Suzhou: ze_ 12
Wenzhou: zi_ 12
Changsha: śyei 12
Shuangfeng: ɣui 12
Nanchang: sui 31
Meixian: sui 12
Guangzhou: šö_y 12
Xiamen: sui 12 (lit.); cui 32
Chaozhou: sui 12
Fuzhou: suei 12
Shanghai: zö 32
Zhongyuan yinyun: šuei 12

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