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Altaic etymology :

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Proto-Altaic: *ni̯ā̀
Nostratic: Nostratic
Meaning: eye
Russian meaning: глаз
Turkic: *jāĺ 'tear'
Mongolian: *nidü
Tungus-Manchu: *ńia-sa
Korean: *nún
Japanese: *mài(N), *mì-
Comments: EAS 77, Poppe 39, Menges 1984, 281, Street 1980, 300-301, АПиПЯЯ 30-31, 78, 87, 275. For the Turkic form cf. Mong. *ni-l-mu-sun (KW 281; Владимирцов 146), ТМ *(i)ńa-mū-, MKor. nún-mɨ́r, PJ *na-mi(n)tV 'tear' < PA *ńi̯ā(ĺ)-mi̯ūri 'water of the eye'. PT irregularly preserves length here: it is probably due to the influence of other homophonic and synonymic roots. Jpn. *m- here deserves special comment. It is a usual reflex of *ń- or *ŋi̯-, but none can be safely reconstructed here (not *ń- because of Mong. ni-dün, not *ŋi̯- because of TM *ńia-sa). One may note, however, that Jpn. has n- in *na-mi(n)tV 'tear', and perhaps also in the old deverbative OJ niram- (also *nia-m- > nem-) 'to glare at, keep an eye on' = Kor. nori- 'to have an eye upon' = TM *ńia-ru- 'to stare' (ТМС 1, 291) = Karakh. jeze- (EDT 985, TMN 4, 163) 'to patrol, keep an eye on' < PA *ni̯ā-ŕV. One can also pay attention to the nasal suffix present in Kor. nu-n and Jpn. *mai(N); it may suggest that we are actually dealing with reflexes of an archaic suffixed form *ni̯a-ŋ(V), the velar in which also can account for some unexpected TM forms: Jurch. ŋia-ĉi and Nan. dial. ŋasar ( < *ŋia-sa < *ńiaŋ-sa). Japanese may have had a similar assimilation (*ma-iN < *ŋi̯a-ŋ < *ni̯a-ŋ), while the suffixless form is preserved in a compound (*na-mi(n)ta < *ni̯a) and a derived verb (niram-). Cf. also KBalk. ǯalamuq 'tear' (probably < Bulg., reflecting a trace of the original compound in PTurk.). Traces of *-ĺ- in some forms (Turk. *jāĺ, Mong. *nil-mu-sun) may reflect a distinct root, preserved in Mong. *naliqa 'wing-like membrane, corner of the eye', as well as nilma / milma 'pupil of the eye'.

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