This is the etymological database for the Zhuang-Tai group of languages, linked directly to the Proto-Tai-Kadai database on a higher level.
The database does not pretend to be an exhaustive source on Zhuang-Tai etymology. It was originally compiled by Ilya Peiros on the basis of Li Fang-kuei's comparative data in his seminal monograph "A Handbook of Comparative Tai". Since then, it has been enriched by additional comparative material from several more recent publications on Tai historical linguistics, and Li Fang-kuei's reconstructions of Proto-Zhuang-Tai forms have, in some cases, been slightly modified according to Peiros' suggestions laid down in his own monograph (Peiros 1998). However, even at the present stage the database is drastically incomplete, because [a] it does not include all the roots that can be reconstructed for Zhuang-Tai, only those that have already been put forward in printed sources, and [b] because most of the comparative data is taken from but a few "diagnostic" languages, very far from covering the entire spectrum of Zhuang-Tai. A proper database would also contain individual reconstructions for the three main subgroups of Zhuang-Tai: Tai-Shan ('Southwestern Tai'), Nung ('Central Tai'), and Zhuang-Saek ('Northern Tai'). This task, at the moment, remains unaccomplished. Nevertheless, since most Zhuang-Tai idioms are quie closely related, it is possible even today to draw conclusions about Proto-Zhuang-Tai without resorting to more minute intermediate reconstructions.
Some technical edits for the database were performed by George Starostin (unification of links and tags, data sorting, etc.).
The database consists of the following fields:
1. Proto-Zhuang-Tai: the protoform for the group in question, in most cases, following Li Fang-kuei's system (with modifications based on Peiros 1998) or based on it if the comparison in question is missing in Li Fang-kuei's monograph. In many instances, however, the comparative material given by Li does not truly reflect an original Tai root, but represents old borrowings from Chinese; where such borrowings are obvious or have a good reason to be suspected, no Zhuang-Tai protoform is given, instead, the "Proto" field is occupied by the corresponding Chinese character and its reconstruction for Old Chinese (OC) or Middle Chinese (MC) (OC and MC reconstructions are given according to Sergei Starostin's system). In a few other cases, where the Proto-Zhuang-Tai status of the comparanda is disputed or the forms in question betray unusual correspondences, the "Proto" field can be left empty altogether.
2. Meaning: the general meaning(s) of the reconstructed (or borrowed) stem.
3. Thai-Kadai etymology: link to the Thai-Kadai database where available.
4. Siamese: reflexation in the Siamese (Thai) language ("diagnostic" language for the Tai-Shan subgroup).
5. Lao: reflexation in the Lao language.
6. Longzhou Zhuang: reflexation in the Longzhou dialect ("diagnostic" language for the Nung subgroup).
7-10. Nung, Tay, Bouyei (Po-ai), Dioi: additional data from idioms of the Nung subgroup.
11. Wuming Zhuang: reflexation in the Wuming dialect of Zhuang ("diagnostic" language for the Zhuang subgroup).
12-14. Extra Tai-Shan / Nung / Zhuang data: additional data from several Zhuang-Tai idioms, taken from published sources, rather scanty in quantity and not deserving their own individual fields (yet).
15. Saek: reflexation in the Saek language.
16. Notes: additional comments and considerations, including a few external comparisons with other subgroups of Tai-Kadai as well as even higher level comparanda with Austro-Asiatic and Austronesian languages.
17. References: bibliographical links.
1) Both the reconstructions and the actual forms are given in the format "syllable + tone", delimited by a dot. Tonal markings are given as "tonal schemes" (A to D) or as numbered tones depending on how the data were given in the sources.
2) Irregular reflexations of syllable components are usually marked together with the material as [*i] ("irregular initial"), [*f] ("irregular final"), [*t] ("irregular tone").