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Altaic etymology :

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Proto-Altaic: *mĕ́ĺǯu ( ~ -a)
Nostratic: Nostratic
Meaning: head
Russian meaning: голова
Turkic: *baĺč
Mongolian: *malǯa-, *melǯe-
Tungus-Manchu: *meli-mu
Korean: *mǝ̀rí
Comments: EAS 109, SKE 146, АПиПЯЯ 31-32, 282, Мудрак Дисс. 90, Лексика 194. Doerfer's (TMN 2, 253) criticism is short ("unklar"). On possible traces in Jpn. see under *k`ŏjli. An unsuccessful attempt of refuting the etymology was undertaken by Vovin 2000, who argues that the attested Old Korean form is 麻帝 MC mạ-tìej [ma-te]. However, it is most probable that MC -t- was used here just to transcribe Korean -r- (since Middle Chinese, as well known, lacked r-). Anyway, it is hardly possible to make any decisions on the basis of very inadequate and scanty Kirim transcriptions.

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