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Altaic etymology :

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Proto-Altaic: *ŋ[i̯V]
Nostratic: Nostratic
Meaning: what, who (interrog. pronoun)
Russian meaning: что, кто (вопросит. местоим.)
Turkic: *nē
Mongolian: *jaɣu-n-, *jaɣuma
Tungus-Manchu: *ŋǖ
Korean: *nú-
Japanese: *nV̀
Comments: АПиПЯЯ 18, 55, 81, 104, 278 (with literature). Initial *n- in Jpn. is probably due to assimilation to the following nasal (the most usual form is *na-ni); there also exists an interrogative *i- (in *i-ka 'how', *i-n-ture 'which' etc., reflecting nasalless *ŋi-. Vocalism in this archaic monosyllabic pronoun is not quite clear, evidently because of different suffixation.

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