Cite as follows:

Bruhn, Daniel W. 2014. A phonological reconstruction of Proto-Central Naga. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley. Accessed via STEDT database <> on 2024-05-28.


The full work is available here.

Discussion of transcription/glossing/other conventions can be found in §I.4 (pp.19-29).


Lotha, Chungli, Mongsen, PCN, and PAo forms largely conform to the IPA, except in their use of a preceding h to designate voiceless sonorants (e.g. hn /n̥/) and a following non-superscript h to represent aspiration (e.g. ph /pʰ/). PAo and PCN transcriptions utilize j for /j/ (unlike PTB, which uses y).

Tones in Mongsen forms are represented by accents over the vowel nuclei (◌́=High, ◌=Mid, ◌̀=Low), while Chungli tones are indicated by superscript numbers following each syllable (³=H, ²=M, ¹=L). Diphthongal offglides are transcribed with the glides w and j in Mongsen, but u and i in Chungli, reflecting their disparate syllable structures.

The syllables of polysyllabic PAo reconstructions are delimited by hyphens when the individual meaning of at least one syllable is understood (e.g. PAo *t‑hna‑ɹuŋ EAR (PFX-EAR-HOLE) (231)) but by periods when the semantic composition is unclear (e.g. PAo *mən.ti CORN (30)).

Variation vs. Ambiguity:

Proto-segments inside parentheses or separated by the allofam symbol (⪤) indicate variation (e.g. PCN *a‑ma(ŋ) BE DARK [197], PCN *mjak ⪤ *hmik EYE [234]).

Ambiguity, on the other hand, is indicated by square brackets containing a single element (e.g. PCN *[h]muk THUNDER [262], ambiguous between *hmuk and *muk) or a slash separating two or more segments (e.g. PCN *tsh[a/ə]m MORTAR [150], a set which lacks the necessary supporting forms to decide between *tsham or *tshəm). The only exception to this practice involves Proto-Ao forms in which the rime is ambiguous between *‑a and *‑aj: These are typically reconstructed as PAo *‑a, except where extra-Ao evidence (PCN and/or PTB) supports the *‑aj diphthong, in which case the PAo rime is represented as *‑a[j].

Languages in this source:

ISO 639-3 Language Name Short Lg Name Group num. of records Phon. Inventory
njo Ao (Chungli) Ch 1.3.1 - Central Naga (Ao Group) 429
njo Ao (Mongsen: Khensa) Mo 1.3.1 - Central Naga (Ao Group) 32
njh Lotha Naga Lotha 1.3.1 - Central Naga (Ao Group) 254
n/a *Ao PAo 1.3.1 - Central Naga (Ao Group) 386
n/a *Central Naga PCN 1.3.1 - Central Naga (Ao Group) 268