Altaic languages

The place to discuss learning languages

The Altaic family includes...

there is no Altaic family
0
No votes
Turkic, Mongolic & Tungusic
4
44%
Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic & Korean
0
No votes
Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, Korean & Japonic
5
56%
other
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 9

Altaic languages

Postby Sobekhotep » Wed 09 Dec 2009 2:18 am

What's your opinion on the proposed Altaic language family? Do you reject it, thus considering Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic & Japonic separate primary language families? Do you accept Altaic? If so, to what degree?

A few months ago I believed Altaic existed & included Turkic, Mongolic & Tungusic. But now, I think Korean & Japanese are also Altaic. To me, the single biggest piece of potential evidence for Altaic is that in all of the proposed Altaic languages rhotic phonemes do not begin native words. I recently skimmed through some Turkic language dictionaries & couldn't find a single word, besides loanwords from Arabic & Persian, that starts with /r/. Even in Japanese & Korean, languages which have a single phonemic liquid, that phoneme doesn't begin native words. I only found 1 Mongolian word that starts with /r/. Manchu has none. The Manchu alphabet doesn't even have a letter for /r/ at the beginning of a words. This all can't just be a coincidence. Can it?
ለሐዘበ ፡ ዘየደአ
User avatar
Sobekhotep
 
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun 19 Apr 2009 4:53 am
Location: America's Dairyland

Re: Altaic languages

Postby Talib » Wed 09 Dec 2009 7:13 am

It's not surprising that given their geographical proximity, sprachbund-like features would form. That has happened in East Asia, Mesoamerica and the Balkans so it's not uncommon.

As far as I know the current scholarly consensus is that Altaic likely includes Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic, and Japanese and Korean may be related somehow but this is difficult to demonstrate. For now, I feel it's safer not to include them.
العربية * 中文 * English * Français * Русский * Português * Español * हिन्दी/اردو * Deutsch * 日本語
Talib
 
Posts: 768
Joined: Sun 19 Apr 2009 8:22 am
Location: Canada

Re: Altaic languages

Postby VROOR » Wed 09 Dec 2009 6:27 pm

Sobekhotep wrote:A few months ago I believed Altaic existed & included Turkic, Mongolic & Tungusic. But now, I think Korean & Japanese are also Altaic. To me, the single biggest piece of potential evidence for Altaic is that in all of the proposed Altaic languages rhotic phonemes do not begin native words.


A lot of linguists also share the same point of view as yours. Some have addressed that there existed vowel-harmony similar to turkic languages within the Japanese language (of which, are found amongst archaic and or native words) such as: anata, kokoro, kura (with "kura" as a cognate with the pan-altaic "kara" qara" "khara"). There are also a small group of linguists who also advocate that, the Ainu Language is also belonging to the Altaic branch.

Sobekhotep wrote:I recently skimmed through some Turkic language dictionaries & couldn't find a single word, besides loanwords from Arabic & Persian, that starts with /r/. Even in Japanese & Korean, languages which have a single phonemic liquid, that phoneme doesn't begin native words. I only found 1 Mongolian word that starts with /r/. Manchu has none.


Indeed, it is too much for such coincidences, aren't they? Especially when true coincidences are rare amongst languages.

Sobekhotep wrote:The Manchu alphabet doesn't even have a letter for /r/ at the beginning of a words. This all can't just be a coincidence. Can it?


Well...we don't have native manchu words starting with the "R" but...the "R" does have an "initial form" for writing loan-words...however, the words loaned never retained the initial-R...makes one ask why the heck inventing an "initial-r form when we don't even use it...

It is possible to write【ᡵᠣᠰᡳᠶᠠ】rosiya but, my manchurian elders insisted the word for "Russia" is 【ᠣᡵᠣᠰᡳᠶᠠ】orosiya or just 【ᠣᡵᠣᠰ】oros.
Image
ImageImage
User avatar
VROOR
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu 13 Aug 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Taiwan (R.O.C)

Re: Altaic languages

Postby Sobekhotep » Thu 10 Dec 2009 12:54 am

Talib wrote:As far as I know the current scholarly consensus is that Altaic likely includes Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic

Wikipedia says:
Wikipedia wrote:This view was widespread prior to the 1960s, but has almost no supporters among specialists today


VROOR wrote:my manchurian elders insisted the word for "Russia" is 【ᠣᡵᠣᠰᡳᠶᠠ】orosiya or just 【ᠣᡵᠣᠰ】oros.

The Mongolian word for Russia is also <Орос>. Compare with Kyrgyz <Орусия>, & Sakha/Yakut <Арассыыйа>. :ugeek:
ለሐዘበ ፡ ዘየደአ
User avatar
Sobekhotep
 
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun 19 Apr 2009 4:53 am
Location: America's Dairyland

Re: Altaic languages

Postby VROOR » Thu 10 Dec 2009 3:49 pm

Sobekhotep wrote:The Mongolian word for Russia is also <Орос>. Compare with Kyrgyz <Орусия>, & Sakha/Yakut <Арассыыйа>.


Indeed, they are. I have long known and aware of this link shared; however, it can possibly be an altaic trait on loan words shared amongst the altaic languages. Despite, this stance lacks much supportive evidences, it seems valid in a certain way.
Image
ImageImage
User avatar
VROOR
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu 13 Aug 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Taiwan (R.O.C)

Re: Altaic languages

Postby Talib » Thu 10 Dec 2009 7:48 pm

Sobekhotep wrote:Wikipedia says:
Wikipedia wrote:This view was widespread prior to the 1960s, but has almost no supporters among specialists today
Really? I thought the evidence for Korean and Japanese was weak.

So Altaic is sort of an all or nothing proposition, I gather. In that case I'd prefer to suspend judgment. I'm no philologist but since Ural-Altaic was shown to be incorrect, I'm skeptical, especially since there don't seem to be regular correspondences in vocabulary among these languages.
العربية * 中文 * English * Français * Русский * Português * Español * हिन्दी/اردو * Deutsch * 日本語
Talib
 
Posts: 768
Joined: Sun 19 Apr 2009 8:22 am
Location: Canada

Re: Altaic languages

Postby linguoboy » Thu 10 Dec 2009 8:19 pm

Sobekhotep wrote:To me, the single biggest piece of potential evidence for Altaic is that in all of the proposed Altaic languages rhotic phonemes do not begin native words. I recently skimmed through some Turkic language dictionaries & couldn't find a single word, besides loanwords from Arabic & Persian, that starts with /r/. Even in Japanese & Korean, languages which have a single phonemic liquid, that phoneme doesn't begin native words. I only found 1 Mongolian word that starts with /r/. Manchu has none. The Manchu alphabet doesn't even have a letter for /r/ at the beginning of a words. This all can't just be a coincidence. Can it?

I dunno, is it a coincidence that Basque, Sardinian, and most Australian languages also lack word-initial rhotics in their inherited vocabulary? (This is made even more striking by the fact that these selfsame languages contrast two or even more rhotics word-internally.)

Personally, I think this may have more to do with the nature of the rhotic segments in question. Trills are particularly challenging for many speakers to produce in initial position. I know people who have been learning Spanish for years and still need a brief support vowel before any occurences of initial /r/.
english*deutsch*nederlands*català*castellano*gaelainn*cymraeg*français*svenska*韓國말*漢語
linguoboy
 
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun 19 Apr 2009 9:02 am

Re: Altaic languages

Postby VROOR » Thu 10 Dec 2009 9:13 pm

Once there was the era when the Altaic Linguistic Branch was accepted and never questioned by the academia yet, that was a very brief era of the past when much of the academia took things for granted. In the light of the modern era, we now face new discoveries which force questions upon the so-called Altaic Linguistic Branch and, amongst those questions we are met with the issue: "Do the Altaic Linguistic Branch actually exist?"

We cannot really defend the view of this branch with mere pronuncitions because, such a stance is a weak one indeed. Let us just theorise that, Japanese and Manchurian are both of the Altaic Branch and, we try to defend this stance with pronunciations...we will soon find a fatal problem: The Japanese language in its known linguistic histories lacks the trilled-r whilst the Manchu language possesses this pronunciation.

So, the pronunciations of a given language could also be influenced by geographical locations (other linguistic tribes and/or assimilations). Thus, the pronunciations are not reliable as a defence and, now we turn to the vocabularies. Let us now theorise the Korean language belongs to the Altaic Branch and, again we will try to support this view with the vocabularies of which, will again be met with fatal problems:

The word love:
Korean Language = sarang
Bahasa Malay = sayang

The word stupid:
Korean Language = babo
Tagalog/Pilipino = bobo
Bahasa Malay = bodoh

The word day:
Korean Language = haru
Bahasa Malay = hari
Ancient Engyptian = heru

As presented by the above examples, the Korean language possesses words whose origins are not seemly altaic (but then again, who can be so sure?). So, are we to call these words as loans or as cores? If shall we claim these words are the cores of the Korean language, are we then ready to state Korean is related to Malaysian language, or even to the Ancient Egyptian language? Shall we claim these words are loans, one would then question how in the world did these words got into the Korean language...

...then again, all of these can be a mere coincidence, an odd coincidence.
Image
ImageImage
User avatar
VROOR
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Thu 13 Aug 2009 6:40 pm
Location: Taiwan (R.O.C)

Re: Altaic languages

Postby Sobekhotep » Fri 11 Dec 2009 12:56 am

linguoboy wrote:
Sobekhotep wrote:To me, the single biggest piece of potential evidence for Altaic is that in all of the proposed Altaic languages rhotic phonemes do not begin native words. I recently skimmed through some Turkic language dictionaries & couldn't find a single word, besides loanwords from Arabic & Persian, that starts with /r/. Even in Japanese & Korean, languages which have a single phonemic liquid, that phoneme doesn't begin native words. I only found 1 Mongolian word that starts with /r/. Manchu has none. The Manchu alphabet doesn't even have a letter for /r/ at the beginning of a words. This all can't just be a coincidence. Can it?

I dunno, is it a coincidence that Basque, Sardinian, and most Australian languages also lack word-initial rhotics in their inherited vocabulary?

But what about geography? All of the proposed Altaic languages are spoken in close geographic proximity to each other; Basque, Sardinian & them Australian languages are spoken far, far away.

VROOR wrote:The Japanese language in its known linguistic histories lacks the trilled-r whilst the Manchu language possesses this pronunciation.

That's not entirely true. A trilled rhotic does occur in Japanese. It's nonstandard, and occurs mostly in Edokko, certain port towns & in fishing villages along the coasts. It also occurs when a speaker, especially male, is angry & is frequently heard in the speech of gangsters in Japanese films & tv.

VROOR wrote:The word love:
Korean Language = sarang
Bahasa Malay = sayang

The word stupid:
Korean Language = babo
Tagalog/Pilipino = bobo
Bahasa Malay = bodoh

The word day:
Korean Language = haru
Bahasa Malay = hari
Ancient Engyptian = heru

Those are surely just coincidences. For vocabulary, it's pointless to compare terms in modern languages; you have to go back & look at old forms of languages. I'm sure Indo-European wasn't built on comparing Russian, Hindi, English, & French, but rather by comparing Old Church Slavonic, Sanskrit, Old Norse, Latin, Ancient Greek, etc.
ለሐዘበ ፡ ዘየደአ
User avatar
Sobekhotep
 
Posts: 714
Joined: Sun 19 Apr 2009 4:53 am
Location: America's Dairyland

Re: Altaic languages

Postby Talib » Fri 11 Dec 2009 1:34 am

Sobekhotep wrote:But what about geography? All of the proposed Altaic languages are spoken in close geographic proximity to each other; Basque, Sardinian & them Australian languages are spoken far, far away.
Barring evidence of a genetic relationship, that's a good argument for areal influence.
العربية * 中文 * English * Français * Русский * Português * Español * हिन्दी/اردو * Deutsch * 日本語
Talib
 
Posts: 768
Joined: Sun 19 Apr 2009 8:22 am
Location: Canada

Next

Return to Language learning

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron