Proto-Turkic language

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Proto-Turkic
? Altaic
Language codes
ISO 639-3
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The Proto-Turkic language is the linguistic reconstruction of the common ancestor of the Turkic languages that was spoken by the Proto-Turks before their divergence into the various Turkic peoples. Proto-Turkic separated into Oghur (western) and Common Turkic (eastern) branches. One estimate postulates Proto-Turkic to have been spoken 2,500 years ago in Mongolia in East Asia.[1]

The oldest records of a Turkic language, the Old Turkic Orkhon inscriptions of the 7th century Göktürk khaganate, already shows characteristics of eastern Common Turkic, and prove that Proto Turkic originated there. The Western Common Turkic branches, such as Oghuz and Kypchak, as well as the western Oghur proper (Bulgar, Chuvash, Khazar) branched out of the Eastern Turkic much later during Turkish migrations to Central Asia and beyond and thus their records date to a much later date than the Eastern Turkic languages.

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

The consonant system had a two-way contrast of stop consonants (fortis vs. lenis), k, p, t vs. g, b, d, with verb-initial b- becoming h- still in Proto-Turkic. There was also an affricate consonant, č; at least one sibilant s; and sonorants m, n, ń, ŋ, r, ŕ, l, ĺ with a full series of nasal consonants.

The sounds denoted by ń, ĺ, ŕ refer to palatalized sounds and have been claimed by Altaicists to be direct inheritances from Proto-Altaic. The last two can be reconstructed with the aid of the Oghur languages, which show /r, l/ for *ŕ, *ĺ, while Common Turkic has *z, *š. Oghuric is thus sometimes referred to as Lir-Turkic and Common Turkic as Shaz-Turkic.

However, an alternate theory holds that Common Turkic is closer to the original state of affairs and reconstructs Proto-Turkic *z, *š. The glottochronological reconstruction based on analysis of isoglosses and Sinicisms points to the timing of the r/z split at around 56 BCE–48 CE. As A. V. Dybo puts it, that may be associated with

the historical situation that can be seen in the history of the Huns' division onto the Northern and Southern [groups]: the first separation and withdrawal of the Northern Huns to the west has occurred, as was stated above, in 56 BC,... the second split of the (Eastern) Huns into the northern and southern groups happened in 48 AD.[2]

Dybo suggests that during that period, the Northern branch steadily migrated from western Mongolia through southern Xinjiang into the north's Dzungaria and then finally into Kazakhstan's Zhetysu until the 5th century.[2]

Bilabial Dental or
alveolar
Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosives and
affricate
Fortis *p *t *k
Lenis *b *d *g
Sibilants Voiceless *s *h
Voiced
Nasals *m *n
Liquids Lateral(s) *l
Rhotic(s) *r
Semivowel *j

Vowels[edit]

Like most of its descendants, Proto-Turkic exhibited vowel harmony, distinguishing vowel qualities e, i, o, u vs. ë, ï, ö, ü besides a, as well as two vowel quantities.

front back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
high *i, *iː /i/ *ü, *üː /y/ *ï, *ïː /ɨ/ *u, *uː /u/
mid *e, *eː /ɛ/ *ö, *öː /ø/~/œ/ *ë, *ëː /ə/ *o, *oː /o/
low *a, *aː /ä/

Grammar[edit]

Nouns[edit]

Pronouns[edit]

Proto-Turkic Turkish Azeri Chuvash Karakhanid Uzbek
I *ben ben, ban- mən e-pĕ, man- men, man- men
you *sen sen, san- sən e-sĕ, sĕn- sen, san- sen, siz
he/she/it *an-, *o-l on-, o on-, o un-, văl an-, ol u
we *biŕ biz biz pir- biz biz
you (plural) *siŕ siz siz sir- siz sizlar
they *o-lar on-lar onlar vĕsen- olar ular

Numbers[edit]

Proto-Turkic Turkish Azeri Chuvash Karakhanid Kazakh Uzbek
1 *bīr bir bir pĕr bīr бір bir
2 *éki iki iki ikĕ ikkī екі ikki
3 *üč üç üç viśĕ üč үш uch
4 *dȫrt dört dörd tăvată tȫrt төрт to'rt
5 *bḗĺ(k) beş beş pilĕk bḗš бес besh
6 *altï altı altı ultă altï̄ алты olti
7 *yéti yedi yeddi śičĕ yétī жеті yetti
8 *sekiŕ sekiz səkkiz sakăr sekiz сегіз sakkiz
9 *dokuŕ dokuz doqquz tăhăr tokūz тоғыз to'qqiz
10 *ōn on on vună ōn он o'n
20 *yégirmi yirmi iyirmi śirĕm yegirmī жиырма yigirma
30 *(h)otuŕ otuz otuz văḍăr ottuz отыз o'ttiz
40 *kïrk kırk qırx hĕrĕh kïrk қырық qirq
50 *ellig elli əlli allă ellig елу ellik
60 *altmïĺ altmış altmış utmăl altmïš алпыс oltmish
70 *yétmiĺ yetmiş yetmiş śitmĕl yetmiš жетпіс yetmish
80 *sekiŕ ōn seksen səksən sakărvun seksȫn сексен sakson
90 *dokuŕ ōn doksan doxsan tăhărvun toksōn тоқсан to'qson
100 *yǖŕ yüz yüz śĕr yǖz жүз yuz
1000 *bïŋ bin min pin miŋ мың ming

References[edit]

  1. ^ Janhunen, Juha (2013). "Personal pronouns in Core Altaic". In Martine Irma Robbeets; Hubert Cuyckens (eds.). Shared Grammaticalization: With special focus on the Transeurasian languages. p. 223.
  2. ^ a b Dybo, A. V. (2007). Chronology of Turkic languages and linguistic contacts of early Turks (PDF) (in Russian). Moscow. p. 770. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2005-03-11.

Sources[edit]

  • Décsy, Gyula (1998). The Turkic Protolanguage: A computational reconstruction.
  • Róna-Tas, András (1998). "The reconstruction of Proto-Turkic and the genetic question". In Johanson, Lars; Csató, Éva (eds.). The Turkic Languages. London: Taylor & Francis. pp. 67–80. ISBN 0-415-08200-5.