Proto-Turkic language

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Proto-Turkic
Reconstruction ofTurkic languages
Regionprobably Mongolia
Erac. 500 BCE
Reconstructed
ancestor

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 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 reconstruction of Proto-Turkic must rely on comparisons of Old Turkic with early sources of the Western Common Turkic branches, such as Oghuz and Kypchak, as well as the Western Oghur proper (Bulgar, Chuvash, Khazar). Because early attestation of these non-easternmost languages is much more sparse, reconstruction of Proto-Turkic still rests fundamentally on the easternmost Old Turkic of the Göktürks.

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. 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 *⟨č⟩ t͡ʃ *k
Lenis *b *d *g
Sibilants Voiceless *s *h
Voiced
Nasals *m *n *⟨ń⟩ nʲ
Liquids Lateral(s) *l *⟨ĺ⟩ lʲ
Rhotic(s) *r *⟨ŕ⟩ rʲ
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]

Pronouns[edit]

Proto-Turkic Turkish Azeri Turkmen Kazakh Chuvash Karakhanid Uzbek Bashkir Kyrgyz
I *ben ben, ban- mən men men, ma- e-pĕ, man- men, man- men min men
you *sen sen, san- sən sen sen, sa-, siz e-sĕ, sĕn- sen, san- sen, siz hin sen, siz
he/she/it *an-, *o-l on-, o on-, o ol on-, o-l un-, văl an-, ol u ul al
we *biŕ biz biz biz biz pir- biz biz beð biz
you (plural) *siŕ siz siz siz sender, sizder sir- siz sizlar heð siler, sizder
they *o-lar on-lar onlar olar olar vĕsen- olar ular ular alar

Numbers[edit]

Proto-Turkic Turkish Azeri Turkmen Chuvash Karakhanid Kazakh Uzbek Bashkir Kyrgyz Yakut
1 *bīr bir bir bir pĕr bīr bir bir ber bir biir
2 *ẹki iki iki iki ikĕ ikkī eki ikki ike eki ikki
3 *üč üç üç üç viśĕ üč üsh uch ös üč üs
4 *dȫrt dört dörd dört tăvată tȫrt tört to'rt dürt tört tüört
5 *bēĺ(k) beş beş bäş pilĕk bḗš bes besh biş beş bies
6 *altï altı altı alty ultă altï̄ altı olti altı altı alta
7 *yẹti yedi yeddi ýedi śičĕ yétī zheti yetti yete jeti sette
8 *sekiŕ sekiz səkkiz sekiz sakăr sekiz segiz sakkiz higeð segiz aаğıs
9 *tokuŕ dokuz doqquz dokuz tăhăr tokūz toğız to'qqiz tuğıð toguz toğus
10 *ōn on on on vună ōn on o'n un on uon
20 *yẹgirmi yirmi iyirmi ýigrimi śirĕm yegirmī zhıyırma yigirma yegerme jıyırma süürbe
30 *otuŕ otuz otuz otuz văḍăr ottuz otız o'ttiz utıð otuz otut
40 *kïrk kırk qırx kyrk hĕrĕh kïrk qırıq qirq qırq kırk -
50 *ellig elli əlli elli allă ellig eliw ellik ille elüü -
60 *altmïĺ altmış altmış altmyş utmăl altmïš alpıs oltmish altmış altımış -
70 *yẹtmiĺ yetmiş yetmiş ýetmiş śitmĕl yetmiš zhetpis yetmish yetmeş jetimiş -
80 *sekiŕ ōn seksen səksən segsen sakărvun seksȫn seksen sakson hikhän seksen ağıs uon
90 *dokuŕ ōn doksan doxsan dogsan tăhărvun toksōn toqsan to'qson tuqhan tokson toğus uon
100 *yǖŕ yüz yüz ýüz śĕr yǖz zhüz yuz yöð jüz süüs
1000 *bïŋ bin min müň pin miŋ mıŋ ming meŋ miñ muŋ

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.

External links[edit]