Re: Potential link between Japanese and Turkish?
By accident - when researching a completely different matter - I've come across two older articles in Ural-Altaic Yearbook = UAY for short reference (and please note: this yearbook is one for which linking Uralic, Altaic and other languages is something of a 'task': quite some of the scientists writing there want to see connections; nevertheless you only get to write for this journal if you are a scientist):
Murayama, Schichiro: Ist Japanisch eine Mischsprache? [Is Japanese a mixed language?] UAY vol. 50/1978 p. 111-115:
This is the "Austronesian theory" of Japanese being probably an Austronesian language which had been thoroughly changed due to the influence of an Altaic language (and other influences).
He has arguments to follow, some of them sound quite good to me while others do not (one of the latter being the name of "mother" in Japanese, Altaic and Austronesian which isn't an argument really, we've already had some discussions about this, e. g. that one here).
The article is very short and I am in no position to evaluate the examples he has given therefore I leave them out.
(And I couldn't post them here anyway, this would exceed the 4-lines-copyright-rule quite considerably. And anyway it would be best, for those proficient enough to evaluate, to read the original article.)
The conclusion at which he arrives is as follows (all these are quotes from p. 115, translations are mine; for copyright reasons I have to be short):
One should take into account (...) that Austronesian elements outnumber Altaic ones in basic vocabulary of Old Japanese (...)
*) I object against his choice of word "reformiert - reformated" because in science we shouldn't call one thing good or bad - and this verb here is not neutral. But translation should be true to the original. And the German sentence is so complicated (with several Matryoshkas if you know what I mean, sentence-embedded-in-a-sentence-embedded-...) that translation has to be somewhat free concerning syntax.
(...) one can conclude that the genesis of Proto-Japanese might be explained as based on an Austronesian language which became reformated*)
due to the influence of an Altaic language, probably one closely related to Proto-Tungusic.
Further he states that syntax of Japanese were more Altaic than Austronesian.
He also mentioned some other authors doing research: he begins with Bedler (1857), later came Polianov (~1900), then Miller (1971) and Menges (1975). Polianov already argued very much in favour of Japanese being a mixed language.
Whoever is interested in this should read this article, and the next one:
Kazár, Lajos: Uralic-Japanese Language Comparison; UAY vol. 48/1976 p. 127-150:
This gives extensive word-lists and discussion; what I said about the first article is even more true about this one: I can't possibly evaluate if what is written there is valuable.
The same author has written more articles about related topics.
Please also note:
- some linguists take it for a fact that the Altaic family in the broader sense (with Korean or probably even Japanese included): this is not the case, that's still very much disputed
- some linguists still are influenced by national ideologies; I won't quote an article and I won't give names (this is not about making accusations, right? ) - I only advice to be careful with all such theories (and to always be on the look-out for ideologies hidden behind so-called science); some of those hidden ideologies you also find in UAY
- those old articles sometimes, alas, are just old; so please don't read to much into it, newer, modern authors should be read before you come to a conclusion
Last edited by sokol; 8th November 2008 at 1:08 AM.
"An esoteric may claim more nonsense in 5 minutes than a scientist may be able to disprove in his entire life." Vince Ebert, about fighting sciolism.