Potential link between Japanese and Turkish?

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by COF, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. COF Member

    English - English
    In the past I've heard of theory that suggests that Japanese and Turkish, along with Korean and possibly a couple of other languages belong to the same group. I believe the group was named Altaic. Do you think there's anything in this or do you feel this is just some nutty hypothesis with nothing really to support it other than a handful of words with the same meaning that broadly resemble each other?

    I'm no language expert, but when I've seen Romanized Japanese sentences, and Turkish sentences I can't help but think there is a bit of a similarity, both seem to have very distant similarities. Both are agglutinative languages (although many languages are, that's not really saying much), and there are quite a few words which look similar and have the same, or similar meanings in both languages.

    However, the sheer geographic distance between the 2 regions makes me wonder if it's even possible.

    Thanks for any insight into this topic.
  2. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    The so-called Altaic language family counts 66 languages, spoken by almost 350 million people. That's not my understanding of 'a couple of other languages' ;-).
    Anyway, we already have a thread about Altaic languages and the English Wikipedia article is a fairly good introduction.

    Could you please give a few examples?

    I don't think distance is an issue here.


    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  3. OBrasilo

    OBrasilo Senior Member

    Koper, Slovenia, Central Europe
    Brazil, Brazilian Portuguese
    To me, there seems to be a clear link between Turkic, and Japonic. There seems to be a correspondence between Turkic initial d-, and Japonic initial y-, such as in Turkish dört vs. Japanese yo(n), both meaning four, and in Turkish dağ vs. Japanese yama, both meaning mountain. In my humble opinion, the proto-sound could have been ɟ, which then later evolved into d in Turkic, and into y (phnetically j) in Japonic. ;)
  4. Hulalessar

    Hulalessar Senior Member

    English - England
  5. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    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):
    *) 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.
    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: Nov 8, 2008
  6. neonrider Member

    Vilnius (Lazdynai)
    Lithuanian / Lietúvüü
    How is Turkish dört similar to Japanese yon? I know Turkish and I know Japanese and i don;t see any similarity between the two, yet I see similarity (a very old influence) between Polynesian, Pacific languages and Japanese.
  7. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    Yes, it's a little weird to claim that dört and yon are similar...^^ Also weird to claim that dağ and yama are similar. :p

    If it is going to satisfy you, the word for hill is tepe in both Turkish and Japanese. Anyway, the similarity in vocabulary isn't a criteria to claim that a group of languages are from the same family.

    I do feel like Japanese and Turkish are similar, because the logic of the syntax of both languages seem really close to each other.

    Jp: Kyoto-no
    Tr: Kyoto'nun
    En: of Kyoto

    Jp: Kuruma-de
    Tr: Araba-da
    En: by car

    Jp: Kutu-o
    Tr: Pabuç-u
    En: the shoes

    Jp: Nan-desu ka
    Tr: Ne-dir ki?
    En: What is it?

    Jp: imasu
    Tr: imiş
    En: there is

    Jp: hanashimashita
    Tr: konuşmuştu
    En: he had talked

    Jp: itta
    Tr: gitti
    En: he's gone

    and so on and so forth. In my opinion there is a faint link somewhere in the history of these languages. But I'm not a linguist, so my opinion isn't worth much.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  8. neonrider Member

    Vilnius (Lazdynai)
    Lithuanian / Lietúvüü
    Could be! I always thought Japanese is not like other East Asian languages and I thought it originated somewhere in Central Asia (and I know well the Chinese and Ainu parts of it), so I and you could be right. Also, the weirdest thing is that my brother when he was in Uzbekistan, he told me that local people taught him this phrase: "Oppai name" which in Japanese (20 years later I found out) means "child sucking a breast", but in Uzbekistan they use it for something else. Remember, Uzbekistan just like the entire USSR was a closed society and very few people, especially in Uzbekistan, could travel to Japan or even to Mongolia or China. Also I know that Japanese haplogroups, genetics etc. derives from both Tibet and NE China. But some, quite many, Japanese have these curvy noses unlike SE Asians or Chinese, which I thought sometimes remind me slightly of gentle form of Jews. Also in Japanese "atama" means "head" and "otosan" (oto) means "father". Further you know already. By the way, in Lithuanian "bite" is very similar to Japanese "bite" (to bite, biting, bitten, bit) = "kanda, kaasti, kandzhioja" and there are other "wild matches" or "coincidences". So please post more assumed matches, I'd like to see them since I like not to outrule "wild guesses" as they call it.
  9. berndf Moderator

    German (Germany)
    Moderator note: but not in this forum. A reminder of the rules:
    To a certain degree we tolerate posting of such list as an explorative step for formulating an initial hypothesis. But any claims resulting from such lists should subsequently be substantiated. Providing more lists does not qualify as substantiation.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  10. neonrider Member

    Vilnius (Lazdynai)
    Lithuanian / Lietúvüü
    I understand, yet languages evolve, so should the rules. Good luck.
  11. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    What do the suffixes no (Jp) and nun (Tr), as well as de (Jp) and da (Tr) mean?
    As for all I know, the suffix "da/de" in Turkish means "in", "inside".

    Once again: what does the suffix o (Jp) / u (Tr) mean?

    The verbs appear to be the most interesting part of your list, especially "he had talked".
    Are there any more coincidences among verb stems and in the verbal morphology of Japanese and Turkish?
  12. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    Yes, mostly, it's also possible to use it as "by car" though.

    They are the object markers. i.e. The accusative case.

    Are you talking about verb stems like "yakimasu" (to burn) in Turkish is "yakmak" ? I don't know about them. But the suffixes are more important to decide about a language's relation with another language, don't you find? =)

    Nevertheless, I don't have all of them in my mind at the moment.
  13. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    I agree that suffixes are more important than word stems, therefore I asked you not only about stems, but also about morphology.
    My knowledge of both Japanese (except the meaning of some Kanji, which Japanese has in common with Chinese) and Turkish (one or two words) being virtually none, it also would be interesting for me to have a look at a Swadesh list of Turkish and Japanese and to compare the similarities and differences.
  14. OBrasilo

    OBrasilo Senior Member

    Koper, Slovenia, Central Europe
    Brazil, Brazilian Portuguese
    I've NEVER talked about simple vocabulary similarity. I talked about a seemingly regular sound correspondence between Japanese initial y and Turkish initial d. I'm pretty aware, that convergent vocabulary is not a criterion for relationship, but vocabulary with a seemingly regular sound correspondence is. ;)
  15. neonrider Member

    Vilnius (Lazdynai)
    Lithuanian / Lietúvüü
    Degimas (Lith.) = burning process. Yet "yakimasu" in Japanese means "I bake" or "to bake" (Kepimas in Lith.), not "to burn".
  16. clevermizo Senior Member

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    It's not particularly interesting in the slightest. I find the similarity forced.

    "He talked" is hanashita. Hanashimashita is an honorific form used in respectful/polite circumstances. -mashita is not a suffix. The way to analyze hanashimashita correctly is:

    hanas(h)-------- mas(h)------------ta
    (talk) ----- (polite/respectful)-----(past tense)

    So the question is, can muștu be analyzed similarly? I believe that -muș is the tense/aspect marker. -t marks it as a narrative pluperfect and -u is the personal pronoun inflection for "he". This is very different from the Japanese structure which is not a pluperfect nor does it mark "he" but only tense and politeness. Hanashimashita can also mean "I talked".

    The surface similarity looks like pure coincidence.

    The only similarity here could be a sound correspondence between k and h: konuș and hanas(h) but that would have to be shown to be a robust correspondence. There's no correspondence in the grammatical suffixes.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  17. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    One who, like me, doesn't know anything about Japanese and Turkish, may be deceived by superficial sound correspondence, or, better, similarity (which, in this case, is extreme), so thank you very much for undeceiving me.
  18. clevermizo Senior Member

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    Well although there's no similarity in the grammatical affixes, the root words are similar. /k/ and /h/ are known to be related elsewhere, consider that Latin canis and English hound are real cognates. Mind you, I don't really believe in a link between Turkish and Japanese, but if the relationship between /k/ in Turkish and /h/ in Japanese were robust, then it would supportive of that hypothesis.
  19. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    The Turkic languages probably originated in, and are still spoken in, Western China. So the geographic distance is not quite as sheer as you seem to think.
  20. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    You're right, we can't analyze the Turkish equivalent as such. I had no idea that "mash" were honorific. Turkish doesn't have a honorofic speech though. Anyway, thanks for clearing that up; and I hope you guys will excuse me for having citated that example... :eek:
  21. OBrasilo

    OBrasilo Senior Member

    Koper, Slovenia, Central Europe
    Brazil, Brazilian Portuguese
    Well, modern Japanese /h/ ultimately comes from old Japanese /p/. So any relationship to /k/ is out of the question here, sorry. ;)
  22. clevermizo Senior Member

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    Hah, well then! Confirmed my suspicion.:D
  23. seyif Member


    If it is tried to compare Turkish and Japanese, one should be careful about changes in Turkish. If there were some interactions between them, it must be before 7th century. Since that time Turkish has changed in many ways. If we use modern Turkey Turkish for this comparison that can mislead us. Most affixes in your examples started to be used in West Turkish and it seems it is hard to find interactions between Oghuz and Japanese in most case.
  24. muhahaa Member

    We'll have to remember that morphological typology is a cyclical thing. Isolating -> agglutinative -> fusional -> isolating....

    An isolating language will eventually become agglutinative as the separate particles lose stress and become suffixes or prefixes. An agglutinative language will eventually become fusional through sound changes. A fusional language will eventually become isolating as the root changes get replaced by separate particles and also through sound changes.
  25. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Moderator note:

    Links to temporary download sites are not awfully useful: as soon as the download link expires downloads aren't available anymore, which would render the discussion about the document linked to completely useless.

    The link has been deleted for this reason.

    Thank you for your understanding.
  26. er targyn Senior Member

  27. artion Senior Member

    Hi everybody. This is my first post.
    Turkish language is originating from central Asia, not Turkey. Of course is relevant to Chinese and Japanese. The word "yon" that someone mentioned, is not Japanese but Chinese (although I don't recognize any similarity to turkish). The native Japanese for "four" is "yottsu" (still not close to turkish). Some words are similar. e.g. Turk. "kara" (black), jap. Kuro. Turk "ii" (good), jap. "ii". But the two languages separated long time ago and similarities are few and not recognized by the non-expert.
  28. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish
    I thought that "shi" is the Chinese loanword for 'four', and that "yottsu" is nothing but "yon" + suffix "tsu", in the same way as "hitotsu" is "hito" + "tsu".
  29. er targyn Senior Member

    Not to Chinese. Japanese jo- < *dә < *toj > dört, dörben, dügin
  30. Edguoglitigin

    Edguoglitigin Senior Member

    As a young Turkic linguist, even though I was taught that there had been an Altaic language family, I am gradually walking away from the Altaic family idea, cause (such as Gerhard Doerfer and Gerard Clauson emphasized) those languages do not share a common vocabulary, especially in basic words.

    I think those approaches which try to get the languages close one another are emotinal rather being scientific. For example, Old Mongolian had gender in conjugation whereas Turkic has never had a gender case.

    As Clauson claimed, Turkic had influenced environmental languages (Mongolian, Tungusic, Korean and maybe Japanesse) a long times ago and it provides a situation that those languages belong to a common ancestor. According to some researches, Sumerian had some (about 150) Turkic words. It points out that Pre-Turks had been in contact with too many groups in a vast geography.

    My additions to some examples given above:

    *Turkish "ii" (actually iyi) was edgü in Old Turkic. Therefore Turkish "iyi" cant be compared to Japanesse "ii".

    * Japanesse yama "mountain" is not an equivalent to Turkic tag but in Turkish there is a word yamaç that means "piedmount".

    * If Japanesse yakimasu has "to bake" meaning it still preserves the comparison with Turkic yakmak.
  31. er targyn Senior Member

    Edguoglitigin, are you
    ? What are last 2 additions then? Btw, Turkic-Sumerian "comparison" can't be taken serious by linguists.
  32. ancalimon Senior Member

  33. er targyn Senior Member

  34. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    The link proves that mister Tuna made such a list, not that the list with alleged cognates is correct, nor that a possible link between Sumerian and Turkish has been demonstrated.

    I had a look at a few items and it strikes me that Mr Tuna only mentions the variant of the Sumerian words which come close to Turkish words, ignoring sometimes up to 8 other variants.

    In short, we need a bit more than a manipulated list and an antiquated idea which still seems to be popular among pan-Turkists.

  35. Edguoglitigin

    Edguoglitigin Senior Member

    You mean if I walk away from the idea so why I gave the last two additions. I just wanted to share my opinions on those words (because I saw that comparisons are devoid of scientific respect). To find some lexical similarities is not a direct evidence that we should postulate a language family.

    I spoke of Sumerian in order to show Turkic languages' vast influence area.
  36. er targyn Senior Member

    Any mention of Sumerian in relation to Turkic is pseudo-scientific. There's no Turkic loans in Japanese. Turkic influenced to some extent only Mongolic, Hungarian, Russian, Tajik and minor languages in Russia.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  37. Edguoglitigin

    Edguoglitigin Senior Member

    I do not insist on Turkic loanwords in Sumerian (Btw I offer you to read Marcel Erdal's opinions about grammatical similarities between Hurrians and Turkic. Hurrians were a middle-eastern people) It was only an example. Besides you can not know whether the similar words in Japanesse are not loanwords.
  38. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    If you know the phonetical and morphological evolution of both Japanese and Turkish (or rather the Turkic language family) and possibly some contact languages like Chinese, you can make some conclusions about the origin of some words.
  39. er targyn Senior Member

    I'd like to read Marcel Erdal's opinions about grammatical similarities between Hurrians and Turkic. Where?
  40. Edguoglitigin

    Edguoglitigin Senior Member

    That was a symposium paper:
    Marcel Erdal, "Türkçenin Hurrice İle Paylaştığı Ayrıntılar" (Details which Turkic and Hurrian share), V. Uluslararası Türk Dili Kurultayı, 2004, Ankara.

    I'm sorry that it is written in Turkish, but I can summarize it for you the next wednesday.
  41. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    I wouldn't like to count the kilometers between Japan and the Hurrian homeland. I mean, it seems we're drifting off-topic.

    On the other hand, I start to get the impression that the ideas about Turkish-Japanese and Hurrian-Turkish (or Sumerian-Turkish) are two sides of the same coin.

    The Sumerian/Hurrian-Turkish idea has to convince us that speakers of a Turkic language (and this quickly becomes Turkish, hence Turks in the writings of certain self-proclaimed linguists) were present in the region from an early date on.

    The Japanese/Korean-Turkish idea has to convince us that speakers of Turkic language (and this quickly becomes Turkish, hence Turks, rather than Altaic) were incredibly widely spread.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  42. er targyn Senior Member

    I'd like to mention that unlike to Sumerian/Hurrian stuff, a theory of Altaic language family was developed by Russian linguists and became popular around the globe. According to them Turkic homeland is located in Ordos, China, very close to other Altaic branches.
  43. Edguoglitigin

    Edguoglitigin Senior Member

    "Details Which Hurrian and Turkic share"

    Morphological features:

    1- Verb or noun stems do not change in Hurrian (H) and Turkic Languages (TL), they only take suffixes.

    2- The gender which IE languages and Semitic languages have, does not exist in (H) or (TL), neither in nouns / pronouns nor conjugation.

    3- Neither in (H) nor in (TL), there are no prefixes. Their morphology all depend on agglutinative structure by affixes.

    4- A few affixes of (H) stand out in vowel harmony.
    tan-asht- 'to make', an-asht- 'to be happy', tekh-esht- 'to ascend, to rise', shurv-usht- 'to do harm'.

    5- Alike (TL), (H) had connection vowels and in some cases they used to disappear.
    e.g. Turkish, burun 'nose' but, burnu 'his / her nose', ayrıntı 'detail' (< ayır-ın-tı), kork- 'to fear' (< korık-).

    6- (H) and (TL) only have singularity and plurality. Semitic languages, Ancient IE have had also 'dual'.

    7- In (H), nouns used to accept possessive affixes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd singular person
    Turkish 1st. person singular -Im (-Um) ~ Hurrian -iw 'my...'
    Turkish 3rd. person singular -I (-U) / -sI (-sU) ~ Hurrian -ia 'his/her...'
    Turkish 1st. person plural -ImIz (-UmUz) ~ Hurrian -iwazh 'our...'

    8- (H) case suffixes (dative -va; directive -ta / -da / -uda; ablative -tan / -dan / -udan; comitative -ra) come after the possesive suffixes such as (TL) do. In Uralic Languages

    and Arabic, possesive suffixes come after case suffixes.

    9- Negation In (H) were made by a suffixe. They were -u- / -wa- (for transitive verbs in first and second person), -ma- (for transitive verbs in third person) -kki-, -kka-, -kko- (intransitive verbs by sound harmony). Correspondingly, in Urartian -we- / -me- suffixes used to agglutinate to verbs for negation.

    10- In (H) tense and personal agent suffixes used to take part in the last section of conjugation such as (TL) still do. In Eurasiatic languages, only Armenian has a negation

    suffixe for verbal sentence that it must have borrowed from Urartian.

    11- Similar to (TL), in (H) secondary / relative sentences used to be formed by participes.

    12- Imperative forms in (H), like (TL), there did exist for not only second person but also first and third person as well.

    Phonological features:

    1- On the contrary to Eastern Caucasian languages, /r/, /l/ consonants were not able to be initial phonemes. If loandwords have these consonants, there appear an /i/ front of

    them that (TL) has undergone this situation before modern written languages:
    In Anatolian Turkish, ramazan (/ramadan) 'personal name' is used as ıramazan; recep 'personal name' is used irecep limon 'lemon' is used ilimon; leğen 'bowl' is used as
    ileğen. And in some Kipchak languages, rus 'russian' has become orus.

    2- Eastern Caucasian Languages (ECL) have so many initial double consonants, whereas (H) and (TL) have never had them.

    Syntactical features:

    1- (H) and (TL) share in a common about morphosyntax that in both language type order of morphemes are the same: iç-i-n-de ( 'in / inside' + possesive suffixe + pronominal + locative case suffixe)

    2- In word phrases, adjective and noun (with genitive suffixe) are always before the noun. (like Ali-nin kitabı ~ Ali's book)

    Note! Erdal, in some comparisons, speaks of Eastern Caucausian languages (ECL) because I. M. Diakonoff and S. A. Starostin claimed that some (ECL) (Nahy and Lazgy) have a kinship with Hurrian.

    Note! I have made some additions (examples), which does not exist in the paper, to illuminate Erdal's opinions.

    This symposium paper's exact name: Türkçe'nin Hurrice'yle Paylaştığı Ayrıntılar, V. Uluslararası Türk Dil Kurultayı 20-26 Eylül 2004 (5th International Turkish Language

    Symposium, 20th-26th September 2004). Published version: Türkçe'nin Hurrice'yle Paylaştığı Ayrıntılar, V. Uluslararası Türk Dil Kurultayı Bildirileri, TDK Yay., Ankara, 2004, 929-937.
  44. er targyn Senior Member

    Good overview, but this only means some typologycal similarity, nothing more.
  45. Edguoglitigin

    Edguoglitigin Senior Member

    But these typological features are not ordinary and should not be underestimated.

    I have not translated the paper thoroughly, therefore this quotation may not make you convinced enough.

    By the way, Erdal concludes at the end of paper that Hurrians might be the ancestors of Oghuz Turks. It means that Hurrian (~ Ghurrian ~ Ghuz / Oghur ~ Oghuz) were a group which had been turkified among Turks such as Kyrghyzs had been.
  46. er targyn Senior Member

    I noticed an opinion that ogur might be an Ugric word.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  47. ancalimon Senior Member

    A late reply to something which I got more knowledge about today.


    Starting from chapter 3, he explains the scientific way about how he found out that these were Turkic words inside Sumerian.

    What Osman Nedim Tuna did was to compare only those words that are thought to to be foreign borrowings inside Sumerian~ Kenger language. There are supposedly two languages there. Proto-Tigris and Proto-Euphrates.

    He says that he does not know whether Sumerian as a language is related with Turkic language or not and he also says that his work does not cover this. The only thing his work proves is that Sumerian borrowed some words from some people who were using these Turkic words. (Unlike what he wrote in the conclusion part, I don't think this proves that Turks were living in Eastern Anatolia during 3500BC (he wrote that he was going to write about this in his next work which never came to life as far as I know since he died). They might as well borrowed these words from some other people who might or might not have been Turks. Of course what I know about the subject is only a fraction of what he knows..)

    In his book, he talks about the method he used to test whether the Turkic words appearing in Sumerian is a coincidence or not. The words he listed as being Turkic in origin turns out to be Turkic words borrowed into Sumerian language.
    He names this method as "regular sound correspondences".
    According to what I read, this method is accepted as the only reliable way for Historical Comparative Linguistic. And pairings upto 3, 4 or 5 are needed to prove that it's not a coincidence.

    He writes about the the process, how they debated with 22 people, talked about more than 200 comparison and the committee found his work "impeccable" in 9 April 1974 (University Of Pennysylvania). The linguists Cardona and Faught accepted the case as proven while Hoenigswald accepted the case as proven with a little reservation because of the problem of time depth. He writes that he later found what the problem was in 1978.

    He also explains a couple of things in order to not be accused of Ethnocentrism.

    In the Conclusion Part he writes:

    4) Among the world languages that are still alive, Turk language has the oldest written words. These are the borrowed Turkic words on the cuneiform Sumerian tablets.

    I guess we would need to contact University of Pennysylvania for more information about this.

    (PS: I'm replying to Frank06. If you think this is off topic, please move it to a new topic)
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
  48. karaakrep New Member


    Hey there.

    I'm not sure if Hanashimashita is correct Romaji spelling ( I don't know any Japanese so I can't tell ). If it is romanized with closest English pronunciation, then we should run the similar process with the turkish word konuşmuştu. Because the Turkish character "ș", although a modified Latin character, should be represented with the proper sound. "ș" in Turkish is not an "s" with an accent ( cedilla ) and has nothing to do with "s". It is a character itself and like any other character in Turkish alphabet, represents a sound. The closest sound in English is "sh". (Like she). Also "u" in Turkish is always pronounced like a short "oo" as in "Cook". the character "o" is always pronounced like "O" in "Organization". The other characters, "n, k, t" have pretty much the same sounds as in English.

    This being said, to represent the sounds correctly using English variant of the Latin characters, the Turkish word would look somewhat like this:


    konuş (konoosh)----------------- muş (moosh)------------------ tu (too)
    verb (talk)-------------------- indefinite past tense-------- definite past tense.

    Indefinite + definite past tense is used to construct a compound tense.. Equivalent of English past perfect tense.

    Your analysis of muştu is almost completely wrong.

    muş : indefinite past tense ( variants : muş, müş, mış, miş )
    tu : defınıte past tense ( variants: du, dü, dı, di -or- tu, tü, tı, ti )

    there is no personal pronoun as a suffix in Turkish for the 3rd person singular of any verb.

    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  49. Gregory1992 New Member

    I think they may be related. Early turkic rulers were known as khagan. That was their title like in Europe, the title was/is king for instance. From what I've heard khagan was spelt like it was written shagan or chagan in English. On the japanese side we have shogun. Although the shoguns were not sovereigns, but rather the nobility, it's not wrong to assume that khagan or shagan is in a way or another related to shogun. Of course, now we cannot judge by only one word, but it could prove to be a link.
  50. francisgranada Senior Member

    Can you give som examples from some Uralic language?

    In Hungarian, the case suffixes come after the possessive, e.g.:

    house - ház
    in house - házban
    from house - házból
    etc ....

    my house - házam
    in my house - házamban
    from my house - házamból
    etc ....

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