Old Turkic Language
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Old Turkic Language
Old Turkic
Old Uyghur
RegionCentral Asia and Mongolia
Eraevolved into other Turkic languages
Old Turkic, Uyghur alphabet
Language codes
Either:
otk - Old Turkish
oui - Old Uighur
otk Old Turkish
 oui Old Uighur
Glottologoldu1238[1]

Old Turkic (also East Old Turkic, Orkhon Turkic, Old Uyghur) is the earliest attested form of Turkic, found in Göktürk and Uyghur inscriptions dating from about the 7th century AD to the 13th century. It is the oldest attested member of the Orkhon branch of Turkic, which is extant in the modern Western Yugur language. However, it is not the ancestor of the language now called Uighur; the contemporaneous ancestor of Uighur to the west is called Middle Turkic, later Chagatai or Turki.

Old Turkic is attested in a number of scripts, including the Orkhon-Yenisei runiform script, the Old Uyghur alphabet (a form of the Sogdian alphabet), the Br?hm? script, the Manichean alphabet, and the Perso-Arabic script.

Old Turkic often refers not to a single language but collectively to the closely related and mutually intelligible stages of various Common Turkic branches that were spoken during the late 1st millennium AD.

Sources

The sources of Old Turkic are divided into two corpora:

Writing systems

The Old Turkic script (also known variously as Göktürk script, Orkhon script, Orkhon-Yenisey script) is the alphabet used by the Göktürks and other early Turkic khanates during the 8th to 10th centuries to record the Old Turkic language.[2]

The script is named after the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia where early 8th-century inscriptions were discovered in an 1889 expedition by Nikolai Yadrintsev.[3]

This writing system was later used within the Uyghur Khaganate. Additionally, a Yenisei variant is known from 9th-century Yenisei Kirghiz inscriptions, and it has likely cousins in the Talas Valley of Turkestan and the Old Hungarian alphabet of the 10th century. Words were usually written from right to left. Variants of the script were found from Mongolia and Xinjiang in the east to the Balkans in the west. The preserved inscriptions were dated to between the 8th and 10th centuries.

Phonology

Vowels
Front Back
Unr. Rnd. Unr. Rnd.
Close i y ? u
Mid e ø o
Open ?

Rounded vowels may only occur in the initial syllable. This vowel inventory is the same as in contemporary Turkish.

Old Turkic is highly restrictive in which consonants words can begin with: /p/, /d/, /g/, /?/, /l/, /?/, /n/, /?/, /?/, /m/, /?/, and /z/ are not allowed in a word-initial position. The only exceptions are (ne, "what, which") and its derivatives, and some early assimilations of word-initial /b/ to /m/ following a nasal in a word such as (men, "I").

Nominal suffixes

This is a partial list of nominal suffixes attested to in Old Turkic and known usages.

Denominal

The following have been classified by Gerard Clauson as denominal noun suffixes.

Suffix Usages Translation
-ça ança at least one
-ke sigirke
yipke
sinew
string/thread
-la/-le ayla
tünle
körkle
thus, like that)
yesterday, night, north)
beautiful
-suk/-sük barsuk liver, entrails
-ra/-re içre inside, within
-ya/-ye bérye
y?rya
here
north
--ç?l/-çil igçil sickly
-l/-gil üçgil
k?rl
triangular
grey haired
-nti ékkinti second
-dam/-dem tegridem god-like
t?rt?:/-türti içtirti
inside, within
-k?:/-ki a?nuki
üzeki
evdeki
former
on or above
in the house
-an/-en/-un o?lan
eren
children
men, gentlemen
-?u:/-gü ençgü
tuz?u
bu?ra?u
tranquil, at peace
food given to a traveller as a gift
woodwork
-a:?u:/-e:gü: üçegü
içegü
three together
inside human body
-dan/-dun otun
izden
firewood
track, trace
-ar/-er birer
azar
one each
a few
-layu:/-leyü börileyü like a wolf
--da?/-de? kada?
yerde?
kinsman
compatriot
-m/-mi? altm
yetmi?
sixty
seventy
-gey küçgey violent
-çak/-çek and -çuk/-çük rçak spindle-whorl
-k/ (after vowels and -r) -ak/-ek (the normal forms)/-ik/-ik/-uk/-ük(rare forms) ortuk middle partner
--dak/-dek and(?) -duk/-dük bardak
beligdek
burunduk
wrap
terrifying
nose ring
-?uk/-gük çam?uk obectionable
-mak/-mek kögüzmek breastplate
-muk/-a:muk solamuk left-handed (pejorative?)
-nak bakanak "frog in a horse's hoof" (from baka frog)
-duruk/-dürük boyunduruk yoke

Deverbal

The following have been classified by Gerard Clauson as deverbal suffixes.

Suffix Usages Translation
-a/-e/-?:/-i/-u/-ü opr?
adr?
keçe
egri
köni
ötrü
hollow,valley
branched,forked
evening, night
crooked
straight, upright, lawful
then, so
-?a/-ge k?s?a
öge
bilge
kölige
tilge
short
wise
wise
shadow
slice
-?ma/-gme tanma riddle
-ç?/-çi otaç?:
ok?ç?
healer
priest
-?uç?/-güçi ay?uç?
bitigüçi
councilor
scribe
-d?/-di üdründi
ögdi
alkad?
sökti
chosen,parted,separated,scattered
customs
praised
bran
-t?/-ti ar?t?
uzat?
tüketi
completely, clean
lengthily
completely
-du e?du
umdul
süktü
curved knife
desire, covetousness
campaigning
-?u:/-gü bilegü
kedgü
o?la?ü
whetstone
clothing
gently nurtured
-ingü bilingü
etingü
yeringü
salingü
be in the know
be prepared
disgusted
be moving violently
-?a:ç/-geç kgaç pincers
-?uç/-güç b?çgüç scissors
-maç/-meç tutmaç "saved" noodle dish
-?ut/-güt alpa?ut
baya?ut
warrior
merchant

See also

References

  • Ö.D. Baatar, Old Turkic Script, Ulan-Baator (2008), ISBN 0-415-08200-5
  • M. Erdal, A Grammar of Old Turkic, Handbook of Oriental Studies, Section 8 Uralic & Central Asia, Brill, Leiden (2004), ISBN 90-04-10294-9.
  • M. Erdal, Old Turkic word formation: A functional approach to the lexicon, Turcologica, Harassowitz (1991), ISBN 3-447-03084-4.
  • Talat Tekin, A Grammar of Orkhon Turkic, Uralic and Altaic Series Vol. 69, Indiana University Publications, Mouton and Co. (1968). (review: Gerard Clauson, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1969); Routledge Curzon (1997), ISBN 0-7007-0869-3.
  • L. Johanson, A History of Turkic, in: The Turkic Languages, eds. L. Johanson & E.A. Csato, Routledge, London (1998), ISBN 0-415-08200-5
  • M. Erdal, Old Turkic, in: The Turkic Languages, eds. L. Johanson & E.A. Csato, Routledge, London (1998), ISBN 978-99929-944-0-5
  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Old Turkic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Scharlipp, Wolfgang (2000). An Introduction to the Old Turkish Runic Inscriptions. Verlag auf dem Ruffel, Engelschoff. ISBN 978-3-933847-00-3.
  3. ^ Sinor, Denis (2002). "Old Turkic". History of Civilizations of Central Asia. 4. Paris: UNESCO. pp. 331-333.

Further reading

External links


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