- Tungusic languages
Siberia, Manchuria Linguistic classification: Altaic (controversial)
Subdivisions: ISO 639-5: tuw
The Tungusic languages (also known as Manchu-Tungus, Tungus) form a language family spoken in Eastern Siberia and Manchuria by Tungusic peoples. Many Tungusic languages are endangered, and the long-term future of the family is uncertain. Traditionally, linguists considered Tungusic to be part of the Altaic language family along with the Turkic and Mongolic language families; more recent proposals are that it belongs to Macro-Altaic, the latter including Japanese and Korean as well, or on the other hand, that Altaic is not a genetic group but a Sprachbund.
Linguists working on Tungusic have proposed a number of different classifications based on different criteria, including morphological, lexical, and phonological characteristics. One classification which seems favoured over other alternatives is that the Tungusic languages can be divided into a northern branch and a southern branch, with the southern branch further subdivided into southeastern and southwestern groups.
- Evenki (obsolete: Tungus), spoken by Ewenkis in central Siberia and northeastern China and
- Even (Lamut) of eastern Siberia
The following languages can be considered dialects or related languages of Evenki
- Southwestern Tungusic (or the Jurchen-Manchu group)
Jurchen-Manchu (Jurchen and Manchu are simply different stages of the same language; in fact, the ethnonym "Manchu" did not come about until 1636 when Emperor Hong Taiji decreed that the term would replace "Jurchen") is the only Tungusic language with a literary form (in Jurchen script and later the Manchu alphabet) which dates back to at least the mid- to late-12th century; as such it is a very important language for the reconstruction of Proto-Tungusic.
The earliest and one of the most important extant texts in Jurchen is the inscription on the back of "the Jin Victory Memorial Stele" (Da Jin deshengtuo songbei), which was erected in 1185, during the Dading period (1161–1189). It is apparently an abbreviated translation of the Chinese text on the front of the stele.
Other ancient Tungusic languages include that of the Mohe.
The Tungusic languages are of an agglutinative morphological type, and some of them have complex case systems and elaborate patterns of tense and aspect marking. They also exhibit a complex pattern of vowel harmony, based on the parameters of vowel roundedness and vowel tenseness. Another common feature is vocabulary, such as Manchu emu, zhuwe, ilan, meaning 1,2,3.
Relationships with other languages
Tungusic has traditionally been linked with Turkic and Mongolic languages in the Altaic language family. Others have suggested that the Tungusic languages might be related (perhaps as a paraphyletic outgroup) to the Korean, Japonic, or Ainu languages as well.
- Lists of endangered languages
- Language death
- Kane, Daniel. The Sino-Jurchen Vocabulary of the Bureau of Interpreters. Indiana University Uralic and Altaic Series, Volume 153. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, 1989. ISBN 0933070233.
- Lewis, M. Paul (ed.). "Altaic" in Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International, 2009. ISBN 978-1-55671-216-6.
- Miller, Roy Andrew. Japanese and the Other Altaic Languages. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1971.
- Poppe, Nicholas. Vergleichende Grammatik der Altaischen Sprachen [A Comparative Grammar of the Altaic Languages]. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1960.
- Tsintsius, Vera I. Sravnitel'naya Fonetika Tunguso-Man'chzhurskikh Yazïkov [Comparative Phonetics of the Manchu-Tungus Languages]. Leningrad, 1949.
- Stefan Georg. "Unreclassifying Tungusic", in: Carsten Naeher (ed.): Proceedings of the First International Conference on Manchu-Tungus Studies (Bonn, August 28 – September 1, 2000), Volume 2: Trends in Tungusic and Siberian Linguistics, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 45-57
- Vovin, Alexander (2009) . "Tungusic Languages". In Keith Brown, Sarah Ogilvie. Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World (1st ed.). Amsterdam and Boston: Elsevier. pp. 1103–1105. ISBN 9780080877747. OCLC 264358379. http://books.google.com/books?id=F2SRqDzB50wC&pg=PA1103.
- The LINGUIST List MultiTree Project: Tungusic Family Tree
- Monumenta Altaica—Altaic Linguistics. Grammars, Texts, Dictionaries, Bibliographies of Mongolian and other Altaic languages
- Tungusic Research Group at Dartmouth College
- (Spanish) Tungusic languages
- Vergleich der Reziproken des Ewenischen mit verwandten Sprachen
Altaic languages 1 Not always recognized as Altaic languages. See also Buyeo languages. Southern Southeastern Southwestern
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Tungusic — [toon go͞o′zik, toon go͞o′sik] n. a family of languages, belonging to the Altaic language group, spoken in central and NE Asia and including Tungus and Manchu adj. of these languages, the peoples that speak them, or their cultures … English World dictionary
Tungusic language speakers — As a language group, Tungusic is a branch of Altaic. It includes two branches: one includes Ewenki and Oroqen, and the other Manchu, Sibo (or Xibe) and Hoche (or Hezhe/Hezhen). The speakers of Oroqen and Ewenki in China are mainly distributed… … Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture
Tungusic — /toong gooh zik/, n. 1. a family of languages spoken or formerly spoken in Manchuria and central and SE Siberia, including Manchu, Evenki, Even, and languages of the Amur River region, as Nanay. adj. 2. of or pertaining to Tungusic or its… … Universalium
Tungusic — n. family of Altaic languages spoken in the north regions of the People s Republic of China and in Mongolia and neighboring areas n. member of the people who speaks a language in the Tungusic family adj. of or pertaining to Tungusic or to the… … English contemporary dictionary
Tungusic — noun 1. any member of a people speaking a language in the Tungusic family • Hypernyms: ↑Altaic • Hyponyms: ↑Tungus, ↑Evenk, ↑Manchu 2. a family of Altaic languages spoken in Mongolia and neighboring areas • Syn: ↑ … Useful english dictionary