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The Precursors of Proto-Indo-European

The Indo-Anatolian and Indo-Uralic Hypotheses

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Edited by Alwin Kloekhorst and Tijmen Pronk

In The Precursors of Proto-Indo-European some of the world’s leading experts in historical linguistics shed new light on two hypotheses about the prehistory of the Indo-European language family, the so-called Indo-Anatolian and Indo-Uralic hypotheses. The Indo-Anatolian hypothesis states that the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European family should be viewed as a sister language of ‘classical’ Proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of all the other, non-Anatolian branches. The common ancestor of all Indo-European languages, including Anatolian, can then be called Proto-Indo-Anatolian. The Indo-Uralic hypothesis states that the closest genetic relative of Indo-European is the Uralic language family, and that both derive from a common ancestor called Proto-Indo-Uralic. The book unravels the history of these hypotheses and scrutinizes the evidence for and against them.

Contributors are Stefan H. Bauhaus, Rasmus G. Bjørn, Dag Haug, Petri Kallio, Simona Klemenčič, Alwin Kloekhorst, Frederik Kortlandt, Guus Kroonen, Martin J. Kümmel, Milan Lopuhaä-Zwakenberg, Alexander Lubotsky, Rosemarie Lühr, Michaël Peyrot, Tijmen Pronk, Andrei Sideltsev, Michiel de Vaan, Mikhail Zhivlov.

Language Contact in Siberia

Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic Loanwords in Yeniseian

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Bayarma Khabtagaeva

This monograph dicsusses phonetic, morphological and semantic features of the ‘Altaic’ Sprachbund (i.e. Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic) elements in Yeniseian languages (Kott, Assan, Arin, Pumpokol, Yugh and Ket), a rather heterogeneous language family traditionally classified as one of the ‘Paleo-Siberian’ language groups, that are not related to each other or to any other languages on the face of the planet.
The present work is based on a database of approximately 230 Turkic and 70 Tungusic loanwords. A smaller number of loanwords are of Mongolic origin, which came through either the Siberian Turkic languages or the Tungusic Ewenki languages. There are clear linguistic criteria, which help to distinguish loanwords borrowed via Turkic or Tungusic and not directly from Mongolic languages.
One of the main outcomes of this research is the establishment of the Yeniseian peculiar features in the Altaic loanwords. The phonetic criteria comprise the regular disappearance of vowel harmony, syncope, amalgamation, aphaeresis and metathesis. Besides, a separate group of lexemes represents hybrid words, i.e. the lexical elements where one element is Altaic and the other one is Yeniseian.
This book presents a historical-etymological survey of a part of the Yeniseian lexicon, which provides an important part of the comparative database of Proto-Yeniseian reconstructions.

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Edited by Iwona Kraska-Szlenk

Embodiment in Cross-Linguistic Studies: The ‘Head’ edited by Iwona Kraska-Szlenk adds to linguistic studies on embodied cognition and conceptualization while focusing on one body part term from a comparative perspective. The ‘head’ is investigated as a source domain for extending multiple concepts in various target domains accessed via metaphor or metonymy. The contributions in the volume provide comparative and case studies based on analyses of the first-hand data from languages representing all continents and diversified linguistic groups, including endangered languages of Africa, Australia and Americas. The book offers new reflections on the relationship between embodiment, cultural situatedness and universal tendencies of semantic change. The findings contribute to general research on metaphor, metonymy, and polysemy within a paradigm of cognitive linguistics.

Beáta Wagner-Nagy

With this descriptive grammar of Nganasan Beáta Wagner-Nagy presents a comprehensive description of the highly endangered Samoyedic language, spoken only by a small number of individuals on Siberia’s Taimyr Peninsula. Based on corpus data from the Nganasan Spoken Language Corpus as well as field work the grammar follows a traditional structure. Contents range from a description of phonetic features and phonological processes over word classes, morphological features to syntactic and semantic properties. The grammar highlights morphophonological alternations as well as the pragmatic organization of Nganasan. A discussion of the core vocabulary completes the account in addition to two sample texts.
The grammar reflects significant typological aspects thus serving as a reasonable basis for further comparison in Uralic studies.

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Marius Zemp

In A Grammar of Purik Tibetan, Marius Zemp offers a comprehensive description of the phonologically archaic Tibetan variety spoken in Kargil, the capital of a region called Purik, situated in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, India. This book contains the most thorough and insightful description of the verbal system of a Tibetic language yet written and will be particularly relevant for scholars studying evidentiality. It also includes highly valuable discussions of a syntactically and pragmatically well-defined class of ideophones which Zemp calls “dramatizers” and of prosody – topics which are too often neglected in language descriptions. Finally, this book goes beyond what others have done in that Purik data are used to elucidate our understanding of Classical Tibetan and its origins.

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Wendan Li

In Grounding in Chinese Written Narrative Discourse Wendan Li offers a comprehensive and innovative account of how Mandarin Chinese, as a language without extensive morphological marking, highlights (or foregrounds) major events of a narrative and demotes (or backgrounds) other supporting descriptions. Qualitative and quantitative methods in the analysis and examinations of authentic written text provide extensive evidence to demonstrate that various types of morpho-syntactic devices are used in a wide range of structural units in Chinese to mark the distinction between foregrounding and backgrounding. The analysis paves the way for future studies to systematically approach grounding-related issues. The typological viewpoint adopted in the chapters serves well readers from both the Chinese tradition and other languages in discourse analysis.

Philology of the Grasslands

Essays in Mongolic, Turkic, and Tungusic Studies

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Edited by Ákos Bertalan Apatóczky and Christopher P. Atwood

Professor György Kara, an outstanding member of academia, celebrated his 80th birthday recently. His students and colleagues commemorate this occasion with papers on a wide range of topics in Altaic Studies, with a focus on the literacy, culture and languages of the steppe civilizations.

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Edited by Alexander Vovin and William McClure

The Studies in Japanese and Korean Historical and Theoretical Linguistics and Beyond presented in honour of Prof. John B. Whitman includes contributions by a range of mid-generation to senior scholars among his closest colleagues and collaborators representing the front line of contemporary research in the areas of historical and theoretical linguistics of Japanese and Korean as well of Chinese, Turkish, and Russian. Particularly, in all these areas it deals with still ongoing debates about the important issues in historical and theoretical linguistics concerning these languages that are reflected in articles often representing opposing points of view. This book can serve as a good introduction to the current state-of-art and the most essential problems in the fields it covers.

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José Andrés Alonso de la Fuente

In “A Russian-Yakut-Ewenki Trilingual Dictionary” by N.V. Sljunin, José Andrés Alonso de la Fuente offers the philological edition of a very early twentieth-century source of two indigenous languages from Siberia.
This edition includes the facsimile of the original handwritten document.
Whereas specialists have known about the existence of Sljunin’s Yakut data by indirect references to it in at least one standard dictionary, there was no available information regarding Sljunin’s Ewenki data.
Furthermore, careful linguistic analysis reveals that the Ewenki variety reflected in Sljunin’s dictionary may have already dissapeared.

The Tangam Language

Grammar, Lexicon and Texts

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Mark W. Post

Tangam is a critically endangered Trans-Himalayan (Tibeto-Burman) language spoken by around 150 hilltribespeople in the far Eastern Himalaya. A member of the Tani subgroup of Trans-Himalayan, Tangam is mutually-unintelligible with other languages of this otherwise relatively homogeneous subgroup. This is demonstrated to be a consequence of Tangam's early-branching status within the Western Tani subgroup, subsequent contact with Eastern Tani languages, and historical relationship with speakers of Bodic languages.
Based on three field trips to the Tangam-speaking area over two years, this work presents a brief but comprehensive cultural, historical and grammatical introduction to the Tangam language, together with a trilingual lexicon in Tangam, English and Minyong, and a collection of fully-analysed texts. It will be of interest to linguists and anthropologists of the Himalayan region, as well as to historical linguists and language typologists.