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Transregional Perspectives on Development Cooperation, Social Mobility and Cultural Change
African-Asian interactions contribute to the emergence of a decentred, multi-polar world in which different actors need to redefine themselves and their relations to each other. Afrasian Transformations explores these changes to map out several arenas where these transformations have already produced startling results: development politics, South-South cooperation, cultural memory, mobile lifeworlds and transcultural connectivity. The contributions in this volume neither celebrate these shifting dynamics as felicitous proof of a new age of South-South solidarity, nor do they debunk them as yet another instance of burgeoning geopolitical hegemony. Instead, they seek to come to terms with the ambivalences, contradictions and potential benefits entailed in these transformations – that are also altering our understanding of (trans)area in an increasingly globalized world.

Contributors include: Seifudein Adem, Nafeesah Allen, Jan Beek, Tom De Bruyn, Casper Hendrik Claassen, Astrid Erll, Hanna Getachew Amare, John Njenga Karugia, Guive Khan-Mohammad, Vinay Lal, Pavan Kumar Malreddy, Jamie Monson, Diderot Nguepjouo, Satwinder S. Rehal, Ute Röschenthaler, Alexandra Samokhvalova, Darryl C. Thomas, and Sophia Thubauville.

Abstract

This article discusses 40 grammatical features in Japonic and Koreanic in relation to their neighbouring languages in Northeast Asia. The data comprise 66 modern language varieties of 13 different linguistic affinities, and 12 historical languages (including Old and Middle Japanese and Old and Middle Korean). The results generated from a computational phylogenetic tool show a significant distance in the typological profiles of three main clades: Northeast Asian, Japonic-Koreanic, and Sinitic spheres. Typologically, the Japonic and Koreanic languages form a common grammatical type by sharing up to 26/40 features. By tracing their attestation in the historical languages we can see that the converged grammars are likely to be results of typological Altaicization and de-Altaicization. The combination of linguistic and historical evidence points to a chronology in which Japonic and Koreanic had mutually converged by Altaicization and de-Altaicization, respectively, during the 1st millennium BC and AD before eventually diverging in the 2nd millennium AD.

In: International Journal of Eurasian Linguistics

Abstract

This paper reviews 98 etymologies for which a Proto-Tungusic reconstruction with a long vowel has been suggested. It is shown that primary long vowels in non-first syllables are preserved only in the Ewenic branch of Tungusic. On the other hand, a number of the diphthongs in Southern Tungusic must be considered original. Proto-Tungusic had a system of at least five diphthongs.

In: International Journal of Eurasian Linguistics
In: International Journal of Eurasian Linguistics

Abstract

This paper discusses the typological evolution of Ghilyak (Nivkh), a small “Palaeo-Asiatic” language family also known as Amuric, distributed in the Amur-Sakhalin region of the Russian Far East. In some respects, especially in the phonology, morphophonology, and phonotactics, Ghilyak shows features absent in the other languages of the region, most of which represent the so-called “Altaic” areal-typological complex. At the same time, Ghilyak shares with its neighbours several “Altaic” features, especially in the morphosyntax, including suffixally marked number and case, as well as nominalized and converbialized verbs. An analysis of the data shows that Ghilyak has been affected by at least two processes of typological transformation which have, either successively or in parallel, both “Altaicized” and “de-Altaicized” its linguistic structure. The reasons of these transformations can be sought in the substratal, adstratal, and superstratal impact of the neighbouring “Altaic” and “non-Altaic” languages. This allows us to place the typological prehistory of Ghilyak in a context shared by other languages of the North Pacific Rim, notably Tungusic and Koreanic.

In: International Journal of Eurasian Linguistics
Author: Alexander Vovin

Abstract

This article argues for new internal evidence for the existence of the contrast between *r and *l in Old Korean and Proto-Korean on the basis of the Hyangchal data and Old Japanese transcriptional glosses as well as Korean loanwords in Manchu and Jurchen that were not analyzed in this way before. Namely, I will argue that combined Old Korean and Middle Korean data call for the reconstruction of two different types of liquids in the position before *i: both stay intact in Old Korean, but in Middle Korean the first type undergoes elision, whereas the second type stays intact. I then attempt to identify these two types on the basis of the internal evidence and parallel phenomena attested in the Greater Manchuria linguistic area and elsewhere.

In: International Journal of Eurasian Linguistics

Abstract

The history of several attempts, both long-range and short-range, at linking the Japanese language is surveyed and scrutinized in the present paper. Special attention is given to some earlier proposals which are largely ignored by current scholarship, albeit it can be demonstrated that they still define certain long-range comparisons which continue to enjoy some popularity among modern scholars. The two most important hypotheses examined in the present paper are those linking Japanese (Japonic) with the languages that have been classified under the labels “Turanian” and “Altaic”. It is shown that the (Macro-)Altaic hypothesis, recently also called “Transeurasian”, has close historical connections with the Turanian hypothesis and its predecessors.

In: International Journal of Eurasian Linguistics