Is Japanese Related to Korean, Tungusic, Mongolic and Turkic?

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Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 975 pages
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Where does Japanese come from? The linguistic origin of the Japanese language is among the most disputed questions of language history. One current hypothesis is that Japanese is an Altaic language, sharing a common ancestor with Korean, Tungusic, Mongolic and Turkic. But, the opinions are strongly polarized. Especially the inclusion of Japanese into this classification model is very much under debate. Given the lack of consensus in the field, this book presents a state of the art for the etymological evidence relating Japanese to Korean, Tungusic, Mongolic and Turkic. The different Altaic etymologies proposed in the scholarly literature are gathered in an etymological index of Japanese appended to this book. An item-by-item sifting of the evidence helps to hold down borrowings, universal similarities and coincidental look-alikes to a small percentage. When the remaining core-evidence is screened in terms of phonological regularity, the answer to the intriguing question is beginning to take shape.
  

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Contents

Preface
11
The history of the question
18
Interdisciplinary research
30
Methodology
41
The individual phonological inventories
52
Internal evidence contradicts the etymology
81
Similarities due to general properties of language
174
borrowing
187
Suspect semantics
218
Lookalike or cognate?
286
The core evidence
378
Yes
422
Bibliography
429
Etymological Index of Japanese
453
Copyright

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