Is Japanese Related to Korean, Tungusic, Mongolic and Turkic?
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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The history of the question
The individual phonological inventories
Internal evidence contradicts the etymology
Similarities due to general properties of language
Lookalike or cognate?
The core evidence
Etymological Index of Japanese
acceptable adjective Altaic alternation APPJ attested Bash become borrowed clear cognate comparative comparison compound consonant correspondences cover derived dial dialects entry ESTJa etymology evidence expect final fish Hamada Hatto initial internal Izumo Japanese JIES JLTT Kalm Karakh Khal Kirg Korean languages Leksika linguistic marker Martin Matsue meaning Mongolic words morpheme Narada noun Olč Old Japanese original Orok person possible probably proposed reconstruction reflected root semantic side sound SSTM Starostin stem suffix suggested tree Tungusic words Turkic words verb VEWT voiced vowel Whit