A comparative study on the Sayan languages (Turkic; Russia and Mongolia)

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A comparative study on the Sayan languages (Turkic; Russia and Mongolia)

Type: Research master thesis
Title: A comparative study on the Sayan languages (Turkic; Russia and Mongolia)
Author: Mol-van Valen, Tessa de
Issue Date: 2017-08-31
Keywords: descriptive linguistics
comparative linguistics
Turkic languages
Sayan languages
Siberia
Mongolic languages
Abstract: In this study, the grammar and basic lexicon of the Sayan languages (Turkic), spoken in Russia and Mongolia, are compared by means of the features found in WALS (Dryer & Haspelmath 2013). The main goal of this thesis is to provide a comparative study on four Sayan languages, namely Tuvan, Tofa, Soyot, and Dukha. Tuba, the fifth Sayan language, became extinct before it was described and studied and, therefore, it is excluded from the linguistic study. The data in this study came from the grammars by Anderson & Harrison (1999 and 2006, Tuvan), Rassadin (1971, 1978 and 2010, Tofa and Soyot) and Ragagnin (2011, Dukha). Another question that will be discussed in this thesis is the reason why Tuvan is not moribund, while its sister and daughter languages are. To answer this question, I looked at the history of the Sayan peoples and their current social status. Of all Sayan languages, Tofa showed the least Mongolian influences. This is probably because the Tofa people moved away from the Tuva Basin before the Mongols had a linguistic influence on the Tuvan language. Together with data from the grammars and historical information, a Sayan tree diagram is reconstructed. From the history and the current social status of the Sayan peoples could be concluded that the number of speakers and isolation together form the reason why Tuvan is not extinct and flourishes, while the other Sayan languages struggle to survive.
Supervisor: Crevels, Mily
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Linguistics (Research master)
ECTS Credits: 30
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/52611
 

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