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The Tungusic languages (also known as Manchu-Tungus and Tungus) form a
language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions b ...
spoken in Eastern
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
and
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

Manchuria
by
Tungusic peoples Tungusic peoples are an ethno-linguistic group formed by the speakers of Tungusic languages The Tungusic languages (also known as Manchu-Tungus and Tungus) form a language family spoken in Eastern Siberia and Manchuria by Tungusic peoples. Many T ...
. Many Tungusic languages are endangered, and the long-term future of the family is uncertain. There are approximately 75,000 native speakers of the dozen living languages of the Tungusic language family. Some linguists consider Tungusic to be part of the highly controversial Altaic language family, along with
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...

Turkic
,
Mongolic
Mongolic
, and sometimes
Koreanic Koreanic is a compact language family consisting of Korean language, Korean and the Jeju language. The latter is often described as a dialect of Korean, but is distinct enough to be considered a separate language. A few scholars suggest that the ...
and
Japonic Japonic or Japanese–Ryukyuan is a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
. The term "Tungusic" is from an
exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 milli ...
for the
Evenk people The Evenks (also spelled Ewenki or Evenki based on their endonym )Autonym: (); russian: Эвенки (); (); formerly known as Tungus or Tunguz; mn, Хамниган () or Aiwenji () are a Tungusic people of North Asia North Asia or Northe ...
(Ewenki) used by the
Yakuts The Yakuts, or the Sakha ( sah, саха, ; , ), are a Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambigua ...
("tongus"). It was borrowed into Russian as "тунгус", and ultimately into English as "Tungus".


Classification

Linguists working on Tungusic have proposed a number of different classifications based on different criteria, including morphological, lexical, and phonological characteristics. Some scholars have criticized the tree-based model of Tungusic classification, arguing the long history of contact among the Tungusic languages makes them better treated as a
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of langua ...
. The main classification is into a northern branch and a southern branch (Georg 2004), although the two branches have no clear division and the classification of intermediate groups is debatable. Four mid-level subgroups are recognized by Hölzl (2018), namely Ewenic, Udegheic, Nanaic, and Jurchenic.
Alexander Vovin Alexander Vladimirovich Vovin (russian: Александр Владимирович Вовин; born 27 January 1961) is an American linguist and philologist, born in Russia (Soviet Union), currently director of studies at the School for Advanced S ...
notes that
Manchu The Manchu (; ) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym and endonym, exonym for a historical and geographic region of Russia and China in Northeast Asia (mostly in ...
and
JurchenJurchen may refer to: * Jurchen people, Tungusic people who inhabited the region of Manchuria until the 17th century ** Haixi Jurchens, a grouping of the Jurchens as identified by the Chinese of the Ming Dynasty ** Jianzhou Jurchens, a grouping of t ...
are aberrant languages within South Tungusic but nevertheless still belong in it, and that this aberrancy is perhaps due to influences from the Para-Mongolic
Khitan language Khitan or Kitan ( in large script or in small Small may refer to: Science and technology * SMALL Small may refer to: Science and technology * SMALL Small may refer to: Science and technology * SMALL, an ALGOL-like programming language * ...
, from
Old Korean Old Korean () is the first historically documented stage of the Korean language, typified by the language of the Unified Silla period (668–935). The boundaries of Old Korean periodization remain in dispute. Linguists sometimes classify the poor ...
, and perhaps also from Chukotko-Kamchatkan and unknown languages of uncertain linguistic affiliation. ;Southern Tungusic (Jurchenic-Nanaic) * Jurchenic (Southwestern Tungusic) ("Manchu group") **
JurchenJurchen may refer to: * Jurchen people, Tungusic people who inhabited the region of Manchuria until the 17th century ** Haixi Jurchens, a grouping of the Jurchens as identified by the Chinese of the Ming Dynasty ** Jianzhou Jurchens, a grouping of t ...
(extinct, developed into Manchu in the 17th century) ***
Manchu The Manchu (; ) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym and endonym, exonym for a historical and geographic region of Russia and China in Northeast Asia (mostly in ...
: speakers originated from the Sungari Ula River area (they founded the Jin and
Qing The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last imperial dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press Oxford Univers ...
or
Manchu The Manchu (; ) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym and endonym, exonym for a historical and geographic region of Russia and China in Northeast Asia (mostly in ...
dynasties of
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
) *** Xibe: spoken in
Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County (; Xibe: , Cabcal Sibe beye dasangga siyan, also transliterated as ''Chapchal'', ug, چاپچال شىبە ئاپتونوم يېزىسى; kk, شاپشال سىبە اۆتونوميالى اۋدانى) in Ili Kazakh ...
,
Sinkiang Xinjiang (),, SASM/GNC: ''Xinjang''; zh, c=, p=Xīnjiāng; alternately romanized as Sinkiang officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and formerly romanized as Sinkiang, is a landlocked autonomous region An autonomous ...
/
Xinjiang Xinjiang (),, SASM/GNC: ''Xinjang''; zh, c=, p=Xīnjiāng; alternately romanized as Sinkiang officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and formerly romanized as Sinkiang, is a landlocked autonomous region An autonomous ...

Xinjiang
. (Developed separately since 1764 from a
Qing The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last imperial dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press Oxford Univers ...
military garrison) ** Chinese Kyakala (恰喀拉Mu, Yejun 穆晔骏. 1987: Balayu 巴拉语. Manyu yanjiu 满语研究 2. 2‒31, 128.) ** Bala (巴拉) ** Alchuka (阿勒楚喀) * Nanaic (Southeastern Tungusic) ("Nanai group" / "Amur group") ** Nanai (Gold, Goldi, Hezhen) (Akani, Birar, Samagir) *** ''Upper Amur'' **** ''Right-bank Amur'' **** ''Sungari'' **** ''Bikin'' ''(Ussuri)'' *** ''Central Amur'' **** ''Sakachi-Alyan'' **** ''Naykhin'' ''(basis of standard Nanai but not identical)'' **** ''Dzhuen'' *** ''Lower Amur'' **** ''Bolon'' **** ''Ekon'' **** ''Gorin'' ** Orok (
Uilta Oroks (''Ороки'' in Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (р ...
) *** ''Northern (East Sakhalin)'' *** ''Southern (South Sakhalin, Poronaysky)'' ** Ulch / Olcha ;Transitional Southern-Northern Tungus (Udegheic) * Udegheic (Oroch–Udege; strongly influenced by Southern Tungusic) ** Oroch ***''Tumninsky dialect'' ***''Khadinsky dialect'' ***''Hungarisky dialect'' ** Udege / Udihe ;Northern Tungusic (Ewenic) * Ewenic ** Even ( Lamut) (in eastern
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
) *** ''Arman'' *** ''Indigirka'' *** ''Kamchatka'' *** ''Kolyma-Omolon'' *** ''Okhotsk'' *** ''Ola'' *** ''Tompon'' *** ''Upper Kolyma'' *** ''Sakkyryr'' *** ''Lamunkhin'' ** Evenki *** Evenki (obsolete: Tungus), spoken by
Evenks The Evenks (also spelled Ewenki or Evenki based on their endonym )Autonym: (); russian: Эвенки (); (); formerly known as Tungus or Tunguz; mn, Хамниган () or Aiwenji () are a Tungusic people Tungusic peoples are an ethno-lingui ...
in central
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
and
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

Manchuria
**** ''
Solon Solon ( grc-gre, Σόλων Solon ( grc-gre, wikt:Σόλων, Σόλων ''Sólōn'' ;  BC) was an Archaic Greece#Athens, Athenian statesman, lawmaker and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, ...
'' ''(Solon Ewenki)'' ***** ''Hihue/Hoy'' ''(basis of the standard, but not identical)'' ***** ''Haila’er'' ***** ''Aoluguya'' ''(Olguya)'' ***** ''Chenba’erhu'' ''(Old Bargu)'' ***** ''Morigele'' ''(Mergel)'' **** ''Siberian Ewenki'' / ''Ewenki of Siberia'' ***** ''Northern (spirant)'' ****** ''Ilimpeya'' (''subdialects'': ''Ilimpeya'', ''Agata and Bol'shoi'', ''Porog'', ''Tura'', ''Tutonchany'', ''Dudinka/Khantai'') ****** ''Yerbogachen'' (''subdialects:'' ''Yerbogachen'', ''Nakanno'') ***** ''Southern'' ''(sibilant)'' ****** ''Hushing'' ******* ''Sym'' (''subdialects:'' ''Tokma/Upper Nepa'', ''Upper Lena/Kachug'', ''Angara'') ******* ''Northern Baikal'' (''subdialects:'' ''Northern Baikal'', ''Upper Lena'') ****** ''Hissing'' ******* ''Stony Tunguska'' (''subdialects:'' ''Vanavara'', ''Kuyumba'', ''Poligus'', ''Surinda'', ''Taimura/Chirinda'', ''Uchami'', ''Chemdal'sk'') ******* ''Nepa'' (''subdialects:'' ''Nepa'', ''Kirensk'') ******* ''Vitim-Nercha/Baunt-Talocha'' (''subdialects:'' '' Baunt'', ''Talocha'', ''Tungukochan'', ''Nercha'') ***** ''Eastern'' ''(sibilant-spirant)'' ****** ''Vitim-Olyokma'' (''subdialects:'' ''Barguzin'', ''Vitim/ Kalar'', ''
Olyokma , image = Olyokma river.jpg , image_size = , image_caption = View of the river , pushpin_map = Russia Sakha Republic , pushpin_map_size = , pushpin_map_caption= Location in the Sakha Republic, Rus ...
'', '' Tungir'', '' Tokko'') ****** ''Upper Aldan'' (''subdialects:'' ''Aldan'', ''Upper Amur'', ''Amga'', ''Dzheltulak'', '' Timpton'', ''Tommot'', ''Khingan'', ''Chul'man'', ''Chul'man-Gilyui'') ****** ''Uchur-Zeya'' (''subdialects:'' ''Uchur'', ''Zeya'') ****** ''Selemdzha-Bureya-Urmi'' (''subdialects:'' ''Selemdzha'', ''Bureya'', ''Urmi'') ****** ''Ayan-Mai'' (''subdialects:'' ''Ayan'', ''Aim'', ''Mai'', ''Nel'kan'', ''Totti'') ****** ''Tugur-Chumikan'' (''subdialects:'' ''Tugur'', ''Chumikan'') ****** ''Sakhalin'' ''(no subdialects)'' *** Negidal **** ''Lower Negidal'' ''(close to Evenki)'' ''(extinct)'' **** ''Upper Negidal'' *** Oroqen **** ''Gankui'' ''(basis of standard Oroqen but not identical)'' **** ''Heilongjiang'' ''(Heihe)'' *** Kili (traditionally considered Nanai) (Kur-Urmi or Hezhen - probably not Nanai or even Southern Tungusic but a northern Tungusic language)


Zimin (2020)

Zimin (2020) proposes a ''Tungus–Manchu'' family with two primary branches, namely the Jurchenic and Tungusic (proper) branches. ;Tungus–Manchu *Jurchenic **Xi Yeren Jurchen ***Bala ***Alchuka **Jurchen proper ***Haixi Jurchen ****spoken Sibo ****Guanwai *****Ilanbou *****Tailai *****Aigun *****Niŋgutan, Girinese ***Jianzhou Jurchen ****Hebei, Mukdenese Manchu ****written Manchu; Sibo *Tungusic (proper) **Nanic ***Uilta ***Nanai ****Nani ****Lower Amur Nanai ****Ussuri–Bikin Nanai ****Middle Amur Nanai **Oroch–Ewonic ***Ewonic ****Southern ****Northern ****Eastern ***Oroch–Udyhe ****Oroch ****Kur–Urmi Udyhe ****Siȟotə–Aliň Udyhe


History


Proto-Tungusic

Some linguists estimate the divergence of the Tungusic languages from a common ancestor spoken somewhere in
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

Manchuria
around 500 BC to 500 AD. (Janhunen 2012, Pevnov 2012) Other theories favor a homeland closer to
Lake Baikal Lake Baikal (; russian: Oзеро Байкал, Ozero Baykal ; bua, Байгал далай, Baigal dalai; mn, Байгал нуур, Baigal nuur) is a rift lake A rift lake is a lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized i ...

Lake Baikal
. ( Menges 1968, Khelimskii 1985) While the general form of the protolanguage is clear from the similarities in the daughter languages, there is no consensus on detailed reconstructions. As of 2012, scholars are still trying to establish a shared vocabulary to do such a reconstruction. There are some proposed sound correspondences for Tungusic languages. For example, Norman (1977) supports a Proto-Tungusic ''*t'' > Manchu ''s'' when followed by ''*j'' in the same stem, with any exceptions arising from loanwords. Some linguists believe there are connections between the
vowel harmony In phonology Phonology is a branch of that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any particular lang ...
of Proto-Tungusic and some of the neighboring non-Tungusic languages. For example, there are proposals for an areal or genetic correspondence between the vowel harmonies of Proto-Korean, Proto-Mongolian, and Proto-Tungusic based on an original RTR harmony. This is one of several competing proposals, and on the other hand, some reconstruct Proto-Tungusic without RTR harmony. Some sources describe the
Donghu people Donghu (; International Phonetic Alphabet, IPA: ; literally: "Eastern foreigners" or "Eastern barbarians") was a tribal confederation of nomadic people that was first recorded from the 7th century BCE and was destroyed by the Xiongnu in 150 BCE. Th ...
of 7th century BC to 2nd century BC Manchuria as Proto-Tungusic. Other sources sharply criticize this as a random similarity in pronunciation with "Tungus" that has no real basis in fact. The historical records of the Korean kingdoms of
Baekje Baekje (; (also Paekche); 18 BC"Korea, 1–500 A.D.". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/?period=05®ion=eak (October 2000) – 660 AD) was a kingdom ...

Baekje
and
Silla Silla or Shilla (57 BCE57 BCE according to the '' Samguk Sagi''; however Seth 2010 notes that "these dates are dutifully given in many textbooks and published materials in Korea today, but their basis is in myth; only Goguryeo may be traced ...

Silla
note battles with the Mohe (Chinese: 靺鞨) in
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

Manchuria
during the 1st and 2nd centuries. Some scholars suggest these Mohe are closely connected to the later Jurchens, but this is controversial.
Alexander Vovin Alexander Vladimirovich Vovin (russian: Александр Владимирович Вовин; born 27 January 1961) is an American linguist and philologist, born in Russia (Soviet Union), currently director of studies at the School for Advanced S ...
(2015) notes that Northern Tungusic languages have Eskimo–Aleut loanwords that are not found in Southern Tungusic, implying that Eskimo–Aleut was once much more widely spoken in eastern Siberia. Vovin (2015) estimates that the Eskimo–Aleut loanwords in Northern Tungusic had been borrowed no more than 2,000 years ago, which was when Tungusic was spreading northwards from its homeland in the middle reaches of the
Amur River The Amur (russian: река́ Аму́р, ), or Heilong Jiang (, "Black Dragon A dragon is a large, serpent Serpent or The Serpent may refer to: * Snake Snakes are elongated, limbless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpen ...

Amur River
. Wang and Robbeets (2020) place the Proto-Tungusic homeland in the
Lake Khanka Lake Khanka (russian: о́зеро Ха́нка) or Lake Xingkai (), is a freshwater lake on the border between Primorsky Krai, Russia and Heilongjiang province, Northeast China (at ). Etymology On the Joseph-Nicolas Delisle, Delisle map of 17 ...
region. Liu et al. (2020) revealed that Haplogroup C-F5484 and its subclades are the genetic markers of Tungusic-speaking peoples. C-F5484 was emerged 3,300 years ago and begun to diverge 1,900 years ago, indicating the approximate age of differentiation of Tungusic languages.


Jurchen-Manchu language

The earliest written attestation of the language family is in the
Jurchen language Jurchen language ( zh, t=女真語, p=Nǚzhēnyǔ) was the Tungusic language The Tungusic languages (also known as Manchu-Tungus and Tungus) form a language family spoken in Eastern Siberia and Manchuria by Tungusic peoples. Many Tungusic lan ...
, which was spoken by the rulers of the
Jin dynasty (1115–1234) The Jin dynasty (, ; , JurchenJurchen may refer to: * Jurchen people, Tungusic people who inhabited the region of Manchuria until the 17th century ** Haixi Jurchens, a grouping of the Jurchens as identified by the Chinese of the Ming Dynasty ...
. The Jurchens invented a
Jurchen script Jurchen script (Jurchen: ) was the writing system used to write the Jurchen language Jurchen language () was the Tungusic language of the Jurchen people of eastern Manchuria, the founders of the Jin Empire in northeastern China of the 12th ...
to write their language based on the Khitan scripts. During this time, several
stelae A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in English. or occasionally stela (plural ''stelas'' or ''stelæ''), ...

stelae
were put up in Manchuria and Korea. One of these, among the most important extant texts in Jurchen, is the inscription on the back of "the Jin Victory Memorial Stele" (''Da Jin deshengtuo songbei''), which was erected in 1185, during the Dading period (1161–1189). It is apparently an abbreviated translation of the Chinese text on the front of the stele. The last known example of the Jurchen script was written in 1526. The Tungusic languages appear in the historical record again after the unification of the Jurchen tribes under
Nurhaci Nurhaci (1559 – 30 September 1626) was a JurchenJurchen may refer to: * Jurchen people, Tungusic people who inhabited the region of Manchuria until the 17th century ** Haixi Jurchens, a grouping of the Jurchens as identified by the Chinese o ...

Nurhaci
, who ruled 1616-1626. He commissioned a new
Manchu alphabet The Manchu alphabet ( mnc, m=, v=manju hergen, a=manju hergen) is the alphabet used to write the now nearly-extinct Manchu language. A similar script is used today by the Sibe people, Xibe people, who speak a Xibe language, language considere ...
based on the Mongolian alphabet, and his successors went on to found the
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
. In 1636, Emperor
Hong Taiji Hong Taiji (28 November 1592 – 21 September 1643), sometimes written as Huang Taiji and sometimes referred to as Abahai in Western literature, was the second khan of the Later Jin (reigned from 1626 to 1636) and the founding emperor of ...

Hong Taiji
decreed that the ethnonym "Manchu" would replace "Jurchen". Modern scholarship usually treats Jurchen and Manchu as different stages of the same language. Currently, Manchu proper is a dying language spoken by a dozen or so elderly people in
Qiqihar Qiqihar () is the second-largest city in the Heilongjiang province of China, in the west central part of the province. The built-up (or metro) area made up of Longsha, Tiefeng and Jianhua districts had 959,787 inhabitants, while the total populat ...

Qiqihar
, China. However, the closely related
Xibe language The Sibe language (, also Sibo, Xibe) is a Tungusic language spoken by members of the Sibe people, Sibe minority of Xinjiang, in Northwest China. Classification Sibe is conventionally viewed as a separate language within the southern group of Tu ...
spoken in
Xinjiang Xinjiang (),, SASM/GNC: ''Xinjang''; zh, c=, p=Xīnjiāng; alternately romanized as Sinkiang officially the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and formerly romanized as Sinkiang, is a landlocked autonomous region An autonomous ...

Xinjiang
, which historically was treated as a divergent dialect of Jurchen-Manchu, maintains the literary tradition of the script, and has around 30,000 speakers. As the only language in the Tungustic family with a long written tradition, Jurchen-Manchu is a very important language for the reconstruction of Proto-Tungusic.


Other Tungusic languages

Other Tungusic languages have relatively short or no written traditions. Since around the 20th century, some of these other languages can be written in a Russian-based
Cyrillic script The Cyrillic script ( ) is a writing system used for various languages across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic languages, Slavic, Turkic languages, Turkic, Mongolic languages, Mongolic, Uralic languages, Uralic, Caucas ...
, but the languages remain primarily spoken languages only.


Tungusic research

The earliest Western accounts of Tungusic languages came from the Dutch traveler
Nicolaes Witsen (1701) Nicolaes Witsen (8 May 1641 – 10 August 1717; Dutch language, modern Dutch: ''Nicolaas Witsen'') was a Dutch statesman who was mayor of Amsterdam thirteen times, between 1682 and 1706. In 1693 he became administrator of the Dutch East ...
, who published in the Dutch language a book titled ''Noord en Oost Tartarye'' (literally 'North and East Tartary'), which described a variety of peoples in the
Russian Far East The Russian Far East ( rus, Дальний Восток России, r=Dal'niy Vostok Rossii, p=ˈdalʲnʲɪj vɐˈstok rɐˈsʲiɪ) is a region in Northeast Asia Northeast Asia or Northeastern Asia is a geographical subregion of Asia ...

Russian Far East
and included some brief word lists for many languages. Following his travel to Russia, his collected findings were published in three editions, 1692, 1705, and 1785. The book includes some words and sentences from the
Evenki language Evenki (Ewenkī), formerly known as Tungus or Solon people, Solon, is the largest member of the northern group of Tungusic languages, a group which also includes Even language, Even, Negidal language, Negidal, and (the more closely related) Oroq ...
, then called "Tungus". The German linguist
Wilhelm Grube Wilhelm Grube () (17 August 1855 – 2 July 1908) was a German sinologist Sinology or Chinese studies, is an academic discipline that focuses on the study of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East ...
(1855–1908) published an early dictionary of the
Nanai language The Nanai language (also called Gold, Goldi, or Hezhen) is spoken by the Nani people, Nanai people in Siberia, and to a much smaller extent in China's Heilongjiang province, where it is known as Hezhe. The language has about 1,400 speakers out of ...
(Gold language) in 1900, as well as deciphering the
Jurchen language Jurchen language ( zh, t=女真語, p=Nǚzhēnyǔ) was the Tungusic language The Tungusic languages (also known as Manchu-Tungus and Tungus) form a language family spoken in Eastern Siberia and Manchuria by Tungusic peoples. Many Tungusic lan ...
for modern audiences using a Chinese source.


Common characteristics

The Tungusic languages are of an
agglutinative The middle sign is in Hungarian, which agglutinates extensively. (The top and bottom signs are in Romanian and German, respectively, both inflecting languages.) The English translation is "Ministry of Food and Agriculture: Satu Mare County D ...
morphological type, and some of them have complex
case Case or CASE may refer to: Containers * Case (goods) A case of some merchandise is a collection of items packaged together. A case is not a strict unit of measure. For consumer foodstuff such as canned goods, soft drink, soda, cereal, and such, ...
systems and elaborate patterns of tense and
aspect Aspect or Aspects may refer to: Entertainment * ''Aspect magazine ASPECT Volume 9: Performance ''ASPECT'' was a biannual DVD The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data stor ...
marking. The normal word order for all of the languages is
subject–object–verb In linguistic typology Linguistic typology (or language typology) is a field of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods fo ...
.


Phonology

Tungusic languages exhibit a complex pattern of
vowel harmony In phonology Phonology is a branch of that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or constituent parts of signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound or sign system of any particular lang ...
, based on two parameters: vowel
roundedness In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of eve ...
and vowel
tenseness In phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics that studies how languages or dialects systematically organize their sounds (or signs, in sign languages). The term also refers to the sound system of any particular language variety. At one t ...
(in Evenki, the contrast is back and front, rather). Tense and lax vowels do not occur in the same word; all vowels in a word, including suffixes, are either one or the other. Rounded vowels in the root of a word cause all the following vowels in the word to become rounded, but not those before the rounded vowel. Those rules are not absolute, and there are many individual exceptions.
Vowel length In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langua ...
is phonemic, with many words distinguished based on the distinction between short vowel and long vowel. Tungusic words have simple word codas, and usually have simple word onsets, with
consonant clusters In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
forbidden at the end of words and rare at the beginning. Below are Proto-Tungusic phonemes from Whaley and Oskolskaya (2020),Whaley, Lindsay J. and Sofia Oskolskaya. 2020
The classification of the Tungusic languages
In: Robbeets, Martine and Alexander Savelyev. ''The Oxford Guide to the Transeurasian Languages'', 1st ed. Oxford University Press.
based on Benzing (1955):Benzing, Johannes (1955). Die tungusischen Sprachen: Versuch einer vergleichenden Grammatik. In: ''Abhandlungen der Geistesund Sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse'' 11: 949-1099. : :


Lexicon

Some Proto-Tungusic lexical reconstructions: :


Relationships with other languages

Tungusic is today considered a primary language family. Especially in the past, some linguists have linked Tungusic with
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...

Turkic
and
Mongolic languages The Mongolic languages are a language family spoken by the Mongolic peoples in Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range ...

Mongolic languages
in the Altaic language family. However, a genetic, as opposed to an areal, link remains unproven. Others have suggested that the Tungusic languages may be related (perhaps as a
paraphyletic In taxonomy, a group is paraphyletic if it consists of the group's last common ancestor and all descendants of that ancestor excluding a few—typically only one or two—Monophyly, monophyletic subgroups. The group is said to be paraphyleti ...

paraphyletic
outgroup) to the
Koreanic Koreanic is a compact language family consisting of Korean language, Korean and the Jeju language. The latter is often described as a dialect of Korean, but is distinct enough to be considered a separate language. A few scholars suggest that the ...
,
Japonic Japonic or Japanese–Ryukyuan is a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
, or
Ainu Ainu or Aynu may refer to: *Ainu people, an East Asian ethnic group of Japan and Russian Far East *Ainu languages, a family of languages **Ainu language of Hokkaido **Kuril Ainu language, extinct language of the Kuril Islands **Sakhalin Ainu languag ...
languages as well (see Macro-Tungusic). In 2017, Tungusic was again linked to Turkic and Mongolic languages by Martine Robbeets in her "Transeurasian family" (another name for Macro-Altaic). According to Robbeets, Tungusic is closest to Mongolic languages. Despite some similarities between the Tungusic and Koreanic languages,
Alexander Vovin Alexander Vladimirovich Vovin (russian: Александр Владимирович Вовин; born 27 January 1961) is an American linguist and philologist, born in Russia (Soviet Union), currently director of studies at the School for Advanced S ...
(2013) considers Tungusic and Koreanic to be separate, unrelated language groups that share areal rather than genetic commonalities through mutual influence of Goguryeo language, Goguryeo and
JurchenJurchen may refer to: * Jurchen people, Tungusic people who inhabited the region of Manchuria until the 17th century ** Haixi Jurchens, a grouping of the Jurchens as identified by the Chinese of the Ming Dynasty ** Jianzhou Jurchens, a grouping of t ...
on each other. The language of the Pannonian Avars, Avars in Europe which created the Avar Khaganate is believed by some scholars to be of Tungusic origin.Helimski, E (2004). "Die Sprache(n) der Awaren: Die mandschu-tungusische Alternative". Proceedings of the First International Conference on Manchu-Tungus Studies, Vol. II: 59–72.


See also

* Lists of endangered languages * Language death


References


Citations


Sources

* Kane, Daniel. ''The Sino-Jurchen Vocabulary of the Bureau of Interpreters''. Indiana University Uralic and Altaic Series, Volume 153. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, 1989. . * Miller, Roy Andrew. ''Japanese and the Other Altaic Languages''. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1971. * Poppe, Nicholas. ''Vergleichende Grammatik der Altaischen Sprachen'' [A Comparative Grammar of the Altaic Languages]. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1960. * Tsintsius, Vera I. ''Sravnitel'naya Fonetika Tunguso-Man'chzhurskikh Yazïkov'' [Comparative Phonetics of the Manchu-Tungus Languages]. Leningrad, 1949. * Stefan Georg. "Unreclassifying Tungusic", in: Carsten Naeher (ed.): ''Proceedings of the First International Conference on Manchu-Tungus Studies (Bonn, August 28 – September 1, 2000), Volume 2: Trends in Tungusic and Siberian Linguistics'', Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 45–57.


Further reading

*Aixinjueluo Yingsheng 􀀆􀀃􀀉􀀈􀀅􀀇. 2014. Manyu kouyu yindian 􀀄􀀊􀀂􀀊􀀋􀀁. Peking: Huayi chubanshe. *. *Alonso de la Fuente, José Andrés. 2015
Tungusic historical linguistics and the Buyla (a.k.a. Nagyszentmiklós) inscription
Studia Etymologica Cracoviensia 20. 17-46. *Alonso de la Fuente, José Andrés. 2017a
An Oroch word-list lost and rediscovered: A critical edition of Tronson's 1859 pseudo- Nivkh vocabulary
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 80(1). 97-117. *Alonso de la Fuente, José Andrés. 2017b. From converb to classifier? On the etymology of Literary Manchu nofi. In Michał Né meth, Barbara Podolak & Mateusz Urban (eds.), Essays in the history of languages and linguistics. Dedicated to Marek Stachowski on the occasion of his 60th birthday, 57-80. Cracow: Księgarnia Akademicka. *Alonso de la Fuente, José Andrés. 2018. Past tenses, diminutives and expressive palatalization: Typology and the limits of internal reconstruction in Tungusic. In Bela Kempf, Ákos Bertalan Apatóczky & Christopher P. Atwood (eds.), Philology of the Grasslands: Essays in Mongolic, Turkic, and Tungusic Studies, 112-137. Leiden: Brill. *Aralova, Natalia. 2015. Vowel harmony in two Even dialects: Production and perception. Utrecht: LOT. *Baek, Sangyub. 2014. Verbal suffix -du in Udihe. Altai Hakpo 24. 1-22. *Baek, Sangyub. 2016. Tungusic from the perspective of areal linguistics: Focusing on the Bikin dialect of Udihe. Sapporo:Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaidō University. (Doctoral dissertation.) *Baek, Sangyub. 2017. Grammatical peculiarities of Oroqen Evenki from the perspective of genetic and areal linguistics. Linguistic Typology of the North, vol. 4. 13-32. *Baek, Sangyub 􀀖􀀐􀀕. 2018. Chiiki gengo-gaku-teki kanten kara mita tsungūsu shogo no hojo dōshi 􀀓􀀊􀀎􀀏􀀋􀀔􀀌􀀕􀀂􀀅􀀍􀀃 􀀈􀀉􀀆􀀁􀀇􀀑􀀏􀀄􀀗􀀒􀀖􀀐. Hoppō gengo kenkyū 􀀌􀀒􀀚􀀜􀀗􀀘 8. 59-79. *Bogunov, Y. V., O. V. Maltseva, A. A. Bogunova & E. V. Balanovskaya 2015. The Nanai clan Samar: The structure of gene pool based on Y-chromosome markers. Archaeology, Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia 43(2). 146-152. *Bulatova, Nadezhda. 2014. Phonetic correspondences in the languages of the Ewenki of Russia and China. Altai Hakpo 24. 23-38. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. 2014a. Man tonggusiyuzu yuyan cihui bijiao 􀁖􀁳􀀞􀀼􀁮􀀾􀁮􀁨􀁬􀁎􀁌􀁲. Peking: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. 2014a. Man tonggusiyuzu yuyan ciyuan yanjiu 􀁖􀁳􀀞􀀼􀁮􀀾􀁮􀁨􀁬􀁬􀁕􀁝􀁡. Peking: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. 2014c. Xiboyu 366 ju huihuaju. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. 2014d. Manyu 366 ju huihuaju. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. 2016a. Ewenke yu jiaocheng 􀁵􀁔􀀏􀁮􀀹􀁟. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. 2016b. Suolun ewenke yu jiben cihui 􀁥􀀍􀁵􀁔􀀏􀁮􀀧􀁆􀁬􀁎. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. 2017. Ewenke zu san da fangyan cihui bijiao 􀁵􀁔􀀏􀀾􀀁􀀩􀀽􀁨􀁬􀁎􀁌􀁲. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. & Kajia 􀀚􀀎 2016a. Suolun ewenke yu huihua 􀁥􀀍􀁵􀁔􀀏􀁮􀀌􀁭. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. & Kajia 􀀚􀀎 2016b. Tonggusi ewenke yu huihua 􀁳􀀞􀀼􀁵􀁔􀀏􀁮􀀌􀁭. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. & Kajia 􀀚􀀎. 2017. Nehe ewenke yu jiben cihui 􀁪􀁐􀁵􀁔􀀏􀁮􀀧􀁆􀁬􀁎. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. & Kalina 􀀚􀀇􀀪. 2016. Ewenkezu yanyu 􀁵􀁔􀀏􀀾􀁰􀁮. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. & Kalina 􀀚􀀇􀀪. 2017. Arong ewenke yu 􀁺􀁧􀁵􀁔􀀏􀁮. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. & Sirenbatu 􀀼􀀋􀀰􀀤. 2016. Aoluguya ewenke yu huihua 􀀸􀁿􀀞􀁻􀁵􀁔􀀏􀁮􀀌􀁭. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. & Wang Lizhen 􀁏􀁢􀁛. 2016. Ewenkezu minge geci 􀁵􀁔􀀏􀀾􀁍􀁋􀁋􀁬. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Chao Youfeng 􀁄􀁃􀀯 & Meng Shuxian 􀀬􀁒􀁱. 2014. Zhongguo elunchunyu fangyan yanjiu 􀀅􀀣􀁵􀀍􀁀􀁮􀀽􀁨􀁝􀁡. Guoli minzuxue bowuguan diaocha baogao 􀀣􀁢􀁍􀀾􀀭􀀙􀁗􀁽􀁯􀁇􀀵􀀠 116. 1-113. *Corff, Oliver et al. 2013. Auf kaiserlichen Befehl erstelltes Wörterbuch des Manjurischen in fünf Sprachen: „Fünfsprachenspiegel“. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. *Crossley, Pamela K. 2015. Questions about ni- and nikan. Central Asiatic Journal 58(1-2). 49-57. *Do, Jeong-up. 2015. A comparative study of Manchu sentences in Manwen Laodang and Manzhou Shilu. Altai Hakpo 25. 1-35. *Doerfer, Gerhard & Michael Knüppel. 2013. Armanisches Wörterbuch. Nordhausen: Verlag Traugott Bautz. *Dong Xingye 􀀙􀀂􀀁. 2016. Hezheyu 􀀞􀀎􀀄. Harbin: Heilongjiang renmin chubanshe. *Duggan, Ana T. 2013. Investigating the prehistory of Tungusic peoples of Siberia and the Amur-Ussuri region with complete mtDNA genome sequences and Y-chromosomal markers. PlosOne 8(12). e83570. *Duo Limei 􀀨􀀇􀁉 & Chaoke 􀁄􀀏 D. O. 2016. Tonggusi ewenke yu yanjiu 􀁳􀀞􀀼􀁵􀁔􀀏􀁮􀁝􀁡. Peking: Shehui kexue wenxian chubanshe. *Grenoble, Lenore A. 2013
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External links


Monumenta Altaica
Altaic Linguistics. Grammars, Texts, Dictionaries, Bibliographies of Mongolian and other Altaic languages

at Dartmouth College
Tungusic languages

Vergleich der Reziproken des Ewenischen mit verwandten Sprachen
* http://www.siberianlanguages.surrey.ac.uk/summary/ {{DEFAULTSORT:Tungusic Language Tungusic languages, Agglutinative languages Language families