Martine Irma Robbeets (24 October 1972) is a Belgian comparative linguist and japanologist. She is known for the Transeurasian languages hypothesis, which groups the Japonic, Koreanic, Tungusic, Mongolic, and Turkic languages together into a single language family.

Martine Robbeets
Martine Irma Robbeets

24 October 1972
Academic background
Alma materLeiden University
Academic work
InstitutionsMax Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and University of Mainz
Main interestsHistorical linguistics
Notable ideasTranseurasian languages hypothesis

Education edit

Robbeets received a Ph.D. in Comparative Linguistics from Leiden University, and also received a master's degree in Korean studies from Leiden University. She also holds a master's degree in Japanese studies from KU Leuven.

Career and research edit

In addition to being a lecturer at the University of Mainz, she is also a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany.[2]

In 2017, Robbeets proposed that Japanese (and possibly Korean) originated as a hybrid language. She proposed that the ancestral home of the Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic languages was somewhere in northwestern Manchuria. A group of those proto-Altaic ("Transeurasian") speakers would have migrated south into the modern Liaoning province, where they would have been mostly assimilated by an agricultural community with an Austronesian-like language. The fusion of the two languages would have resulted in proto-Japanese and proto-Korean.[3][4]

In 2018, Robbeets and Bouckaert used Bayesian phylolinguistic methods to argue for the coherence of the Altaic languages, which they refer to as the Transeurasian languages.[5]

Selected works edit

  • Robbeets, M.; Savelyev, A.: Language dispersal beyond farming. John Benjamins Publishing, Amsterdam (2017)
  • Robbeets, M.: Diachrony of verb morphology: Japanese and the Transeurasian languages. de Gruyter Mouton, Berlin (2015)
  • Robbeets, M.; Bisang, W. (eds.): Paradigm change: in the Transeurasian languages and beyond. Benjamins, Amsterdam (2014)
  • Robbeets, M.: Is Japanese related to Korean, Tungusic, Mongolic and Turkic? Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden (2005)

References edit

  1. ^[bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ "Language in the anthropocene". Retrieved 2024-02-26.
  3. ^ Martine Irma Robbeets (2017): "Austronesian influence and Transeurasian ancestry in Japanese: A case of farming/language dispersal". Language Dynamics and Change, volume 7, issue 2, pages 201–251, doi:10.1163/22105832-00702005
  4. ^ Martine Irma Robbeets (2015): Diachrony of verb morphology – Japanese and the Transeurasian languages. Mouton de Gruyter.
  5. ^ Robbeets, M.; Bouckaert, R.: Bayesian phylolinguistics reveals the internal structure of the Transeurasian family. Journal of Language Evolution 3 (2), pp. 145 - 162 (2018) doi:10.1093/jole/lzy007, Robbeets, Martine et al. 2021. Triangulation supports agricultural spread of the Transeurasian languages, Nature 599, 616–621.