Tuoba language

Tuoba (Tabγač or Tabghach; also Taγbač or Taghbach; Chinese: 拓跋) is an extinct language spoken by the Tuoba people in northern China around the 5th century AD during the Northern Wei dynasty.

Tuoba
Native toTuoba
RegionNorthern China and Mongolia
Language codes
ISO 639-3

ClassificationEdit

Alexander Vovin (2007) identifies the Tuoba language as a Mongolic language.[1]

On the other hand, Juha Janhunen proposed that the Tuoba might have spoken an Oghur Turkic language.[2] According to Peter Boodberg, the Tuoba language was essentially Turkic with Mongolic admixture.[3] Chen Sanping noted that the Tuoba language "had both" Turkic and Mongolic elements.[4][5]

Liu Xueyao stated that Tuoba may have had their own language, which should not be assumed to be identical with any other known languages.[6]

Andrew Shimunek (2017) classifies Tuoba (Tabghach) as a "Serbi" (i.e., para-Mongolic) language. Shimunek's Serbi branch also consists of the Tuyuhun and Khitan languages.[7]

MorphologyEdit

Some functional suffixes are:[7]

  • *-A(y) ~ *ʁa(y) ‘verbal noun suffix’
  • *-Al ~ *-l ‘deverbal noun suffix’
  • **čɪ ~ **či ‘suffix denoting occupations’
  • **-mɔr/-mʊr () ‘deverbal noun suffix’
  • **-n ‘plural suffix’

LexiconEdit

Selected basic Taghbach words from Shimunek (2017) are listed below. Forms reconstructed using the comparative method are marked with one asterisk (*), while forms reconstructed according to the Chinese fanqie spellings and/or rhymes of the traditional Chinese philological tradition are marked with two asterisks (**) (originally marked as ✩ by Shimunek 2017).[7]

Taghbach (reconstructed form) Taghbach (original Chinese transcription) English meaning Original Chinese gloss
*agyɪl ~ *agɪl 屋引 house
*čʰɪrnɔ 叱奴 wolf
**dɪʁa 地何 writing, book, document
**ɦatśir̃ 阿真 food 飲食
*ɦorbǝl 嗢盆 warmth
*ɪrgɪn 俟懃 above, superior
**kʰɪl- to speak -
**kʰɪr- to kill someone 殺人
**kʰɪrʁayčɪn 契害真 assassins 殺人者
*ñaqañ 若干 dog
*pary-al 拔列 bridge
**pʰatala 破多羅 rice water
*qɔw/*qəw pig, boar
**tʰaʁ dirt, soil, earth
*tʰʊʁnar 土難 mountain
**tʰʊʁay 吐奚 ancient
*uwl/*ʊwl 宥連 cloud
*yirtʊqañ/*yirtʊqan 壹斗眷 bright
*žirpəŋ 是賁 raised earth, embankment
**žiʁlʊ 是樓 high, tall

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Vovin, Alexander. "Once Again on the Tabghach Language". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ Juha Janhunen, (1996), Manchuria: An Ethnic History, p. 190
  3. ^ Holcombe, Charles (2001). The Genesis of East Asia: 221 B.C. - A.D. 907. p. 132.
  4. ^ Chen, Sanping 2005. Turkic or Proto-Mongolian? A Note on the Tuoba Language. Central Asiatic Journal 49.2: 161-73.
  5. ^ Holcombe 2001, p. 248
  6. ^ Liu Xueyao p. 83-86
  7. ^ a b c Shimunek, Andrew (2017). Languages of Ancient Southern Mongolia and North China: a Historical-Comparative Study of the Serbi or Xianbei Branch of the Serbi-Mongolic Language Family, with an Analysis of Northeastern Frontier Chinese and Old Tibetan Phonology. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-447-10855-3. OCLC 993110372.