This is a review article of: Etymological Dictionary of the Altaic Languages.
The goal of the enormous etymological compendium recently completed by Sergei Starostin and his collaborators is to convince its readers of the existence and validity of the Altaic language family.
Where the other Altaic languages, those of the Turkic and Mongolic families, are relatively homogeneous, Tungusic represents a highly diverse linguistic family, making it of especial importance for working out the phonology and structure of Altaic as a whole.
Undoubtedly Manchu will play an important role in the ultimate solution to the much debated question of the genealogical status of the Altaic languages, and without a doubt Manchu plays a central role in comparative Tungusic linguistics.
This process of "emphatic reduplication" is widespread in Altaic languages, which raises the question of whether it might be a reflex of an archaic genetic trait of Altaic.
Unfortunately, this sort of reduplication is thoroughly described for a select few Altaic languages, particularly in the Turkic family where the process is fairly productive (e.
Marcantonio concludes that a number of the lexical items shared between Uralic and Yukaghir are found in Altaic languages as well, making it impossible to decide on the question of borrowing vs.
183) and that: "However, several scholars, including Janhunen (1999 : 31) claim that the Altaic languages are very young, mainly because the individual branches show very little diversity.
When this word was borrowed from Chinese into any of the Altaic languages, and/or, at the earliest period, into either the original Altaic Ursprache or some still largely undifferentiated linguistic entity resembling that of Ursprache, it would of course have been a form or forms close in shape to (1) that would have been taken over.
fa subsequent to its several different borrowings into the Altaic languages.
Many of them are common for Uralic (especially Samoyed), Paleosiberian (Paleoasiatic) and Altaic languages
He studied the Chinese dialects of northern China and noticed the further north one traveled in China, the more the Chinese dialects began to resemble the Altaic languages
that bordered them.
In contrast to this picture, in the modern theory the Uralic languages are held to be completely unrelated to the Altaic languages
Some kind of division of words into two series, one of which is characterized by palatalization and the other by velarization or pharyngealization is a common phenomenon all over the Eurasian continent and is found commonly in Altaic languages
spoken in areas bordering on Chinese?
It should be recalled that relatively few of the 46 features in the database occur in any Altaic language
group--the number ranges from 32 in Tungusic to only 27 in Mongolic.