New trends in European studies on the Altaic problem
Anna Dybo (Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences)
Journal of Language Relationship, № 14/1-2, 2016 - p.71-106
Abstract: The paper discusses several general problems of present-day historical Altaistics, taking as a reference point the critical evaluation of two large monographs by Martine Robbeets — one on the Altaic origins of the Japanese language (Robbeets, Martine. 2005. Is Japanese related to Korean, Tungusic, Mongolic and Turkic? Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz) and another on the evidence that comparative verbal morphology provides to validate the Altaic hypothesis (Robbeets, Martine. 2015. Diachrony of verb morphology: Japanese and the Transeurasian languages. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter). Along with the analysis of the main methodological principles and some specific etymological decisions taken by the author, the paper also focuses on the critical discussion of certain assumptions that may be seen as typical of "anti-Altaic" researchers.
Keywords: Altaic languages, historical Turkology, verbal morphology, long-range comparison, history of the Japanese language, etymology