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On Tocharian Exceptionality to the centum/satem Isogloss
 

On Tocharian Exceptionality to the centum/satem Isogloss

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    On Tocharian Exceptionality to the centum/satem Isogloss On Tocharian Exceptionality to the centum/satem Isogloss Presentation Transcript

    • On Tocharian Exceptionality to the centum-satem Isogloss Richard Littauer MSc Saarland University | MA University of Edinburgh rlittauer.com | @richlitthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tocharians
    • Tocharian What is it?
    • Tocharianhttp://webscript.princeton.edu/~lingclub/challenge/tocharian.php
    • Tocharianhttp://001yourtranslationservice.com/translations/jobs/Tocharian.html
    • http://srhabay.wikispaces.com/19+INDO-EUROPEAN+LANGUAGE+FAMILY
    • Centum-Satem Proto-Indoeuropean*kʷ *gʷ *gʷʰ (labiovelars)*k *g *gʰ ("plain velars")*ḱ *ǵ *ǵʰ ("palatovelars”)
    • Centum-Satem Proto-Indoeuropean *kʷ *gʷ *gʷʰ (labiovelars) *k *g *gʰ ("plain velars") *ḱ *ǵ *ǵʰ ("palatovelars”) Centum groupkʷ gʷ gʷʰk g gʰ
    • Centum-Satem Proto-Indoeuropean *kʷ *gʷ *gʷʰ (labiovelars) *k *g *gʰ ("plain velars") *ḱ *ǵ *ǵʰ ("palatovelars”) Centum group Satem groupkʷ gʷ gʷʰ kʷ gʷ gʷʰ k g gʰk g gʰ s z
    • Centum-Satemhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centum-satem_isogloss
    • Centum-Satemhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centum-satem_isogloss
    • Centum-Satemhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centum-satem_isogloss
    • Outline• Overall language complexity• Possible language contact• Changes in language use
    • Language Complexity All languages are equal.
    • Language Complexity All languages are equal.All languages are equally complex in different ways.
    • Language Complexity All languages are equal. All languages are equally complex in different ways.Language complexity differs across the board, but stays the same.
    • Language Complexity All languages are equal. All languages are equally complex in different ways.Language complexity differs across the board, but stays the same.
    • Language ComplexityOverall complexity of a language may change over time.Language Complexity as an Evolving Variable, Sampson2009.
    • Language ComplexityKupwar, India: • Urdu (IE) • Marathi (IE) • Kanneda (Dravidian)Minimal lexical and phonological borrowings.
    • Language ComplexityKupwar, India: • Urdu (IE) • Marathi (IE) • Kanneda (Dravidian)Minimal lexical and phonological borrowings.But syntactically: “the sentences can be seen as exactcalques of each other.” (Myers-Scotton 2002, 176)
    • Language ComplexityTocharian has drastic changes in the: • syntax • morphology • lexicallyThis may have influenced the changes in the phonemicinventory of the language.
    • Horizontal TransferCould Tocharian have been influenced by non-IElanguages, leading to the merge into [k]?
    • Whence the Tocharoi?Tocharian culture is referenced much earlier than the 6thcentury by Ptolemy, Strabo, and Apollinorus (Sinor1963, 151).Two migration theories:• Migrated from central or west Eurasia, although archaeological evidence for such a feat is non-existent.• Migrated from the Afanasievo culture of Siberia before settling in the Tarim Basin.
    • Arguments against TurkicPrevious suggested sources for borrowings: “nomadicpastoralists speaking Ural-Altaic languages.” (Sinor 1990)But: “the major event that led to the Turkicisation ofXinjiang was the collapse of the nomadic steppe empire ofthe Turkic-speaking Uighurs." (Pulleyblank 2002, 45)
    • Arguments against Turkic• More Indic, Dravidian, and Sino-Tibetan languages in the area.• Difficult to borrow morphology from a left-head orientated language.• Hard to choose a contact language: • Only around 5,000 attested Tocharian words, • We don’t know enough about the area.
    • Arguments against TurkicTocharian continued on:• “into the period of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) when the Chinese first regained the Tarim basin and then lost it in the face of Tibetan and, subsequently, Turkish incursions.” (Mallor 2000, 272)
    • Other LanguagesMithridates VI of Pontus reputedly knew all twenty-twolanguages in his Anatolian empire.
    • Other LanguagesMithridates VI of Pontus reputedly knew all twenty-twolanguages in his Anatolian empire.Bactrian Iranian, Khotanese Saka, OldPersian, Han, Tang, Shang, and Chou Old and MiddleChinese variants, Sogdian, Greek, Uighur and KyrgizTurkish, Ossetic, Avestan, Tai, Prakrit, Tibetan, Kuchean, Burushaski, Scythian, and Cimmerian (Pulleyblank 2002)
    • Maintaining DistinctionMa’a:• Has one idiosyncratic phoneme, a voiceless lateral fricative:• “to emphasize the differentness of their other language, they sometimes introduce it into Bantu words.” (Thompson 2001)
    • Maintaining DistinctionThe velar merging might then have been used as a way ofkeeping distinct from other sounds in the region.In the sprachbund of Mesopotamia and centralAsia, allophonic variants might have been minimalised toretain maximum distinction.
    • Change in DomainThe merge may have occurred due a change inTocharian in general.
    • Change in DomainThe Tocharian population was never large, and mayhave been influenced by the ‘founder effect.’ (cfAtkinson 2011)
    • Change in DomainResearch correlates phonemic inventory size withthe size of the language community. (Hay and Bauer2007)
    • Change in DomainTocharian already showed signs of decaying use:Tocharian A is found almost exclusively in liturgicaldocuments.
    • Change in DomainIt is possible that a change in the size of thecommunity from a larger foundation, combined withdecay in use and horizontal transfer, may have led todetrition of the phonemic system.
    • ConclusionTocharian may not have been susceptible to a weakdialect wave, or to a possible early branching of IE.
    • References• Atkinson, Quentin (2011). Phonemic Diversity Supports a Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa Science 332, 346.• Hay, J., and Bauer, L. (2007). Phoneme inventory size and population size. Language 83(2): 388– 400.• Mallor, J.P., and Mair, Victor H. (2000). The Tarim Mummies. London: Thames and Hudson.• Myers-Scotton, Carol (2002). Contact Linguistics: Bilingual Encounters and Grammatical Outcomes. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.• Pulleyblank, Edwin G. (2002). Central Asia and Non-Chinese Peoples of Ancient China. Hampshire, UK: Ashgate.• Renfrew, Colin (1990). Archaeology and language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521386753.• Sampson, Geoffrey, Gil, David, and Trudgill, Peter (ed.) (2009). Language Complexity as an Evolving Variable. Volume 13 of Studies in the Evolution of Language. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.• Sinor, Denis (1963). Introduction a` l’E tude de l’Asie Centale. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz.• Sinor, Denis (ed.) (1990). The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia. Cambridge, UK: SMC Publishing Inc.• Thomason, Sarah G. (2001). Language Contact. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
    • THANKS.Questions?