Previously I wrote about the system of Proto-Turkic vowels as consisting of 8 qualities spanned by features of height, frontness and rounding with three additional phonemes sometimes suggested: /ia/, /e/ and /*ë/.
The first phoneme is reflected identically to *a, except it caused palatalization in Chuvash, so that we have:
Continue reading “Turkic vocalism revisited”
It is sometimes alluded that Khakas preserves the Proto-Turkic distinction between *ä and *e as /e/ and /ɪ/. This is not the case, review of the comparanda shows that both *ä and *e of any length are reflected as /ɪ/ in first syllable of polysyllables.
While all Turkic languages show distinction between voiceless and voiced stops  word-internally, only Oghuz languages have it initially, and only between k/g in front vowel words and t/d .
Most reconstructions take this distinction to have been phonemic in Proto-Turkic, but Doerfer makes the case in Ein altosmanisches Lautgesetz im Kurdischen that we’re dealing with a secondary voicing in Oghuz.
Continue reading “Turkic initials”
Proto-Mongolic shows two peculiarities regarding coda consonants. First, unlike other (unaspirated) obstruents, *ǰ is not found in coda positions, and second, coda *r groups together with obstruents by synchronically aspirating a following obstruent of a suffix . It doesn’t take much imagination to try and combine these two.
Continue reading “Pre-Mongolic rhotacism”
For some time now, I’ve been considering the possibility that Proto-Mongolic *ï derives, at least partly, from an earlier *ia diphthong. This would be in line with both Turkic and Tungusic possessing such a phoneme and with their correspondences such as CT *sarïg ‘yellow’ ~ Chuvash šur ‘white’ ~ PM *sïra ‘yellow’ or CT *taš ~ Chuvash čul ~ PM *čïlaxun ‘stone’ (but Tungusic *ǯola). 
Continue reading “Mongolic *gI”