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Folia Linguistica

Acta Societatis Linguisticae Europaeae

Editor-in-Chief: Fischer, Olga / Norde, Muriel

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Folia Linguistica
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Folia Linguistica Historica
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1614-7308
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Words for ancient Eurasian grain legumes in the hypothetical Altaic family

Aleksandar Mikić
Published Online: 2012-10-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flih.2012.005

The article discusses words referring to grain legumes in languages from the Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, Japonic and Korean families. Some linguists assume these languages to represent a single macro-family, usually referred to as Altaic. Taking into account that the homeland of Altaic speakers may have been an area for which there is early archaeobotanical evidence of the mentioned grain legume species, the article reports on the attestation of words for these crops in the hypothetically related languages as well as on attempts to reconstruct their ancestral forms in hypothetical Proto-Altaic. Being written from the perspective of a plant biologist, the article remains agnostic with regard to the plausibility of the Altaic hypothesis itself. Instead, it attempts to demonstrate how linguistic evidence bears witness to the uninterrupted presence of grain legumes among the speakers of the investigated languages from the sixth millennium BC to the present day.

Keywords: Altaic languages; crop history; etymology; grain legumes; lexicology; Turkic languages

About the article

This research is part of the project TR-31024 of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia and the EU project 168 SEELEGUMES within the SEE-ERA.NET Plus Programme. The author is grateful to Branko Ćupina, Vuk Đorđević, Mike Ambrose, Noel Ellis, Fred Stoddard, Petr Smýkal and many others for their friendly support. In memory of Sergey A. Starostin (1953-2006).


Published Online: 2012-10-31

Published in Print: 2012-10-01


Citation Information: Folia Linguistica Historica, Volume 46, Issue Historica vol. 33, Pages 123–134, ISSN (Online) 1614-7316, ISSN (Print) 0168-647X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flih.2012.005.

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© 2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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