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Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
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Huns Dateline
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Khazar Dateline
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Kyrgyz Dateline
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Classification of Türkic languages

Links -

http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?name=Altaic&subid=709
http://www.kyrgyz.ru/?page=31

There are dozens of various classifications of the Türkic languages. Most of them have internal taxonomic inconsistencies, and each one conflicts with  the others. Any one must be taken with a grain of salt. Each one has some degree of  a bias based on the past political misrepresentations of the history, geography and linguistics. The ethnologue.com lists and groups 40_languages in the Türkic Group, but there are dozens more. Among the considered classifications, the A.N. Samoilovich classification is based more on the traits of the languages than on the geographical properties, but even it does not include the analysis of the r/s(z) and  chock/jock separations.

Some other classifications are:

G.Ramsted

V.V. Radlov

A.N. Samoilovich

N.A. Baskakov

V.A. Bogoroditskiy

M.T. Diachok

A separate question is the classification of the historical languages. In broad terms, and assuming that the names of the peoples, described in the ancient literature, are endoethnonyms, and not the exoethnonyms, the groups with the -ar, -er, -ir, -r component in their endoethnonyms belong to the Ogur Group. These are Akathirs, Aors. Avars, Azers, Bashkirs, Belengers, Bilyars, Bulgars (Balkars), Kangar, Hazars, Hunogurs, Hunogundurs, Küer, Kutigurs, Kutrigurs, Magyars, Majars, Mishars, Onogurs, Onogundurs, Pars, Savirs, Shor, Sibirs, Suvars, Tagars, Tokhars, Tatars, Taurs. Tavrs, Uigurs, and some more with numerous variations of the spellings. Some of these groups survived into the modern times, allowing a verification of the attribution. The other group, with the -uz, -iz, -z component in their endoethnonyms, belong to the Oguz Group. These are Gagauz, Ishguz (Scythians), Kirgiz, Oguz, Uz.... The broad attribution serves rather as a confirmation of the commonality, since most of these endoethnonyms indicate a subdivision of the group, incorporating the location, occupation or social-political ties, like the Agach-eri = Akathirs. The Akathirs, who, in accordance with Ptolemy, and consistent with their endoethnonym, lived in the wooded zone, belonged to the people whose name might or might not be in the list. Semantically, in the same group with Akathirs are other peoples with "tree" of "forest" in their name, like Majars and Mishars. In the same group with Bulgars are Balkars and their cousins Karachais, Savirs, Sibirs and Suvars.  In the same group with Taurs are Tagars, Tokhars, and Tavrs. It is notable that the -er people tended to stay in a close contact for millennia, assimilating and integrating in most of the cases, and staying close but separate in the others. The same can be said of the -uz groups too, but it is less explicit because the dynastic names were used for the names of the nations, replacing the alias of the Uses with names like Karahanlar and Gazzavlar. 

A.N.Samoilovich Classification, 1922
Samoilovich A.N. Some additions to the classification of the Turkish languages
St. Petersburg, 1922

Bulgar (R-Group) 

Bulgar

Chuvash

Uigur (D-Group) (also called Northeast)

Old Uigur

Tuva

Tofalar

Sakha (Rissian "Yakut" -Translator's Note)

Khakass

Kipchak (Tau-Group) (also called Northwest)

Tatar

Bashkir

Kazakh

Kirghiz

Altai

Kumyk  

Karachai-Balkar

Cirim

Karluk (Tag-Lyk Group) (also called Southeast and Chagatai)

Uigur

Uzbek without Kipchak dialects;

Kipchak-Turkmen (Tag-Ly Group)

Khiva-Uzbek

Khiva-Sart

Oguz (Ol-Group) (also called Southwest)

Turkish

Azeri

Turkmen

South Cirim

Swadesh List
This modified Swadesh list, developed by Morris Swadesh in the beginning of the 1950-th and modified by S.A.Starostin in the middle of the 1980es, is used as a study tool for the history of the genetically related languages. The following table compares the 100 word modified Swadesh list for the languages of the Türkic group. According to the S.A.Starostin's modifications, the borrowings were excluded from the list.

Even with the inherent approximations and imprecision of the method, the results of the comparison tell about the closeness of the Türkic languages, which have the commonality of the dialects. For comparison, the Swadesh commonality for the English-French is between 30 to 40%, for the English-German is between 60 to 70%,  for Russian/Polish/Czech in between 70 to 80%, and, to get to the 90% rate, the commonality of Lisbon and Rio Portuguese stands at 89%.

The 91% per millennium conservation rate, accepted for the Indo-European languages, does not seem to be applicable to the Türkic group. That is being explained by different flexibility of flexitive (IE) vs. agglutinative (Türkic), Türkic being much more conservative because of a fixed system of unchangeable roots, when a change of a single phoneme would change a meaning of the word, or change a grammatical meaning of a sentence. The best example of the preservation is the Hunnic sentence uttered in 312 AD and formally included in the Chinese annals by Fang Xuanling in 648 AD. The phrase is unambiguous, because it had a Chinese translation, and translation of all its words (for more details, see V.S.Taskin Jie Huns Issue 2 1990 page 8):

Hunnic Türkic Hunnic/Chinese Translation Translation fr Türkic
Süčy tiligan
Pugu'qüi tudan..

Süčy tiligan
Pugu'yu tutar

Move the troops,
Will catch Pugu
Army Commander would have desired (to go)
(He) would capture Pugu

Not only the lexicon was nearly completely preserved, but the grammatical suffixes survived intact to present. In the 11th c. the same suffixes were listed in the Mahmud Kashgari "Devon lugot it turk" dictionary, 700 years after the phrase was recorded. The 8 semantical components do not provide enough material to deduce a better consevation rate, but it points to a consevation rate approaching an order of magnitude above that established for the benchmark Indo-European examples.

On the other hand, the societal mobility and fluidity of the nomadic states brought them in long symbiotic contacts with a multitude of other languages, which can tentatively be corrected for by typological and statistical analisis of the constituent admixtures. A conservation rate change from 91% to 95% per millennium would effectively double the the estimated duration of geographical separation. There are other coefficients floating around, up to 83%. The table gives 91% and 83% results, both grossly contradicting the known history, even the 95% per millennium rate appears to be way too liberal. The Swadesh analysis also shows the weaknesses of the classifications, with the difference within a classification group larger than between different groups. The Swadesh analysis reflects the admixture effect, not accounted for in the linguistic tree model.

Languages Groups Total words Different words Common words % of common words Separation years ago 9% / 17%
Turkish - Uzbek Oguz/Karluk 90 7 83 92,2 900/500
Turkish - Turkmen Oguz/Oguz 92 8 84 91,3 1 000/600

Turkish - Azerbaijan

Oguz/Oguz 93 9 84 90,3 1 100/600
Turkish - Kirghiz Oguz/Kipchak 94 12 82 87,2 1 500/800
Turkish - Tatar    Oguz/Kipchak 93 12 82 87,2 1 500/800
Turkish - Salar Oguz/Karluk 92 14 78 84,8 1 700/900
Turkish - Khakass Oguz/Uigur 94 16 78 83,0 1 900/1 000
Turkish - Chuvash Oguz/Chuvash 90 19 71 78,9 2 400/1 300 see footnote
Turkish - Tuva    Oguz/Uigur 92 22 70  76,1 2 700/1 500

Turkish - Sakha

Oguz/Uigur 91 23 68 74,7 2 900/1500
Tatar - Kazakh Kipchak/Kipchak 86 2 84 97,7 300/200
Tatar - Uzbek Kipchak/Karluk 93 4 89 95,7 500/300
Sakha - Tuva Uigur/Uigur 92 22 70 76,1 2 700/1 500

Footnotes

Turkish - Chuvash conservation rate

Chuvashes, called "Suasla Mari" by their neighbors, are a mix of Suases/Suvars with Türkified Mari, and so, the empirically established conservation rate is not applicable to a case which is not a natural divergence of a homogenous population into geographically separate areas. Thus, the number of separation years represents a hypothetical case as how long a homogenous population would have to develop independently to achieve this level of lexical divergence. There is no knowledge whatsoever as to the relationship between Bulgarian and Suvarian languages, though based on ethnological grounds, the Suvarian is believed to be a much-alike Bulgarian Türkic.

Identification of the Chuvashes with Bulgars, first advanced by not very literate Russian nationalists in the 19th c., was adopted first by the Czarist state, and then by the Soviet Russia, as an official doctrine, but it remains disputed by the Chuvash neighbors, who hold them to be Türkified Mari, i.e. genetically Finno-Ugrians. That position was corroborated by the genetical study published in Human Biology, Jun 2003 by Arnaiz-Villena et al., "HLA genes in the Chuvashian population from European Russia: Admixture of central European and Mediterranean populations", which contradicted the official adagio that "Chuvash  have originated from Türkic-Altaic Bulgar tribes who migrated in the 4th century AD from Central Asia together with the Huns to the western region of the Volga River". Nevertheless, an admixture with some Suvars cannot be ruled out, though the genetical trace of the Suvars remains to be found. In the official doctrine the Türkic Chuvash serves as a benchmark Bulgar language, and is widely used as such in linguistic studies, though the merits are at least dubious. With such arbitrary retention factors wrongly applied, and controversial background, no confidence can be afforded to the number of the separation years.

Source and Comments
Home
Back
In Russian
Contents Türkic languages
Datelines
Sources
Roots
Tamgas
Alphabet
Writing
Language
Genetics
Geography
Archeology
Religion
Coins
Wikipedia
Classification of Türkic languages
Language Types
Lingo-Ethnical Tree
IE, Arians, Dravidian, and Rigveda
Scythian Ethnic Affiliation
V.I.Abaev: girdle of Scytho-Iranian theory
Besenyos, Ogur and Oguz
Türkic and European in Neo- & Mesolith
Türkic in Romance
Türkic in Greek
Türkic-Etruscan
Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
Bulgar Dateline
Huns Dateline
Karluk Dateline
Khazar Dateline
Kimak Dateline
Kipchak Dateline
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
Seyanto Dateline
11/07/2010
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