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(ăltā`ĭk), subfamily of the Ural-Altaic family of languages (see Uralic and Altaic languagesUralic and Altaic languages
, two groups of related languages thought by many scholars to form a single Ural-Altaic linguistic family. However, other authorities hold that the Uralic and Altaic groups constitute two unconnected and separate language families.
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). Some scholars still consider Altaic an independent linguistic family. Spoken by over 130 million people, who occupy parts of a territory that stretches from E Europe across the Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan to the Pacific Ocean, the Altaic languages fall into three subdivisions: TurkicTurkic
, group of languages forming a subdivision of the Altaic subfamily of the Ural-Altaic family of languages (see Uralic and Altaic languages). The Turkic group of languages has a total of some 125 million speakers in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Central Asia, and parts of Russia and
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, Mongolian (see Mongolian languagesMongolian languages,
group of languages forming a subdivision of the Altaic subfamily of the Ural-Altaic family of languages (see Uralic and Altaic languages). The Mongolian languages are spoken by about 6 million people, mainly in the Republic of Mongolia, in the Inner
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), and Tungusic. The Tungusic subdivision, by far the smallest, today has only a few thousand speakers. It includes Manchu, spoken in various parts of Manchuria, and Tungus, native to E Siberia. Like the Uralic languages, the Altaic tongues are characterized by agglutination and vowel harmony. The former involves using suffix upon suffix to express grammatical relationships and meanings. Suffixes are also employed to form derived words. With vowel harmony, the vowel in a suffix corresponds to the vowel of the root to which the suffix is added. The Altaic languages lack grammatical gender.


See N. Poppe, Introduction to Altaic Linguistics (1965).

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References in periodicals archive ?
(2)Head of Chair "Management of social and economic processes" of Altaic Academy Of Economics and, Economy, professor, Honored Economist of RF.
Altaic cognates of the same kind are suggested also for U *kekta 'two': Tung.
183) and that: "However, several scholars, including Janhunen (1999 : 31) claim that the Altaic languages are very young, mainly because the individual branches show very little diversity." (p.
In the last years of his life I was officially his assistant for Altaic Studies at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Chinoises, but this was a courtesy title, given for me to include on my resume, so to speak.
In contrast to this picture, in the modern theory the Uralic languages are held to be completely unrelated to the Altaic languages.
When this word was borrowed from Chinese into any of the Altaic languages, and/or, at the earliest period, into either the original Altaic Ursprache or some still largely undifferentiated linguistic entity resembling that of Ursprache, it would of course have been a form or forms close in shape to (1) that would have been taken over.
Almost all languages of the Uralic, Nakh-Daghestanian and Altaic language families are totally or almost totally devoid of the capacity to form new complex words by prefixation.
To sum up, the Shianbei word for "paper" was *qa[??]Vdu which is cognate to Written Mongolian qayudasu "tree bark, sheet of paper." Both forms derive from a Proto-Altaic root *kabu-, which meant "to strip bark from a tree." As we have seen, Altaic words for "tree bark" often derive from verbal roots meaning "strip off, peel off." In the present case we see Turkic and Mongolic forms for "bark" derived from such a Proto-Altaic verbal root.
(21) Many contemporary scholarly centers in the United States include the term "Inner Asia" in their name: for example, the Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies at Indiana University and Harvard University's Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies.
Turkish is a member of the Altaic family of languages.
Institutions and mechanisms of economic development / A.I.Gubar // Publishing house of Altaic Academy of Economic and Law.
The "Nostratic hypothesis" characteristically posits the existence of genetic connections between the following: 1) Indo-European; 2) Uralic; 3) Altaic; 4) Afroasiatic (this includes Semitic); 5) Kartvelian (Southern Caucasian); 6) Dravidian.