K. David Harrison & Gregory David Anderson
Yale University, University of Manchester
This dictionary consists of approximately 5-6,000 basic vocabulary items of Tuvan, a Turkic language of south central Siberia.
The lexicon of Tuvan is charcterized by a larger number of Mongolian loans than in other Turkic languages of southern Siberia. Modern Tuvan has also borrowed extensively from Russian, though less than neighboring Altai-Sa yan Turkic languages. There are also a number of loans in Tuvan from Chinese, Tibetan, and even Sanskrit, though usually through a Mongolian intermediary; these words are predominantly in the religious or political spheres, or refer to cultural items diffused from those areas. Finally there are a small number of words in Tuvan from other, now extinct (and in part assimilated to Tuvan linguistically), languages belonging to the Yeniseian and Samoyed families.
Thus, the lexicon of Tuvan reflects the diverse and complex history of socio-cultural contacts of the Tuvan people.
Tuvan (aka Tuvan/Tuvinian) is spoken by 150-200,000 people in the Republic of Tuva in south central Siberia. Tuvan (along with the closely related Tofalar) stand out among the Turkic languages in several ways. Tuvan has three sets of phonemic vowels: plain, long, and creaky voice. Word-initially obstruents exhibit a contrast between unaspirated/aspirated or voiced/voiceless, depending on the speaker. There is also a phonemically marginal series of long nasalized vowels. Tuvan has only one inflectional series for verbs, prefering enclitic pronominals in most forms (in main clauses). Large numbers of Mongolisms and Mongolian derivational affixes are found, the latter often appearing with Turkic roots. Russian loans are also numerous, and in the speech of certain younger residents of Kyzyl, contact-induced restructuring can be observed.
ISBN 3895865282. Languages of the World/Dictionary 28. 176pp. 2003.