Altaic Etymologies: tōz, toprak, toγosun
(45th Meeting of the PIAC, Budapest 2002)
One of the fundamental questions of researches in Altaistic studies concerns how we can identify those elements of the vocabulary of the so-called Altaic languages which belong together etymologically. This paper — as the first step of a process of research — investigates three words to work out those essential methodological aspects which are necessary to solve the above-mentioned problem. The paper points out that the Turkic topurak/toprak ‘soil, earth, etc.’ is a form derived with the formative ±rA- from the Turkic topa 〜topo 〜topu ‘id.’ (=Samoyedic tobo) (i.e. topu+rA–k). The Mongolian toγo+su(n) ‘dust’ is a regular derivation of this topo/topu form with the formative +sUn as well. The Turkic töz ‘dust’, however, goes back to one of the shorter variants of this Mongolian toγosu(n), probably to the Qitan to’us (>tōz). On the basis of the above argument the paper concludes that it is not reasonable to originate these forms from the so-called Proto-Altaic.