Building a low-level genealogical tree based on ordered rules: divergence and convergence among the Turkic dialects of southern Siberia

Anna Dybo

Building a low-level genealogical tree based on ordered rules:
divergence and convergence among the Turkic dialects of southern Siberia

(66th Annual Meeting of the PIAC Göttingen, 2024)

Within the framework of comparative historical linguistics, the linguist is forced to proceed from the “tree” (divergent) model of changes in linguistic phenomena: other models, such as the “wave” one, are excluded by the very essence of the comparative procedure. However, in the context of the relatively recent division of linguistic idioms, it is common for some innovation to spread across idiom boundaries. The interpretation of such phenomena within the framework of comparative historical linguistics can be arranged as follows: at the moment, when a dialect enters a certain grouping (provided by common political, economic or geographical boundaries), and a certain innovation arises in it, the innovation can be common to this grouping. But if in some of the dialects of this group there are traces of an archaic phenomenon that are common to the features of the dialects of another group, we may get another, and older, tree with other nodes corresponding to other, older dialect groupings. The linguogeographical approach in this form should make it possible to obtain a relative chronology of regroupings of dialects. The task of the linguist in this case is to establish the relative chronology of various family trees. This is achieved by establishing the order of operation of the rules for the transition from the reconstructed state to the reflex states. Undoubtedly, any of resulting trees reflect a certain linguistic reality.

The report demonstrates the procedure and results of such an approach to the dialects of the Turkic languages of the azaq group; the result is compared with data from other methods of classifying these dialects.