Dwelling Names in Turkic and Manchu-Tungus: a Contrastive Analysis

Dybo Anna (Moscow, Russia)

Dwelling Names in Turkic and Manchu-Tungus: a Contrastive Analysis

(57th Annual Meeting of the PIAC Vladivostok, 2014)

The article offers prolegomena to semantic description and semantic reconstruction of dwelling names for two of Altaic language families: Turkic and Tungusic. Set of features for semantic classification is based on ethnographic typology of dwellings (see Atlas of Siberia Peoples). For every family sets of lexical units with specified meanings are reconstructed. After the specification of the semantic reconstruction some possibilities for implications of ethnographic characteristics of the dwellings of the society of the proto-language, based on lexical system of dwelling names, are suggested. Some examples of such implications:

Presence of regular polysemanticism “house – family”, in stationary dwelling names as well as in portable ones’ indicates a semi-nomadic way of life in the proto-society.

Absence of regular polysemanticism “interior angle – part of the dwelling” indicates a mostly round (polygonal, not rectangular) shape of the dwellings of the proto-society.

Presence of regular polysemanticism “wall – roof” indicates a non-load-bearing walls in the main dwellings of the proto-society.

Specific reconstructions made for both proto-languages and for the proto-languages of their subsidiary groups are coordinated with ethnographic and in some cases archaeological data for the respective territories.