Mongolian Loanwords of Turkic Origin in Tuva Language

Baiarma Khabtagaeva

Mongolian Loanwords of Turkic Origin in Tuva Language

(45th Meeting of the PIAC, Budapest 2002)

The the genetic relationship of the Altaic languages is debated up to now. However according to the modern researches, a great part of the correspondeces among the Altaic languages are anyhow loanwords.

Although the Tuva language is one of the most archaic Turkic languages, due to a powerful Mongolian influence it also has the most Mongolian loanwords among the other Turkic languages.

In my presentation I will try to present some categories of the Mongolian loanwords in the Tuva language. While etymologizing these Mongolian loanwords, I found several words, which are Mongolian loanwords but of ultimately Turkic origin. Beside these words, in many cases we find the same word as a member of the original Turkic stock.

In most cases the fact of borrowing can be proved by phonetical criteria e.g. Tuva küčü ‘power, might’ ← Mongolian čün ‘power, force, strength, ← Turkic kǖč ‘strength’ > Tuva küš ‘energy5, or Tuva dayïn ‘war’ ← Mongolian dayin ‘war, enemy’ ← Turkic ‘enemy, hostile’ > Tuva čā ‘war‘.

In other cases the criteria are of morphological origin, e.g. Tuva törel ‘relative’ ← Mongolian töröl doming, relative, clan’ ← Turkic töre-/törü ‘to come into existence, to be created’ > Tuva törü- ‘id’, Tuva kudurga ‘saddle girth’ ← Mongolian qudurġa ‘saddle girth’ ← Turkic qudruq ‘the tail of an animal’ > Tuva kuduruk ‘id’.

There are also some words in the Tuva language which at first sight seem to be original Turkic words, but for semantic reasons we have to suppose that althogh the word is of Turkic origin, it is re-borrowed from Mongolian: e.g. Tuva erdem ‘science’ ← Mongolian erdem ‘science’ ← Turkic erdem ‘manly qualities, virtue’, Tuva derlik ‘Tuva national summer-cloth’ ← Mongolian terlig ‘summer-cloth’ ← Turkic terlik ‘sweat-cloth, saddle-cloth’ (< ter ‘sweat’).