Chapter 14. Ural-Altaic

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The paper reviews the data concerning the nominal inflectional morphology in the chain of languages comprising Uralic, Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, Koreanic and Japonic, collectively termed “Ural-Altaic”. Although nominal morphology has traditionally been quoted in support of the hypothesis concerning the genetic relationship of these languages, a more detailed survey of the data shows that the extant parallels are in various ways secondary and/or accidental. This suggests that Ural-Altaic is an areal and typological complex of languages, but not a genetic entity. On the other hand, it is also evident that much of the synchronically observed nominal morphology in the languages of this complex is relatively recent. The only examples of potentially relevant inter-family morphological parallels can be found between Mongolic and Tungusic.


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