12000 forms!

We’ve hit 12000 entries in the database. The latest one is ҡош/qoš – Siberian Tatar for bird. I’ve got about 120 more entries to add for Siberian Tatar.

After I’m done with that, I think I’ll conduct a review of what I’m missing. I know I need to do some serious work to finish Turkish and Tatar (both relatively easy). After that, I’ll likely do some work on the Southern Oghuz languages. These will be a bit more complicated, and working on them might mean I have to reevaluate all of the data I have for these languages.

Something I’d like to research a bit is the Siberian Tatar month names. The dictionary I have lists two forms for each month – one Russian, and one native. I’m not sure where the native forms come from. They don’t look especially Turkic, and as far as I can tell, Tatar uses Russian month names exclusively now.

I’ve found an online Tatar-English dictionary, but haven’t explored it much: https://tt.oxforddictionaries.com/. This is super exciting, because I’ve had little luck finding a Russian-Tatar online dictionary.

Siberian Tatar

I finally got in the Russian-Siberian Tatar dictionary that I requested via interlibrary loan. It treats Siberian Tatar as a single language. Because there’s not much information about any of the Siberian Tatar varieties (Tobol-Irtysh, Baraba, Tomsk), this is a really valuable resource to have. I’ve created a new entry for a literary Siberian Tatar language with links to each of the varieties.

Thanks to this new resource, I’m up to 11,800 entries, and should have 12,000 very soon.

Standard Siberian Tatar looks a lot like standard Tatar, except that /č/ is /ts/ and the voicing distinction is lost at word boundaries. There’s a bit of confusion as to the origin of Siberian Tatar, but the fact that it looks so much like standard Tatar (especially in the vowel shift that occurred among the languages of the Ural-Volga region) suggests that it may represent an eastward migration. The language then would have mixed with local varieties of Turkic, losing the voicing distinction and the /č/ sound, and likely picking up some of the unique vocabulary we see in many of the dialects. Further research is needed to back up this hypothesis.

General Updates…

I’m at 11750 for the entry count, which means 12000 will come fairly soon.

I’ve slowed down a bit due to work and other considerations, and also because I’m running out of good data sources.  I’d love, for example, to find a good online Tatar dictionary. It’s so widely spoken that you’d think it exists, but I’ve had no luck finding one.

Because it is so difficult to find much information on certain languages, I’m going to start a wish list. Any information (citations, links, papers) would be very, very welcome for the following languages and varieties:

  • Lower Chulym
  • Kondoma Shor
  • Old Bolgar
  • Astrakhan Nogay – Alabugat Tatar, Nogay Karagash, Yurt Tatar
  • The Tom dialect of Siberian Tatar

I’m expecting to receive a Siberian Tatar dictionary via interlibrary loan soon. I have no idea whether this is a comprehensive account of the various dialects or if it’s some sort of new standard. Either way, expect more entries soon.