Even more new glosses

I’ve somehow found some free time and have added several more glosses to the database. These new glosses are: ankle, badger, bird cherry, blanket, brick, calf, candle, clay, cradle, cream, dough, fast, flour, footprint, frost, grow, hail, hedgehog, hemp, lead, maple, marmot, millet, moss, mulberry, naked, oak, oats, owl, pillow, pine, poplar, rib, rice, ring, rye, silk, sword, thread, tin, turtle, urine, wax, well, willow, wrist.

I was very inspired by Stachowski’s 2008 Names of cereals in the Turkic languages when I added all of the grain terms. I thought it would be interesting to do a few other common cultural terms, such as metals and tree names. The metals in particular follow similar Wanderwört-like patterns as they have made their way through Eurasia. I already had iron, gold, silver, and copper; I have now added lead and tin, completing the list of common iron age materials.

Bird cherry was added because I kept running across it every time I searched for “egg”. It’s very similar in form, which is intriguing. I have no theories on their relationship yet.

It’s been fascinating to see what technologies can be reconstructed based on vocabulary. The ancient Turks definitely had metallurgy, bricks for building permanent structures, and grain production. But they seem not to have had apiculture judging by the lack of reconstructable terms for wax. They liked honey, but didn’t work with wax. Interesting.

I’ve also added the latest update date to languages, so you can see if I have searched for the most recent glosses. Not all languages have this yet, as I haven’t been able to work on many of them.

New Glosses

I broke down and added 36 new glosses today. I’ve added forms that I’ve found interesting before, such as candle, mulberry, and silk, two metals: tin and lead, some body parts: ribs, wrist, and ankle, and a variety of other forms that I wanted for the reconstruction of Proto-Turkic. I’ve started looking up these forms, so we’ll see if they go anywhere.

2021 Updates

Work has been busy! I’ve been doing more research in the library world, so this site has not been updated as often as it used to be.

The maps page is all messed up. There’s something wrong with the script I had been using to create them, so I’ll have to fix that.

In my spare time I’ve been working on an artistic map showing the Turkic languages. Perhaps I’ll even offer it up for sale as prints. It’s very time-consuming as I’m making it in SVG using Inkscape. You can do some cool map effects, and I’m hopeful that it will look as good when it’s done as I imagine. I’m nearly done with the country borders and am working on the major bodies of water. After that, I’ll do rivers and lakes, cities and place names, then finally I’ll add the languages. I’ll likely have to create a couple of insets. I’m thinking of doing one for the Caucasus and one for the Altay-Sayan region.

I’m still collecting books and articles and other resources, so whenever I have time I’ll continue to add new entries.

I would love to turn this into a more etymologically-based project. It would be neat to see not only reconstructions of Proto-Turkic, but also reflexes of borrowings from various sources and points. We’ll see – I’d have to rethink the entire database structure.

Old Uyghur

There is a new freely(!) available glossary of Old Uyghur that has been published:

Wilkens, Jens. 2021. Handwörterbuch des Altuigurischen: Altuigurisch – Deutsch – Türkisch / Eski Uygurcanın El Sözlüğü: Eski Uygurca – Almanca – Türkçe. Göttingen: Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen. https://doi.org/10.17875/gup2021-1590.

Accordingly, I have begun to add entries from this source and have added Old Uyghur as a new language. It’s tricky because Orkhon Turkic is already in the database, and not all sources clearly differentiate between the two. They do appear to be different, especially as Old Uyghur has clear influences from Chinese and Sanskrit and was affiliated with very large kingdoms. Orkhon, on the other hand, is a bit more limited and found mostly on stela in Mongolia. I may need to revisit this.

I’ve been occasionally working through the rest of Khorasani Turkic. It’s a bit of a mess. I’ve been very busy with work, so this project has become a low priority for the time. I’ve added the first 50 words from Old Uyghur and should have this completed sometime soon.

Updates, Thoughts

I’m at 19750 entries, so I’ll hit the big 20000 milestone soon. I’ve been working on Khorasani Turkic as of late. Because Doerfer likes to provide very narrow transcriptions, it will be challenging to synthesize all of his data into something that is true to what he presents, but is also usable in this format. I have ideas and will see how they pan out soon.

I have ideas for even more terms to add. Some ideas are fast, slow, pigeon, bird cherry, sword… We’ll see. Returning to languages that I’ve “completed” can be very tedious.

I would also like to include more kinship terms. However, there are a variety of kinship systems that are employed, so it could get complicated. Sister-in-law, for example, could mean elder brother’s wife, younger brother’s wife, husband’s sister, wife’s sister (elder and younger)… I don’t know that my current format would be ideal for this kind of data. I’ll have to think of a new way to display all of these possibilities.

A few updates

I decided to make a background for the site, rather than just having it be white. I’m happy with the result. I took a bunch of tamgas, slightly stylized them, and had them tiled across the background.

I haven’t done much work on the site beyond that. I’ve considered adding a few new glosses: maybe strawberry, cherry? Walnut? We’ll see…

At any rate, I’m still here, still doing the occasional update…

Mishär Tatar

I’ve added yet another language to the list: Mishär Tatar. I’ve found a good German language source and have been adding a few forms. I’m up to 16,800 entries, so 17,000 isn’t too far off.

I have had a bit more time to work on this project, so updates will be fairly continuous.


I’ve been tipped off to some data on a new variety: Xyzyl. Xyzyl is often considered a dialect of Khakas, but because it is so divergent from the standard, some authorities consider it a distinct language. I’ve created a page for it and added it to the map. I should have some lexical data added to the database in the next few days.

New job, future unknown!

I’ll be starting up at a new institution soon, so I will likely have significantly fewer resources available. I’m pleased with amount of data I have made available, and will likely be adding more as I have the time, but at a much slower pace.

News item no.1: Tehlikedeki Dil Dergisi, a journal that was an excellent source for several varieties, seems to have disappeared. It’s now become the website Son Sesler. With any luck the journal will be re-uploaded and added to.

New item no.2: I am working on adding search suggestions to the search box. Sometimes it works, sometimes it crashes the entire site. Once I’ve made this work, it will likely be the last update for some time.
Edit: It works! I’m still shaky on PHP, and I think I was trying to re-use an array without resetting it or something…