genitive affixes

Marcel Erdal erdal at EM.UNI-FRANKFURT.DE
Sat Jan 2 18:12:30 UTC 1999

Dear colleagues,
The Turkic genitive suffix might possibly point to a source for the
genitive which differs both from the type Leon Stassen is focussing on
and from the one mentioned by Frans Plank. The Common Turkic suffix has
the shape -ning, -nIng, -nueng, -nung after vowels, -ing, -Ing, -ueng,
-ung after consonants, which looks like no other Common Turkic suffix.
It does, however, look quite similar to the often used Old Turkic word
naeng, which signifies thing, matter and is also used to highlight
negations (Engl. at all; cf. rien < rem etc.). (The deletion of the n
after consonants is not actually very wide-spread among the Turkic
languages, and might conceivably be secondary; the vowel difference
might be a dialect matter.) If the former comes from the latter,
Johns book          would, in Old Turkic, come from
John-thing book      , which, I think, makes sense.
Now Old (or Proto-) Turkic words do not otherwise start with n, except
for nae what, which makes one think of a further derivation of this
element from what (though the existence of a denominal derivational
suffix -ng is not all too solid).
All the best for 1999.
Marcel Erdal

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