4.20. Yukaghir

4.20.1. Yukaghir evolution

Long-term contacts between Late Proto-Uralic and Late Proto-Yukaghir dialects in Northern Eurasia are certain, and a closer affinity between Proto-Uralic and Proto-Yukaghir within an Indo-Uralic group is not supported by their divergent phonetic evolution with respect to Proto-Indo-Anatolian. Therefore, it is often difficult to posit a common ancestral Indo-Uralic root for Yukaghir, if only a Proto-Uralic cognate is found.

Known features of Proto-Yukaghir include (Nikolaeva 2006):

·       Genitive in *-n.

·       Accusative in *-lə.

·       Dative in *-ń, *-ŋiń.

·       Locative in *-ɣ- /*-q-.

·       Plural in *-ji (old, non-productive in Proto-Yukaghir), proably related to plural marker for verbs in *-j.

·       Participles in *-n (imperfect), *-, perfect part. in *-mə.


4.20.2. Schleicher’s fable in Proto-Yukaghir

oɣə aqai

oɣə qa arən ə-l’ə

aqai öɣe;

ta niɣe elel eŋken,

ta könta polə,

ta čērīl omt qontə.

oɣə aqai an:

niŋ qamp

ńan aŋ aqai ymon.”

aqai an: “qoli, oɣə!

niŋ qamp aŋ:

ńan, leml’ə, oɣə arəń

mət puɣö suklə u,

oɣə arən ə-l’ə.”

e qolem oɣə leeń ölkə.

For this fable, a non-ergative stage of the language is assumed. Likely cognates of words used in this version include (for Proto-Indo-Uralic cognates, see above §1.1.3. Schleicher’s fable in P):

·       For ‘sheep’, a PYuk. **oɣə(cf. PYuk. *monoɣə‘moufflon’) was selected, because of its potential connection to Indo-Uralic *ɣeu̯e (which would have given regular PPYuk *eu̯e **eɣe) and derivatives, although they are probably unrelated.

·       PYuk *aqa ‘horse’ is probably a borrowing from a source akin to Proto-Tocharian *i̯äku̯ë

·       PYuk. *ə-l’ə ‘no-is’, from *l’ə ‘be, exist; have’, which have cognates in Proto-Uralic.

·       PYuk *qa ‘which’ from PIU interrogative/relative *kV.

·       PYuk. *ta ‘that, this’ from PIU demonstrative *tV, and PYuk. *e from PIU *i-. Different demonstratives in *e-, *a- (such as *a-n, *e-n, etc.)  may be traced back to a common PIU *e, *i plus a PYuk pronominal suffix.

·       For PYuk *öɣe ‘see, watch’, see above PIU *ɣoke.

·       PYuk *eŋke ‘carry’ would be the usual reconstruction for modern derivatives, although the Proto-Uralic reconstruction informs a Pre-PYuk. **eɣe according to Nikolaeva (2006).

·       PYuk. *poi̯(o-) ‘lift, raise, carry (on the shoulders or back)’ is potentially connected to PU *palë.

·       For the verb ‘carry’, a form *qontə is found in common with Proto-Uralic *kanta.

·       For PYuk. *könta ‘person, human being’ cf. PIE *g(e)nh-ti- ‘child’ (although it is not found in Anatolian).

·       PYuk. *aŋ/oŋ- is potentially related to PIU *u̯ainɗe.

·       For PYuk *puɣö, see above PIU *paχu̯ë.

·       PYuk. *qol- means ‘sound, noise; ear’, but here it is used with their reconstructed original meaning ‘ear; hear’, see above PIU *χeule.

·       PYuk. *mət is related by Nikolaeva to the 1sg. PIU *m-.