Verb Goes Last

Verb Goes Last

Dave did his homework on Google and already knew a few words of Turkish before we arrived in Dalaman. It helped that ‘merhaba’, one of the terms for ‘hello’ was the same in Arabic. When he opened up Duolingo to also practice French, I asked why he wasn’t using the app to learn Turkish. He had thought it wasn’t an option, but a quick search showed it was.

I installed Duolingo and began catching up. I wanted to be able to say ‘Nice to meet you’ to our guide when he arrived. Useful phrases were further down the lesson plan than I expected, so by the time I found it, I also knew how to say ‘The woman eats an egg.’ Surprisingly, ‘eat’ was the last word in the sentence as it is in Japanese.

Our guide confirmed that Turkish and Japanese were from the same language group (Altaic), of which Turkic is one of the major branches. The others are Mongolian and Tungusic. Korean and Japanese are apparently debatable members, probably ‘borrowing’ from the others over centuries. Borrowing makes sense for vocabulary and writing, but I find it harder to believe they replaced a previous grammatical structure with the Altaic subject-object-verb format.

How widespread is this structure now? Do modern Mandarin and Russian belong to the Altaic family? Does the verb still go last?

Dave did his homework on Google and already knew a few words of Turkish before we arrived in Dalaman. It helped that ‘merhaba’, one of the terms for ‘hello’ was the same in Arabic. When he opened up Duolingo to also practice French, I asked why he wasn’t using the app to learn Turkish. He had thought it wasn’t an option, but a quick search showed it was.

I installed Duolingo and began catching up. I wanted to be able to say ‘Nice to meet you’ to our guide when he arrived. Useful phrases were further down the lesson plan than I expected, so by the time I found it, I also knew how to say ‘The woman eats an egg.’ Surprisingly, ‘eat’ was the last word in the sentence, as it is in Japanese.

Our guide confirmed that Turkish and Japanese were from the same language group (Altaic), of which Turkic is one of the major branches. The others are Mongolian and Tungusic. Korean and Japanese are apparently debatable members, probably ‘borrowing’ from the others over centuries. Borrowing makes sense for vocabulary and writing, but I find it harder to believe they replaced a previous grammatical structure with the Altaic subject-object-verb format.

How widespread is this structure now? Do modern Mandarin and Russian belong to the Altaic family? Does the verb still go last? If you know, please enlighten me.

By |September 17th, 2017|Categories: Turkey|0 Comments

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