Proto-Turkic/Vocabulary 2

Welcome to tenth lesson of Proto-Turkic! This is the second of vocabulary lesson and in this lesson we will improve our vocabulary.



Let's start with a text.

Yạrïn ōtagïmïŕnï buŕsa köčme(k) üčün ătïmïŕka olturtumuŕ. Teŋride küneĺ bār, bulut yōk erti. Eligimiŕ bi(r)le köŕümüŕni kapma(k)dan ālïmïŕnï körmese sǖrtümüŕ. Ïsïg erti. Yẹ̄miĺč ạlmïĺ ertimiŕ, biŕte bōlmagan sub erti. Kạrïnïmïŕ tōlï, tilimiŕ kūrïk erti. Kȫl tăpmasa ertimiŕ, ölür ertimiŕ. Teŋri sạkïdï.


Today (morning) we mounted our horses to migrate while gathering our tents. There was sun in the sky, (but) there were no clouds. We couldn't see in front of us by covering our eyes with our hands. It (the weather) was hot. We took food (with us), what we didn't have was water. Our stomach was full (but) our tongue was dry. We would die if we didn't find a lake. God forbad.

Since plurality is a controversial issue in Proto-Turkic, plural cases other than pronouns are written in singular in this text. There is no previously unprocessed grammar in the text. The body parts mentioned in the text are given below. Simple verbs come right after it. Words related to time will be explained in the next lesson.

Parts of body

Parts of Face in Proto-Turkic
English Proto-Turkic
head *baĺč
face *yǖŕ
hair *s(i)ač
eyebrow *k(i)āĺč
eyelash *kirpik
eye *köŕ
ear *kulkak
nose *burun (Shaz)
*sumsa (Lir)
lip *tōtak
mouth *agïŕ
tongue *til
chin *ēŋek
Parts of Body in Proto-Turkic
English Proto-Turkic
neck *bōyn (shaz?)
throat *boguŕ
Adam's apple *bogurdak
shoulder *omuŕ
shoulder blade *yarïn
breast *kögüŕ
breast (female) *čičig
arm, hand *kol
forearm *kar
elbow *čïkan(ak)
belly *kạrïn
waist *bẹ̄l(k)
hand *elig
handful *ạbuč
finger *biarŋak
fingernail *tïrŋak
anus, buttocks *köt
leg, thigh *būt (shaz)
thigh, hip *satan
calf of leg *b(i)altïr (shaz)
foot *adak
sole *tāpan

Basic Verbs

English Proto-Turkic
to take *ạl-
to give *bēr-
to come *kẹl-
to go (away) *bar-, *kē(y)t-
to walk *yorï-/*yüri-
to organize, make *ēt-
to do, make *kïl-
to know (something) *bil-
to know (someone) *tạnu-
to sit *oltur-
to stand *tur-
to stay behind, remain *kiāl-
to put, leave, abandon *kod-
to put, throw *sal-
to live *tīri-
to see *kör-
to look, watch *bạk-
to hear *ẹĺit-
to speak *kele-, *seble-
to say *tē-
to say, tell; to ask, demand *ạyït-
to touch *tẹg-
to eat *yē-
to migrate *köč-

The exception of the palatals


We've talked about this before. However, as we start to learn new words, we need to mention it again, as it is a situation that you will encounter more and more.

Contrast noun-verb


You may have noticed above. Aren't the word *köŕ and the word *kör- similar? Similar? Only when it is noun the r sound is palatal, when it is a verb it is not palatal.

Some words in Turkic have both noun and verb forms. For some reason, when the r sound, which is palatal in some words, is at the end, it lacks palatal in the verb form.

  • *köŕ (“eye”) but *kör- (“to see”)
  • *semiŕ (“fat”) but *semir- (“to fatten”)
  • *kūtuŕ (“mad, enraged”) but *kūtur- (“to become mad, rage”)

Contrast without suffix-with suffix


Some words with suffixes are without palatal. But when there is no suffix, it is palatal.

  • *sakïŕ (“gum, resin”) but *sakïrtka (“tick (animal)”) (The existence of an r-form in a Shaz language is sufficient to prove that the word belongs to the Proto-Turkic language. Because if there was a formation formed in Shaz Turkic, it would be sakïz+tka=sakïztka. But this word is not in that form because it was formed in the Proto period.)
  • *boguŕ (“throat”) but *bogurdak (“Adam's apple”)



In an agglutinative language, suffixes form the structure of the language. There are two types of suffixes.

Inflectional suffixes


Inflectional suffixes are suffixes that do not change the structure. Suffixes such as plural suffixes, case suffixes, tense suffixes are inflectional suffixes.

Verbs can take tenses only once. If the latter is needed, it is provided with an auxiliary verb.

Derivational suffixes


Derivational suffixes are suffixes that change the structure. All suffixes in the seventh lesson are derivational suffixes. Verbals are also derivational suffixes (The meaning of if mentioned in the lesson verbals is not a derivational suffix.).

It is debatable whether the negative suffix is a derivational suffix.

Next lesson: Equative, instrumental and imperatives