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Salar language

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Title: Salar language  
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Subject: Languages of China, Turkic languages, Khorasani Turkic language, Grigory Potanin, Yakut language
Collection: Agglutinative Languages, Languages of China, Oghuz Languages, Salar People, Turkic Languages
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Salar language

Salar
Salırça
سالارچا
Native to China
Region Qinghai, Gansu
Native speakers
70,000  (2002)[1]
Turkic
Arabic, Chinese, Pinyin-based Latin, and a separate Latin alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3 slr
Glottolog sala1264[5]

Salar is a Turkic language spoken by the Salar people, who mainly live in the provinces of Qinghai and Gansu in China; some also live in Yining, Xinjiang. The Salar number about 105,000 people, about 60,000[6](2002) speak the Salar language; under 20,000[6] monolinguals.

The Salar arrived at their current location in the 14th century, having migrated there from the west, according to a Salar legend from Samarkand. Linguistic evidence points to a possible western Turkic, Oghuz origin of the Salar. Contemporary Salar is heavily influenced by contact with Amdo Tibetan and Chinese.

Contents

  • Status 1
  • Phonology 2
  • Classification 3
  • Chinese and Tibetan Influence 4
  • Dialects 5
  • Grammar 6
  • Writing system 7
    • Pinyin based Latin alphabet 7.1
      • consonants 7.1.1
      • vowels 7.1.2
  • Notes 8
  • Sources 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Status

The Salar language is the official language in all Salar autonomous areas.[7] Such autonomous areas are the Xunhua Salar Autonomous County and the Jishishan Bonan, Dongxiang and Salar Autonomous County.

Phonology

Salar phonology has been influenced by Tibetan and Chinese. In addition, /k, q/ and /g, ɢ/ have become separate phonemes due to loanwords, as it has in other Turkic languages.[8]
Consonants[8]
Labial Dental Retroflex Alveolopalatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Plosive p b t d k ɡ q ɢ
Affricate t͡ʂ d͡ʐ t͡ɕ d͡ʑ
Fricative f (v) s z ʂ ɕ x ʁ h
Nasal m n
Approximant w l r j

Salar vowels are as in Turkish, with the back vowels a, ɨ, o u and the corresponding front vowels e, i, ø, y.[9]

Classification

Although Salar is an Oghuz language, it also received influence from other non-Oghuz Turkic languages like Chagatai.,[10] northwestern Turkic and southeastern Turkic.[11]

Chinese and Tibetan Influence

In Amdo, Salar language has heavy Chinese and Tibetan influence.[12] Although of Turkic origin, major linguistic structures have been absorbed from Chinese. Around 20% of the vocabulary is of Chinese origin, and 10% is also of Tibetan origin. Yet the official Communist Chinese government policy deliberately covers up these influences in academic and linguistics studies, trying to emphasize the Turkic element and completely ignoring the Chinese in the Salar language.[13] The Salar use the Chinese writing system since they do not have their own.[14] Salar language has taken loans and influence from neighboring Chinese languages.[15] It is neighboring variants of Chinese which have loaned words to the Salar language.[15]

The Salar use the Chinese writing system since they do not have their own.[14] In Qinghai, many Salar men speak both the Qinghai dialect of Chinese and Salar. Rural Salars can speak Salar fluently while urban Salars often assimilate into the Chinese speaking Hui population.[16]

Dialects

The Qing deported some Salar who belonged to the Jahriyya Sufi order to the Ili (Yining) valley which is in modern day Xinjiang. Today, a community of a few thousand Salars speaking a distinct dialect of Salar still live in Yining. Salar migrants from Amdo (Qinghai) came to settle the region as religious exiles, migrants, and as soldiers enlisted in the Chinese army to fight rebels in Ili, often following the Hui.[17] The distinctive dialect of the Ili Salar differs from the other Salar dialects because the neighboring Kazakh and Uyghur languages in Ili influenced it.[18] The Ili Salar population numbers around 4,000 people.[19] There have been instances of misunderstanding between speakers of Ili Salar and Qinghai Salar due to the divergence of the dialects.[20] The differences between the two dialect result in a "clear isogloss".[21]

Grammar

For the verb "to do" Salar uses "ät".[22]

The participle miš is used by Salar.[23][24]

In Ili Salar, the i and y high front vowels, when placed after an initial glides are spirantized with j transforming into ʝ.[25] Qinghai and Ili Salar have mostly the same consonantal development.[26]

Writing system

Salars use Chinese language for written purposes while using Salar language for spoken purposes.[27][28][29]

Salar used to be written in Arabic script; they still use it at present.[30] There are calls to standardize the Arabic-based script for Salar. Some Salar call for a Latin script, and some Salar elders who dislike the Latin script desire an Arabic script.[31] This lack of an official script has led the Salar to use the Chinese writing system.[32] China offered the Salar an official writing system but it was rejected. The Salar favor the continued use of Chinese characters which shows their "strong attachment to being citizens of the Chinese state".[33]

Despite there being an unofficial Latin-script alphabet based on the orthography for Turkic languages for the Salar, the Latin script is unpopular among the Salar and has failed to catch on. Arabic script is much more popular among the Salar. The Arabic script has historical precedent among the Salar; centuries-old documents in the Salar language were written in the Arabic script when discovered.[34]

Pinyin based Latin alphabet

A romanization of the Mengda dialect of Salar based on pinyin has been developed, created by a Salar, Ma Quanlin, who lives in Xunhua.[35] Like Pinyin, which is used to romanize Mandarin Chinese, this salar romanization is divided into categories of consonants and vowels.[35] Letters that occur both in pinyin and romanization of Mengda Salar share the same sound values.[35]

consonants

Pinyin English approximation Explanation
b [p] spit unaspirated p, as in spit
p [] pay strongly aspirated p, as in pit
m [m] may as in English mummy
f [f] fair as in English fun
d [t] stop unaspirated t, as in stop
t [] take strongly aspirated t, as in top
n [n] nay as in English nit
l [l] lay as in English love
l /ð/ those as in English the
g [k] skill unaspirated k, as in skill
/ɣ/ no equivalent in English "thicker and deeper" version of g
k [] kay strongly aspirated k, as in kill
h [x] loch roughly like the Scots ch. English h as in hay or hot is an acceptable approximation.
j [] hatch No equivalent in English. Like q, but unaspirated. Not the s in Asia, despite the common English pronunciation of "Beijing".
q [tɕʰ] cheek No equivalent in English. Like cheek, with the lips spread wide with ee. Curl the tip of the tongue downwards to stick it at the back of the teeth and strongly aspirate.
x [ɕ] she No equivalent in English. Like she, with the lips spread and the tip of your tongue curled downwards and stuck to the back of teeth when you say ee.
zh [] junk Rather like ch (a sound between choke, joke, true, and drew, tongue tip curled more upwards). Voiced in a toneless syllable.
ch [tʂʰ] church as in chin, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to nurture in American English, but strongly aspirated.
sh [ʂ] shirt as in shoe, but with the tongue curled upwards; very similar to marsh in American English
r [ʐ], [ɻ] ray Similar to the English z in azure and r in reduce, but with the tongue curled upwards, like a cross between English "r" and French "j". In Cyrillised Chinese the sound is rendered with the letter "ж".
z [ts] reads unaspirated c, similar to something between suds and cats; as in suds in a toneless syllable
c [tsʰ] hats like the English ts in cats, but strongly aspirated, very similar to the Czech and Polish c.
s [s] say as in sun
y [j], [ɥ] yea as in yes. Before a u, pronounce it with rounded lips.*
w [w] way as in water.*
v [v] vitamin as in very.

vowels

Pinyin Form with zero initial Explanation
a [ɑ] a as in "father"
o [ɔ] (n/a) Approximately as in "office" in British accent; the lips are much more rounded.
e [ɯ̯ʌ], [ə] e a diphthong consisting first of a back, unrounded semivowel (which can be formed by first pronouncing "w" and then spreading the lips without changing the position of the tongue) followed by a vowel similar to English "duh". Many unstressed syllables in Chinese use the schwa [ə] (idea), and this is also written as e.
i [i] yi like English bee.
u [u] wu like English "oo"
ai [aɪ̯] ai like English "eye", but a bit lighter
ei [eɪ̯] ei as in "hey"
ui [u̯eɪ̯] wei as u + ei;
ao [ɑʊ̯] ao approximately as in "cow"; the a is much more audible than the o
iu [i̯ɤʊ̯] you as i + ou
ie [i̯ɛ] ye as i + ê; but is very short; e (pronounced like ê) is pronounced longer and carries the main stress (similar to the initial sound ye in yet)
an [an] an as in "ban" in British English (a more open fronted a)
en [ən] en as in "taken"
in [in] yin as i + n
un [yn] yun as ü + n;
ang [ɑŋ] ang as in German Angst (starts with the vowel sound in father and ends in the velar nasal; like song in some dialects of American English)
eng [əŋ] eng like e in en above but with ng added to it at the back
ing [iŋ] ying as i + ng
ong [ʊŋ], [u̯əŋ] weng starts with the vowel sound in book and ends with the velar nasal sound in sing; as u + eng in zero initial.

Notes

  1. ^ Salar at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World. Contributors Keith Brown, Sarah Ogilvie (revised ed.). Elsevier. 2010. p. 1109.  
  3. ^ Olson, James Stuart (1998). An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of China. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 297.  
  4. ^ Johanson, Lars, ed. (1998). The Mainz Meeting: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Turkish Linguistics, August 3-6, 1994. Turcologica Series. Contributor Éva Ágnes Csató. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 28.  
  5. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Salar". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  6. ^ a b Ethnologue.com :report for language code:slr
  7. ^ Fèlix Martí (2005). Fèlix Martí, ed. Words and worlds: world languages review. Volume 52 of Bilingual education and bilingualism (illustrated ed.). Multilingual Matters. p. 123.  
  8. ^ a b Dwyer (2007:96)
  9. ^ Dwyer (2007:121)
  10. ^ Turkic Languages, Volumes 1-2. Harrassowitz Verlag. 1998. pp. 50, 55, 62. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  11. ^ Johanson, Lars; Csató, Éva, eds. (1998). The Turkic Languages. Volume 60 of Turcologica Series (illustrated, reprint ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 400.  
  12. ^ Johanson, Lars; Utas, Bo, eds. (2000). Evidentials: Turkic, Iranian and Neighbouring Languages. Volume 24 of Empirical approaches to language typology. Walter de Gruyter. p. 58.  
  13. ^ William Safran (1998). William Safran, ed. Nationalism and ethnoregional identities in China. Volume 1 of Cass series--nationalism and ethnicity (illustrated ed.). Psychology Press. p. 72.  
  14. ^ a b Thammy Evans (2006). Great Wall of China: Beijing & Northern China (illustrated ed.). Bradt Travel Guides. p. 42.  
  15. ^ a b Raymond Hickey (2010). Raymond Hickey, ed. The Handbook of Language Contact (illustrated ed.). John Wiley and Sons. p. 664.  
  16. ^ Dwyer, Arienne M. (2007). Salar: A Study in Inner Asian Language Contact Processes, Part 1 (illustrated ed.). Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 90.  
  17. ^ Dwyer, Arienne M. (2007). Salar: A Study in Inner Asian Language Contact Processes, Part 1 (illustrated ed.). Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 79.  
  18. ^ Boeschoten, Hendrik; Rentzsch, Julian, eds. (2010). Turcology in Mainz. Volume 82 of Turcologica Series. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 279.  
  19. ^ Dwyer, Arienne M. (2007). Salar: A Study in Inner Asian Language Contact Processes, Part 1 (illustrated ed.). Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 77.  
  20. ^ Dwyer, Arienne M. (2007). Salar: A Study in Inner Asian Language Contact Processes, Part 1 (illustrated ed.). Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 82.  
  21. ^ Dwyer, Arienne M. (2007). Salar: A Study in Inner Asian Language Contact Processes, Part 1 (illustrated ed.). Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 86.  
  22. ^ Hickey, Raymond, ed. (2010). The Handbook of Language Contact (illustrated ed.). John Wiley & Sons. p. 665.  
  23. ^ Göksel, Aslı; Kerslake, Celia, eds. (2000). Studies on Turkish and Turkic Languages: Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Turkish Linguistics, Lincoln College, Oxford, August 12-14, 1998. Volume 46 of Turcologica Series (illustrated ed.). Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 201.  
  24. ^ Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, Volume 42, Issue 1. Contributor Magyar Tudományos Akadémia. Magyar Tudományos Akadémia. 1988. pp. 248, 259, 260. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  25. ^ Dwyer, Arienne M. (2007). Salar: A Study in Inner Asian Language Contact Processes, Part 1 (illustrated ed.). Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 116.  
  26. ^ Dwyer, Arienne M. (2007). Salar: A Study in Inner Asian Language Contact Processes, Part 1 (illustrated ed.). Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 212.  
  27. ^ Guo, Rongxing (2012). Understanding the Chinese Economies. Academic Press. p. 39.  
  28. ^ "The Salar Nationality". cultural-china.com. Cultural China. ©2007-2014. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  29. ^ "China's Minority Peoples - The Salars". cultural-china.com. Cultural China. 2007–2014. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  30. ^  (Original from the University of Michigan)
  31. ^ William Safran (1998). William Safran, ed. Nationalism and ethnoregional identities in China. Volume 1 of Cass series--nationalism and ethnicity (illustrated ed.). Psychology Press. p. 77.  
  32. ^ Thammy Evans (2006). Great Wall of China: Beijing & Northern China (illustrated ed.). Bradt Travel Guides. p. 42.  
  33. ^ Allatson, Paul; McCormack, Jo, eds. (2008). Exile Cultures, Misplaced Identities. Volume 30 of Critical studies (illustrated ed.). Rodopi. p. 68.  
  34. ^ Dwyer (2007:91)
  35. ^ a b c MA Quanlin, MA Wanxiang, and MA Zhicheng (December 1993). Kevin Stuart, ed. "Salar Language Materials". SINO-PLATONIC PAPERS. Number 43. Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305 USA. p. 3. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 

Sources

  • Hahn, R. F. 1988. Notes on the Origin and Development of the Salar Language, Acta Orientalia Hungarica XLII (2–3), 235–237.
  • Dwyer, A. 1996. Salar Phonology. Unpublished dissertation University of Washington.
  • Dwyer, A. M. 1998. The Turkic strata of Salar: An Oghuz in Chaghatay clothes? Turkic Languages 2, 49–83.[1][2][3]

References

  • Dwyer, Arienne M (2007). Salar: A Study in Inner Asian Language Contact Processes; Part 1: Phonology. Harrassowitz Verlag.  

External links

  • Abstract of Article on Salar, includes some phrases (The Salar is written in Chinese Pinyin, not the Salar alphabet)
  • REMARKS ON THE SALAR LANGUAGE
  • Salar grammatical sketch
  • Salar Language Materials
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