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Encyclopedia > Tocharian language
Indo-European
Indo-European languages
Albanian | Anatolian
Armenian | Baltic | Celtic
Germanic | Greek | Indo-Iranian
Italic | Slavic | Tocharian
Proto-Indo-European
Language | Society | Religion
Kurgan | Yamna | BMAC | Aryan
Indo-European studies

Tocharian is one of the most obscure branches of the Indo-European language group. It consisted of two languages, Tocharian A (Turfanian or East Tocharian) and Tocharian B (Kuchean or West Tocharian). These languages were spoken roughly from the 6th to 8th centuries, before they became extinct, their speakers being assimilated by the expanding Uighur tribes. Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Indo-European is originally a linguistic term, referring to the Indo-European language family. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The Indo-European languages include some 443 (SIL estimate) languages and dialects spoken by about three billion people, including most of the major language families of Europe and western Asia, which belong to a single superfamily. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The Anatolian languages are a group of languages, either Indo-European or (in some classifications) closely related to Indo-European, which were spoken in Asia Minor, including Hittite. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The Baltic languages are a group of genetically-related languages spoken in the Northern Europe and belonging to the Indo-European language family. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Celtic languages are a branch of the Indo-European languages. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Indo-Iranian languages (also called Aryan languages) are the eastern-most group of the living Indo-European languages. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The Italic subfamily is a member of the Centum branch of the Indo-European language group. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages), a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The Proto-Indo-Europeans are the hypothetical speakers of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language, a prehistoric people of the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The Proto-Indo-Europeans (PIE) were a patrilineal society of the Bronze Age (roughly 5th or 4th millennium BC), probably semi-nomadic, relying on animal husbandry. ... This article is about Bronze Age burial mounds and the Kurgan culture. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies The Yamna (from Russian яма pit) or pit grave culture is a prehistoric culture of the Bug/Dniester/Ural region, dating to the 36th–23rd centuries BC. The culture was predominantly nomadic, with some agriculture practiced near rivers and a few hillforts. ... The Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex (or BMAC, also known as the Oxus civilization) is a modern archaeologists designation for a Bronze Age culture of the early second millennium BCE, located in present day northern Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. ... Aryan is an English word derived from the Vedic Sanskrit and Avestan term arya, meaning noble or lord. In the 19th century, the term was often used to refer to what we now call the Proto-Indo-Europeans. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Indo-European studies is a field of linguistics, dealing with the Indo-European languages. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Indo-European is originally a linguistic term, referring to the Indo-European language family. ... (5th century — 6th century — 7th century — other centuries) Events The first academy of the east the Academy of Gundeshapur founded in Persia by the Persian Shah Khosrau I. Irish colonists and invaders, the Scots, began migrating to Caledonia (later known as Scotland) Glendalough monastery, Wicklow Ireland founded by St. ... (7th century — 8th century — 9th century — other centuries) Events The Iberian peninsula is taken by Arab and Berber Muslims, thus ending the Visigothic rule, and starting almost 8 centuries of Muslim presence there. ... Uyghurs (also called Uighurs, Uygurs, or Uigurs) (Chinese: 維吾爾 or 维吾尔 in pinyin: wéiwúěr) are a Turkic ethnic group of people living in northwestern China (mainly in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where they are the dominant ethnic group together with Han people), Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. ...


Both languages were once spoken in the Tarim Basin in Central Asia, now the Xinjiang province of China. The name of the language is taken from the Tokharoi Τόχαροι of the Greek historians (Ptolemy VI, 11, 6). These are identified with the Kushan Empire, and the term Tokharistan usually refers to 1st millennium Bactria. A Turkic text refers to the Turfanian language (Tocharian A) as twqry. Interpretation is difficult, but F. W. K. Müller has associated this with the name of the Bactrian Tokharoi. Categories: China geography stubs | Geography of China ... Map of Central Asia outlined in orange showing one set of possible borders Central Asia located as a region of the world Central Asia is a vast landlocked region of Asia. ... Xinjiang (Chinese: 新疆; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Hsin1-chiang1; Postal Pinyin: Sinkiang; literal meaning: New Frontier; Uyghur: ) Uyghurs Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), sometimes known as Chinese Turkestan, East Turkestan (Turkestan also spelled Turkistan) or Uyghuristan. ... The Tocharians were an Indo-European people who inhabited the Tarim basin in what is now Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwestern Peoples Republic of China from the 1st millennium BCE to the end of the 1st millennium CE. Archeology Earlier mummified burials suggest that precursors of these easternmost speakers... Claudius Ptolemaeus, given contemporary German styling, in a 16th century engraved book frontispiece Claudius Ptolemaeus (Greek: Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαίος; c. ... Boundary of the Kushan empire, c. ... (1st millennium BC – 1st millennium – 2nd millennium – other millennia) Events Beginning of Christianity (30s) and Islam (7th century) London founded by Romans as Londinium Diaspora of the Jews The Olympic Games observed until 393 The Library of Alexandria, largest library in the world, burned Rise and fall of the Roman... Bactria (Bactriana) was the ancient Greek name of the country between the range of the Hindu Kush (Caucasus Indicus) and the Amu Darya (Oxus), with the capital Bactra (now Balkh)In Afghanistan. ...


Tocharian is documented in manuscript fragments, mostly from the 7th and 8th centuries (with a few earlier ones) that were written on palm leaves, wooden tablets and Chinese paper, preserved by the extremely dry climate of the Tarim Basin. (6th century - 7th century - 8th century - other centuries) Events Islam starts in Arabia, the Quran is written, and Arabs subjugate Syria, Iraq, Persia, Egypt, North Africa and Central Asia to Islam. ... (7th century — 8th century — 9th century — other centuries) Events The Iberian peninsula is taken by Arab and Berber Muslims, thus ending the Visigothic rule, and starting almost 8 centuries of Muslim presence there. ... Piece of paper Paper is a thin, flat material produced by the compression of fibres. ...


Tocharian A and B are not intercomprehensible, and properly speaking, based on the tentative interpretation of twqry as related to Tokharoi, only Tocharian A may be referred to as Tocharian, while Tocharian B could be called Kuchean (its native name may have been kuśiññe), but since their grammars are usually treated together, the terms A and B have proven useful. The common Proto-Tocharian language must precede the attested languages by several centuries, probably dating to the 1st millennium BC. (2nd millennium BC – 1st millennium BC – 1st millennium – other millennia) Events The Iron Age began in Western Europe Egypt declined as a major power The Tanakh was written Buddhism was founded Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon and created the Persian Empire (6th century BC) Sparta and Athens fought the Peloponnesian...

Wooden plate with inscriptions in Tocharian. Kucha, China, 5th-8th century. Tokyo National Museum.

The existence of the Tocharian languages and alphabet was not even guessed at, until chance discoveries in the early 20th century brought to light fragments of manuscripts in a then-unknown alphabetic syllabary that turned out to belong to a hitherto unknown branch of the Indo-European family of languages, which has been named 'Tocharian'. The one Indo-European language that seems to hold the most similarity to Tocharian is the ancient Hittite language, which ceased to be spoken around 1000 BC. Download high resolution version (842x625, 162 KB)Wooden plate with inscription in the Tocharian language. ... Download high resolution version (842x625, 162 KB)Wooden plate with inscription in the Tocharian language. ... Tocharian refers to an Indo-European culture that inhabited the Tarim basin in what is now Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwestern Peoples Republic of China. ... Kucha (Modern Chinese Simplified: 库车, Traditional: 庫車, pinyin ku che, also romanized Chiu-tzu, Kiu-che, Kuei-tzu. ... The Hittite language is the dead language once spoken by the Hittites, a people who once created an empire centered on ancient Hattusa (modern Boğazköy) in north-central Turkey. ...


The alphabet the Tocharians were using is derived from the North Indian Brahmi alphabetic syllabary and is referred to as slanting Brahmi. It soon became apparent that a large proportion of the manuscripts were translations of known Buddhist works in Sanskrit and some of them were even bilingual, facilitating decipherment of the new language. Besides the Buddhist and Manichaean religious texts, there were also monastery correspondence and accounts, commercial documents, caravan permits, and medical and magical texts, and one love poem. Many Tocharians embraced Manichaean duality or Buddhism. Brahmi refers to the pre-modern members of the Brahmic family of scripts, attested from the 5th century BC. The best known inscriptions in Brahmi are the rock-cut edicts of Ashoka, c. ... Statues of Buddha such as this, the Tian Tan Buddha statue in Hong Kong, remind followers to practice right living. ... The Sanskrit language ( संस्कृता वाक्) is one of the earliest attested members of the Indo-European language family and is not only a classical language, but also an official language of India. ... Manichaeism was one of the major ancient religions. ...


Tocharian has upset some theories about the relations of Indo-European languages and is revitalizing linguistic studies. The Tocharian languages are a major geographic exception to the usual pattern of Indo-European branches, being the only one that spread directly east from the theoretical Indo-European starting point in the Pontic steppe. This article is about Bronze Age burial mounds and the Kurgan culture. ...



Tocharian probably died out under after 840, when the Uighurs were expelled from Mongolia by the Kirghiz, retreating to the Tarim Basin. This theory is supported by the discovery of translations of Tocharian texts into Uighur. During Uighur rule, the peoples mixed with the Uighurs to produce much of the modern population of Xinjiang. Events After the death of Louis the Pious, his sons Lothar, Charles the Bald and Louis the German fight over the division of the empire, with Lothair succeding as Emperor. ... Uyghurs (also called Uighurs, Uygurs, or Uigurs) (Chinese: 維吾爾 or 维吾尔 in pinyin: wéiwúěr) are a Turkic ethnic group of people living in northwestern China (mainly in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where they are the dominant ethnic group together with Han people), Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. ... Kirghiz (also Kyrgyz) are a Turkic ethnic group found primarily in Kyrgyzstan. ... Xinjiang (Chinese: 新疆; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Hsin1-chiang1; Postal Pinyin: Sinkiang; literal meaning: New Frontier; Uyghur: ) Uyghurs Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), sometimes known as Chinese Turkestan, East Turkestan (Turkestan also spelled Turkistan) or Uyghuristan. ...


Samples of the language have been discovered at sites in Kucha and Karasahr, including many mural inscriptions. Kucha (Modern Chinese Simplified: 库车, Traditional: 庫車, pinyin ku che, also romanized Chiu-tzu, Kiu-che, Kuei-tzu. ... Karasahr (Also Karashahr, meaning black city. Sanskrit Agnideśa. ...

Tocharian vocabulary (sample)
Modern English Tocharian A Tocharian B Ancient Greek Latin Sanskrit *Proto-Indo-European

one
two
three
four
five
six
seven
eight
nine
ten
hundred
father
mother
brother
sister
(horse)³
cow
(voice)²

sas
wu
tre
śtwar
päñ
şäk
şpät
okät
ñu
śäk
känt
pācar
mācar
pracar
şar
yuk
ko
vak

şe
wi
trai
śtwer
piś
şkas
şukt
okt
ñu
śak
kante
pācer
mācer
procer
şer
yakwe
keu
vek

heis
dyo
treis
tessares
pente
hex
hepta
okto
ennea
deka
hekaton
pater
meter
(phrater)¹
(eor)¹
hippos
bous
(epos)¹

ūnus
duo
trēs
quattuor
quīnque
sex
septem
octō
novem
decem
centum
pater
mater
frāter
soror
equus
bos
vox

eka
dvi
tri
catur
pañca
ṣaṣ
sapta
aṣṭa
nava
daśa
śata
pitṛ
mātṛ
bhrātṛ
svasṛ
aśva
go
vāc

*oinos
*duwo
*treyes
*qwetwor
*penkwe
*sweks
*septm
*oktou
*newn
*dekm
*kmtom
*p@2ter
*mater
*bhrater
*swesor
*ekwo
*gwou
*wekw

¹ = Cognate, with shifted meaning ² = Borrowed cognate, not native. ³ = English meaning, unrelated word Cognates are words that have a common origin. ...


See also

Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families (families hereforth). ... The Tocharians were an Indo-European people who inhabited the Tarim basin in what is now Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwestern Peoples Republic of China from the 1st millennium BCE to the end of the 1st millennium CE. Archeology Earlier mummified burials suggest that precursors of these easternmost speakers...

References

  • "The Tarim Mummies", J.P. Mallory and Victor H.Mair, Thames&Hudson, ISBN 0500051011

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Tocharian languages - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (741 words)
Phonetically, Tocharian is a "Centum" (pronounced [kentum]) Indo-European language, characterized by the merging of palato-velar consonants with plain velars (*k, *g, *gh), which is generally associated with Indo-European languages of the West European area (Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Greek).
Tocharian is documented in manuscript fragments, mostly from the 8th century (with a few earlier ones) that were written on palm leaves, wooden tablets and Chinese paper, preserved by the extremely dry climate of the Tarim Basin.
The existence of the Tocharian languages and alphabet was not even guessed at, until chance discoveries in the early 20th century brought to light fragments of manuscripts in a then-unknown alphabetic syllabary (abugida) that turned out to belong to a hitherto unknown branch of the Indo-European family of languages, which has been named 'Tocharian'.
Article about "Tocharian languages" in the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004 (434 words)
Tocharian is documented in manuscript fragments, mostly from the 7th and 8th centuries CE (with a few earlier ones) that were written on palm leaves, wooden tablets and Chinese paper, which had been preserved by the extremely dry climate of the Tarim Basin.
The existence of the Tocharian languages and alphabet was not even guessed at, until chance discoveries in the early 20th century brought to light fragments of manuscripts in a then unknown alphabetic syllabary that proved, astonishingly, to be in a hitherto unknown branch of the Indo-European family of languages, which has been named 'Tocharian'.
Tocharian was the language of the short-lived, yet influential Kushan empire.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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