Sumerian – Turkish Comparison List (With 200 Concept Group English Word
by Polat Kaya
Ever since the Sumerian language became known for the world of the linguists, there have been claimes and counter claimes to the view that the Sumerian and Turkish languages are related. While some groups vehemently deny the linguistic affinity between the two languages, others gingerly but nevertheless positively admit the affinity of these two languages.
In the following list, a set of 200 English words, numbered from 1 to 200 and alternatively known as “200 concept group Hymes List”, and their correspondences in Sumerian and Turkish are given. Under each selection in English, other concepts related to the selected word’s meaning are also entered. Thus in the first two colums, we have the English and Sumerian entries and in the third colum, Turkish entries are provided.
The purpose of this study is to bring to attention those Sumerian and Turkish words which correspond to each other and/or seemingly related to each other in form and in meaning and at the same time to see if Turkish can pass a given test in order to prove its kinship to the Sumerian. From the listed words given below, there seems to be ample evidence that the Turkish, as members of Altaic languages, have come from a root that also included the Sumerian language. In view of the fact that the Sumerian and Turkish have been separated from each other or from a parent language, that is if they had a common parent in the past, for at least five thousand years, it is surprising to see that there still are many words which correspond to each other in both languages.
It is hoped that other workers in this field will contribute to this list to improve its level of accuracy such that it will make the Sumerian-Turkish relationship an unquestionably recognized one.
At this point I would like to acknowledge, with special thanks, the contribution of Fred Hamori who provided the 200 word concept group Hymes List.
The Sumerian being an ancient and dead language, its present day reading has been done through the intermediary of Akkadian and other Semitic languages. Since language is the most important part of any culture, those who did not live the Sumerian culture that created the Sumerian language would not be able to define exact meanings of Sumerian words no matter how efficient readers they may be of the Sumerian cuneiform writing system. Therefore some degree of inexactness is expected in the definition and meaning of each Sumerian word. However, since the list given below is based on the works of some of the eminent scholars of the field, it can be viewed as up to date.
As for the Turkic correspondences of the Sumerian words given in the list below, I have tried to find Turkish correspondences from archaic as well as the living Turkic languages.
According to Dell Hymes, [Dell Hymes, “Lexikostatistics so far”, Current Antropology, pages 30-31 University of Chicago, 1960], we have the following mathematical relationship between languages that have the same root but separated from each other in the past:
t = log c: log r where t is the time of separation, c is the remaining root words, r is the ratio of remaining words to original. (86 words left after 1,000 years based on tests)
If t = 1,000 years, Nt/No = r**(1/1000) = c where Nt is the total root words remaining after time separation t and No is the number of root words from the root language in the list (time zero)
t/1000 * log r = log c
t/1000 = log c/ log r where logr = log 0.86
if t = 5000 years then 5000/1000 = 5 ; 5 = log c / log r ; 5 * log r = log c or 5 * log 0.86 = log c;
log c= 5* ( 0.93450 -1 ) = (4.67250 – 5); alog c = c = alog(0.67250 -1) = 4.704/10 = .4704
or 47% of the remaining words.
Thus, a language that has 47% of the root words of the following Sumerian list can be a direct descendant of that language acording to Hymes. Please note that this mathematical relationship by Hymes was for 100 selected words for which reader is asked to see Fred Hamori’s home page.