The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Senri Ethnological Studies (SES)

No.44 Linguistic Diversity and National Borders of Tungusic

March 31, 1997 Publication

TOSHIRO TSUMAGARI:Otaru University of Commerce

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The Tungusic family comprises ten distinguishable languages, each of which can be subdivided into several dialects. All these languages and dialects are distributed in Russia and China, with the exception of Evenki, which is possibly also spoken in Outer Mongolia. In the present paper, the correlation between linguistic diversity and national borders is discussed from the points of view of population, classification, distribution, and typology. The discussion of typological differences focuses on morphology and syntax, with special attention being paid to the typologically peculiar Manchu language, as well as to Nanay and Evenki, both of which are distributed across the border. The observations presented reveal some state-specific features, especially on the Chinese side, which allow conclusions to be drawn concerning the influence of prestige languages.

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