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REAL, sponsored by Korea Research Foundation (KRF), stands for Researches on Endangered Altaic Languages, carried out by Altaic Society of Korea.(ASK)

The aims of REAL are to collect data of the languages which are known to belong to Altaic languages and to documenting those data:

(1) Various views on the genealogy of Korean have been presented so far. Among them, that Korean is belonging to Altaic languages is generally accepted. But, there are also many scholars who object to this view.

(2) In the end of the 20th century, a lot of linguists presented a new subject of research on the endangered languages, being aware of the importance of diversity in languages and cultures. At the end of the 21th century, it is estimated that about 6,000 languages in the present of the world will fall to about 3,000. Most of Altaic languages, especially Manchu-Tungusic languages, are endangered ones.

(1) The first term project began from September, 2003, and was finished in the end of August, 2006. Participants were: 9 professors, 17 researchers of doctoral degree, 47 assistants of graduate and undergraduate students.

(2) The second term project began from July 2006, and was finished in the end of June, 2009. Participants were: 5 professors, 6 researchers of doctoral degree, 20 assistants of graduate and undergraduate students. Compared to the first project, the number was decreased in this project, because building of DB of comparative vocabulary in Korean and Altaic languages was completed in the first project.

(1) The REAL has been carried out, based on fieldwork. For this fieldwork, we prepared questionnaire which contains about 2,700 lexical items; 344 sentences of basic conversation; 279 sentences for grammatical items.

(2) We use the following instruments in the fieldwork:

  1. Audio recorder: SONY DAT TCD-100, Marantz PMD 670, Sound Device 722
  2. Video recorder: SONY DSR-PDX10, SONY DCR-TRV940, SONY HDR-FX1
  3. Microphone: Audiotechnica ATM75, AKG C420, Shure SM58

(3) We digitalize the collected data, and mark and extract each item with Sony Soundforge for audio data and Window Movie Maker for video data.

We consider that the number of Altaic languages is 55, and classify 11 of them as Manchu-Tungusic branch, 10 of them as Mongolian one, 34 of them as Turkic one. The followings are the languages which we have researched according to the above methods. We are offering parts of the result on WEB services (http://altaireal.snu.ac.kr/, revising now) to share them with other scholars.

(1) Manchu-Tungusic Branch

  1. Russia: Evenki, Nanai, Udihe, Ewen,
  2. China: Orochen (=Ewenki in Russia), Sibe, Manchu

(2) Mongolian Branch

  1. Russia: Buriat, Kalmyk-Oirat
  2. China: Dagur, Barga Buriat, East Yugur, Monguor, Kalmyk-Oirat
  3. Mongol: Oirat dialect, Darhat dialect, Khamnigan dialect

(3) Turkic Branch

  1. Russia: Khakas, Altai, Shor, Yakut, Chuvash, Tuvan, Chulym Turkish, Baraba Tatar, Dolgan, Bashkir, Tatar
  2. China: Fuyu Kirghiz, Tuvan, West Yugur, Salar
  3. The others: Turkmen (Turkmenistan), Kazakh (Kazakhstan), Gagauz (Ukraine), Urum (Ukraine), Krymchak (Ukraine), Karaim (Lithuania, Ukraine), Tofa (Mongol), Kirghiz (Kyrgyzstan)

  1. Documentation of Endangered Altaic Languages(in Korean). Seoul: Taehaksa Press.
  2. Materials of Spoken Manchu. Seoul: SNU Press.
  3. A Study of the Tacheng Dialect of the Dagur Language. Seoul: SNU Press.
  4. A Study of the Middle Chulym Dialect of the Chulym Language. Seoul: SNU Press.

From May 1, 2010, with funding from the National Research Foundation (formerly the Korea Research Foundation), we started the "Languages and Culture of the Indigenous Peoples of the Amur River" Project, which will run for three years.

 
 
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