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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Philology is a convenient term encompassing the aspects of epigraphy and literature, which are relevant to the overall cultural-linguistic picture. Altaic Philology is a study of the languages, literatures and written documents of the Altaic family of languages, which includes Turkic, Mongolian and Tungusic. Altaic family is combined with the Uralic family to form the Uralic-Altaic family or phylum. The Altaic language group or phylum comprises three large families or stocks: the Turkic (which may also be referred to as the Chuvash-Turkic), the Mongolian and the Tungusic or Manchu-Tungus. Some languages and dialects of the three stocks have virtually disappeared as living languages and dialects. The main cause of the disappearance of these minority languages is the overwhelming influence of the two majority languages, namely Russian (in Siberia, Manchuria, Central and Western Asia) and Chinese (in Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, Qinghai and Xinjiang).

Keywords: Altaic Philology; Chinese; Mongolian; Russian; Tungusic; Turkic; Uralic-Altaic

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