[b-hebrew] "adam" in Turkish

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Apr 5 08:27:23 EDT 2004

On 04/04/2004 09:37, CS Bartholomew wrote:

>I was reviewing **B. Blake's definition of case and came across a Turkish
>example with the word "adam" which means man. Well, this looks kind of
>familiar does it not?
>Is "adam" in Turkish a loan word and if so from what language?
>Clay Bartholomew 
"adam" is also used in Azerbaijani and Persian, but the etymological 
dictionaries of both languages list it as a loan from Arabic. In Turkish 
and Azerbaijani it is also contrasted with the name Adam (which is 
identical in Arabic and Persian as well as in Hebrew), "Adem" in Turkish 
and "Adəm" in Azerbaijani. This latter form is the more regular loan 
form from Arabic, e/ə representing Arabic short a, but in the Turkic 
languages the common noun has been adjusted to fit Turkic vowel harmony 

The word is found in a wide range of Semitic languages, and so is 
proto-Semitic (perhaps going back to Adam himself?) rather than a loan 
from Hebrew into Arabic.

One interesting difference: "adam" in Turkish means "male human", but in 
Azerbaijani and Persian it is gender generic, as apparently in Hebrew 
and other Semitic languages.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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