Sumeroaltaic Wiki


  • Sumeroaltaic
    • kur-k(ur) vessel
  • Sumerian
    • gurgur (gur-gur) a vessel; a unit of liquid capacity
  • Altaic

Long-Term Connections (Eurasiatic ḳVrḳV a k. of vessel)

Notes: The two Akkadian derivations gurgguru and kurkurratu, "(holding lard)" and "(a vessel)" respectively, confirm that this is an actually reduplicated root. It also occurs very (very) archaically in Sumerian - (3000-2500 BC) 41, (2500-2000 BC) 70, (2000-1500 BC) 7 - the ratio 41/70 is very high in terms of archaic occurrences - in my own observation.

In this case, long-term connections are found only in Indo-European and Dravidian, both of which present incomplete reduplication - fitting a corruption from a Babylonian loan; Indo-European k(')rōuk(')-, -g(')- "a k. of vessel" is found in Old Greek, Germanic, and Celtic; Dravidian kur-k- "a k. of basket" is found only in South Dravidian (there is also a footnote suggestion of North Caucasian q̇wVrq̇_V).

The root is more concentrated in Altaic, though it also generally lacks genuine reduplication - suggesting an earlier PSA back-loan but really a Babylonian derivation (actually really Sumerian > Old Babylonian (?) > Altaic > etc.). See Mongolian korgu "a k. of vessel", Tungus-Manchu kurke "vessel made of birch bark", Turkic Körke "wooden dish, bowl" also Oyrat kürgü 'a birch-bark container', and Korean kúkì "vessel, dipper, a measure of weight". Apparently it became a common eastern weight term; but it originally reflect a large vessel (a volume measure in Sumerian).