What's the relation between Germanic adjectival/adverbial suffixes

-ly, -lich, -lijk, ...

and Turkic suffixes

-lik -liq

that convert nouns/adjectives to nouns

1 Answer 1


Duden and other sources state that -lich is a grammaticalized form of the Middle High German līch ["body"] (which also gave rise to Leiche). -ly, -lich, -lijk (and Scandinavian forms) are actually all of similar derivation and converge to a single Germanic ancestral suffix (see discussion on details here).

The Turkic -lik appeared already in the Old Turkic times and probably was related to a similar in form and meaning Mongolian suffix (see e.g. here).

So, a hypothesis about common ancestry of the Germanic and the Turkic suffixes via borrowing is at least non-parsimonious. (Not to mention, that there are no genetic links between these two groups of languages.)

  • I thought there was no consensus that Turkic and Mongolic are related at all. There are definitely influences due to being neighbours though. Commented May 31, 2014 at 4:35
  • 1
    @hippietrail: "related" in this context means "could have been borrowed".
    – alephreish
    Commented May 31, 2014 at 8:09

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