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Khazarian/Bulgar (was: Words for "boredom")

From:Pavel Iosad <pavel_iosad@...>
Date:Tuesday, June 18, 2002, 18:09

> Could you give me some details too? > One of my not-at-all-worked-on conlang ideas is a modern Khazarian > language, but i haven't found anything at all about the > Khazar language > besides old books from the fifties that say things like "at > this point we > don't really know anything about the language(s) of the Khazar > Kaghanate".
Here goes. This is a quote from The Linguistic Encyclopedic Dictionary, date of issue 1990. Translation mine Khazarian language [snip ethnographic stuff] The data about Kh.l., preserved in Byzantic, Arabic, Jewish and other historical sources, as well as ethno- and toponymic data, allow us to postulate its relationship to the Turkic family and its proximity to Bulgar language. Medieval historians note the proximity of the Khazar language to the language of the Bulgars (al-'Istahri) ad the Pechenegs (Mahmud Kashgari). It was postulated as Turkic by V.V.Grigorjev, A.A.Kunik, A. Vamberi, V.V. Barthold, and the latter noted its genetic relationship to Chuvash, which has linguistic foundations: e.g., the name o the Khazar town of Sarkel, which the contemporaries translated as 'White Fortress', correlates to mod. Chuvash _šura( kil/gil_ [the first is an s-hacek, and a( is an a-breve] 'white house'. N.A.Baskakov sees the toponyms Itil, Sarkel, Semender, Balanžar [it's a z-hacek], Bek Tarluv as the earliest extant Khazar words. Scientists find traces of Khazar influence in modern Turkic languages: in the language of the Crimean Qaraim(s) :-) (K.M.Musaev), Kumyk (I.Kerimov), northern dialects of Azerbaijani (N.Z.Gadzhieva, V.L.Gukasyan). However, the identification of the Khazar language is not a closed problem yet, and much is currently only hypothetic. There have been attempts (Gadzhieva, B.A.serebrennikov)to reconstruct the Khazar tense system using the methods of comparative and areal linguistics. Such attempts are based on 1) the structure of this system in the closely related Chuvash language and 2) traces of Khazars influence in various dialects of Azerbaijani. Thus, the paradigms of the present tense in -at is common to Chuvash and some dialects of Azerbaijani; the same can be said of the Azerbaijani present-past in -y/-i [y is the Cyrillic /bl/] (in dialects) and the Chuvash future in -y, of the past continuous in -atdy/-atty and so on [gah! :-(]. The important thing here is not the similarity of formats, but the proximity of the systems. Bibliography: Artamonov M.I. Istoriya xazar. L[eningrad]., 1962 [update: there has been reprint last year in Moscow, this one has long been out of print] Baskakov N.A. Vvedeniye v izuchenie tyurkskix yazykov. M[oscow]., 1969 Pletneva S.A. Xazary. M., 1976 Gadzhieva N.Z., Serebrennikov B.A. Areal'naya lingvistika i problema vosstanovleniya nekotoryx chert ischeznuvshix yazykov. 'Sovietskaya tyurkologiya', 1977, #3. Zajczkowsky A., Ze studiów nad zagadnieniem chazarskim. Kr[aków], 1947. Goldin P.B. Hazar Studien, Bdpst, 1980. And of interest perhaps... Bulgar language [snip ethnographic stuff] Data are very scanty and may be found mainly in toponyms and names in V-XIV centuries authors, in Finno-Ugric and Slavic borrowings, a Bulgar list of rulers. Standalone lexemes are to be found in ibn Fadlan (X century) and Mahmud Kashgari (XiI c.). Most of the data are tombstone carvings (XII-XIV), mostly uniform and poor in content. Written in Arab letters. The inscriptions reflect a relatively early stage of the language. Traces of t-, dZ- and j- dialects can be found, and latter is a reflection of a koine which has been the base for the literary language - a local variant of Türki. The B.l. is characterized by rhoticism and lambdaism, and differs from the closely related Chuvash in several phonetic and morphological aspects [gah! :-(] Bibliography: [the same opus by Baskakov] Xakimzyanov F.S. Yazyk epitafiy volzhskix bulgar. M., 1978 Pritsak O. Die bulgarische Fürstenliste nd die Sprache der Protobulgaren. Wiesbaden, 1955 Benzing J.Das Hunnische, Donaubolgarische und Wolgabolgarische // Philolofiae Turciae Fundamenta, t. 1, Wiesbaden, 1959. That's all I can find, being no Turkologist... Hope this helps, Pavel -- Pavel Iosad 'I am a philologist, and thus a misunderstood man' --JRR Tolkien, _The Notion Club Papers_