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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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The Language and Cultural Contacts of the Population in Eastern Europe


Before the arrival of the Slavs, Eastern Europe for three millennia was inhabited by various Indo-European, Finno-Ugric, Turkic, North Caucasian, and even Semitic tribes, which not only clashed with each other, but also had trade relations and, as a result, exchanged technological experience, cultural achievements, and even worldview ideas (see the map below).


Ethno-cultural map of Eastern Europe for the period from the 5th to the 3rd millennium BC


The interaction between people of Eastern Europe was reflected in the languages of these peoples and this helps to restore the civilization process that took place here:


It is well-known that loanwords are a significant source of information about the cultural relationships among the people on the stage of history. When we turn to prehistory, loanwords and other “borrowed” elements increase in importance as evidence of the prehistory of a people and its contacts with other peoples. Such linguistic data are often the best available evidence, even when it can be correlated with archaeological pieces of evidence. For some areas and periods, it is the only source of information. For this reason, it demands and deserves to be approached in a systematic fashion (ANDERSEN HENNING. 2001: 1).


When borrowing from one language to another, besides phonetic transformations, semantic transformations of borrowed words very often occur and the meanings of the words can vary from close to antonymic. Sometimes the transformation of meaning is unexpected, but, nevertheless, logical, what can be shown by such an example. We came to the conclusion that the creators of the Tripillian culture were some Semitic tribes. The evidence is strong enough that the creators of the Trypillian culture were the people of Semitic ethnicity (see SemiticTribes in Eastern Europe at Prehistoric Time). The Trypollians stood at a higher level of development, therefore the neighboring Turks and Indo-Europeans could borrow many words of the agricultural character from them. We can assume that the Trypolians had words like Hebrew דוחן (dokhan), Ar. الدخن (aldakhn) “millet” and Hebr. דגן (dagan) "grain, cereal", borrowed by the Türks in barter trade with the expansion of their semantic field. In modern Turkic languages, such words have adopted the meaning "grain", "seed, seed", "kin", "tribe". (Chuv. tăkhăm, Tur. tohum, Karach., Balk. tuqum, tuuğan, Kaz tuğan, Tat. tuganlyk, Turkm. dogan, tokhum, Gag. toom, Kurg. tukum a. o.). The words of this semantic field are difficult to separate from the native Türkic ones originating from the ancient Turkic. doγ-/toγ- "to be born", but the possibility of such a connection is not considered in the etymological dictionary of the Turkic language in the article "DOǦ" (SEVORTIAN E.V. 1980: 245-247). The common Türkic arpa "barley" could also be borrowed from the Trypillians, taking into account the Hebrew. בָּר (bar) “cereals”, since the origin of this word has no satisfactory explanation. Good correspondence for it gr. ἄλφι "barley" is assumed to be random in the specified dictionary (SEVORTIAN E.V. 1974: 176-177), however, the origin of the Greek word from the Türkic is allowed by other linguists (FRISK H. 1960. V. I: 81). In some Turkic languages, the words yrash/arysh are used for the name of rye. Obviously, they are believed to be borrowed from Russian, but Russian rozh' itself, like similar words in other Indo-European languages, does not have a reliable etymology. Sound similarity for it in Gr. ὄρυζα "rice" is also considered to be random (KLUGE FRIEDRICH. 1989: 603), but the possibility of connection of these words with the Hebr. אוֹרֶז (orez) and ar. أرز (arz) “rice” is not considered. However, this cannot be ruled out.

Understanding grain as a commodity led to a rethinking of the meaning of the word and, at the same time, to its phonetic transformation in other languages. In this direction, the original Türk. doğan could become the name of other goods such as salt, livestock, etc., cf. Chech. däkhni «property, livestock», Kab. dyžyn "silver". It is possible that in the Turkic languages some of these words after the metathesis took the form *tanag/täng and got the meaning "money" (cf. Chuv. tenkĕ "silver coin", Kaz. teŋge"coin, money", etc.).

Bullions of metal, especially the most readily available silver and copper, gradually took on the function of money, and in this function were to get their name. The Trypillians might have had the word *kemel, corresponding to Hebr. gemel “to repay” with which can be connected Chuv. kěmel "silver". The ancestors of the Chuvashes, the ancient Bulgars, were the closest neighbors of the Trypillians and had to have trade relations with them. When using silver as the equivalent of paying for any commodity, the Bulgars rethought the corresponding Tripolian word *kemel as the name of the metal. In other Turkic languages, silver is called by kümüš or by others similar to it, which originated from kümüĺ (for more details on this phonological transformation, see About the Nature of the Rhotacism and Zetacism in the Altaic languages). The Chuvash language has preserved the most ancient features of the Pra-Türkic language, therefore, the transformation of the Trypillian word into modern Türkic ones has a logical foundation. However, modern Türkologists believe that the name of silver in the Pra-Türkic language is borrowed from ancient Chinese, restoring OChin. *kəmliw as consisting of OChin. kəm "metal" and r(h)ēw "bright silver" (DYBO A.V. 2007: 67). Doubtful construction and phonetic correspondence were selected from an unshakable prejudice about the Altai ancestral home of the Turks.

The Türkic name of copper baqyr (Chuv. pǎxǎr ) was formed according to the same scheme, but there is complete confusion among Türkologists about its origin (see SEVORTIAN E.V. 1976: 45-47). This name, as well as the name of cattle, has a common root in the Trypillian language, in which the existence of the word *vakar “bull” or “cow” supposed [Ar. بقرة (bakara) "cow", Hebrew. בָּקָר (bakar) “cattle”]. If the original word underwent a semantic transformation for the name copper, then the originating from it is PT *ögüz retained its original meaning. In the Chuvash language, it has a form close to the Semitic words văkăr "bull". The transformation into ögüz occurred according to the same law as the transformation of kěmel into kümüš. Türkologists did not notice such a possibility and are looking for another explanation for the origin of the Türkic word (SEVORTIAN E.V. 1976: 521-523).

Defined by using the graphic-analytical method habitats of native speakers of certain languages ​​allow purposefully compare binary language correspondences between Indo-European and Finno -Ugric, Indo-European and Turkic, and between the Finno-Ugric and Turkic languages. The map below shows that some of the areas of speakers of different language families are located nearby. The study of the relationships between the languages ​​of these areas can provide especially relevant material for the study of the cultural ties of the population of Eastern Europe. This refers to the Iranian-Vepsian and Iranian-Mordvinic, Mari-Turkic, Hungarian-Turkic, Armenian-Turkic, and, in particular, the Armenian-Oguz (Gagauz) correspondences. The material obtained as a result of this work was presented in the form of Summary table of lexical correspondences , which, thanks to its clarity, facilitates the establishment of ways of spreading cultural and technological innovations.


At left: The habitats of the first speakers of the distinct Indo-European, Finno-Ugric, and Turkic languages


In this narrative, with rare exceptions, the goal is not to etymologize correspondences and establish a language as the source of borrowing.

This could be the next step of research by narrow specialists. The search for correspondences did not exclude the possibility that long-standing linguistic connections could be distorted by later borrowings and intrusions, as, for example, in the case of Germanic and Finno-Baltic languages.

As can be seen from the location of the Veps area on the common Finno-Ugric space, the data of the Veps language are very important for characterizing the Iranian-Finno-Ugric language relations, and Veps has many correspondences to Iranian words, and only a small part of them is shown in the table below. In prehistoric times, undeveloped ethnic identity did not interfere with contacts between multilingual tribes. New words spread at the same speed in all directions from the place of their origin, if there was a real need for them. Therefore, those ancient borrowings are subject to the same distribution law as the words of closely related languages, although they cannot be considered isoglosses in the full sense of the word because of the phonetic features of the languages ​​of different groups. Nevertheless, it is more correct to speak not about borrowing, but about the foreign language origin of individual words. In later times, with the growth of ethnic self-awareness and the greater divergence of languages ​​in their development, additional barriers already arose on the path of spreading new words.

At the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC, when the Indo-Aryans, Phrygians, Thracians, and Armenians left their ancestral areas, they were occupied by Iranian tribes, settling a large space in which the Proto-Iranian language was divided into distinct dialects into ethnic-forming regions (see map below).


Settlement space of the Iranic tribes in the II millennium BC.


On the map, the boundaries of the ethno-forming areas are marked with red and blue dots. The blue dots also mark the border between the "western" and "eastern" Iranian languages.

The location of the Baluchi language area adjacent to the Veps area should have resulted in the greatest number of common linguistic elements between the Baluchi and Vepsian languages, however, due to the lack of a large dictionary of the Baloch language, it is impossible to be convinced of this. Nevertheless, the lexical matches found can be very convincing. For example, the Vepsian word naine "daughter-in-law" corresponds well to Bel. na'ānē "daughter" with janaine "woman". It is clear that under the dual-clan organization of primitive society when men had to marry women from a different clan, one and the same woman was a daughter for Baloch parents and a daughter-in-law for her husband's family. Thus, not only the lexical parallel but such evidence of typical marriage unions confirm the proximity of the Veps and the Baluch. It is possible that Bal. pērok "grandfather" corresponds to Veps. per’eh "family".

K. Häkkinen believes that Fin. paksu, Est. and Veps. paks "fat, thick" are Iranian loan-words, but he gives as match only Bal. baz "thick, dense" (HÄKKINEN KAISA>. 2007: 860). Of the other Iranian, a similar word is found only in Ossetian – bæz "fat, thick". The ancestors of the Ossetians and Baluchi populated the adjacent habitats. There is still not enough lexical material from the Baluchi language, but a comparative analysis of the Vepsian language with other Iranian languages ​​was carried out. As a result of this analysis, it turned out that the largest number of mutual words with Veps are present in Kurdish – 76, Ossetian has 65 mutual words with Veps, Persian – 62, Talyshi – 61 words, Gilaki – 56, Pashto – 45 common words. It can be seen on the map that the areas of the Kurdish and Ossetian languages ​​are the closest, except for the Baluchi area, to the area of ​​the Vepsian language, and the language contacts between the people of these areas should also be quite close.

Iranian-Mordvinic linguistic connections are known better than the Iranian-Veps ones, although they are usually considered within the framework of the relations of the Finno-Ugric languages with Indo-Iranian, and sometimes even appear only Indo-Mordvinic or Indo-Hungarian parallels without Iranian matches. It makes an impression of the same position of the Indian and Iranian languages to Finno-Ugric. This approach reflects the fact that modern linguists are in thrall to old ideas and conclusions, formed back in the 19th century on the basis of the first general research and unsubstantiated concepts when it was considered self-evident the existence of the Indo-Iranian community. Here is a typical example of such a review: "Contact and even ethnic mixing of the Indo-Iranians with the Finno-Ugrians continued in the forest-steppe zone of Eastern Europe during the whole time" (HARMATTA J., 1981, 79). However, when considering the Indian-Finno-Ugric and Iranian-Finno-Ugric language relations separately, the presence of a match between, for example, the Mordvinic and the Indian words, such match can be found also in Iranian. This is understandable since the area of the Iranian language was closer to the Mordvinic Urheimat than the area of the Indo-Aryans.

The areas of the Kurdish and Talysh languages border the area of the Mordvinic language. Accordingly, of all Iranian languages, except Ossetian, Talysh and Kurdish have the greatest number of common words with Moksha and Erzya languages ​​- 62 each. In Ossetian, there are 67 such words, but some of them come from the times of later language contacts between Mordvinic and Ossetian ancestors in the Scythian time. It should be noted, on occasion, that the numerical data presented here on the connections of individual pairs of languages ​​do not exhaust their present number and are used only before comparison between themselves, being taken from the same representative sample of family. With an increase in the sample size, we will receive new data that should maintain its ratio. Examples of separate connections between the Talysh and Moksha and Erzya languages ​​are given below.

Talishi-Mordvinic matches:

Tal. arə "to like" – Mok. yor-ams "to want";

Tal. vəšy "hunger" – Mok. vacha, Erz. vacho "hungry";

Tal. kandy "bee" – Mok.kendi "wasp";

Tal. küm "to cover" – Mok. komach-ams "to cover";

Tal. kandul "hollow" – Erz. kundo "hollow";

Tal. latə "wedge" – Erz. lacho "wedge";

Tal. mejl "to want" - Mok. m'al' "wish";

Tal. se "to take" – Mok s'avoms, Erz/ saems "to take";

Tal. tiši "sprout" - Mok. tishe "grass";

Tal. tyk. "finish" – Mok. t'uk "finish"

Tal. vədə "a child" – Mok. eyde "a child".


Among the possible Kurdish-Mordvinic separate ties, the following examples can be given:

Kurd leyi "stream" – Mok. l'ay, Erz. ley "river",

Kurd çêl "cow" – Mok. skal "heifer", Erz. skal "cow",

Kurd sutin "to rub" – Mok. s'uder'-ams "to smouth, stroke",

Kurd ceh "barley" – Mok. chuzh, Erz. shuzh "barley".


One can consider also such little-known Iranian-Mordvinic correspondences:

Mok., Erz. kev "stone" – Kurd. çew "sand, gravel";

Mok. patsia "wing" – Pers. bazu "hand, arm", Os. bazyr "wing", Pashto bâzu "hand, arm”, Kurd. bazik "wing";

Mok. kichkor, Erz. kichkere"wry, curved" – Tal., Gil. kəj, Pers. käj, Yagn. kaja "wry, curved";

Mok., Erz. pench "spoon" – Kurd penc "hand", Tal penjə "paw", Pashto panja "paw";

Mok., Erz. pona "wool, hair" – Yazg. pon "feather", Shugn. pum "down";

Erzia torkhtav "turbidmuddy" – Gil. tarik, Pashto tаrik, Tal. toik "dark".


Calculations of lexical matches individual Finno-Ugric languages ​​with common Turkic lexical fund gave the following results: Mari – 55 matches, Hungarian – 41, Udmurt – 32, Mordvinic – 29, Khanty – 22, Komi – 21, Estonian – 21, Finland – 17 Veps – 14, Mansi – 14. In addition, Mari and Hungarian languages have a very large number of isolated lexical parallels with some Turkic languages, they are present also in the Mordvinic and Udmurt languages. Most of them were borrowed from the Tatars, Chuvash, and other Turkic languages in later and even relatively recent historical times. It makes no sense to give examples of numerous Finno-Ugric-Turkic correspondences since in most cases it is almost impossible to separate ancient and later borrowings. However, the possible mutual correspondences of the Hungarian and the Yakut language can not be explained by later borrowings, since in historical times the ancestors of the Hungarians and the Yakuts had no contact with each other. More than that – in accordance with now existing notions of ethnogenesis of the Magyars and Yakuts – they never could contact at all. If the ancestors of the Hungarians and the Yakuts, indeed, as shown on the map, inhabited neighboring habitats, some traces of mutual contacts should have left in their languages and they can be found. Separate Hungarian-Yakut matches without correspondences in other languages can be convincing. An interesting match according to A. Rona Tas is given by M. Erdal – the Hungarian expression "horse of color sar" corresponds to Yak. ās in the same sense (the initial s disappears sometimes in the Yakut language and s ˂ r) and he emphasizes the geographical remoteness of these languages (ERDAL MARSEL, 2005, 130). Other examples are as follows: Hung. örök "eternal" – Yak. örgö dieri "long", Hung. hiúz "lynx" corresponds well Yak. üüs "lynx". The last Hungarian word is noted in the Etymological dictionary (ZAICZ GÁBOR. 2006) as "Ismeretlen eredetű" that is of unknown origin, but there are other Hungarian-Yakut matches: Hung. homok "sand" – Yak. qumax "the same", Hung. hattyú – Yak. kütän "heron". The last word meaning "swan" is present in the Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, and in the sense of "heron" in the Khanty and Mansi languages. Areas of all these languages are very close to each other. Of course, other Hungarian-Yakut matches can be found too.

In general, for a long time, some linguists attributed the Hungarian language to Turkic, so many have common features. The close proximity of the Finno-Ugric and Turkic spaces is confirmed by the known common Turkic-Finno-Ugric grammatical features such as, for example, vowel harmony, lack of genders, expression of possessive by personal endings, adverbial relations by postpositions instead of prepositions, etc.

The number of Indo-European-Türkic matches in the Armenian, Greek, Germanic, Baltic, Indian, and Iranian languages is about the same and counts two or three dozen words. Türkic words in Slavic languages are of later origin (MENGES KARL H., 1990: 117). The Armenian language has more than two dozen isolated matches to Türkic roots. Some deal of them might have been borrowed already in historical times from the Turkish and Azerbaijani languages, but among them are which shows very old borrowing by their sound structure. At first, it is Arm. antař "forest", which exactly corresponds to Gag. andyz "grove of bushes". The issue of mutual crossings of r and s, z in Türkic languages, known as the phenomenon of the rhotacism-zetacism, is very complicated (see. The Hypothesis about the Nature of the Rhotacism and Zetacism in the Altaic languages), we will consider it later, but these phenomena have already occurred in prehistoric times. Hr. Acharyan in his etymological dictionary, without considering the possibility of the Turkic origin of the Armenian word, supposed that it derived from the Indo-European root der-, meaning "a tree", and gives to it a parallel in Sanskrit – vanatara (ACHARRJAN HR. 1971). However, the question of the origin of the word, in this case, is not important, important for us is the presence of the Armenian-Gagauz parallel. Other Türkic languages also have words andyz but of different sense (eg Balk., Bashk., Kum. andyz "the plant Carlina"). The similarity of the senses of the Armenian and Gagauz words may indicate the ancient Armenian-Gagauz (Oghuz) contacts when the ancient speakers of these languages populated neighboring habitats on the left bank of the Dnieper. The boundary between them runs either on the Psel or on the Sula River. The boundary between steppe and forest-steppe goes along the Psel River, so perhaps this river separated the cattle-breeding nomadic Oghuz from the hunting tribes of the ancient Armenians. Those ancient contacts are also confirmed by the isolated pairs of Arm gjul "village" – Gag küü "village" and Arm gor "lamb" originated which from the Türk. gozy/kuzy "lamb", as well as some other parallels.

But there is another interesting match, which undoubtedly binds the Türkic, Finno-Ugric, and Indo-European spaces. The Armenian language has the word kamur, Greek has γαφυρα, the Mari language has kuwari, which all have the same meaning "bridge, dam" and all they originated from the ancient Türkic word *kobur which now exists in all Türkic languages (except, perhaps, Khakas) and has the forms köpür, küper, kövür (Chuv kěper, Karach., Bulk. köpür, Tat. küper, etc.) Borrowing this word namely from Old Turkic is attested not only by its widespread use in the Turkic languages but also the fact that, in addition to the bridge, the Turks had common words for the names of other hydraulic structures and floating means: gemi "boat", kürek "paddle". The rivers in the Turkic region are relatively small, so it was easier for the Turks to use them for various purposes than their neighbors, and they obviously began to do this before them, as shown by the examples given. Sir Gerard Clauson suggests originating the Turkic words for the bridge from the root köp- “foam, boil,” which is not convincing at all. Similar words are found in Indo-European languages and have the meaning “goat” (Lat. caper, Celt. caer, gabor, etc). Obviously, both Turkic and Indo-European words contain the Nostratic root (with the meaning “goat”), but in the Turkic languages, the word received a semantic transformation to the meaning “bridge”, with which it was borrowed into Armenian and Greek. Later, words appeared in some Germanic languages with a meaning close to the meaning of “bridge”, but they were already borrowed from the Latin (Dt. keper, Ger. Käpfer etc). These examples fit well within the scope of the ancients, so far unexplained Armenian-Türkic relations, which about, for example, H. Birnbaum said, referring to the observation of Baudouin de Courtenay:


Armenian is ranked to the Aryan-European branch of languages, and indeed he belongs to it by many its sides, but at the same time, it can be put by some particulars of his parts and in general and by some key features next to the languages, if not Turk-Tatar or Turanian, then at least to languages very close to the latter. For example, the Armenian language at decline reflected the external, physical, spatial world mostly by Tatar manner (Cases Locativus, Ablativus, Instrumentalis), but the reflection of public relations is a continuation of Aryo-European forms (Genetivus, Dativus, Accusativus). (BIRNBAUM H. 1993:13.)


Taking into consideration that the location of the Armenian Urheimat in close proximity with the Türkic region (Birnbaum uses instead of "Türk" adopted in the West, the term "Turko-Tatar" or simply "Tartar" – VS), one can just understand the reason of ancient Armenian-Türkic relations.

Türkic influences extended, obviously, not only to the neighboring areas but even further, down to the settlements of the ancient Italics and even Greeks. The area of uprising Italic language was located not far from the Türkic region on the right bank of the Dnieper, so Latin words of unknown origin can have matches in the Türkic languages.

The Türkic-Italic lexical parallels have sometimes match and in the Greek language. Türkic influences on Greek are evidenced also by other facts. Greek suffixes of oncoming and remove (-de and -θen) perform the same function as Türkic postpositions -da, -de and -dan, -den applied for the formation of Locative answering the question where? where from? Separate Greek-Türkic lexical relations are scanty and this is understandable because the Greek area was separated from the Türkic territory by the Armenian area. Therefore Armenian as mediator between the Greek and Türkic languages could have correspondences to Greek-Türkic lexical parallels.

The lexical matches of Indo-European and Turkic languages are considered more fully in the section Traces of Contacts between the Türks and Indo-Europeans in Vocabularies

In general, we find, comparing with Indo-European and Finno-Ugric languages, a much larger number of common Türkic words with meanings that show a higher level of culture and social relations of the Türks. There are very little material evidences of the ancient Turkic culture due to the fragility of the raw materials used – felt, leather, wood, and furs, but the features of the Turkic languages allow us to properly estimate the culture of the Türks. In particular, the existence of a developed farming and especially cattle-breading at Türks is evidenced by such common Türkic words: ajgyr "a stallion", akja "money" (the primary meaning, apparently, "cost", "price"), alma "apple", altyn "gold", arpa "barley", at "a horse", bajtal "a mare ", balta "an ax ", beg "lord", boz "an awl", bosaga "threshold", bög "dam", buga "a bull", buzagy "a calf ", geči "a goat", gemi "a boat", dary "millet", demir "iron", ejer "a saddle", inek "a cow", it "a dog", jaby "a horse", jaj "a bow", jal "a mane", jelin "udder “, jigit "rider", jorga "amble", kazan "a pot ", kamčy "a whip", kiš "to neigh", kömür "coal", köpür "a bridge", kul "a slave", kürek "an oar", mal "cattle", öj "home", teker "wheel", tojnak "a hoof ", ujan "bridle", üzenni "stirrup ", etc. Perhaps some part of these words, but very little, has been spread to all Türks in later times, but the vast majority of words having similar meaning in Indo-European and Finno-Ugric are spread in no more than two or three languages. The explanation for this may be the geographical features of the Türkic areas provided not only more favourable conditions for development of agriculture and livestock, but also opportunities for closer contacts with the ancient agricultural cultures of the South Caucasus and Asia Minor.

Learning from their agriculture, Türks sharer obtained experience further to the northwest and northeast. This is evidenced by some of the lexical data, as the spread of cultivated plants is mainly accompanied by borrowing their names. Thus, Gr. αλφι, Alb el'p "barley" originated from Türkic arpa "barley." Sir Gerard Clawson suggests that the Türkic word can be borrowed from the Indo-European . (CLAUSON GERARD, Sir. 1972). This view is connected with the idea of Altaic Urheimat of Türks and that they allegedly could not engage in agriculture before the Indo-Europeans. The word arpa as the name of barley is common in Türkic languages and was also borrowed by some Finno-Ugric people (Hung. árpa “barley", Mari. ärva "chaff"). This word is present in only two Indo-European languages, Greek and Albanian. Finno-Ugric neighbours of Türks have borrowed from them, together with millet, and its name: common Türk. dary "millet" – Hung. dara "grits", Mari. tar "millet". But the Türkic word itself apparently comes from Georg keri "barley" (Abkh. a-k'ar). In addition to barley, north-eastern neighbours of the Türks borrowed from the oats and onion. Common Türkic sulu/sula/suly "oats" (from the Georg svili "rye") have matches in Mari. šülö "oats", Mord. suro "millet", Khanty sola "oats". Türkic sogan/sugan "onion" has such matches: Hung. hagyma, Udm. sugon, Mari. šogan, Komi sugon "onion". These loan-words are uindisputable, but to assume that the time of borrowing refers to the appearance of the Türks in Europe only in historical time, means to recognize the cultural backwardness of the Finno-Ugrians who allegedly did not know agriculture until the end of the first millennium AD.

Indo-European and Finno-Ugric horse names are borrowed in different forms from the Turkic languages, which use two names derived from the OT. at and jaby. J. Pokorny saw the origin of Indo-European names of horse in PIE *ekuos. However, taking into account the Gr. ιπποσ, Arm ձի ji(p), Celt ebol, it is reasonable to argue that these names of a horse, as well as Latin. juba "a mane", have been directly borrowed from Türkic. On the other hand, the presence of sibilants or guttural in horse names in other Indo-European languages (Latin equu, Lit ašwa, Ir asp, Toch. yakwe) compel presuming possibility of different ways of penetrating the Türkic original word in the Indo-European community. In the Finno-Ugric languages there are also horse names dating back to Turkic jaby, but their paths of penetration are also different. Fin. hepo (diminutive of it hevonen), Est. hobu, hobune, Veps., Karel. hebo were borrowed through the Greek (ιπποσ), Mari choma and Komi chan', both "foal", were borrowed from the Turkic directly.

The intertribal exchange trading existed already at that time (see more detailed Sketch on the Development of Merchandise in Eastern Europe at Prehistoric Times ). This is no surprise as the Tasmanians and Australians, retaining a primitive-communal way of life longer than other peoples, had exchange trade (CHEBOKSAROV N.N., CHEBOKSAROVA I.A. 1985: 20). M. Tovkaylo wrote in his dissertation:


… the location of Late Neolithic settlements may indicate also a possible means of local communities to control over natural crossings, therefore, over ways of moving and intertribal exchange, which gave them certain advantages in social development and the opportunity to expand their influence (TOVKAYLO M.T. 1998: 14)


No doubt the first product of exchange was the salt, because its deposits were present not everywhere, but need for salt increased in the Neolithic Age in consequence of the increasing role of plant foods in human diet. Other items of exchanging were livestock, dried and salted fish, tools and handicrafts. This is evidenced by words of different meanings which existed in the western Türkic languages and in the language of the neighbouring people and which can be combined by total sense "commodity, an object of exchange". Actually, this word is just tovar “a product” that has in the Armenian language a form tavar meaning "sheep", "flock of sheep". The Türkic languages have such forms: Kum tuuar "flock of seep", Tur tavar "property", "cattle", Balk., Kr-Tat. tu'ar "the same", Chuv tăvar "salt", tavăr "to return the debt", "revenge", "answer", etc. Chuvash words are very significant. The Chuvash ancestors, that is the Bulgars settled area close to the Gulf of Siwash, where long existed salt business. Thus, salt was for the Bulgars the main item of export therefore obtained meaning "commodity". The second Chuvash word stays semantically and phonetically a bit distant. But in principle, at first it could mean "to pay back", "to offset" that is semantically close to the "price" that could evolve from the meaning of "product exchange". Many Iranian languages have a word tabar/teber/tevir "an ax", and the Finno-Ugric words of this root have a meaning of "textile" (Saam tavyar, Mari tuvyr, Khanty tagar). Obviously, they all had the same origin as the instruments of labour, as products have been traded. The Slavic tur “aurochs”, Lat taurus, and Gr. τυροσ, "ox" have been referred here though competent professionals (Vasmer, Walde and Hofmann, Menges) of these relationships hold back. At last, Ger teuer, Eng. dear, Dt. duur) can be referred here too.

Türkic cultural influences were expanded mainly in the Finno-Ugric areas, and wider on the left bank of the Dnieper. In addition to agriculture terminology, the Finno-Ugrians and Indo-Europeans took from the Türks the names of some household items, weapons: common Türkic balta (old form survived into the Chuv purta) "an ax" have such matches: Hung bárd "an ax" (balta is late loan-word), Komi, Udm purt "a knife", O-Ind. parasu, Toch peret (Osset färät "an ax" is probably taken from Tocharish), Yazg parus "an ax", Gr. παλτον "a spear, dart", Lat barda "an ax", bardicium "a spear, hatchet", Ger Barte "hatchet", O-Sax barda. Common Türkic damar "sinew" was transformed into other languages in words meaning "string", "an arrow" "a spear", etc: O.Ind tomara "a spear, dart”, Khanty tamar "a blunt arrow" (for a squirrel, so as not to spoil the pelt), Veps tomar "an arrow", Osseti tomar "to direct" (from "an arrow" – V. ABAYEV), maybe Gr. τομοσ "acute"; common Türkic čana (also Georg čana) "sledge", čanah "jaw" have such matches: Saami soann, Est saan, Mansi sun, Hung szán, Osset dzonyg "sled", Arm սահնակ sahnak. K. Menges asserted the last word was common to the whole northern part of the Nostratic area (MENGES K.H. 1979: 205). Türkic loan-words on agriculture in Indo-European are very rare and on livestock industry almost none at all. However the Finno-Ugric languages have loan-words more concerned agriculture than livestock. For example, one can say only about Türk. ökuz/öguz/öküz (a proto-form *ökör) presented in Hung. ökör. We can draw two conclusions from these facts. First, before moving to Eastern Europe, the Indo-Europeans, Türkic and Finno-Ugric peoples were already really familiar with the basic types of domestic animals, and, secondly, the Indo-Europeans, in contrast to the Finno-Ugric peoples, have yet another source of cultural influences except for Türkic area.

The possibility of the existence of such a source is said, for example, the Indo-European and Türkic names of an apple as the fruit of the cultivated plants, which have reason to compare. The common Türkic alma "an apple" was borrowed in the Hungarian language in the same form, it takes the form ulma in Udmurt , and umar’ does in Mordvinic. In other Finno-Ugric languages, the names of apple and apple trees have different roots. In the same way, there is no common name for them in the Indo-European languages. The closest to these words is the proto-form *abel (from it Ger. Apfel, Rus. yabloko, Lith. abuolis, Latin place name Abella, Celt. avallo, aval). The Greeks called the apple μηλον (melon) and the apple tree μηλεα (melea, in Albanian apple is mollе, in Latin malus "apple tree", and the Hittite name is šamalu. Maybe Skt. ambla "sour" can be referred here too. T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov derive the proto-form of Indo-European names for apple as amlu and do not exclude their relationship with Trc alma (GAMKRELIDZE T.V., IVANOV V.V. 1984: 639).

It is believed that the closest to Eastern Europe apace of ​​the initial distribution of the apple tree is located in the Caucasus and Western Asia, therefore it is strange that the undoubtedly common name of the apple is present only in the Turkic languages. Obviously, after all, apple trees did not grow in the ancestral home of the Nostratic peoples at that time, and the area of ​​their distribution was limited to the territory of Iran. Therefore, it is very likely that the name apple and apple tree was borrowed into the Turkic and Indo-European languages ​​at the time when this fruit was brought to Eastern Europe by later newcomers from Asia Minor or the Caucasus, who were already engaged in the cultivation of fruit plants. At the same time, in both the Turkic and Indo-European languages, the name of the apple tree and the apple was borrowed from a common source, i.e. from a language whose speakers lived somewhere near the habitats of the Turks and Indo-Europeans (the Udmurt, Mari and Hungarian words are borrowed from the Turkic, and Mordovian – from the unknown Indo-European). The only place equally close to these two habitats is the Right Bank of the Dnieper, the territory of distribution in the 5th – 3rd millennium BC. Trypillian culture. Assuming the Semitic origin of the Trypillians, one can search ​​for a word similar to the Indo-European and Turkic names for apple and apple-tree in the Semitic languages. This word ثمرة samara is found in the Arabic language in the meaning of "fruit". Then, if you take into account the Hittite šamalu, the common proto-form for Indo-European and Türkic words could be *hamal, close to the Arabic word, and the Trypillians could also have a similar name, which Indo-Europeans and Türks borrowed together with fruit from them. This issue is discussed separately in the section "Semitic Tribes in Eastern Europe at Prehistoric Time".

There is one more fact testifying to the borrowing of the Indo-European name of the apple from the Turkic ones, namely OI. amlá"sour" рфы еру ьфеср шт Türkic alma "apple" if you take into account the taste of the apple. The Indo-Aryans did not have direct contacts with the Türks, but, obviously, a similar word existed in other Indo-European languages and took on other forms and a slightly different meaning: Lat. amārus "bitter", Gmc *ampra "spicy, bitter, unripe" (OE. ampre "sorrel", Sw., Nor. amper "bitter, spicy", Ger. Ampfer "sorrel"), Alb εmbl'ε "sweet".

As we see, the known Russian ethnologist L.N. Gumilyov was absolutely right when, noting the high cultural level of the Turkic Kaganate, he assumed the "ancient traditions and deep roots" of the steppe cultures. At the same time, more than material culture, he was amazed by the complex forms of life and social institutions of the Turks (el "community", majorat, the hierarchy of ranks, military discipline, diplomacy, etc) together with "a well-developed worldview opposed to the ideological systems of neighboring countries" [GUMILEV L.N. 2003: 7]. Nevertheless, we must recognize that in the conditions of the steppe the Turks could not lay a socio-economic base under a solid state, similar to those that the neighboring nations had at various times – the Chinese, Iranians, Arabs, Slavs. All their state formations did not differ in durability and were destroyed due to internal contradictions, often by the personal character of their leaders.

The formation of the culture of the Turks was influenced by the western neighbors of the Trypillians, while they borrowed little from their northern neighbors. Probably, the Indo-Europeans were the first in Eastern Europe beginning to fatten domestic pigs, which might be indicated by the names of two Indo-European names of pig: *sûs and *porќos. One of them was borrowed by Türks: Chuv sysna, Kaz. šoška, Khak soskha, Kyrg čočko and Finno-Ugric peoples did the second one: Fin. porsas, Udm. pars, Komi pors, Mansi purys all meaning "a pig". In the nomadic way of life, the Turks could not breed pigs that are not suitable for migrations, but the Turks knew this animal and, obviously, got to know it from Indo-Europeans. The Turkic languages have words of another root for naming name a pig: Turkm., Kirg. doŋuz. Gag., Tur. domuz, Kum. tonguz a.o. This word is absent in the peripheral Turkic languages – Chuvash, Tuva, and Yakut. The carriers of these languages were the first to leave their ancestral home, while the rest of the Turks remained in their places and, perhaps, began to breed pigs following the example of Indo-Europeans. The origin of the word remains unclear. There is an assumption that it is based on toŋ "large, strong " (SEVORTIAN E.V. 1980, 268).When meeting a domesticated pig from Indo-Europeans, the Turks could borrow an Indo-European word for it, for example, a similar dunč' (դունչ) "mug".

There is in the Vepsian language the word l'evaš "a little pie with filling" and in Finnish leivos "cake". These words are very similar in form and meaning to the word lavaš "pita, pitta bread" spread in the Caucasus and Central Asia. The Ossetians have lawyz "a fritter" and lawasi "pita". V. Abaev considered these words borrowed from some Turkic (А. ABAYEV V.I., 1959-1989). However, it is noted in the Etymological Dictionary of Turkic languages that the word has no recognized etymology (А. SEVORTIAN E.V. 2003, 5). Other Iranian languages have similar words too (Kurd. lewaş "pita", Afg. ravaš "bread", Pers. lävaš "pita" etc. There is reason to believe that Iranian, Veps, and Finnish words have a Germanic origin. Ger. Laib "loaf", Eng. loaf, Sw. (Dial.) lev, Got. hlaifs originate from GMC. *hlaibas. Derivatives without of initial h could be developed from this form in other languages – Ir. *laibas → lavaš → Veps. l'evaš. The Germanic word is associated with the Greek κλιβανοσ “stove” (KLUGE FRIEDRICH, SEEBOLD ELMAR. 1989: 425). Consequently, when the Greeks still remained in Ukraine, they already knew how to bake bread, and the Germans, along with the appropriate word, borrowed this skill from them. This word spread further throughout the region along with the technology of baking bread. Lit. klaips, Rus. “khleb” and other Slavic words refer to this root. Without a doubt, the Slavs borrowed the word for bread from Goths, along with many others, even in those ancient times, but not when the Goths settled in the Black Sea region.

Tne Iranian-Germanc vocabulary has also other common words. For example, the name of sour cream, butter (Ger. Rahm, OMG. rjúmi, OE ream , Avest. raogna, Afg. rogan, Yagn. rugin, Kurd. rûn, Tal. rüən "butter"), the name of a window (Ger. Fenster, OE fenester), considered to be borrowed from Latin (fenestra), but similar words are present in the Iranian and Albanian languages (Kurd. pencere, Pers. pänj'äre, Alb. penxhere "window").

Of course, not only words to refer to any distinct items spread throughout the all certain space but also for the designation of a broader concept. For example, Eng turf, Sw. torva "peat" have matches in Alb. turbi "peat", Pers. turb "peat", Afg. tarma "swamp". V. Abayev put in this line also Osset. tärf "lowland", Lit. tаrpas "interval" and added Thrak. tarpo (parhaps from Tarpo-dizos) "swamp" and Toch. tarpo "swamp". Perhaps the Slavic * tarva "grass" also comes from here (M. Vasmer takes it out of * truti "to use", "to waste", which are a little further semantically). The word in forms tart/turt/turš "sour", "bitter" are present in this space. Here are some examples from different languages: Alb. tarthё, Eng. tart, Pers. torš, Kurd. tirş, Tal. təlx, Let. sùrs, Osset. tyrty (barberries) etc. You can also trace the development of semantics and spreading an old substrate IE root lard/lurd, presented in Lat. lаrdum "fat", Arm. ljurd "liver", Gr. larinos "fat, greacs". Eng. lard is cosidered to be loan-word from Latin, although it can be Italic substrate word, as the Anglo-Saxons populated the same area after the Italics. Further, the semantics of the word meaning "fat" has developed in the direction of "dirty". This sense has Sw lort "mud". From Germanic areas the word with this sense spread eastward into Iranian areas (Pers. lert "sediment", Tal. lyrt "mud"). A list of such parallels can be continued, even though many of conformity may remain mysterious.

Germanic languages had a word *gabūr "a dweller, master", which is kept in Ger. Nachbar, Eng. neighbour originated from *næhwa-gabūr literally "a nearest dweller" (А. KLUGE FRIEDRICH, 1989). A group of Iranian words was borrowed from Germanic: j’awar/ j’ewar "a neighbour", from which Mord. shabra "the same" was loaned. Of course, it is an errant word coming by complex ways in many languages: Rus. shabior "a neighbour", "a friend", Bel. siabr "a fiend", "a brother" and other dimilar word in the Ukrainian, Slovenian, Serbian languages. There is also a group of ethnonyms like Sabirs, Savirs, Suvars, Serbs, Severiani.


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There is no doubt that the cultural ties of the population of Eastern Europe were not limited to the socio-economic sphere, and exchange of achievements in artistic and creative activities had to exist. This is a topic for specialists, but linguistics can give certain material. For example, the origin of the name of a musical instrument bandura is associated with the Lat pandura and Gr. πανδουρα "cittern" and its source are looked for in Lydia. (VASMER MAX. 1964. Volume 1, p. 120). Obviously, it was not found, as the roots of words are in the language of the ancient Bulgars, as it is evidenced by Chuv. păntăr-păntăr – imitation of strum, strum of strings, păntărtat – 1. "to strum", produce strumming sounds (of a stringed instrument), 2. "to pop", "to rattle" (on drums) and like. What Chuvash words have a more common sense, means that the stringed musical instrument was borrowed by the Indo-Europeans (Greeks and / or Italians) from the Bulgars, and not vice versa. The peoples of the Caucasus have names for musical instruments like the Latin word pandura, but the source of the borrowing, just as words of bandura, is difficult to define. Musical instruments with a similar name – Fr. tambourin (long drum), Tat. dumbra "balalaika", Cr.Tat. dambura "guitar", Tur. tambura "guitar", Kazakh. dombra (a type of balalaika), Mong. dombura are used by many Asian and European peoples. It is believed that their names have Arab origin (Ar. tanbūr "stringed musical instrument"). However Chuv. tĕmpĕr-tĕmpĕr "imitation drumbeat", tĕmpĕrtet "to rattle" (of drum) cast doubt on this, since the similarity of words păntăr and tĕmpĕr speaks to their common Türkic origin.

As you can see, even in those ancient times, people in addition to the security concerns of their existence needed to be fun, but they fun not only music but also games, one of which was the ball game. The antiquity of this subject for the game shows the spread of the same name for a broad area in the time when the Iranians are still living in close contact with the Germanic tribes. The word top/tob meaning "a ball" can be found in many Iranian and Turkic languages, it is also present in the Moksha, Ersa, Mari, Albanian languages, and probably even in the other languages ​​of the region (in Udmurt töb "skein"). The meaning of this word in the German and Chuvash language can explain to us even the manufacturing technology of balls. OMG. toppr means "topknot", German Zopf of the same root – "female braid", the Chuvash language has tăpka "bundle, clump" . Consequently, balls were made from hair, wool, and obviously sewed round by skin.