The Türkic Tribes
Èëëþñòðèðîâàííûé êîðîòêèé îáçîð
Before starting work with the Turkic languages, certain difficulties arose, namely, the problem of determining the range of self-sufficient objects of research. As you know, there are a lot of Turkic languages; including the dead, they can be counted more than thirty. Some of them are so similar to each other that it may be justified to assume that they are of the same origin from one language of order higher than the one of Proto-Turkic. Another difficulty was pointed out by Sir Gerard Clauson:
… in conditions of steppe life the ethnic constitution of a particular horde or confederation might alter quite considerably as time went on, even though the name remained unchanged (Clauson Gerard, 2002, 4).
Moreover, when studying the Turkic peoples it was established that people can have several identities and as defining ones they choose one or a limited number of them (MALIKOV A.M., 31). In our ethnogenetic studies, the object are not ethnic groups, but their languages as a historically variable phenomenon, regardless of the identity of its speakers. The Turkic languages are so conservative that they keep their characteristic features for a much longer time than the time of the existence of socio-political entities.
Different classifications of the Türkic languages exist consistent with each other in the recognition of closest relationships. Multi-level historical classifications of the well-known turkologist Baskakov (BASKAKOV N.A., 1960: 37-60) were used for this study. He divided several groups and subgroups of Türkic languages on the highest level. They comprise from one to five-six modern Türkic languages. If we unite close cognate modern languages of separate subgroups in one conventional language, we obtain only thirteen languages that can be considered as self-contained objects for this graphic analysis. Though two extinct tongues as Old-Uighur and Karluk-Uighur could not be analysed because of the absence of necessary dictionaries. According to the genetic connections established by Baskakov, conventional names were used for all Türkic languages taken for the analysis, sometimes identical to the modern names for some languages, but without claim to the historical accuracy and only for the convenience for the further narrative. Thus, the Bulgarish (Volga-Bulgarish) language will be corresponded with the present-day Chuvash and extinct Khazarian languages; Tartaric with the modern Tatar and Bashkir languages; Kypchak with modern Kumyk, Karachai, Balkarian, Crimea-Tatar, and Karaim; Nogai with modern Kazakh, Karakalpakh and properly Nogai; Oghuz with modern Gagauz and the dialects of Balkan Türks; Seljuqic with modern Turkish, Azerbaijani and south dialect of Crimean Tatars; Karlukish with modern Uzbek and New Uighur; Tuba with modern Tuvinian and Karagasian; Khakassian with modern Kamasinian, Shorian, North-Altaic, Sari-Uighur, tongue of Chulim Tatars and properly Khakassian; Altaian with modern South-Altaic. The Kyrghyz, Turkmen, and Yakut languages correspond with proper present-day languages.
The table-dictionary of the Türkic languages was composed of the data taken from etymological dictionaries of Turkic languages (SEVORTYAN E.V. 1974 – 2003; CLAUSON GERARD, Sir., 1972; EGOROV V.G., 1964). The numbers of mutual words in the pairs of languages are given in the table 5.
Table 5. The number of mutual words in the pairs of the Türkic languages.
Despite of mutual language influence of historical time, the model of genetic relationships of Türkic languages was built by using the calculated distances between languages according the formula:
L=Ko/(N + a),
where Ko – initial value of the proportional coefficient which is a little depended from the distance between languages therefore the constant a is introduced into the formula for correction. We took Ko = 3000 and a = 50 for the graphical model which is presented on the figure 6.
Built on these data, the scheme of the relationship of Türkic languages is shown in Figure 27.
Fig. 27. Graphic model of Türkic language relationship.
In search of a place proper for this model, all attempts to place it on the map near Altai region or in Siberia failed. The model can be put only within the Dnieper-Don-Interfluvial area where characteristic bend of the both rivers suggests us how to place the model (see map 4).
Thus, we have the reason to posit that Tutkic Urheimat was not in Altai but in Eastern Europe. Consequently the Proto-Türkic could not descend from a primeval language called Altaic or Proto-Altaic as Sir Gerard Clauson expressed this though already fifteen years ago (CLAUSON GERARD, Sir, 2002, 36).
Map 28. The map of the Türkic habitats.
Legend: Alt – Altaic, Arm – Armenish, Bulg – Bulgarish, Hung – Hungarian , Kar – Karlukish, Kypch – Kypchak, Kyrgh – Kyrghyz, Mord – Mordvinic, Nog – Nogai, Phryg – Phrygian, Tat – Tartaric, Turkm – Turkmen.
The terrain occupied by the Turks did not have to change especially in the five millennia before the time when it was described by Wilhelm de Rubruk during his journey to the eastern countries in 1253 with the words:
… having the sea to the south and a vast wilderness to the north, which extends in places over thirty days in breadth; and in it is neither forest, nor hill, nor stone, but only the finest pasturage. (RUBRUKC WILLIAM of. 1957. XIV).
Areas of forming individual primary Türkic languages were located mainly on watersheds small at present rivers, but they could be more flowing once. However, in those days they were not difficult for overcoming obstacles. Their role as the boundaries of the areas forming separate dialects was due to the need to have clear boundaries for grazing cattle of different tribal communities. Some of the confusion between the neighbors during pasturing led to clashes and enmity, which contributed to the consolidation of similar communities in tribes and to a certain alienation between them. Meaning of borders for nomadic housekeeping was well understood by Lev Gumilev:
Section of lands and strict observance of their borders – is the only mean to keep the nomads from the cruel fratricidal clashes over watering, pastures, and hunting grounds (GUMILEV L.N., 2003, 89)
Intertribal strife, harsh living conditions, constant threat to livestock from predators, a device for winter camps and other required good organization way of life of the tribe, the consequence of the formation of tribal leadership and nomination of its tribal leaders. Such social conditions also contributed to the rapid dismemberment earlier common language into separate dialects.
Proto-Bulgarian area was limited by the Low Dnieper, the coast of the Azov and Black seas, and in the east by the rivers Molochna and Konka. Tatar area was stretched further east along the Sea of Azov area and limited by the river Mius and its tributary Krynka. Ancestors of Turkmen populated an area between the rivers Dnieper, Konka, and Samara separated from Tatar area by ridge of Azov Upland. There was Kypchak area west of the river Seversky Donets, the headwaters of the Lugan' (or the river Krivyi Torets), and the river Krynka on both banks of the River Samara and Altaian area was located beyond the river Mius along the lower Don limited by the river Seversky Donets on the east and by the river Lygan' on the north. Seljuk area was limited by the rivers Vorskla, Orel', and the Donets and Oghuz area was beyond the river Vorskla till the river Sula (or Pslo). We shall return to this question. The Karlukish, Nogai, Kyrghyz, and Tuba languages were formed on the areas along the left bank of the river Seversky Donets separated by the rivers Oskol, Aydar, and Kalytva. Yakut area was located at the bend of the river Don River, and yet Khakasian area was on a small habitat along the right bank of the Don between the rivers Black Kalitva and Tykha Sosna.
The Proto-Armenians resided on the left banks of the river Dniepr in the closest vicinity with Türks. Accordingly, the most words of the Türkic origin were found in the Armenian language. Some part of the Türkic words through the Armenian language even reached the ancient Greeks. The Türkisms in the Armenian, to which sometimes can be found matches in Greek, are given apart in the List of Traces of Linguistic Contakts between Indoeuropeans and Türks.
Not all Türkic loan-words survived in the Armenian language, and some part of them have not been found yet, that is why a small group of Türkic roots exist only in Greek. There is no doubt that matches to a part of them can be found in the Armenian language sometime. A separate deal of the Türkic-Greek lexical correspondences is represented by the Greek-Chuvash parallels which date from the more late time as the part of Greek ethnos stayed in Pontic steppes after the great deal of Ancient Greeks went for Balkan Peninsula. The Proto-Bulgars, the ancestors of Chuvash, had to stay on this territory for a long time too and adopted from the Greek some words, but the Armenian matches are not obligatory for them. The Greek-Chuvash lexical correspondences can be found in the same List of Traces of Linguistic Contakts between Indoeuropeans and Turks too.
In light of the obtained data about the Urheimat of individual Türkic ethnoi, an explanation could be found for views about imaginary likeness of the spiritual cultures of Indo-European and Altaic peoples claimed by German scientists (WILHELM KOPPERS, MEYER ERNST, 1968, 278-279) based on misconceptions about the Indo-European ethnicity of creators of Corded Ware culture. Take, for example, as Ernst Meyer wrote describing the mentioned commonality:
Altai peoples are clearly expressed peoples-riders, as also Indo-Europeans should be, they had similar organizational forms of large patriarchal families, believed in the heavenly god as a universal deity having the same origin, like Indo-Europeans (MEYER ERNST, 1968, 279).
German scientists believed that the Indo-Europeans settled the Pontic steppes and hence brought corded ware and battle axes in Central Europe, so their perceptions of the spiritual culture of the Indo-Europeans were based largely on the study of this particular block cultures. However, they themselves not knowing could talk not about the similarities in cultures of Indo-European and Altai peoples but about similarity in cultures of the Türkic peoples. More details of the Corded Ware culture will be discussed further.