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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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Traces of Contacts between the Türks and Indo-Europeans in Vocabularies

Chuvash-Germanic Language Connections and Ancient Turkic-Slavic Language Contacts are considered apart.


Common lexical elements in the Turkic and Armenian, Greek, and Latin languages.

If we talk about the Turkic-Indo-European lexical correspondences, then in many respects this area of linguistics remains still unexplored. The results of studies carried out by the graphic-analytical method allow us to look at the relationship between the Indo-European and Turkic languages in a new perspective. The work proposed here is only the first step of this approach and, of course, some part of the Turkic-Indo-European correspondences given is causal. But the author considered it his duty to cite doubtful cases as well, for it is better to take into consideration all the possibilities than to immediately drop out something interesting or even important. Over time, when there will be other explanations for distinct matches, they will be excluded from the list. It should be borne in mind that the list was compiled only to confirm the European ancestral homeland of the Türks and is not an etymological reference book. Unfortunately, many such “critics” who, having seen one or two erroneous cases, immediately cross out the entire list. This is no longer in the spirit of our time.

Undoubtedly, in Turkic and Indo-European languages there is a certain amount of roots, which can be attributed to common Nostratic inheritance from the time when the ancient ancestors of the Türks and the Indo-Europeans populated neighboring habitats on the banks of the Kura and Araks rivers in the Caucasus.

The contacts between the ancient Türkic and Indo-European ethnoi continued after migration of both ethnic groups from the South Caucasus to Eastern Europe.

The Proto-Armenians resided on the left banks of the Dniepr River in the closest vicinity with the Türks. Accordingly, the most words of the Türkic origin were found specifically in the Armenian language. Some part of the Türkic words through the Armenian language even reached the ancient Greeks. Türkisms in the Armenian which, sometimes may have matches in Greek, are follows:

Arm ałtiur “low ground, moist meadow, swamp” – Tur, Tat, Karach, Balk alt “low” a.o. Sir Gerard Clauson writes about Türkic word: “There is grave doubt whether this is really an independet ancient word. If it was it means ‘the bothom, or lower surface (of something)". The Armenian word can mean properly speaking “the bottom”.

Arm aŕu “canal” – common Türkic aryk (aryğ) “canal”. Zaur Hasanov associates the Turkic word with the name of the Araks River [HASANOV Z.G. 2015: 35]. The river flows on the ancestral homeland of the Turks within modern Armenia.

Arm acux “coal” – common Türkic očak/ očok “heart, fire-place” (Chuv vučax, Tur ocak a.o.), moreover Türkm čog, Tur şövg, Kaz šok, Uzb čůg “red-hot coal” a.o.

Arm alap’-em “plunder”, uncertain [HÜBSCHMANN HEINRICH. 1972: 412] – Türkic alp “hero; brave, daring; courage; warrior” (Chuv ulăp “lgiant, titan”, OT, Tur alp, Tat alyp a.o. “hero”).

Arm alik’ “wave”, “billow”, Gr αλοζ “furrow” – Türkic oluq “gutter” (Tur oluk “trough”, Chuv valak – “trough”, Karach, Balk uuaq “wavy”).

Arm antaŕ “forest” – Gag. andyz “grove, bushes”, Tur andîz “kind of weed”. Similar words are present in other Türkic languages but all they have a meaning of severel plants. Only Armeinan and Gagauz words have the meaning of the forest.

Arm atkhi “foot” – common Türkic ajaq/adaq “foot”.

Arm garš-i-m “to have an aversion” – Türkm garšy, Gag. karšy, Tur karşi, Chuv xirěs “opposed, opposite, the opposite”.

Arm goř “lamb” – OT. qozy, Gag. quzu, Tur. kuzu “lamb”.

Arm gjuł “village” – Gag. küü “village”.

Arm hełg “lazy, idle” – common Türkic jalta/jalka “lazy, idle” (Karach, Balk jalk, Chuv julxav, Tat jalkau, Kaz žalkau a.o.)

Arm ji, Gr ιπποσ “horse”, Lat equa, Rom iapa “mare” – common Turk jaby, jabu “horse”, Turkm. jaby, Chuv jupax.

Arm kamar “vault”, Gr καμαρα “vault room”, Lat camurus “curved, bent”, camerare “to vault” – Tur kubur “case, pipe”, Uzb dial. qumur , Kaz quvyr “chimney”. Perhaps these Türkic words are derivative from Türkic köpür “bridge” (see below).

Arm kamurj’ “bridge”, Gr γεφυρα “dam, bridge” – common Türkic köpür “bridge” (Chuv kěper, Karach, Balk köpür, Tat küper a.o.). Sir Gerard Clauson supposed the origin of Türkic word from the root köp- “to swell, foam, boil over”. But Armenian, Greek, and other IE words (Lat caper, Celtic caer, gabor a.o. “he-goat”) can give an evidence about Indo-European origin of the word. Türks borrowed the word from Indo-Europeans with meaning “he-goat” but became it back with new meaning “bridge”. Some later IE words with meaning near to „bridge“ (Dutch keper, Germ Käpfer a.o.) originated from Lat caper.

Arm sta-na-m “to buy” – Chuv sut “to sell”, Tur satın “buying”, Balk, Karach satyb “to buy” a.o.

Arm šeł “slant, curved”, Gr σκολιο σ “curved” – Türkic čal- as Sir Gerard Clauson think “to cknock down, to throw to the ground” (Chuv čalaš “slant”, Tat čulak, Tur čalık “curved”).

Arm. tal, Gr. γαλωσ, Lat. glos „the daughter-in-law, sister-in-law“ – OT. kelin „the daughter-in-law, sister-in-law“.

Arm teli “place” – Chuv těl “place”.

Arm tuk “saliva” – Türkm tüjkülik, Karach, Balk tükürük “saliva”, Gag. tükürmää “spit” a.o.

Arm thošel “to fly” – common Türk düš- “to fall”.

Not all Türkic loan-words survived in the Armenian, and a 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 in some time. A separate group among the Türkic -Greek lexical coincidences is represented by the Greek-Chuvashian parallels which descended from the more late time as a part of Greek ethnos stayed in Pontic steppes after the great bulk of Old Greeks went for Balkan Peninsula. The ancient Bulgar, the ancestors of Chuvash, stayed on this territory for a long time too and adopted from the Greek some words, but the Armenian coincidences are not obligatory for them. They also are included in this list.

Gr αγροσ, Lat ager, Germ Acker “field” – common Turkic ek- (Chuv ak, akăr) “to sow”. The origin of Greek and Latin words is dark.

Gr αιτεω “to ask” – Chuv vitěn “to entreat”, Tur ötünmek “to ask, to solicit”, OT ajit – “to ask, to question” Frisk didn't give sure etymology of the Greek word.

Gr ακακια, Lat acacia – “acacia” – common Türkic agač (yğa:č) “tree”. Frisk considers the Greek word as "Fremdwort".

Gr αλφι “barley”, αλφη “barley meal” – common Turkic arpa “barley”.

Gr αμα, ιαμαα “remedy, medicine” – common Turkic em- “medicine, to medicate” (Turkm, Gag., Tur. em).

Gr αραχνη, Lat araneus “spider” – Chuv erešmen, Gag örümžäk, Az hörümčêk “spider”. Frisk didn't give sure etymology of the Greek word.

Gr. αρμα, "телега" – common Turkic araba, arba "waggon".

Gr αρωμα "smell, odour" – Turk aram/erem (Chuv erĕm) "wormwood". See also Chuv armuti.

Gr αρσην “man, male” – Chuv arçyn “man”. Frisk connected the Greek word with OInd arṣati "to flow". Obviously, the Chuvash word is borrowed from Greek.

Gr αρταω “to bind, hang up” – Chuv urtăn “to hang up”, Tur, Tat, Kaz art- a.o. “to hang on”. Frisk considered Greek word as a derivative from Gr αειρω what is doubtful. This is loan-word from Turkic.

Gr αταλοσ "young" – Chuv atalan "to develop".

Gr δεω “to tie, to bind” – common Türkic düv- “knot”, Türkm düvün, Chuv těvě. Frisk connected the Greek word with OInd ditá- "bound".

Gr ηθμοσ “sieve” – Chuv atma “fishnet”. Frisk didn't give sure etymology of the Greek word but it is a derivate out of ηθεω "to sift". Obviously, Chuvash word is borrowed from Old Greek.

Gr κηλη "swelling" – Chuv kěle "heel"

Gr κηλησισ “magic power” – Chuv kělě “prayer”.

Gr κηροσ “wax, honeycombs” – Chuv karas “honeycombs”. The root is IE. The source of the loan in Chuvashian is unknown.

Gr κορβανοσ "temple treasure-box" – Chuv kărman "basket".

Gr. κορωνη "any curved thing" – Chuv. xuran "copper, pot, kettle".

Gr λακκοσ Lat lacus, OIr loch a.o. “pool, lake, pit”, – Chuv lakăm “pit”.

Gr λισγαριον, λισγοσσ “mattock” – Crim-Tat ülüskär, Kaz lesker “mattock” (M. Vasmer). Frisk wrote about the Greek word: "Nicht sicher erklärt" (Not sure explained).

Gr. λάτρις "maidservant", λατρεύς "servant", Lat. latro 1. "servant". 2. "robber", OE. loddere "begger", O.H.G lotar "empty, vain", Ger. Lotterbube "lazy" – Chuv lutra “low”.

Gr μηκον “poppy” – Chuv măkăn’ “poppy”.

Gr μηλον “small cattle, sheep” – Com Tur mal "cattle, stock".

Gr μονασ “proud” – Chuv mănas “solitary”.

Gr. μόσσυν “wooden tower” – Chuv. maš “tower”.

Gr παλτον “spear, pike” – common Turk balta “axe”.

Gr παστη “pasta” – Karach, Balk basta “porridge, gruel”.

Gr πυργοσ “tower”, Lat burgus “castle, tower” Germanic *burg (German Burg “castle) – Chuv purak “bast, bast-basket (cylindrical)”, Karach buruu “fence”. Frisk supposed the Greek word is borrowed from some Germanic language.

Gr πυροσ “wheat”, Lit pūraĩ "winter wheat" a.o. IE – Chuv pări “spelt, the kind of wheat”. The root is IE. The source of the loan in Chuvashian is unknown.

Gr σακκοσ “sack”, Lat saccus “sack”, – Chuv sak “weir-basket, coop”, Ukr, Rus sak “fishing-tackle in the form of sack” and other similar Slavic and Germanic words.

Gr σαρδινη “herring” – Chuv çărtan “pike (fish)”.

Gr θαλασσα “sea” – Turkiq talaj, talaš (Chuv talaj) “sea”.

Gr υλη “forest” – Chuv ulăx “wated-meadow”.

Gr φιλεω “to love” – Chuv pĕl “to know, favour, feel”.

Gr χαρτησ “papyrus chart”, Lat carta “paper, letter” – Chuv khărta “patch”. Frisk noted the Greek word as "unerklärt" (unclear).

Gr χοληη“bile, gall” – Chuv xăla “light-yellow” . The root is IE. The source of the loan in Chuvashian is unknown.

Gr χορτοσ “kraal”, Lat hortus “garden”, OG gardon “garden” – Cuv karta “fence”.

Since the 3-d millenium B.C. a part of ancient Türks, known as creator of the fighting axes and cord ceramics culture, migrated to the right banks of the river Dnieper and farther on to the Central Europe. We do not know how many and which of the Türkic tribes moved through the Dniepr. It is though known that people of the fighting axes were assimilated among the Indoeuropean and Proto-Indoeuropean aborigines. Only one Türkic tribe, the tribe of the ancient Bulgar, retained its ethnic identity. The first people whom the Bulgar met on the right bank of the Dniepr were the creator of Trypilla (Tripolie in Russian) culture. Some words of their language could remain in the language of the Chuvash who are the descendants of Bulgar. Moreover, in that period the ancient Bulgar had language contacts with the ancient Italics and Illirians. Since that time, lexical parallelisms have been found in the Latin and Turkic (mostly Chuvash) languages, which are indicators of contact between these languages. Naturally, most frequent of all in the list are the Chuvashian words .

Lat abbas “abbot” – Chuv. apăs “priest”. This word is not considered in etymological dictionary of Latin (Walde A.1965) and considered to be borrowed through Greek from the Aramaic (abbā "father"). First, the word was used in prayer in the sense of "my father" (Kluge Friedrich. 1989, 7). But Cuv apăs "priest," which originated from the ancient Turkic word for the immediate family, including the father (aba/apa) as a source of borrowing should have preference, because when borrowing from Aramaic and using in prayers, word abbās should be used when handling to God, and not to His servants.

Lat. alga “alga, seaweed” – Chuv. yălma “ooze”. Kornilov referred also Chuv jylxa. I do not found such word.

Lat amicus “friend” – Chuv. ami “friend, brother”. The Latin word is considered to be borrowed from an unknown language (W.)

Lat arca “box” – Chuv arča “chest”. The Latin word is derived from arceō “close” related to Gr αρκεω “save” (W).

Lat artemisia “wormwood” – Chuv armuti “wormwood”. Germ Wermut “wormwood” pertains here too.

Lat cama “short board, plank bed, shelf” – Chuv khăma “board”. The Latin word considered to be borrowed from some Celtic-Iberian language (W).

Lat candēre "to be incandescent", Gr κανδαροσ "embers" and other IE – Chuv кǎнтǎр "midday, south".

Lat. casa “house” – Chuv. kasă “street” which had formerly meaning “settlement”. The Latin word is referred belonging to the spread root kat- “a house”.

Lat caudex, cōdex “trunk, stump” – Tur, Gag kütük “trunk, stump”. The Latin word considered to be derived from cūdere “to beat” (W.);

Lat cicuta “toxic plant” – Chuv kiken “toxic plant”. The Latin word has no sure matches in Indo-European.

Lat citare "to move", cito "fast, quick" – Chuv xytă "strong", "fast, quick", Karach, Balk qaty "fast, rapid”".

Lat Cocles namely “wry, one-eyed” – Chuv. kuklek “wry”. The Latin word has no sure etymology, it may be borrowed from Greek (W.)

Lat cupa “tub” – Tur, Turk kova, Chag qopa a.o. “tub”. Indo-European words of similar meaning do not correspond phonetic. (s. W.)

Lat cura “care” – Chuv khural “protection”. The correspondences of the Latin word are doubtful (s. W.)

Lat delirium “delirium” – Chuv tilěr, Tat tile “madman”. The Latin word has no etymology (W.)

Lat erus “a master, man” – Chuv ar “a man”.

Lat. fàbula “rumour” – Chuv. pavra “to chatter, to talk”. The Latin word has no near matches but considered to be derived from I.-e *bha- “to speak” (W.)

Lat * falterna (Aristolochia) – Chuv věltěren “nettle” (Urtica Gen) – Latin word was restored by W. Meyer-Lübke from Fr fauterne and Old Prov fauterna with the remark “Woher?” (Where from?). One can suppose borrowing from Old Chuvashian (Bulgarian).

Lat farnus “ash tree” – Chuv věrene “maple”. Supposed Etruscan origin of the Latin word is groundless (W.)

Lat faux “throat” – Gag. buaz Kyrg buvaz, Tur, Kaz, Karach, Balk boğaz a.o. “throat”. The Latin word has no sure matches in Indo-European.

Lat felix "fruitful, fertile" – Chuv pulǎx "fertility";

Lat finis "end, limit" – Chuv pinĕš "thousand";

Lat homo “person, man, husband” – the borrowed from the Italics word could be subsequently lost by the ancestors of the Chuvash, but it should be retained in the second part of the Chuv păyaxam "the brother of a husband" The first part of this word means "sister". It was also lost in the Chuvash language, but exists in other cognate Turkic languages: Turkmen. bajy, "the sister of a husband", Tur bacı "sister". In general, the word can be explained as "my sister's husband”. The discrepancy of the sense both words is explained by the fact that the ratio of relation of the same person may be different depending on the side of kinship, which often leads to a change in the meaning of the same word.

Lat ius, iuris 1. “low, justice” – Chuv jărăs “sraight”, Tur yasa “low, regulations”, Karach džoruq “low” a.o. The referring of the Latin word to Indo-Arians having sense “healthy, holy” (OInd voh) is doubtful (W.)

Lat ius, iuris 2. “soup” – Chuv jaška – “soup”, juškăň “slime”. The referring of the Latin word to the I.-E. root iūs "to multiply" seems to be doubtful (s. W.)

Lat lacūna “swamp, pit” – Chiv lakăm “pit”. The Latin word concerns to I.-E. root *lacu “moist lowlands” (W.)

Lat lama “swamp” – Chuv lăm “moisture”. The Latin word is corresponded with Let lāma, “low place, pool, ”Lit lama “low place on a field”, Bulg lom “pit, cellar” (W.)

Lat mel “honey” – Türkic ba:l “honey” is presented in Gagauz, Turkish, Kazakh, Uzbek, Kyrgyz and other languages. Sir Gerard Clauson writes: “It is generally agreed that (this word – V.S.) is a very loan-word from some Indo-European language, dating from a period when m was so inacceptable as an initial that it was replaced by b… The closest IE parallel is Latin mel; the Sanskrit form is madhu” (CLAUSON GERERD, 1972: 330). Sanskrit form belongs to the other IE root *medhu (see Pokorny). Greek μελι “honey” is more suited and there are similar words in Germanic, Celtic and Armeinian languages. In this case, it is not easy to determine the origin of this root.

Lat. mūtāre "to change, alter, transform" – Chuv mutala "to mix, antangle".

Lat noxa "damage" – Chuv nuša "misfortune".

Lat ordo “row”, “order”, “military order”, “army”, “detachment” – common Türkic (Türkm, Kaz orda, Chuv urta Tur ordu a.o. “army”). The Latin word can be referred to I.-E. * ar- “to tie, definite”. In this case it is a Nostratic root.

Lat pandura "three-stringed lute" – Chuv păntăr-păntăr – imitation of string strum, păntărtat – 1. to thrum, to give strum sounds (on stringed instruments), 2. to crack, rattle (on drums).

Lat publikare “to publish” – Chuv puple “to talk”.

Lat pudis “louse” – common Türkic bit “louse” (Chuv pyjta, rest bit/pit). This word isn’t considered in the Etymological Dictionary of Latin (W.)

Lat pūris, pūs “pus” – чув. pür “pus”. This word has Indo-European origin (*pu- “to rot”).

Lat quattuar “four” – Chuv tăvattă “four” was borrowed in such form from the Italics (the other Turkic tört /dört “four”).

Lat Roma – Chuv uram, Karach, Balk oram “street”. According to Walde it is not epelled the name of the city was derived from the word of *rōme “village” as if existed in Asia Minor. As it is known, Roma was developed from one street (W.).

Lat saliva “saliva” – most likely this word was borrowed from Türkic (Chuv sěleke, Türkm selki, Tat silegej a.o. “saliva”) but not related to Celtic words of far meaning and phonetic (e.g. Old Irish sail). See W.

Lat sapa, NGer safe and other Germanic “sap” – Chuv săpăkh “to secrete sap”. The Indo-European words have no sure etymology (s.W.)

Lat sāpa, -ōne, Eng. soap, Ger. Seife a.o. “soap” – Chuv. supăn “soap”.

Lat sarda, sardina “several fish kind” – Chuv çărtan “pike-fish”.

Lat scopula “a broom” – Chuv šăpăr “a broom”.

Lat sĕrra “a saw” – Chuv sĕr “to rub, saw”.

Lat sollicitare “shake” – common Türkic (Chuv sille, Türkm selkildemek, Tur silkmek a.o. “shake”) It is considered that the Latin word derived from ciēre “to move, prompt” (W.) what is phonetic not irreproachable.

Lat taberna “public-house” – Chuv tăvar "salt", Ukr, Rus tovar “goods” and “cattle”, Arm tavar “sheep”, “flock”, Kum tuuar “flock”, Tur tavar “property”, “cattle”, Balk, Cr-Tat tu’ar “cattle” a.o. The salt was the main export product for Old Bulgars therefore it became sense “goods” (Stetsyuk Valentyn, 1998, 57). Many Iranian languages have the words tabar-teber-tevir “axe”, but Finno-Ugrian words of this root have sense “textile” (Saam tavjar, Mar tuvyr, Chant tŕgar). All these things are objects of barter and trade, that is to say goods. Latin word *taber of unknown sense is vanished, but the derivate of it taberna stayed which origin is usually deduced from trabs “beam” what is unconvincing.

Lat (Sabinian) teba “hill” – common Türkic (Chuv tüpe, Tur tepe, Kaz töbe a.o. “moutain, top”).

Lat tergus "back" – Chuv tĕrke "bundle, armful".

Lat tortua “tortuous, twined” – Chuv tărta “to twine, to nest”. The Latin word has no sure etymology (W.)

Lat torus “elevation” – Chuv tără “top”. The Latin word with this meaning isn’t considered in the Etymological Dictionary of Latin (W.) Compare with Eng tor “stony top”.

Lat tuba “pipe” – Chuv tupă “cannon”.

Lat. tunica “kind of clothes” – Chuv. tum “gown”.

Lat usus “use” – Chuv usă “use”. Eng use belongs here too or it is a Latin loan word? All other Indo-European matches to many Latin words of this root are doubtful (W.)

Lat vacca “cow” – Chuv văkăr “bull”. The Latin word is considered to be connected with OInd vasa “barren cow”. There is in Ukrainian the word vakar “cowman”. It is considered that it borrowed from Romanian văkar “cowman” which was derived from Lat *vacarius akin to vacca.

Lat vallis “valley” – Chuv valak “chute, channel”.

Lat vapor “exhalation, steam, heat” – Chuv Vupăr “to cover, protect, overpower”.

Lat vetare “to forbid, object” – Chuv vit “ghost, spirit”.

Lat villa “country house” – Chuv vělle “a beehive”.

Lat virga “twig, rod” having no matches in Indo-European – Old Turkic bergä, “twig, birch, whip”, Xak, Uyg berge “whip”. Sir Gerard Clauson writes: “berge – a whip an old word ending in –ge. It is suggested.., that it is a loan-word from Latin virga ‘a rod, a stock’ obtained through Middle Persian but there does not seen to be any trace of the word in Persian, and the theory is importable” (CLAUSON GERARD, 1972: 363). The Hungarian virgácz “twig, birch” which borrowing from Latin is doubtful can be referred to them. In this case, Hung virgone “agile, nimble, lively” and Chuv virkěn “to race, rush” also correspond to these words. Obviously, it is a wandering word which traces are present in many languages having different but similar meaning (e.g. Erzya verka “quick”, Rus birka and other similar Slavic words “smal twig”, “catkin”, Ger Birke “birch”, Hung virag “flowers”, Mari wurgo "stem, stalk", Kurd wurg “lively”). If the creators of the Tripilla culture were Semites, the all these words can have an origin word similar to the Ar firh and Heb. perax "flower". Then Lat virgō "virgin" of unknown origin (W.) should be referred here (cf. "deflowering").

Lat vulgus, volgō, vulgus “folk”, “herd”, “crowd”, Lat vulgaris “habitual, customary” – Chuv pulkkă “herd”, “flight, flock”, Bulgar – the old name one of the Türkic tribes, the ancestors of Chuvash. Germ Volk, Eng folk, OInd vargah "group", some Celtic words and the ethnonym Volcae are belong to this root (W.)


Chuvash-Germanic Language Connections

Turkic-Slavic Language Connections.