Alternative Historical Linguistics
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Etymological Table Database.


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The Urheimat of the Nostratic Languages

The Relationship of the Altaic and Turkic languages. Origin and development.

The Ethnogenesis of the Slavs

The Interrelation of the Slavic languages
            For the study, at first the header (title) words have been chosen successively from the first two volumes of Slawski's dictionary (from ablo up to davnostь) and further the same was done from the dictionary edited by Trubachiov. In such way more than 3200 words have been got but only one thousand of them could be selected as the basis of the table-dictionary. The remained words consisted from common Slavic words (about 1900 words), the Church-Slavonic ones, own names, words presented only in one language, auxiliary words, interjections, etc. and also so-called "Old Russian" words without matches in modern tongues. As the common Slavic words were considered having matches in nine of the ten Slavic languages taken for the study. Together with the common words were withdrawn their derivatives as well.
            In principle it was correctly to take for the study all non-common words but there were two good reasons for excepting words of above-named kind. At first, derivatives of some words could be produced in particular languages independently at different times due to the same rules of word building, and this effect could hinder the establishment of the relationship of languages at the time when the parent unitary language had been split to particular languages. Second, there is large disproportion in the representation of the vocabulary material of different tongues in the etymologic dictionaries of Proto-Slavonic due to the absence of the full dictionaries of many languages of today.
            While working out the table-dictionary, matches to title words were taken mainly from the above mentioned etymological dictionaries but, because of insufficient representation of the vocabulary of same languages, the table has been partly complemented also by items from other dictionaries (see. Bibliography, section "Lexicography"). Nevertheless, the amount of words, collected for Macedonian and Sorbian (incorporated the High- and the Low-Sorbian) languages, was not sufficient for the inclusion of these languages in the joint system of the Slavic relationship. The lack of Belorussian words was also marked, , obviously, this was the consequence of the insufficient studying of dialect vocabulary. The first conclusion of the analysis confirmed the thesis about of the dual origin of the Russian language already noted by some scholars long before. For example, A.A.Shakhmatov spoke not only about the big difference between the northern and southern Russian dialects but even assumed probable close connections of the northern dialect with to Polish language (SHAKHMATOV A.A., 1916-1). In the same way, V.V.Mavrodin supposed the possibility of the western origin of East-Slavic tribe of the Kriviches (MAVRODIN V.V., 1978: 82). At length, L.Niderle expressed even more confidently writing:

            Also till now the traces of its dual origin are looked through in the Great Russian language as the dialect north of Moscow differs highly from the South-Russian dialects (NIDERLE LUBORЪ., 1956: 165).

            The division of the East-Slavic people into four different group (South Russians, North Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians) proves to be true not only by the difference in tongues, but also by some ethnographic difference (ZELENIN D.K., 1991: 29). The thesis about such four-part division was supported also by R.Trautman. He also divided the Russians on two separate folks and, referring on Zelenin's authoritative evidences, stated that the ethnographic and the dialectic difference between these peoples is more distinct than between the Belorussians and the South Russians (TRAUTMAN REINHOLD., 1948: 135).
            It has been noticed during the study that Russian words were represented disproportional in comparison with other languages by the plenty of items and consequently the area of the Russian language overlapped the areas of the Ukrainian and Belarus ones on the graphic model. Theoretically, this conclusion could confirm the thesis about existence of the common Old-Russian language but in that case we should add to the great amount of Russian words also Ukrainian and Belorussian words, absent in the Russian. Under such circumstances it was impossible to outline the model at all as the connections between particular languages contradicted themselves. The connections between all languages have been ordered just as the all set of Russian words was separated to two equivalent dialects. This separation can be made rather easily as the spread of Russian words on areas is given in the etymological dictionaries. The words, expanded through the Smolensk, Kaluga, Tula, Ryazan, Penza, Tambov, Saratov, and more southern regions (oblasts), have been delivered to the southern dialect (tongue) of the Russian language. Accordingly, the words, used in the more north regions, were referred to be of the northern dialect. The words, found only in Siberia and the Far Eastern, were not accepted to the study but they were of few amount. However, the mutual borrowings of these two Russian dialects, connected with common historical development, indistinct borders between them, and this has been affected while constructing the graphical model.
            Finally such Slavic languages were taken to the study: Polish, Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian, Belorussian, North Russian, South Russian, Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, and Slavic-Bulgarian. The traditional name of the latter language was changed for not to be confused with the tongue of the ancient Turkic people of the similar name: Bulgars. The calculations of the quantity of the common words between particular languages gave the results shown in the table below. The total of words from the several languages is submitted in the cells of the main diagonal of the table.

Language Polish Czech Slovak Belarus Ukrain N.Rus S.Rus Serb-Cr Sloven Sl.Bulg
Polish 374
Czech 247 473
Slovak 229 364 458
Belarus 169 167 177 356
Ukrain 238 257 265 266 487
N.Rus 165 198 192 240 271 484
S.Rus 189 205 217 253 304 330 480
Serb.-Cr 172 239 246 154 248 225 241 519
Sloven 126 199 207 106 180 169 181 303 394
Sl. Bulg 104 148 148 83 160 162 156 265 193 360

            However in spite of partial incorrect vocabulary material, the model of mutual relations of the Slavic languages (see right) does is almost such as the published anterior (STETSYUK V.M., 1987), except two areas of the Russian dialects instead the one Russian language. Yet, predictably, it was difficult to locate these two areas. Due to close historical development of the Russian dialects, the amounts of the common words in everyone of both with other languages are not very different. Thus, two areas of the Russian dialects got by graphic construction are so near to each other that their places on the model can be exchanged. Therefore other reasons were taken into account for arranging them on the general model of relations. In particular, phonetic features of Northern Russian give the warrant to place it closer than Southern Russian to the Polish language. Besides, the attribution of more western Slavic words to Southern Russian mentioned above also has been taken in attention. However, as the anew got graphical model does not differ especially from the anterior constructed, it was quite well located on the same place on the geographical map (see Map.6).The areas of the primary formation of dialects developed into modern-day languages later, are shown on the resulted map.

            Left: The areas of the formation of the considered Slavic languages. (The map of whole Slavic space is given apart in the section Slavs: Territory, Dialectal Split).

            Bel. – Belorus, Bulg – Slavic-Bulagarian, S. R. – southern dialect of Russian, N. R. – northern dialect of Russian, S.-H. – Serbian-Croatian, Ukr. – Ukrainian language.
            Such placing of the areas does not object the sights of the majority of present-day Slavists which agree to that, first, the primary Slavic dialect were arisen inside unitary Proto-Slavic language and that, secondly, the Slavs had the settlements to the east of the Vistula river up to the Dnepr river or even further. Moreover, the territory of the settlements of Slavs has been similarly defined by A. Machinskiy some years before first results of researches by a geographical method were obtained:

            Comparison of the data of written sources and archaeology convinces us that from the beginning of the 2nd cen. BC to the middle of the 4th cen. AD great bulk of ancestors of historical Slavdom (named by Germans Venethi) populated the territory limited by the Middle Neman river and the Middle and Upper W. Bug river on the west, southerly did by the line connected the Upper W. Bug and Low Psel rivers, on the east limited by the line which connects the Upper Psel and the Upper Oka river, the north boundary was run concerning the linguistic data along the Middle W. Dvina river to the sources of the Dnepr till the Oka (MACHINSKIY D.A., 1981: 32).

            Ukrainian scholar Yu. Kukharenko, having investigated "the fields of burial places" describes the south-east boundary of Early-Slavic tribes as the such, which "passed from the Upper Southern Bug eastward along the river Ros’ and further lay along the Dnepr roughly up to the mouth of the Psel, turned to north-east, running along the Psel, and further passed to the Upper Sula"(KUKHARENKO Yu.V., 1951: 15-16). It is seen on the map that such definition almost precisely corresponds to the southern boundary of the ethno-generating areas of the Middle Dnepr if some Slavic tribe occupied the area north of the Ros’. The term “ethno-making area” has the reason for its existence as the primary formation of several ethnoi could take place a few times on the same territories, limited by geographical boundaries. The study of the reason of this phenomenon can be carried out by scholars of different specialties – ethnologists, ethno-sociologists, geographers etc.
            The correctness of the defined areas of the formation of the Slavic languages is confirmed by place names. Yet for the present conclusive data are available only for the areas of the Czech and Slovak languages. The Czech area was placed on the territory of the Ukrainian historical region Volyn. The town of Volyně is known in Czechia near by Strakonice, the Southern-Czech Region. And some settlements Duliby originated from the tribal name Dulebs which once occupied Volyn can be found in Czechia too. One can also see that a lot of settlements of the Czech’s Urheimat and modern Czechia have similar names: Dubne – Dubna, Ostrov – Ostriv, Rudná – Rudn’a, Hradec – Horodets. Yet similar names from the widespread appellatives of type an oak, a birch, an alder, apple-tree, black, white, city, field, stone, sand, island, etc. can be formed under the common laws of word building independently on different places of Slavic settlements. Only original names, at least having no several doubles have to be taken into accout. Thus it is appeared, that there are very many parallels in names of settlements of Ukrainian Volyn and Czechia:
            Duchcov (the Northern – Czech Region) - Dukhče (to the North from Rozhishcha, Rozhishchiv district in Volyn Region),
            Jaroměř (on the north from Hradec-Kralove, the East-Czech Region) - Yaromel on the Northeast from Kivertsi, Kivertsi district in Volyn Region),
            Jičin (the East-Czech Region) - Yučin (near Tuchyn, Hoshcha district in Rivne Region),
            Krupa (the Middle-Czech Region) - Krupa (near to Lutsk),
            Lipno (the Southern-Czech Region) - Lipno (in extreme East of Kivertsi district in Volyn Region),
            Letovice (Southern-Moravian Region) - Letovišče (in extreme North of Shumsky district in Ternopil Region),
            Ostroh (on the East from Brno, Southern-Moravian Region) – the Ostroh (Rivne Region),
            Radomyšl (near Strakonice, Southern-Czech region) - Radomyšl (on the South from Lutsk), though another Radomyšl is already on territory of Slovak Urheimat),
            Telč (in the West of Southern-Moravian region) – Telči (in extreme east of Manevychi district in Volyn Region).
            However it is interesting, that there are names of settlements confirming by their form, that the Czeches came on places of the present settlements just from Volyn. It is known, that resettlement people give sometimes diminutive names of old settlements to new ones. We have such three examples for our case:
            Horažd'ovice (in the South of the Western-Czech Region) is the diminutive name of Harazdža (on the south from Lutsk),
            Pardubice (the East-Czech region) – the diminutive name of Pariduby (on the West from Kovel in Starovyzhevsk district of Volyn Region),
            Semčice (near Mlada Boleslav, the Middle-Czech Region) - the diminutive name of Semki (on the Styr, Manevychi district in Volyn Region).
            Many parallels can be found also between Slovak toponymics and place names on the territory of Slovak Urheimat, though they have sometimes doublets in other places what can reflect a route of their migration. The examples of diminutive names on new places of settlements are such:
            Malinec (Middle-Slovak region, to the East of Zvolen) - Malin (the center of district in Zhitomir region and the village in Mlyniv district of Rivne region),
            Malčice (East – Slovak region), Malčici (Yavoriv district in Lviv region) - Malci (Narovla district, Belorossia),
            Lučenec (the South of Middle-Slovak region), Lučenec’ (Murovani-Kurylivtsi district in Vinnitsa region) - Lučyn (Popelnia district in Zhitomir Region),
            Kremnica (Middle-Slovak Region) - Kremno (Luhiny district in Zhitomir Region).
            There are also pairs of the names almost identical: Makovce (the North of East-Slovak Region) - Makovyci (Novohradvolynsk district in Zhitomir Region),
            Prešov (East-Slovak Region) – Pr’aživ (a little to the South of Zhitomir),
            Košice (East-Slovak Region) - Košečky (Ovruch district in Zhitomir Region),
            Levoča (East-Slovak Region) - Levači (Berezneve district in Rivne Region).
            There are also some pairs names, which similarity can be casual:
            Humenne (East-Slovak Region) - Humennyky (Korostyshiv in Zhitomir Region),
            Bardejov (East-Slovak Region) - Bardy (Korosten’ district in Zhitomir Region), etc.

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