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The Urheimat of the Nostratic Languages

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

The Urheimat of the Nostratic Languages

            The construction of the graphic models can be demonstrated on the example of the Nostratic languages. This term is used for the phylum of six big language families of the Old World: Altaic, Uralic, Dravidian, Indo-European, Kartvelian and Semitic-Hamitic (Hamito-Semitic, or Afro-Asiatic) which seem to have a common parent language. The necessary data for the analysis were sourced from the work of the Ukrainian linguist Illich-Switych (ILLICH-SVITYCH V.M., 1971 ). He analyzed and systematized similarities in word structure, grammar and vocabulary of the Nostratic languages and gave a large volume of such matches between these languages in his book. The scholar assumed that these similarities can be interpreted only within the theory postulating genetic relationship of these languages i.e. that they are monophyletic and belong to one super-family (phylum) of the Nostratic languages.
            Some of the results of Illich-Svitych’ study were taken from tables in his book (morphologic features and the vocabulary of 147 units) and 286 matches were found in the further text. After the comparison of this data with the research materials of another Russian scholar (ANDREYEV N.D., 1986), consistent with the results of Illich-Switych, they were supplemented with 27 words from the Uralic languages and 8 words from the Altaic languages. As a result, it is turned out that we determined 433 features in total. Thirty four of them were common for the whole phylum and the rest was composed by 255 units from the Altaic, 255 units from the Uralic, 253 units from the Indo-European, 240 units from the Semitic-Hamitic, 189 units from the Dravidian, and 139 units from the Kartvelian languages respectively. Then the number of mutual features in language pairs was calculated. The results of the calculation are given in table 1.

Altaic – Uralic
167 
Uralic – Kartvelian
66
Altaic – Indo-European
153
Indo-European – Semitic-Hamitic
147
Altaic – Semitic-Hamitic
149
Indo-European – Dravidian
108
Altaic – Dravidian
109
Indo-European – Kartvelian
70
Altaic – Kartvelian
84
Semitic-Hamitic – Dravidian
110
Uralic – Indo-European
151
Semitic-Hamitic – Kartvelian
86
Uralic – Semitic-Hamitic
136
Dravidian – Kartvelian
54
Uralic – Dravidian
134
                        Left: Table 1. Quantity of mutual features between language families.


We can’t yet speak about the certain rule in the analyzed data but one can find out that as a rule there is the biggest volume of mutual words in the Altaic, Uralic, Semitic-Hamitic and Indo-European languages. Let’s try to build the graphic model of the Nostratic relationship to prove the existence of a certain rule in this data. First, the distances between the centres of the habitats of individual Nostratic speakers at the time of these languages arising has to be calculated with the formula L = K/N, where L is the distance, N is the number of mutual words (features) in separate pairs and K is the scale factor to be determined, (K > 0). The choice of the scale factor is determined by the size of the plane of building our model. Number K = 1000 is consistent with our data. So the distances in cm between the areas of particular languages have are presented in table 2.


Altaic – Uralic
6.0
Uralic – Kartvelian
15.2
Altaic – Indo-European
6.5
Indo-European – Semitic-Hamitic
6.8
Altaic – Semitic-Hamitic
6.7
Indo-European – Dravidian
9.3
Altaic – Dravidian
9.2
Indo-European – Kartvelian
14.3
Altaic – Kartvelian
11.3
Semitic-Hamitic – Dravidian
9.1
Uralic – Indo-European
6.6
Semitic-Hamitic – Kartvelian
11.6
Uralic – Semitic-Hamitic
7.3
Dravidian – Kartvelian
18.5
Uralic – Dravidian
7.5
            Right: Table 2. Distances between centers of language family areas at the diagram, cm.


            The construction of the model requires reiterations. First, one point for each language is determined on two co-ordinates. These six points determine the estimated places of languages and their exact places are to be found with the subsequent iterations. In principle, one can start building the model from any language but when it is unknown in which direction it will extend it can exceed the limits of the plane. Therefore it is better to start with the language pair which has more mutual features. In this case, this pair is the Altaic and Uralic languages. So, first, the segment AB with length of 6cm corresponding with the number of mutual words in these two languages is placed close to the centre of the plane. The ends of this segment determine the place for points of the Altaic and Uralic languages (see figure left).


            The points for the Indo-European and Semitic-Hamitic languages are placed on the base of this segment. We start with the point for the Semitic-Hamitic because this language has more mutual features with Kartvelian and Dravidian. According to the number of mutual features the point of Semitic-Hamitic is to be placed at the distance of 6,7cm from the point of the Altaic language, and at 7,4 cm from the point of the Uralic language. Two arcs with such radiuses are made by the pair of compasses and the point of Semitic-Hamitic is situated on their attachment. There can be two of such points – to the left and to the right of the base AB. The first of them determines the final appearance of the graphic model that can have two mutually reflexive variants. We select the point closer to the centre and obtain three points – A, B, C, and look for point D for the Indo-European languages.

           It is also situated on the base AB. It has to be at the interval of 6,5 cm from the point A and at the interval of 6,6 cm from the point B. Two corresponding arcs are made with a pair of compasses opposite to the point C, so point D is found. (Point D can’t be close to the point C, for the Indo-European and Semitic-Hamitic languages should have had considerably more mutual characteristics in such case, when it not like that in the reality). The point E for the Dravidian languages is placed on base BC because the Semitic-Hamitic and Uralic languages have the biggest number of mutual features with Dravidian. Thus this point is placed at the interval of 7,5 cm from the Uralic point and 9,1 cm from the Semitic-Hamitic point in direction from the centre of the model, otherwise it lies next to the Altaic point h.e. not consistent with the number of mutual features between them. The point F for the Kartvelian languages is placed the same way but on the base AC. As the first iteration is finished, we can determine the scheme of the graphic model for the Nostratic languages. The areas of these languages are to be somehow close to the points A, B, C, D, E, F. Then the positions of the language areas are corrected by building points on other bases. It goes without saying that new points do not overlap each other.


            The whole configuration of the aggregate of points for each language prompts us the direction where we have to move the areas in order to place the points forming the most compact graph. In so doing, we can repeat two or three iterations to get the definitive graphical model of language relationship. In our case the model of the Nostratic language relationship has the final appearance presented on the figure right.
            The method of the construction will be more understandable if you repeat it independently. The next step is to find the corresponding region for this model, as the region of the Fertile Crescent and Transcaucasia has central position to the resent-day lands of peoples of the Nostratic phylum, it should be somewhere in this region. Analyzing the map in detail considering the obligatory availability of geographic boundaries there is nothing more suitable than the territory near three lakes Van, Sevan and Urmia (Rezaye) – see map on the figure below

            The fact that six (h.e. very significant!) modern independent states are situated in this region supports our opinion that these frontiers here are very well expressed. Three lakes form a regular triangle where the central part of our model can be perfectly placed. But as this triangle has regular shape, different variants of its arrangement are possible and immediately the problem of choice of the correct variant comes out. It is evident that the Dravidian ancestry had to be settled somewhere to the South or to the East of the whole territory. Additional reason for the choice was, first, the fact that the present-day Kartvelians evidently live close to their old settlements and, second, the possibility of migration for the Indo-European, Altaic and Uralic peoples to the north without obstacle must be considered. If we consider the reflexive variant, the Kartvelians were to inhabit the territory to the North from what is nowadays Azerbaijan on the slopes of the Greater Caucasus that should have made their contacts with the rest of Nostratic peoples impossible as they should have been separated by still existing large swamps near the rivers Low Aras and Kura. Thus, accepting our model, the Kartvelian predecessors covered the territory of what is nowadays Georgia, to the south from the Lesser Caucasus and a part of Armenian highland in the Chorokh and the Upper Kura valley. Altaic ancestry located near the Sevan lake on the south slopes of the Lesser Caucasus and probably at the other bank of the river Kura up to Aridag range and the Ararat mountain. The Indo-Europeans lived to the East from Altaic people behind Zangezur range, probably at the territory of present-day Karabakh and at the right side of the river Aras up to the swamps on the east and the north. Uralic ancestors occupied the country near the Lake Urmia and the Semitic-Hamitic peoples lived to the west from them near the Lake Van. The Dravidian ancestry inhabited the region to the south from Semitic-Hamitic and Uralic people on the slopes of Khakiari and Kurdistan chains in of the Tigris, Great and Little Zab valleys.

            The earliest civilization in Mesopotamia was created by the people known as Sumerians. Sumerian tongue was not included to the phylum of the Nostratic languages but it is logical to suppose that it may belong to them. Sumerian is an agglutinative language like Dravidian, Uralic and Altaic. If we shall attempt to find the Sumerian-Uralic lexical correspondences, one of them will strike our eye. This is a place-name Sumer/Somer dispersed on the territory of Finnic territory. Other Sumerian-Uralic matches can be such: “breath” can be added here too.



View Nostratic Urheimat in a larger map

            Some facts evidence that the speakers of Indo-European, Finno-Ugric and Turkic, having abode in Transcaucasia during 7-6 mill. BC and perhaps formerly, migrated to the new places probably at the beginning of the 5th mill BC (STETSYUK VALENTYN, 1998). As it can be conjectured, the ancient Indo-European, Uralic, and Turkic tribes or clans came through Derbent pass to the Northern Caucasus. However it should be noted that not all speakers of Nostratic languages had to leave their ancestral home. Further results of the research, as well as the historical facts suggest that while the relocation of peoples, some their part, which not did decide or not had reason to go on long journeys, always stayed on the old places of settlements. Traces of the remaining Indo-Europeans, Uralics and the Turks need to look in the further history and languages of the people of the Middle East.

            The locality where we placed the speakers of the Nostratic languages was very comfortable for settlements, because it had very favorable geographical and natural conditions for primitive life. The surrounding area consists of many mountain ranges, plateaus which are located between deep troughs. S. Sardarian describing geographical conditions of the country, writes:

            In ancient times, due to the huge underground explosions, lava flows filled the abysses, leveled land contours and simultaneously lifted it. Alluvial deposits also gave extraordinary fertility of the land (SARDARIAN S.A., 1954: 25).

            There are many mountains of typical volcanic origin, the most known of which are the Ararat and Aragats. Mt Ararat is 5156 meters height, broad and fertile Ararat valley height of 800-1000 m above sea level spread out around. The mountains have rather gentle, wooded slopes and deep rivers that originate outside the snow-covered peaks, nourish vegetation of the mountains and the surrounding plain. The locality due their wealth of obsidian deposits, convenience for hunting and water supplies was during the entire Quaternary very favorable habitat for Paleolithic man. Here is how Marco Polo described the area near Mount Ararat:

           Below… the snow does melt, and runs down, producing such rich abundant herbage that in summer cattle are sent to pasture from a long way about, and it never fails them. The melting snow also causes a great amount of mud on the mountain. (MARCO POLO. 1986: 42)

            Three large local lakes around which settled people are relatively small, for example, the deepest lake Urmia has just 15 m deep, the deepest of them, Sevan has a depth of only 60 meters. Consequently, the water in the lakes is well warmed up, what contributed to breeding fish and, consequently, the development of fisheries in the local population. However, T. Gamkrelidze and V.Ivanov write nothing about fishing at Indo-Europeans, and no common Indo-European name of the fish exists. But the Indo-Europeans did not dwell near any lake and fishing could engage only in limited extent. In contrary to them, ancient Turks and Uralians populated lake shores obviously lived by fishing. The Turkic and Finno-Ugric languages have common word for calling fish balyk and kala respectively. Perhaps the Indo-Europeans engaged more in hunting. T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov assert: "Detected traces special hunting terminology suggests a developed hunting activities" (GAMKRELIDZE T., IVANOV, V.V. , 1984, 697). The similar thought about the ancient Indo-Europeans was expressed by N. Andreyev:

           Present significant number of words belonging scope of hunting and gathering in PIE shows that these two occupations (along with cattle in its initial stages) were the main means of livelihood in the era of the formation of PIE. This situation allows to date the mentioned epoch at the turn of the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic (ANDREYEV N.D., 1986: 39).

           There are only insufficient archaeological data to suppose the ethicity and lifestyle of the population in the area of the three lakes at Paleolithic times, as collected here late Paleolithic finds "… did not exceed the frame of small collections" (RANOV V.A., 1978: 196). The dating of existence PIE society is justified by N. Andreyev due lack in PIE language "words… which would have pointed on stall or at least paddock cattle maintenance", but the time of formation of livestock breeding, according to him, is considered to be in Mesolithic (ibid). T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov assert the opposite: "Indo-European language reflected developed system of livestock with the availability of main animals" (GAMKRELIDZE T., IVANOV V.V., 1984: 868). This is an example of how understanding of the same facts can be quite different. To set the time, when around three lakes lived the speakers of the Nostratic languages ​​dwelt in the locality aroun three lakes, let us consider still other facts.
            Archaeological evidences suggests that in VIII – VII mill. BC Southwest Asia was inhabited by people quite high cultural level. Even then large settlements with population of up to a thousand people emerged here. (HERRMAMM JOACHIM, 1982: 41). There were in the Middle East wild species now cultivated plants – wheat, barley, legumes. Here approximately in IX thousand people begins to engage in primitive agriculture and animal husbandry, domesticating at first dog. Archaeology confirms that new forms of management were applied in places located not far from the lakes Van and Urmia:

           During the VIII mill. BC small farming and pastoral groups, which only occasionally ventured down to the plain, were settling in Zagros, Sinjar and Taurus Mountains (BROMLEY Yu.V., 1986: 274).

            Speakers of the Nostratic languages which had settled large space in Europe and Asia later had to stay of Asia Minor in most to VI-V mill. BC. We can assume that the Semitic-Hamitic and Dravidian people who occupied the southern areas of the Nostratic space began as the first to leave their Urheimats, settling mentioned highlands. Cartvelians, Turks and Indo-Europeans, apparently still remained on their places, you can connect with them three options of Chalkolithic Culture of the VI – V mill. BC which were determined bya known scientist ( BROMLEY Yu. V , 1986: 294) :
           - In Southeast Georgia and West Azerbaijan (assuming that it was Cartvelian);
           - South-East Azerbaijan (Indo-European);
           - In the Ararat valley of Armenia (Turks) .
           Semitic-Hamitic, settling further to the south and southwest, reached Palestine and founded here the city of Jericho, Byblos, and Shechem, and others. The speakers of an unknown Nostratic language (perhaps Hatti, Hurrians?) or Hittites built the city of Catal Hüyük (Çatal Hüyük) in South Anatolia, which numbered 2 – 3 000 inhabitants (according to other sources – 5 th.) for about 6,000 years BC. It was built of stones weighing up to two tons of limestone cliffs broken in. (KRÄMER WALTER, 1971: 57-58). That alone speaks of the level of culture and work organization builders. Accordingly, the language of these people would have to be quite advanced, at least, they were able to count.
            This assumption seem to be contradicted by the fact that "… there are in the supposed habitat of PIE speakers in VI – V millennium BC no archeological culture that would explicitly relate to the Proto-Indo-European one" (GAMKRELIDZE T.V., IVANOV V.V., 1984: 891).
           According to M. Andronov relocation of Dravidians to South India was held at the II-I millennium BC and in the III mill. BC Dravidian community existed somewhere in Pakistan (ANDRONOV M.S., 1982: 178). Obviously, Dravidians can be associated with site Yahya Tepe in South-eastern Iran, dating back since V mill. till the end of II mill. BC, and later cultures of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro in India. In addition, we have to consider that "Proto-Dravidian community was split by the end of the IV mill. BC, when Dravidian-speaking tribes began moving in the south and south-east" (BONGRAD-LEVIN G.M., 1981: 301). Thus, at least for some time, but not later than III thousand BC Proto-Dravidians inhabited the territory of Iran and Pakistan. Then they were absent in Asia Minor at V mill BC.
            These and other evidence let to suggest that the existence of Proto- Nostratic language we should assume long before VII millennium BC Start time and place of its formation is still difficult exactly to determine. However, V. Alekseev admits the possibility of existence of centers, within which there were main events of race-genetic processes. One of such two possible sites in the world he thinks to be in West Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean (ALEKSEEV V.P., 1991: 49). However, in 1947, monocenteric hypothesis was proposed by J. Roginskiy supported by other researchers (CHEBOKSAROV N.N., CHEBOKSAROVA I.A., 1985: 151). In accordance with this hypothesis, the type of modern man emerged in the Near East and the Mediterranean as a result of mixing of different representatives of the Neanderthal type. There are reasons to believe that "typological heterogeneity of Paleolithic humanity was smaller than modern one, and this is a clear argument in favor of the hypothesis monocentrism. (SHCHOKIN HEORHIY. 2002: 77).
            Speakers of common Nostratic language undoubtedly stood still at a relatively low cultural level. Modern languages ​​of this language superfamily have only vague traces of common forms in the account system (see " To the Primary Formation of Numerals in the Nostratic Languages"). Common numerals appeared in separated Nostratic languages after the split of the Nostratic community, although it is possible to find traces of subsequent borrowings. Also, there are no common words related to developed forms of economic and constructing. There are among the 34 common language features found in materials of V. Illich–Svitych prevailing morphemes, pronouns and verbs meaning "to beat", "to split", "to cut", "to chop", "to drill", "to bend", "to seize", "to tear", "to knit" "to scream". Words meaning "ear", "many", "deep", "night", "edge" and similar others are present too. Noteworthy is the fact that this group is dominated by words from a technological and hunting semantics, but there are two words for signalling very necessary during hunting. As an example is given separately a small list of common lexical heritage of Nostratic languages, where may be present words appeared in the period of Nostratic community, as also since later time.
           Staying in close proximity on their Urheimat in Asia Minor, the speakers of individual Nostratic languages ​fell under mutual influences in the economic and cultural life. The most successful technical solutions, as well as attractive cultural ideas spread rapidly not only among neighbors, but could cover more space. Borrowing objects and concepts was accompanied by spread of their names. Of course, the more linguistic features had residents of neighboring areas, but it is also possible that the presence of such a community may indicate a common origin of languages ​​whose speakers now reside at a great distance. In our case, there are certain correspondences between Finno-Ugric and Sumerian languages. Evidences of this can be found in the works of different scientists
           T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov asserted that IE *reudh "red (metal)" may be borrowed from the Sumerian language, which ihas the word urudu "copper" and Sum. guškiu "gold" associated with Indo-European names of the metal (the closest form of arm. oski) and on the basis of these two facts, find it possible to speak about the contacts between these languages ​​and the proximity of their habitat distribution. In connection with this we may add that the Sumerian guškiu is very similar to the Finno-Ugric names of different metals Lapp. vešš'k "copper", Est. vask "copper", Fin. vaski "iron" Mokhsa us'ke "iron" and others. Sumerian belonging to a particular language family has not yet been determined. If you try to search Sumerian-Ural parallels, one of them can immediately jump into the eyes of the Russians – a fairly common appellative sumer/somer on the former and modern Finno-Ugric language territory (the Sumer' River in Moscow Region, else the town of Shumerlya in Chuvashia, the town of Sumerichi north of Lake Onega, the city of Somero west of Helsinki, Lake Somer in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea). There are still other Sumerian-Uralic parallel: the same Sum. urudu – Komi görd, Udm. gord, Hanty wêrte, Hung. vörös (from vörözvöröt), all – "red" ; Sum. gir "oven" – Hanty kör, Mansi kur, Komi gor, Udm. kur, Est. keris "oven"; Sum. kaš "urine" – common Finnisf-Ugric *kusi "urine" (Finnish, Est. kusi, Veps. kuzi, Udm. kyz' ); Sum. kišib "an ant" – Fin. kusianen, Est. kusikas, Udm. kuz'yli "an ant"; Sum. kur "mountain" – Lapp. kurro, Mari kuryk "mountain" , Komi kyr "steep" , Mansi karys "high"; Sum. gal' "earth, place", Hung. hely – "place", Veps. kal'l' "a rock", Komi gala "limit" ; Sum. můd "blood" – Fin. mäta, Est. mada "pus" ; Sum. sub "to suck", "tobreastfeed" – Hung. szopik, Udm. s'ups'kany, Mari šupalaš "to suck".
           A List of numerous Sumerian-Finno-Ugric lexical matches is given on Body Parts. Some of them can be attributed to the common Nostratic heritage, and perhaps this is why some Hungarian scientists limit relatives of Sumerian and Finno-Ugric languages only in favor of the Hungarian language. One of them is prof. Alfrėd Tóth who came to conclusion in one of his work that the Hungarian language is not belonging to the Finno-Ugric family of languages and is a direct descendant of the Sumerian (TÓTH ALFRĖD, 2007). Here is not the place to evaluate the work of professor, only need to note that he focuses solely on the Sumerian- Hungarian lexical parallels, oblivious to their presence in other Finno-Ugric languages. Taking into account that no other languages of Nostratic superfamily have similar ties to Sumerian, and that it does not belong to the Afro-Asiatic languages, we can assume that this language belongs to the Ural or Dravidian family. Possible belonging of the Sumerian (and Elamite) language to the Dravidian language family is explained because Proto-Dravidians populated area closest to Mesopotamia (unfortunately, the Dravidian–Sumerian language connection in these studies were not studyid specifically). A. Maloletko found Asiatic elements in the language and onomastics of Vasyugan Khanty. He cites two dozens of examples of Khanty words in one of his work which have matches in the languages of Asia Minor and the Caucasus. An unexplained element lat is present among hydronyms prevalent in the basin of the Vasyugan Rver which has matches in the region of Lake Van and in the headwaters of the Tigris River (MALOLETKO A.M., 1990, 81-82).
            You can also find parallels between Sumerian and Finno-Ugric mythology. For example, Munci Kors-Torum, Khanty Num Kurys – the ancestor of the gods and the creator of the world (after the flood the role of the supreme deity passed to his son Numi Torum) recall the name of the Sumerian god-warrior Ningirsu (Nin-Girsu). Komi god-demiurge Yen together with enezh "heaven", Udm. Inmar "god", in(m) "heaven", Mari yimy "god" correspond exactly to Sum An – "heaven god" (AFANASIYEVA V.K., 1991. MFW. Volume 1: 75).
            Another word was present in the Sumerian language for deity – dingir or diĝir which connection with Turkic tengri, tejri, tanri, tärä "god" is considered undoubted. Fin. tunturi "high forestless mountain" иand Lapp. tundar, tuoddar "a mountain". They also include here Hatt. tux "deity", Circassian tkhe "god, deity", Indo-European *deiuos "god", "heaven" (KADYRDZIEV K.S., 1983, 130-148), and it looks doubtful for phonetic reasons. In contrast, Old Germanic match *đunra "thunder", "god of thunder" can hardly be a coincidence, but its origin has another explanation.
           A theme of flood is spread in different versions among the peoples of all continents (FRAZAR J.G., 1986, 96-147). The legends narrate almost always that righteous escape on an island, a tree, or on any floating craft. Western Asia experienced two glaciers – Riss and Würm (Valdai). It is possible that the flood could be due to the melting of ice and snow on the mountain tops after the last warming, and people really fled to the mountains of volcanic origin which as islands have been raised above the sea water. However melting snow could not be so fleeting to flood vast areas of the Armenian highlands. An additional condition should have been heavy rains which cause floods even at present, but also accelerate the melting of the snows. Other causes of the flood are possible. Recently a new hypothesis gain popularity about the flooding. As if low-lying areas around the Black Sea were covered flooded due to its level rise caused by the break jumper, separating it from the waters of the world ocean in place of the modern Sea of Marmara and the Bosporus and Dardanelles. Detailed and interesting evidence of this give W. Pitman and W. Ryan (WALTER PITMAN, WILLIAM RYAN, 1998). However, during this flood water does not flood the Armenian Plateau, so another flood had to be just round the Mount Ararat. Its name somewhat resembles the Turk. aral "an island". Using Old Turkic art "Plateau Mountain" (NADELIAYEV V.M. a. o., 1999) Ararat have determined very accurately – "an island mountain". However, the Bible does not speak of Mount Ararat, but about the "mountains of Ararat", so we can conclude that Noah's ark landed not optional on the Mount Ararat and it received its name later as a memory of the flood, when people settled near it.
            The existence of three large lakes nearby Mount Ararat fit very good with their three Noah's sons. Perhaps, the tradition preserved the memory of the three ancestors of the tribes, who settled around these lakes. A legend of Adam, too, can have a real basis. The word Adam meaning "a man" is present in almost all Turkic languages and also in Iranian, Caucasian, Finno-Ugric. All researchers believed that it if of Persian-Arabic origin, but in the Chuvash word etem has a form can not be explained by borrowing. Mari aydems "a man" also can not be explained by borrowing, in contrast to the Udm. adyami "the same". The Khanty language has the word átamá meaning "people", as in form and in meaning it does not seem to be borrowed from Turkic. Chuvash has other words of this root: Atam – the name of a deity, a few unexplained geographical names – village Chavash-Etem, Tutar-Atem, the Etem-Shive River. Chuvash expression "Etem yurtna shaman" (a small bone to bewitch), according to V. Sergeyev, reminds Biblical themes, he explains it as "a bone has loved by Adam" (SERGEYEV V.I., 1981: 105). Ossetian adäm means "people". Words of this root and similar sense ("a man", "a husband") are spread throughout the Caucasus: Georg. adamiani, Lak. adamina, Avar. adan, Agul. idemi, Ahv. ande, Bats. admiā, Buduh. idmi, Darg. adam, Lezgi itim, Rutul edemi, Chechn. adam, etc. Perhaps some of them are borrowed from the Arabic or Turkic languages, but not all, as it is evidenced by the variety of forms. Presumably Germanic words meaning "a son-in-law" Ger Eidam, OE. ethum, Old Frisian athom could be originated from this root. Hence, there is reason to believe that adam is ancient Nostratic word meaning "a man". It is believed that on – Heb. adamah has original meaning "earth", "red". Such prosaic explanation for the name of a person is somewhat doubtful. A man in the imagination of primitive people could differ from the animal that has a soul. In this regard, the word adam in sense "a man" can also be compared with Ger. Atem "breath, spirit" and other Germanic words of this roots and the same meaning. F. Kluge (A. KLUGE FRIIEDRICH, 1989) compares Germanic words with Old Ind atma "breath ,soul" ("Hauch, Seele"). J. Pokorny (A. POKORNY J., 1949-1959) relates Germ Atem to PIE *etmen "breath" and gives matches to it in the Indian and Celtic languages. G. Frisk (A. FRISK H., 1970) classifies here Gr ατμοσ " steam" . Obviously Iranian words dam "breath" are belonging to this group. Consequently, the definition of man as a creature that has a soul is more believable than its origin linked to the earth. Such explanation might be supposed later by scholars of the Bible.
            Some facts evidence that the speakers of Indo-European, Finno-Ugric and Turkic, having abode in Transcaucasia during 7-6 mill. BC and perhaps formerly, migrated to the new places probably at the beginning of the 5th mill BC (STETSYUK VALENTYN, 1998). As it can be conjectured, the ancient Indo-European, Uralic, and Turkic tribes or clans came through Derbent pass to the Northern Caucasus. However it should be noted that not all speakers of Nostratic languages had to leave their ancestral home. Further results of the research, as well as the historical facts suggest that while the relocation of peoples, some their part, which not did decide or not had reason to go on long journeys, always stayed on the old places of settlements. Traces of the remaining Indo-Europeans, Uralics and the Turks need to look in the further history and languages of the people of the Middle East.



Common Nostratic Heritage in Vocabularies of Türks and Indoeuropeans

Traces of Contacts of Turks and Indo-Europeans in Vocabularies

The Hypothetic Nostratic Consonant RZ

To the Primary Formation of Numerals in the Nostratic Languages


The Relationship of the Sino-Tibetan languages

The Relationship of the Altaic and Turkic languages.

The Anthropological Type of the Autochthon Europeans

The North Caucasian Languages




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