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«BUDAG BUDAGOV Turkic Toponyms of Eurasia BUDAG BUDAGOV Turkic Toponyms of Eurasia © “Elm” Publishing House, 1997 Sponsored by VELIYEV RUSTAM ...»

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Turkic Toponyms




Turkic Toponyms



© “Elm” Publishing House, 1997




T ranslated






Budagov B.A.

Turkic Toponyms of Eurasia. - Baku “Elm”, 1997, -1 7 4 p.

ISBN 5-8066-0757-7

The geographical toponyms preserved in the immense territories of Turkic nations are considered in this work. The author speaks about the parallels, twins of Azerbaijani toponyms distributed in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Altay, the Ural, Western Si­ beria, Armenia, Iran, Turkey, the Crimea, Chinese Turkistan, etc. Be­ sides, the geographical names concerned to other Turkic language nations are elucidated in this book.

4602000000-533 В ------------------------© “ Elm ” Publishing House, 1997


Budag Abdulali oglu Budagov was bom in 1928 at the village o f Chobankere, Zangibasar district (now Masis), Armenia. He graduated from the Yerevan Pedagogical School in 1947, the Azerbaijan State Pedagogical Institute (Baku) in 1951. In 1955 he was awarded his candidate and in 1967 doctor’ degree. In 1976 he was elected the s corresponding-member and in 1989 full-member o f the Azerbaijan Academy o f Sciences.

Budag Abdulali oglu is the author o f more than 500 scientific articles and 30 books. Researches on a number o f problems o f the geographical science such as geomorphology, toponymies, history o f geography, school geography, conservation o f nature, ecology have been carried out by academician B.A.Budagov. He makes a valuable contribution for popularization o f science. He is considered one o f the founders o f the geographical science in Azerbaijan.

B.A.Budagov was awarded with the golden medal named after N.A.Przhevalsk founded by the All-Union Geographical Society o f the former USSR for his work titled “Geomorphology and New Tectonics o f the South-Eastern Caucasus”.

Many monographs have been written by B.A.Budagov. Some o f them are: “Geomorphological Conditions and Agriculture o f Azerbaijan”, “Hasanbey Zardabi’ Geographical Thoughts”, "The Present and s Acient Glaciers o f the Major Caucasian Part o f Azerbaijan ”, “The Life o f Mountains”, “Geomorphology o f the Southern Slope o f the Major Caucasus", “Wonderful Mountains”, “Natural Landscapes o f the Azerbaijan SSR and Their Protection", “Let us Protect the Nature”, “The Nature o f Azerbaijan”, “ My Native Land, My Native Country”, “The Present Natural Landscape o f Azerbaijan ", “ Azerbaijan’ Natural s Monuments”, “ Nature and Poetry”, “Life Lasted as Long as Novruz”, “The Tribes o f Chobakere”, etc. Besides, B.A.Budagov is the co-author o f many works including “Geomorphology o f Azerbaijan ”, “ Relief and New Tectonic Movements o f the South-Eastern Caucasus”, “M udr Stream in the Kishchay Basin and Control Measurements”, “General Characteristics and Developmental History o f the Relief o f Caucasus ”, “Regional Geomorphology o f the Caucasus”, “The People’ Son ”.s In 1994 B.A.Budagov wrote and published an original work titled “Turkic Toponyms o f Eurasia “ in the Azerbaijan language. We believe this serious work is a new stage in creative activity o f the noted scientist.

As the book was accepted very warmly by the readers the author decided to introduce it to the judgment o f English speaking readers. I ’ far m from considering the advantages o f the book, let the readers themselves judge and value the merits and demerits o f it. As regards the English version o f the book I should like to emphasize that the translator did his best to translate so difficult materials. This is the first attempt in this sphere. That’ why there can be some mistakes in translation and s edition. We shall be very thankful to everyone who will send his (or her) comments and recommendations for the next editions.

Academician Budag Abdulali oglu Budagov is known not only within the Azerbaijan, but in the foreign countries as well. We believe the noted scientist will gladden the readers with his new interesting works.


FOREWORD Present-day Turkic peoples dispose their own ethnic name, tradi­ tional economic life, material and spiritual culture, developed lan­ guage. Historically any nation which populates specific geographical dimensions may be regarded either local, autochtonous or alien. The same is true about Turkic peoples. For example, Yakuts, Altaians, Kazakhs, Shors, Tuvinians, other Turkic-language peoples are auto­ chtonous population of their present-day territories. Worthy of note is the following phrase of Gapagan ruler (Turkic runic writing of the VI century): 'The Eilm (concerned Turkic kingdom - B.B.) has been es­ tablished by Yabga oglu Sobra Tamganchur, his junior brother Hoja together with Sabra Tamgan Tarkhan, and generally by sixty five forefathers".

In emergency Uigurs migrated to neighbouring regions; despite this fact they had historically recognized the Chinese Turkistan as their original and final native land. Yakuts inhabited littorals of Arctic Ocean - Kamchatka, Chukotka and even Alyaska (North American continent). However, Turk-Seljuks migrated to the West-Asia Minor by laying the foundation of the modern Turkish language.

So the majority of Turkic-language peoples had primarily popu­ lated their present places of residence. As distinguished from IndoEuropean peoples - the English, Spanish, French, German, etc. who have settled in North, Central and South America, Australia, Africa and Asia - Turks reside historically on their primary lands.

This area mostly covers a certain part of Asian continent and south-east of Europe, including North Caucasus, Transcaucasia and South Azerbaijan.

There has been spread an idea that the Turcik-origin Azebaijanese living in Transcaucasia and in both parts of Azerbaijan settled there in the Miidle Ages. However, it is currently evident that the an­ cestors of Azerbaijani nation were originally autochtonous. It is a matter of current interest to study the thousand-year history of the Turkic world, its commonly-rooted culture, ethnography and toponymy.

To some linguists' thinking, all the languages of the world are, one way or another, interrelated, they enrich, extend and develop each other. True, this does not mean that one linguistic family arose at the expence of another. This relationship ("nostratic languages", as lin­ guists used to say) reaffirms that, besides community of their origin, the tribes who spoke different languages maintained mutual contacts.

Thus, Altaic-origin toponyms (Turkic toponyms are widely spread on the Asian part of the former USSR, to the east of Europe - the Ural mountains system, in the basin of the Volga river, Crimean peninsula, south of Ukraine, in Bulgaria, Hungary, North Caucasus, Transcauca­ sia, Iran) turned out spread far from compact settlement of Turkic peoples.

The present study deals mainly with Turkic toponyms spread on afore-said areas.

A branch of onomastics - toponymy examines geographycal names. On the whole, onomastics includes, in addition to toponymy, patronyms, cosmonyms, anthroponyms, etc. 'Topos" is a Greek word, signifies "place, area, relief, while "onoma" means "name".

Combination of these words gave rise to "toponymies". Toponymy investigates the geographical names of separate areas (for example, Azerbaijan), toponymies is a science which studies toponymy.

Considering the use of "General toponymy" word-combination to be meaningless, Y.M.Murzayev (1973) gives preference to " General and regional toponymies" word-combination. The latter deals with theoretical and practical aspects of the science, prevalence of geo­ graphical names in space and time, their stratification, etc.

V A N ikonov (1966) attaches great importance to historical, lin­ guistic and geographical aspects of geographical names: 'The towns turned into ruins, states destroyed, languages and related peoples lost but it is names that survived. Fragile words proved firmer than granite". This remark is very much to the point.

You'd better pay attention to the words related to Azerbaijan:

Caspiy (name of sea), the Caucasus, passage of Caspiy (later Derbend), Khazar, Gazakh, Gazanchy. According to the latest investiga­ tions, these toponyms go back to ancient times springing from Turkicorigin Kas ethnos. The mid - II millenium B.C.Assyrian sources men­ tion the tribe of Kas on the territory of South Azerbaijan. At present no people with this name exists in the world, though there are still, and ever be, toponyms and ethnonyms of the same name.

As the toponymies develops, these ancient evidences are be­ coming clear. The toponymies is founded on three sciences - history, geography and linguistics. It is precisely because of this fact that in the course of toponymic investigation one should be guided by these three sources, otherwise, one-sidedness would yield no desirable re­ sults. Many errors found in toponymic investigations carried out in Azerbaijan occur through preference given to one source only. Toponymics without geography is spaceless, without linguistics is dumb, without history is rootless.

Being investigated one-sidely, toponyms are kept aloof from crea­ tive synthesis of two remaining sciences. For this reason researches engaged in studying toponyms should know all three sciences thor­ oughly, offer their synthesis and achieve practical scientific results. A joint research carried out by the representatives of three sciences may be a great success. In V.A.Nikonov's opinion (1966), a person to deal with toponymy must be a toponymist, not geographer, linguist or historian.

It is not worth speaking of scientific importance of geographical names' examination. The point is that geographical names imply grandfathers' breath, nation's spirit, historical and temporal dimen­ sions. To delete geographical names is to tear pages out of rare manuscript. If we try to study the geographical names from a lan­ guage or linguistic system standpoint, we succeed in establishing both "hypocentre" and "epicentre" of geographic names used in said lin­ guistic system. As is known, north-east part of Asia (Yakuts, Tuvini­ ans, Altaians), Central Asia, including Chinese Turkistan, Kazakhstan, Middle Asia, Turkestan on the whole, North Caucasus, East Transcaucasus, Asia Minor, North Iran are identified as historical mother­ land of Turkic-language peoples. At the same time they resided com­ pactly in the east and south-east of Europe. Traces of Turkiclanguage peoples - geographical names are found in Alyaska (North America), north and west of India, in Arabian countries (Kirkuk region of Irag).

Proper names embrace celestial bodies as well. Wandering all over the world, the man paid attention to the sky, stars scattered in the firmament, their motion, Sun and Moon, gave them names arising from their distinctive features (Sun, Moon, Venus, Pleiads, Scales, the Milky Way, the Mecca W ay, the Profet's Girdle, Seven Brothers, etc.). In onomastics the names of celestial bodies are traditionally entitled as cosmonyms.

As time flew, people were becoming dissatisfied with the names of celestial bodies. Objects on their surfaces got names as well.

Since the XVII century natural objects on lunar surface were entitled like ones on terrestrial surface. These names repeated ones of wellknown geographical objects - seas, gulfs, lakes, ranges, craters found on the Earth. For example, some lunar objects, and among them ranges and seas, are called the Alps, Apennines, Caucasus, Sea of Crisis, Sea of Tranquillity, etc.

With the purpose of bringing geographical names of celestial bodies into line with international norms, the International Union of Astronomers has assumed responsibility for setting nomenclature of non-earthly objects in order. "The Atlas of the Back of Moon" (publ.

1960) recorded the names of objects by common consent.

In the article entitled "Geography of Cosmonyms and the Ethnic Relations" (1973, p. 33-37) V.A. Nikonov, proceeding from compara­ tive analysis of various geographical names of celestial bodies spread among different peoples, traces back ethnic relations between them, makes interesting conclusions. He points out that names of cosmic objects go back to the Earth. Ancient cattle-breeders and hunters translated names of earthly objects to the sky: "The Maiden", "The Swan", "The Scorpion", 'The Scales", etc. Kirghizes call 'The Great Bear" constellation as "Seven Arkars", Mordvinians and a part of Russians as "The Big Scoop", northern peoples as "The Great Deer" or "Elk".

To V.A. Nikonov s thinking, "The Milky Way" called as "Sud Yolu" or "Mekke Yolu" by Azerbaijanese bears the name of 'The Star Dust", or "The Guard in the Night", or "The W ay of Winners", etc. as termed by other peoples. There are also peoples who call "The Milky Way" as The Chaff Trace" or 'The Grass Floor". The latter is associ­ ated with the development of grain-growing and cattlebreeding. As for Finn-Ugors, they call 'The Milky Way" as "The Birds' Way". Thou­ sand-years co-existence and mutual relations between different peo­ ples account for semantic closeness of the names of celestial bodies.

As viewed by V.A. Nikonov, the fact that Finn-Ugors, Turkic and Slav peoples had for thousand years been living next to each other ac­ counts for semantic closeness between the names of celestial bodies.

Mongols named "The Milky Way" as "The Celestial Pattern" (or ety­ mologically "The Celestial Knot"); similar names are found in Kalmyk, Buyat, Tuva and Yakut. The time is ripe in Azerbaijan to start studying cosmonymics which is of interest from linguistic standpoint as well.

The prof. A.Gurbanov's "Onomalogy of the Azerbaijan language" (Baku, 1988) contains interesting ideas on cosmonomy.

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