Bulgar (also known as Bulghar, Bolgar, or Bolghar) is an extinct Oghuric Turkic language spoken by the Bulgars.

RegionFrom Central Asia to the Pontic–Caspian steppe, the Volga and the Danube and Southern Italy (Molise, Campania)
ExtinctBy the 9th or 10th centuries on the Danube and by the 14th century in the Volga region[citation needed]
Language codes
ISO 639-3xbo

The name is derived from the Bulgars, a tribal association that established the Bulgar state known as Old Great Bulgaria in the mid-7th century, giving rise to the Danubian Bulgaria by the 680s.[1][2][3] While the language was extinct in Danubian Bulgaria (in favour of Old Bulgarian), it persisted in Volga Bulgaria, eventually being replaced by the modern Chuvash language.[4][5][6]

Other than Chuvash, Bulgar is the only language to be definitively classified as an Oghur Turkic language. The inclusion of other languages such as Hunnish, Khazar and Sabir within Oghur Turkic remains speculative owing to the paucity of historical records. Some scholars suggest Hunnish had strong ties with Bulgar and to modern Chuvash[7] and refer to this extended grouping as separate Hunno-Bulgar languages.[8][9]

Affiliation edit

Mainstream scholarship places Bulgar among the "Lir" branch of Turkic languages referred to as Oghur Turkic, Lir-Turkic or, indeed, "Bulgar Turkic", as opposed to the "Shaz"-type of Common Turkic. The "Lir" branch is characterized by sound correspondences such as Oghuric /r/ versus Common Turkic (or Shaz-Turkic) /z/ and Oghuric /l/ versus Common Turkic (Shaz-Turkic) /š/.[1][3][10] As was stated by Al-Istakhri (Х c. AD), "The language of the Khazars is different than the language of the Turks and the Persians, nor does a tongue of (any) group of humanity have anything in common with it and the language of the Bulgars is like the language of the Khazars, but the Burtas have another language."[11]

The only surviving language from this linguistic group is Chuvash.[12] He concludes that the language of the Bulgars was from the family of the Hunnic languages, as he calls the Oghur languages.[13] According to the Bulgarian Antoaneta Granberg, the Hunno-Bulgar linguistic situation is further complicated by the extensive migration of nomadic communities of Hunnic and Oghuric peoples from East to West. This migration brought them into contact with a variety of different lands, neighbors, cultures, and languages, including China and Rome. Linguistic individuation of the Hunno-Bulgaric language family has yet to be conclusively established. A Hunno-Bulgar language is believed to have formed on the North-Western borders of China in the 3rd-5th c. BC.[14]

Bulgarian views edit

On the other hand, some Bulgarian historians, especially in recent decades, link the Bulgar language to the Iranic language group instead (more specifically, the Pamir languages are frequently mentioned), noting the presence of Iranian words in the modern Bulgarian language.[15][16][17][18][page needed] According to Raymond Detrez, who is a specialist in Bulgarian history and language,[19] such views are based on anti-Turkish sentiments and the presence of Iranian words in the modern Bulgarian is result of Ottoman Turkish linguistic influence.[20] Indeed, other Bulgarian historians, especially older ones, only point out certain signs of Iranian influence in the Turkic base[21] or indeed support the Turkic theory.[22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29]

Danubian Bulgar edit

The language of the Danube Bulgars (or Danubian Bulgar) is recorded in a small number of inscriptions, which are found in Pliska, the first capital of First Bulgarian Empire, and in the rock churches near the village of Murfatlar, in present-day Romania. Some of these inscriptions are written in the Greek characters, others in the Kuban alphabet which is a variant of Orkhon script. Most of these appear to have been of a private character (oaths, dedications, inscriptions on grave stones) and some were court inventories. Although attempts at decipherment have been made, none of them has gained wide acceptance. These inscriptions in Danubian Bulgar are found along with other, official ones written in Greek; which was used as the official state language of the First Bulgarian Empire until the end of the ninth century, when it was replaced by Old Bulgarian (also called Old Church Slavonic, later Slavonic).[30]

The language of the Danubian Bulgars is also known from a small number of loanwords in the Old Bulgarian language, as well as terms occurring in Bulgar Greek-language inscriptions, contemporary Byzantine texts,[31] and later Slavonic Old Bulgarian texts. Most of these words designate titles and other concepts concerning the affairs of state, including the official 12-year cyclic calendar (as used in the Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans). The language became extinct in Danubian Bulgaria in the ninth century as the Bulgar nobility became gradually Slavicized after the Old Bulgarian tongue was declared as official in 893.

Terms borrowed from Danube Bulgar by Old Church Slavonic[32]
Old Church Slavonic Chuvash Hungarian Common Turkic
token, trace БЕЛЕГ (beleg), БИЛЕГ (bileg) палӑк (palăk) bélyeg *belgü
bracelet БЕЛЬЧҮГ (bel'čug) *bileçüg
pillow ДОХЬТОРЬ (dox'tor') ҫытар (śïtar) *yogtu
image, icon КАПЬ (kap') кап (kap) kép *kēp
honour САНЬ (san'), САМЬ (sam') сум (sum) szám *sān

Phonology edit

Unlike Volga Bulgarian and Chuvash, d'ization is seen in the /j/ sounds at the beginning of words. Talât Tekin argues that this sound corresponds to the initial gy sound in Hungarian and is pronounced close to it.[32]

Comparison of initial /j/[32]
Danube Bulgar /
Old Church Slavonic
Volga Bulgar Chuvash Common Turkic
snake ДИЛОМЬ (dilom') ҫӗлен (śílen) *yï̄lan
pillow ДОХЬТОРЬ (dox'tor') ҫытар (śytar) *yogdu (Mongolian зогдор)
horse ΔΥΑΝ (dwan) *yunt
An ethnicity ΔΟΥΑΡΗⲤ (dovaris) يوارى (yuwāri)
seven ЧИТ (čit) جىَاتِ (čyeti) ҫиччӗ (śiččĕ) *yẹti

Volga Bulgar edit

The language spoken by the population of Volga Bulgaria is known as Volga-Bulgar. There are a number of surviving inscriptions in Volga-Bulgar, some of which are written with Arabic letters, alongside the continuing use of Orkhon script. These are all largely decipherable. That language persisted until the 13th or the 14th century. In that region, it may have ultimately given rise to the Chuvash language, which is most closely related to it[33] and which is classified as the only surviving member of a separate "Oghur-Turkic" (or Lir-Turkic) branch of the Turkic languages, to which Bulgar is also considered to have belonged (see above).[1][2][34] Still, the precise position of Chuvash within the Oghur family of languages is a matter of dispute among linguists. Since the comparative material attributable to the extinct members of Oghuric (Khazar and Bulgar) is scant, little is known about any precise interrelation of these languages and it is a matter of dispute whether Chuvash, the only "Lir"-type language with sufficient extant linguistic material, might be the daughter language of any of these or just a sister branch.[10]

Numbers and Vocabulary in Volga Bulgar[35][36][37][38][39][40][41]
Volga Bulgar – البلغَاڔِى Chuvash – Чӑвашла[42] Proto-Turkic Volga Bulgar – البلغَاڔِى Chuvash – Чӑвашла Proto-Turkic
one بىر (bīr) пӗр (pĕr) *bīr monument بَلُو (belüv) палӑк (palăk) *belig
two اَكِ (eki) иккӗ (ikkĕ) *ẹki water شِو (šïv) шыв (šyv) *sub
three وج (več) виççӗ (viśśĕ) *üč son اَول (avïl) ывӑл (yvăl) *ogul
four تُوات (tüvet) тăваттă (tăvattă) *tȫrt daughter هِير (hīr) хӗр (hĕr) *kï̄ŕ
five بيال (biyel) пиллӗк (pillĕk) *bẹ̄ĺ(k) day كُوَان (küven or kön) кун (kun) *kün
six اَلطِ (altï) улттӑ (ulttă) *altï week ايرنى (ērne) эрне (erne) (from Persian آدینه‎ (âdine))
seven جىَاتِ (čyeti) ҫиччӗ (śiččĕ) *yẹti month اَيخ (ayïx) уйӑх (ujăh) *āń(k)
eight ڛَكِڔ (sekir) саккӑр (sakkăr) *sekiŕ year جال (čal) ҫул (śul) *yāĺ
nine طُخِڔ (tuxïr) тӑххӑр (tăhhăr) *tokuŕ history تَارِيخ (tārix) истори (istori) (from Arabic تَارِيخ‎ (tārīḵ))
ten وان (van) вуннӑ (vunnă) *ōn to become بَل (bal) пул (pul) *bōl-
twenty جِيِرم (čiyirim) ҫирӗм (śirĕm) *yẹgirmi to do, make طَن (ta-n) ту (tu) -
thirty وطر (vutur) вӑтӑр (vătăr) *otuŕ to go بَر (bar) пыр (pyr) *bar-
forty حرح (xïrïx) хӗрӗх (hĕrĕh) *kïrk to love سَو (sev) сав (sav) *seb-
fifty الو (elv), اَلُّ (ellü) аллӑ (allă) *ellig to die وَل (vel) вил (vil) *öl-
hundred جُور (čǖr) ҫӗр (śĕr) *yǖŕ to migrate كُوَج (küveč or köč) куҫ (kuś) *köč-
Cases in Volga Bulgar[36][35]
Case Volga Bulgar Examples in words
Genitive -∅ or -(ı)n اَغَان (ağā-n), يغقوُتن (yaquut-ın)
Accusative -ne/na مَسجِذڛَمنَ (mesčidsem-ne)
Dative-locative -a/e and -ne/na اِشنَ (iš-ne), بَجنَ (bač-na), جَالَ (čāl-a)
Ablative -ran, -ren; -tan, -ten ڊنيَاڔَان (dönyā-ran)
Third person possessive -i, -ı; -si, -sı هِيرِ (hīr-i), اِلغِجِڛِ (ılğıčı-sı)
Definition of verbs in Volga Bulgar[36][35]
Tenses and moods Volga Bulgar Examples in words
Past tense -ti/tı, -ri/rı وَلتِ‎ (vel-ti)
Past tense 2 -ruvı/rüvi (<*-dugı), -tuvı/tüvi (<*-tugı) كُوَجڔوُي (küveč-rüvi), بلطُوى (bal-tuvı)
Adjective form of verb -an/en طَنَان (tan-an), سَوَان (sev-en)
Adverb form of verb -sa/se بَرسَ‎ (bar-sa)
Third person imperative -tur/tür طَنْطُرْ (tan-tur)

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ a b c Encyclopædia Britannica Online – Bolgar Turkic Archived 2008-06-23 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b Campbell, George L. Compendium of the World's Languages. Routledge, 2000. page 274
  3. ^ a b Marcantonio, Angela. The Uralic Language Family: Facts, Myths and Statistics. Blackwell Publishing Limited, 2002. page 25
  4. ^ Marcantonio, Angela (2002). The Uralic language family: facts, myths and statistics. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 167. ISBN 0-631-23170-6.
  5. ^ Price, Glanville (2000). Encyclopedia of the languages of Europe. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 88. ISBN 0-631-22039-9.
  6. ^ Clauson, Gerard (2002). Studies in Turkic and Mongolic linguistics. Taylor & Francis. p. 38. ISBN 0-415-29772-9.
  7. ^ Pritsak, Omeljan (1982). "The Hunnic Language of the Attila Clan". Harvard Ukrainian Studies. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. IV (4): 470. ISSN 0363-5570. JSTOR 41036005. The language had strong ties to Bulgar language and to modern Chuvash, but also had some important connections, especially lexical and morphological, to Ottoman Turkish and Yakut
  8. ^ Archived, Article. ""The Hunnic Language of the Attila Clan" (pages 428, ..., 476), author: Omeljan Pritsak": 430. I was able to establish a Danube- Bulgarian nominative- suffix /A/ from the consonant stems. Recalling that Danube- Bulgarian was a Hunnic language. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Ramer, Alexis Manaster. "Proto-Bulgarian/Danube Bulgar/Hunno-Bulgar Bekven": 1 p. Granberg's suggestion that we should revive the term Hunno-Bulgar may well became that replacement — once it is clear that Hunnic and Bulgar were closely related and perhaps even the same language. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ a b Johanson, Lars. 1998. "The history of Turkic." In: Johanson, Lars & Éva Agnes Csató (ed.). 1998. The Turkic languages. London: Routledge, pp. 81–125."Turcologica". Archived from the original on 8 April 2011. Retrieved 5 September 2007.; Johanson, Lars. 2007. Chuvash. Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Oxford: Elsevier.
  11. ^ Заходер, Б. Н. (1962). Беляев, Е.А. (ed.). Каспийский свод сведений о Восточной Европе : Горган и Поволжье в IX-X вв (in Russian). Vol. I. Москва: Восточная литература. p. 238.
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 December 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ The Turks: Early ages, Vol. 1 , Cem Oğuz, ISBN 9756782552, Author Murat Ocak, Redactors: Hasan Celāl Güzel, Cem Oğuz, Osman Karatay, Publisher: Yeni Türkiye, 2002, p. 535.
  14. ^ The Hunno-Bulgar language, Antoaneta Granberg, "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Old Bulgar words from VI-X c. AD sources". www.kroraina.com. Archived from the original on 30 June 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  16. ^ Бакалов, Георги. Малко известни факти от историята на древните българи Част 1 Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine част 2 Archived 2007-12-01 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Димитров, Божидар, 2005. 12 мита в българската история
  18. ^ Милчева, Христина. Българите са с древно-ирански произход. Научна конференция "Средновековна Рус, Волжка България и северното Черноморие в контекста на руските източни връзки", Казан, Русия, 15.10.2007
  19. ^ Detrez has specialisized Bulgarian philology at Sofia University and is author of several books treating Bulgarian history Archived 2013-10-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ Detrez, Raymond; Plas, Pieter; Lang, Peter (2005). Developing cultural identity in the Balkans: convergence vs divergence. p. 29. ISBN 90-5201-297-0.
  21. ^ Бешевлиев, Веселин. Ирански елементи у първобългарите. Античное Общество, Труды Конференции по изучению проблем античности, стр. 237–247, Издательство "Наука", Москва 1967, АН СССР, Отделение Истории.
  22. ^ Йорданов, Стефан. Славяни, тюрки и индо-иранци в ранното средновековие: езикови проблеми на българския етногенезис. В: Българистични проучвания. 8. Актуални проблеми на българистиката и славистиката. Седма международна научна сесия. Велико Търново, 22–23 август 2001 г. Велико Търново, 2002, 275–295.
  23. ^ Съпоставително езикознание, Том 30, Софийски университет "Климент Охридски", 2005, стр. 66–68.
  24. ^ Исторически преглед, Том 62, Броеве 3–4, Bŭlgarsko istorichesko druzhestvo, Institut za istoria (Bŭlgarska akademia na naukite) 2006, стр. 14.
  25. ^ Palaeobulgarica: Starobŭlgaristika, Том 24, Tsentŭr za bŭlgaristika (Bŭlgarska akademiia na naukite), 2000, стр. 53.
  26. ^ "Образуване на българската народност. Димитър Ангелов (Издателство Наука и изкуство, "Векове", София, 1971) стр. 117". kroraina.com. Archived from the original on 28 May 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  27. ^ "Образуване на българската държава, Петър Петров (Издателство Наука и изкуство, София, 1981) стр. 94". kroraina.com. Archived from the original on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  28. ^ Karloukovski, Vassil. "V. Zlatarski – Istorija 1A – a 1". www.kroraina.com. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  29. ^ "Медното гумно на прабългарите, Ivan Benedikov, (College "Thrace" publishing house, I edition 1983, II. reworked edition, Stara Zagora 1995, pp. 16–19". kroraina.com. Archived from the original on 20 June 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  30. ^ Curta, Florin; Kovalev, Roman (2008). The Other Europe in the Middle Ages: Avars, Bulgars, Khazars and Cumans. Brill. p. 189. ISBN 978-9004163898.
  31. ^ Rance, Philip,"Photios and the Bulgar Language (τῶγα, tuğ)" Byzantinoslavica 79 (2021) 41–58
  32. ^ a b c Tekin, Talât (1987). Tuna Bulgarları ve Dilleri (in Turkish). Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi.
  33. ^ Clark, Larry. 1998. "Chuvash." In: Johanson, Lars & Éva Agnes Csató (ed.). 1998. The Turkic languages. London: Routledge, p.434
  34. ^ "Формирование болгарской (древнечувашской) народности". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.
  35. ^ a b c HAKIMZJANOV, F. S. "NEW VOLGA BULGARIAN INSCRIPTIONS." Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, vol. 40, no. 1, Akadémiai Kiadó, 1986, pp. 173–77, [1].
  36. ^ a b c Tekin, Talât (1988). Volga Bulgar kitabeleri ve Volga Bulgarcası. Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi. p. 30-38. ISBN 978-9-751600-660.
  37. ^ A Volga Bulgarıan Inscription From 1307 A. Róna-tas
  38. ^ Unpublished Volga Bulgarian inscriptions A. H. Khalikov and J. G. Muhametshin
  39. ^ "Закиев М. З. Лингвоэтнические особенности волжских булгар — главного этнического корня татар". bulgarizdat.ru. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  40. ^ "Category:Bulgar numerals – Wiktionary". en.wiktionary.org. 31 July 2021. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  41. ^ "Proto-Turkic/History of Proto-Turkic language – Wikibooks, open books for an open world". en.wikibooks.org. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  42. ^ "Numbers in Chuvash".

External links edit