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Khazar language

Khazar language

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Khazar
Spoken in: Southern Russia, the northern Caucasus, Pontic steppes and parts of Central Asia
Language extinction: sometime between 1000 and 1300 CE
Language family: Altaic<ref>"[1] Ethnologue"</ref> (controversial)
 Turkic?
  Bolgar
   Khazar 
Writing system: variant of Turkic runiform; Hebrew alphabet; possibly others
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: to be added
ISO/FDIS 639-3: zkz 

Khazar is the language spoken by the medieval Khazar tribe, a semi-nomadic Turkic people from Central Asia. It is also referred to as Khazarian, Khazaric, or Khazari.

It was long debated to what branch of the Turkic languages the Khazar tongue belonged, or even if it was a Turkic language at all. Some scholars postulated Iranian or Caucasic linguistic affiliation.

Arab scholars of the Middle Ages classified Khazar as similar to, yet distinct from, the type of Turkic spoken by other Turks with whom they were familiar, such as the Oghuz. They noted, however, that both the Khazar tongue and the more common forms of Turkic were widely spoken in Khazaria.

The current consensus among scholars is that the Khazars spoke an Oghuric Turkic language similar to Hunnish and the language of the early Bulgars, possibly influenced by Old Turkic and Uyghur influences. Given the Gokturk origin of the Khazar khagans, it is possible that Gokturk-style Old Turkic was used as a courtly language early in Khazar history, though there is no direct evidence of this.

Very few examples of the Khazar language exist today, mostly in names that have survived in historical sources. Extant written works are primarily in Hebrew. The only written word in the Khazar tongue that survives is the single word-phrase HWQWRWM, "I have read (this or it)" at the end of the Kievian Letter. This word is written in Turkic runiform script, suggesting that this script survived the conversion to Judaism. It is, however, conceivable that at various times and in different communities the Khazar language was written in Cyrillic, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Arabic, and/or Georgian scripts.

Image:Signature Kiev letter.gif
The Turkic runiform inscription on the Kievian Letter.

[edit] Bibliography

  • Kevin Alan Brook. The Jews of Khazaria. 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2006.
  • Douglas M. Dunlop, The History of the Jewish Khazars, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954.
  • Norman Golb and Omeljan Pritsak, Khazarian Hebrew Documents of the Tenth Century. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1982.
  • Peter B. Golden. Khazar Studies: An Historio-Philological Inquiry into the Origins of the Khazars. Budapest: Akademia Kiado, 1980.

[edit] External links

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Turkic languages
West Turkic
Bolgar Bolgar* | Chuvash | Hunnic* | Khazar*
Chagatay Aini2| Chagatay* | Ili Turki | Lop | Uyghur | Uzbek
Kypchak Baraba | Bashkir | Crimean Tatar1 | Cuman* | Karachay-Balkar | Karaim | Karakalpak | Kazakh | Kipchak* | Krymchak | Kumyk | Nogay | Tatar | Urum1
Oghuz Afshar | Azerbaijani | Crimean Tatar1 | Gagauz | Khorasani Turkish | Ottoman Turkish* | Pecheneg* | Qashqai | Salar | Turkish | Turkmen | Urum1
East Turkic
Khalaj Khalaj
Kyrgyz-Kypchak Altay | Kyrgyz
Uyghur Chulym | Dolgan | Fuyü Gïrgïs | Khakas | Northern Altay | Shor | Tofa | Tuvan | Western Yugur | Sakha / Yakut
Old Turkic*
Notes: 1 Listed in more than one group, 2 Mixed language, * Extinct
Khazaria (c) (t)
Khazar rulers: Irbis | Busir | Bihar | Parsbit | Zachariah | Bulan | Obadiah | Benjamin | Aaron II | Joseph | David | George
Other personalities: Alp Iluetuer | Alp Tarkhan | Balgatzin | Barjik | Hazer Tarkhan | HLGW | John of Gothia | Lebedias | Leo IV | Papatzys | Pesakh | Ras Tarkhan | Serach | Sfengus | Sviatoslav | Tzitzak | Yitzhak ha-Sangari
Places: Atil | Balanjar | Bar | Chersonesos | Daghestan | Golden Hills | Güsliyev| Kavkaz | Kerch | Kerem | Khamlij | Khazaran | Levedia | Saltovo-Mayaki | Samandar | Kazarki | Sambalut | Sambat | Samiran | Saqsin | Sarkel | Sudak | Taman | Tamatarkha
Tributaries: Abkhazians | Alans | Arsiya | Baranjars | Barsils | Bashkirs | Burtas | Crimean Goths | East Slavs | Huns | Juhuri | Kabars | Kassogs | Lazica | Lezgins | Magyars | Mordvins | Oghuz | Onogurs | Pechenegs | Sabirs | Sarir | Volga Bulgars
Other: Khazar Correspondence | Khazar language | Kuzari | Kievian Letter | Mandgelis Document | Red Jews | Schechter Letter
Byzantium | Abbasids | Kipchaks | Meshchera | Chuds | Radhanites | Rus | Volga trade route | Dnieper trade route
cv:Хазар чĕлхи

ru:Хазарский язык tt:Xäzär tele

Khazar language

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