The Scyths : Language and Ethnogenesis The Scyths : Language and Ethnogenesis

Sergey Kullanda

The Scyths : Language and Ethnogenesis

Еditor: Ilya Yakubovich

Russkij fond sodejstviya obrazovaniyu i nauke

Moskva, 2016, 232 pages

ISBN: 978-5-91244-141-7

The author in his book analyses the extant remnants of the Scythian language preserved by various ancient traditions and modern tongues from the historical and ethno cultural angles. Chapter I Scythian prehistory outlines the prehistory of Indo-Iranians and Iranians from the evidence of historical linguistics and written sources. Chapter II Scythian culture and language deals primarily with the analysis of the archaeological data and written sources pertaining to Scythian history. The major part of the chapter consists of a comprehensive Glossary of the Scythian word-stock underlying further study. Chapter III Scythian history from the linguistic data focuses on the use of linguistic materials for the study of Scythian ethno cultural history. It is argued that, despite the scarcity of the relevant data, a fairly adequate description of Scythian phonetics and linguistic contacts with other languages can be achieved. Judging by regular phonetic correspondences, Scythian belonged to the Southeast branch of Iranian languages, together with Bactrian and Pashto, and differed markedly from Sarmatian. The Scythes whose Eastern Iranian language was by no means akin to that of the Sarmatians migrated from the Aral Sea area first to Ciscaucasia and then to the North Pontic region. There they encountered the speakers of yet unidentified Indo-European and non-Indo-European languages and partially adopted their onomasticon, theonyms, and names of some realia. This fact implies the assimilation of foreign elements in the course of Scythian ethno genesis. On the other hand, Scythian loanwords can be tentatively detected in East Caucasian, Avestan, Median, and Thracian. The book is supplied with an appendix being a description of early Scythian archaeological sites. The work is dedicated to the memory of Nadezhda N. Pogrebova and Mariya N. Pogrebova.