In Russian
Writing Contents
Alphabet Contents
Besenyos, Ogur and Oguz
Alans and Ases
  Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
Bulgar Dateline
Huns Dateline
Karluk Dateline
Khazar Dateline
Kimak Dateline
Kipchak Dateline
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
Seyanto Dateline
Origin of Türks-Contents · Introduction · First chapter · Second chapter · Third chapter · Fourth chapter · Fifth chapter · ORIGIN OF TATARS
Part 2 - ORIGIN OF TATARS · First chapter · Second chapter · Third chapter · Fourth chapter · Conclusion · Name and Ethnic Index · Literature

Mirfatyh Zakiev
Origin of Türks and Tatars

Part two

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Page numbers, where shown, indicate pages in the book publication. The offered copy of the printed edition contains typos and misspellings, for which I apologize and intend to correct them with time.

The spelling of the Greek-based quasi-Cyrillic-Tatar letters, occasionally used by the author to signify a Türkic phonetics inexpressible by the mandated Cyrillics, is transcribed from the quasi-Cyrillic to English, with the following conventions:

quasi-Cyrillic "ú" ( ' - stop-guttural consonant ) with " ' ", like in "súkúd" => "S'k'd"
quasi-Cyrillic "í1" ( n + guttural consonant "g") with "ng", like in "äèí1ãåçå" => "Dinggeze"
quasi-Cyrillic "æ1" ( dj is only a guess) with "dj"as in "Joker", like in "äæ1àë" => "djal"
Cyrillic "ë" (yo) "ë"
Other conventions:.
"a" - as "a" in arch, "j" - as "j" in jealousy, "kh" - as "h" in hug, "ü" - as "u" in munitions, "y" - as "Y" in York or as "i" in if

Third Chapter
Linguo-ethnical distinction of the Itil Bulgars


96. General information.

Because the Türkology till now boils with contention about the ethnolinguistic features of the Itil Bulgars, it is necessary to specially review this subject. A part of the Russian and West-European Türkologists, coming from the observation that the modern Tatars and the Mongolo-Tatars carry the same ethnonym Tatars, continue to classify the modern Tatars as the direct descendants of the Mongolo-Tatar conquerors, and they recognize Chuvashes as the descendants of the Itil Bulgars. This Bulgaro-Chuvash concept (theory) is supported, with reference to some linguistical reasons, by some Chuvash Türkologists, and also by the Tatarian Tataro-Tatarists, who are trying to transform it into an axiom not demanding any proofs.

The Bulgaro-Tatar concept, which regards the Itil Bulgars the ancestors of the modern Tatars, in turn, is supported by the major Tatar linguists and historians, proving its adequacy not only linguistically, but also by other ethnogenetical data.

Because the subject is remaining contentious, it was decided to return to this problem in this book, to try to understand the complexities of the Bulgaro-Chuvash and Bulgaro-Tatar concepts.

Above, in a general form we have already cited sufficiently comprehensive general points about the falsity of the Bulgaro-Chuvash theory and the adequacy of the Bulgaro-Tatar concept. Therefore in this chapter we address the history of the Bulgaro-Chuvash theory emergence, and the credibility of the arguments by its supporters.

It should be recalled that in the 1977 we subjected the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept to a justified criticism for the first time [Zakiev M.Z., 1977]. Our criticism was very gravely responded by some Chuvash linguists, who accused the author that he does not know sufficiently the Chuvash language and other Chuvash materials, and ostensibly therefore he is not accepting the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept. But also came forth the Chuvashologs, ethnically Chuvashes, who agreed with our criticism, and even suggested to write a joint critical work about the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept. This volume was created and published in the 1993. Our co-author was Yacov Fedorovich Kuzmin-Ümanadi, a Chuvash ethnically, and a fine expert in the Chuvash material. The work was called "Itil Bulgars and their descendants" (authors: M.Z.Zakiev and Ya.F.Kuzmin-Ümanadi. Kazan, 1993, 158 pp.). Some of the following paragraphs will be relayed the way they were given in that book.

97. History of the Itil Bulgars studies.

Throwing a general view the history of the Itil Bulgars' study, one would to come to a conclusion that in the Itil region in the past times existed a very large Bulgar state with hardworking population and truly advanced medieval culture. Then the state ceased to exist, and its population has like evaporated from the face of the earth, it was forgotten and lost somewhere among other peoples. Knowing that in the history peoples do not disappear, and disappear only their tribal names and state formations, it should be expected that the Bulgarian people also did not disappear from the face of the earth, that its descendants also live and work now among us in common family of the peoples. But who are they now? What nation is nowadays a successor of the Bulgars? These questions have not received their final answers from the science until now, there are the various points of view, contradicting one another.

For example, the Russian historians Ü.Venelin (1829), D.Ilovaysky (1881) and F.Florinsky in their time asserted that the Bulgars were Slavs, and consequently, the present Russian population should be considered to be the successors of the Bulgars. D.Ilovajsky argued in his opinion that the Danube Bulgars are Slavs, hence, the related to them Itil Bulgars should also be Slavs [Ilovaysky D.I., 1881]. The acknowledged European orientalist Tunmann considered Bulgars to be Finno-Ugrians, related to the Mordva, Udmurts and Maries, and also to the ancestors of the present Hungarians, for in the appearance of the Hungarians he found many easterm features reminding to him of the Bulgars [Tunmann, 1774]. Another European orientalist Klaprot considered Bulgars to be a hybrid of three different peoples: Slavs, Finns, and Türks and, accordingly, considered their  descendants to be the representatives of the various peoples living nowadays in the Itil region [Klaprot, 1826].

S.M.Shpilevsky, I.Berezin, Sh.Mardjani , G.Ahmerov and a whole row of their latest followers considered and consider Bulgars to be the ancestors of the present Bulgaro-Tatars.

And such scientists as N.I.Ilminsky, A.Kunik, N.I.Ashmarin, M.P.Petrov, N.N.Poppe, N.A.Baskakov, Z.Gombots, J.Bentsing, K.Tomsen and their followers recognized and are recognizing the Bulgars as the ancestors of the present Chuvashes. The known Soviet scientists M.N.Tihomirov, P.N.Tretiakov, A.P.Smirnov and their followers assert that simultaneously the descendants of the Bulgars are both the Tatars, and the Chuvashes, that ostensibly the former Bulgars subsequently broke up into two independent nations. One of the modern scientists H. M.I.Hadjilaev asserts that the descendants of the Bulgars are three Türkic-speaking nations of the Itil region, namely: the Bashkirs, Tatars and Chuvashes [Hadjilaev  H.I., 1989]. And R.G.Muhamedova also adds to the number of descendants of the Bulgars the ethnic group of the Tatar-Mishars [Muhamedova R.G., 1972].

 To understand this diversity of the opinions and to reveal the truth, the Academy of Sciences of Imperial Russia, and then also the Academy of Sciences of the USSR repeatedly undertook special research for this subject, sent to the Itil region repeated scientific expeditions, had special scientific sessions, but the question still was remaining unsolved. Two last sessions of the History and Philosophy Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences conducted, in particular, in the 1946 in Moscow about the problems of the ethnogenesis of the Kazan Tatars, and in the 1950 in Cheboksary about the question of the ethnogenesis of the Chuvashes, left a recommendation to consider both Tatars and Chuvashes simultaneously to be the descendants of the Bulgars. But because these peoples have a thousand-year period of the independent development, and by their ethnical attributes they cannot be traced to an one common Bulgarian ancestor, neither the Tatarian, nor the Chuvash local scientists have accepted this recommendation, and continue to treat this question in their own individual way. In particular, the Tatarian historians assert that Bulgars later metamorphosed into the Kazan Tatars, and the Chuvash historians insist that Bulgars metamorphosed into Chuvashes. The Tatar textbooks write that Tatars came from the Bulgars, and the Chuvash textbooks also write that Chuvashes came from the Bulgars. The Tatar population is indoctrinated that they are the successors of the Bulgars, and the Chuvash population is also indoctrinated that only they are the successors of the Bulgars. And unfortunately, these contentions cause not completely healthy rivalry between the Tatars and Chuvashes for the possession of the past cultural and historical heritage of the Bulgars.

This rivalry arose not today and not yesterday, but exists for considerably long time. In the 1862 in Kazan the was formed a group of the Tatar intelligentsia who considered themselves to be the descendants of the Bulgars, and had a purpose to reve of the former name of the nationality, because they considered Tatar an alien ethnonym that was mistakenly "glued" to them. But the local reactionaries and the officials of the tsarist autocracy for some reason did not like this idea, and they decided to prevent its realization. In the 1865, a professor of the Kazan Theological Academy N.I.Ilminsky published a special article, where he was referring to the materials of the Bulgarian epigraphy, and asserted that the descendants of the Bulgars should be listed not the Tatars at all, but their neighbors Chuvashes [Ilminsky N.I., 1865, 80-84]. But the Tatar scientists, and in particular Shigabutdin Mardjani, ignored this declaration by Ilminsky and still continued asserting that the descendants of the Bulgars are the Tatars [Mardjani N.I., 1884]. Then against the Tatar Bulgarists stepped out the tsarist publishing censor of the Kazan province N.I.Ashmarin, who in the 1902 published a "scientific" work under a name "Bulgars and Chuvashes", where he rejected the onnection of the Tatars with the Bulgars and, from his subjective judgment, "proved" the origin of the Chuvashes from the Bulgars. But the Tatar scientists ignored this publication also: in the 1909 Gaynetdin Ahmerov published his work "History of the Bulgaria" of completely opposite contents, where he with detailed material proved that the former Bulgars now actually are the Kazan Tatars, but, mindful of the then existing political conditions (called in Russian history "Stolypin Reactionary" marked by especial cruelty and terror, but which was in fact only a rosegarden in comparison with the following decades - Translator's Note) stopped short from criticizing Ashmarin and his supporters [Ahmerov G., 1909].

Only after the February revolution of the 1917 the Tatar Bulgarists started speaking more bravely and openly. In the summer of the 1917 in Kazan was formed a Bulgar "salvation party", which named its movement "Council Volgobulgarmus" and set as its the purpose a salvation from the (ethnic, or "national" in Russian, and religious - Translator's Note) oppression and a national revival of the Bulgarian nation. The head of a party became a well-known figure S.G.Vaisov (pronounced "Vah-ee-sov" - Translator's Note). In the first years of the Soviet power this party gathered three congresses developing a national and political program.

But simultaneously with the activity of that party, in the Chuvash ASSR unfolded a similar activity by the Chuvash Bulgarists. They too set as an objective the revival of the Bulgarian nation, but for the Chuvash people instead. In the Cheboksary this movement headed M.P.Petrov, the then secretary of the Chuvash Obkom (Reginal Committee - Translator's Note) of the Communist Party, who published his book "About the origin of the Chuvashes" (1925, Cheboksary) and unfolded organizing work rallying the supporters. An informal adviser and inspirer of the Chuvash Bulgarists became Ashmarin, who turned now to be a specialist in the Chuvash linguistics. The most active Chuvash Bulgarists undertook as a first task to rename the Chuvash Republic into a "Bulgarian Republic", to surpass in this task the Tatarian contenders (the same mindset lead to the creation of the "Republica Alania" out of a part of the Ossetia ca. 1995 - Translator's Note). Unfortunately, both the Tatarian, and the Chuvash Bulgarists then operated in extremely short circuit, did not communicate, and did not consult between themselves, which prevented them from the developing of a creative discussion and from coming to a joint and mutually acceptable conclusion. This was also interrupted by the then downpour of the Stalin political reaction, which opposed the freedom as such. In the 1930th both the Tatar, and the Chuvash Bulgarists were declared to be "bourgeois nationalists", and their leaders and active workers were arrested and firesquad executed as the "enemies of the people". Since then even a simple mentioning of them for almost half-century was under a strict interdiction (i.e., Stalin died, Viva La Stalinism! - Translator's Note).

With the coming of the new political thawing (i.e after 1990 and before 2000 - Translator's Note) in the country, both the Tatar, and the Chuvash Bulgarists reactivated again their operation. The Tatar Bulgarists organized a party Bulgarian National Congress with a propaganda center "Bulgar al-Djadid", which basically pursues the same purposes, as the former party of the Bulgar revival, and namely the renaming Tatars to Bulgars, even though against the renaming voice the Tatarian Tataro-Tatarists, who in essence are denying the Bulgaro-Tatar theory.

The Chuvash Bulgarists came into motion also, even though they yet have not united of the members. The Chuvash Bulgarists deny the right of their Tatar contenders to be called Bulgars, for they see in them only the descendants of the newcomer Mongolo-Tatars (we are talking here today of the 1240 AD newcomers, not some lousy Columbus or latecomer pilgrims - Translator's Note), who usurped the local Bulgaro-Chuvashes and seized their ancestral lands (what a wit of the colonial wizardry, Russia started a serious colonization of the Itil-Ural area only in the late 1800, but managed to antagonize the native people so that the Russian 1880 seizures are palatable, but the 1240 seizures are not. Just funny. - Translator's Note).

In the opinion of the supporters of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept, there are many proofs that the Bulgars spoke the Chuvash language.

First, Chuvash words and expressions were preserved in the texts of the Bulgarian epitaphs written by them on the tombstones.

Secondly, they also "found" Chuvash words in the text of the story about Bulgars, written by the Arabian traveler Ibn-Fadlan who came to the Bulgaria in 922.

Thirdly, a multitude of the Chuvash words were found in the Hungarian language, where they were brought by the Hungarians who once ostensibly lived in the Itil region, as believe the supporters of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept.

Fourthly, Chuvash words were ostensibly found in the ancient Nominalia of the princes of the Danube Bolgars, who also are believed were speaking Chuvash language.

Fifthly, Chuvash words were also found in the Türkic inscriptions of the Northern Caucasian Balkars, who as the relatives of the Bulgars also ostensibly spoke Old Chuvash  language.

And, at last, sixthly, the Chuvash words and expressions survived in the languages of the Itil region Finno-Ugrians: Maries, Mordva, Udmurts and Komi, which they borrowed from the language of the former Itil Bulgars.

Taken together, all the evidence does not leave, in their opinion, any doubts that the Bulgars ostensibly really spoke the Old Chuvash  language and that precisely the Chuvashes should be recognized as their descendants.

All this evidence is individually examined below with the analysis of the concrete materials.

98. First step in the study of the Bulgarian epigraphy and the emergence of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept.

The most solid argument testifying about ostensibly Chuvash-linguality of the Itil Bulgars is considered to be the language of the Bulgarian gravestone monuments, which started to be studied in detail since the 2nd half of the 19th century. The overwhelming majority of the epitaph words are easily explained via the Tatar language. However, the following expression did not lend to the explanation and decoding:

djiaty djör

 After mulling it over for a long time, G.J.Klaprot's suggests that in this expression the letters designate the numbers, and they ostensibly match the 623 year of Hidjra, i.e. 1226 in the Christian chronology. This date is close to the time of the invasion by the Mongolo-Tatar conquerors, and therefore the expression was translated as a "year oppression came". With this opinion has also agreed I.N.Berezin [Smolin V.F., 1921, 29-30].

However, in the 1863 the lecturer of the St. Petersburg University Husain Feyzhanov (pronounced Feyz-hanov - Translator's Note) contested this explanation and read this expression djiaty djur, explaining djiaty as the Tatar djute 'seven', and the djur as the Chuvash ser 'hundred' [Feyzhanov X., 1863, 403-404]. If H.Feyzhanov would happened to know about the middle dialect of the Tatar language, where the sound [z] is pronounced as [d], he could have read the last word not as djur (djör), but as djud (djöd), for the Arabian letters [r] and [d] have a similar shape: djiaty djöd is the Tatar dialectal pronunciation of the word-combination djiaty djöz 'seven hundred'. But that is already another theme. The main thing is that H.Feyzhanov gave to the science a Chuvash key to decode a Bulgarian epigraphy.

After finding in the Bulgarian epigraphy the Chuvash words, H.Feyzhanov himself came to a conclusion about an influence of the Chuvash language on the language of the Itil Bulgars' epitaphs.

Having learned about the H.Feyzhanov's publication, the professor of the Kazan Theological Academy missionary N.I.Ilminsky also decided to take part in this important discovery. Without troubling himself with a study of the gravestone monuments and their language, he at once had written an article about his judgments and hastened to publish it in next issue of that magazine [Ilminsky N.I., 1865, 80-84]. The substance of his article was zeroing on that if the Chuvash words are found on the Bulgarian monuments, that means that Bulgars spoke the Chuvash language. Though the publication of Feyzhanov told about his deciphering of three gravestone epitaphs, from which only two contained Chuvash words, and the third was written in the common Türkic language without any Chivashisms, Ilminsky discussed only the Chuvash-speaking monuments, as though the thers did not exist. This disinformation has mislead many historians and linguists, who, without an opportunity to personally to study the primary materials of the epigraphy, trusted Ilminsky on his word, and began to echo his conclusions. The reason which inspired Ilminsky to zealously undertake the Bulgaro-Chuvash theory, was his missionary motivation in the line of his service, to show to the Chuvashes, Maries, Udmurts and others that the Tatars are not native, but are the newcomers, the conquerors of the territory. N.I.Ilminsky's ultimate goal was that these peoples would have been faster weaned from their historical orientation toward the Moslem Tatars, and would have accepted Christianity without obstacles.

After Ilminsky, the main developer of the presently widespread Bulgaro-Chuvash concept became his successor N.I.Ashmarin, who in the 1902  published a work "Bulgars and Chuvashes", and then devoted all his life to the development of the Chuvash linguistics with reference to the statements of Ilminsky. If Ilminsky has suggested his "conclusions" only as a guess, Ashmarin developed the whole concept developing his ideas. Like Ilminsky, Ashmarin perfectly knew that existed not only the Chuvash-speaking, but also the common Türkic epitaphs, but he persistently was asserting only the Chuvash-linguality of the Bulgarian epigraphy. As his assertions would not agree with the real epigraphy data, all his life he was manoeuvring and repeatedly changing and correcting his concept, trying to save it from debunking. At first he maintained that the common Türkic epitaphs to belonged to the Bulgars, and the Chuvash-speakings epitaphs were written by their allies Suvars. But when it turned out that it was exactly on the common Türkic monuments that had tahalluses "As-Suvari", he began asserting about anachronism of the two types of the epitaphs, that those Chuvash-lingual monuments were written by the Bulgaro-Suvars earlier, when they were still speaking the Chuvash language, and common Türkic are written later, when the Bulgars adopted the common Türkic language. Then it turned out  that even such explanation is impossible, because the dating of the monuments showed that some Türkic-lingual epitaphs were written even earlier than the Chuvash-lingual; then Ashmarin started positing that both types of the gravestones are synchronous, but that they are written in different languages: the Türkic-lingual are written in the verbal language of the Bulgars, while the Chuvash-lingual are written in a literary or a "cult" language of the Bulgars [Ashmarin N.I., 1902, 123]. And when it donned on him that such interpretation is impossible because both types of the monuments are the attributes of the cult and therefore cannot be differentiated by that principle, and moreover, that the Bulgars used the Arabic as the cult language, he began asserting that the Türkic-speaking monuments belonged not at all to the Bulgars, but to the Chagataians, and were written in the Chagataian language [Ibid, 69, 90], though everybody knew that that also does not match the reality.

Besides, up to the end of his life Ashmarin could not explain, why the Chuvash-lingual monuments appeared only after the Mongol invasion and soon have disappeared, and why they were distributed not in all of the territory of the former Bulgaria, and why so many of them were produced for in a short time interval, etc.

Despite of all these contradictions, the Ashmarin's concept nevertheless was not then rejected, because the epigraphy problems remained poorly investigated. For the same reason this concept, without due criticism, was accepted even by such world famous orientalists, as Z.Gombots, K.Thomsen, O.Pritsak, J.Bencing, A.Rona-Tash and S.Fodor (Hungary), K.Menges and P.Golden (USA), and others. Especially hotly supported Ashmarin our domestic scientists S.E.Malov, B.A.Serebrennikov, M.R.Fedotov, V.P.Denisov, V.F.Kakhovsky, V.D.Dimitriev, and many others .

99. Beginning of the systematic study of the Bulgarian epigraphy.

 The exposing of the mistakes made by Ashmarin and his followers became possible only later, due to the research of the epigraphists N.F.Kalinin, G.V.Üsupov, etc. In particular, prof. Kalinin had achieved the virtue in gathering and organizing of a large quantity of the Bulgaro-Tatar gravestone monuments, which he had distinctly subdivided into two groups: the Türkic-lingual epitaphs called "monuments of the 1-st type", and the Chuvash-lingual epitaphs called "monuments of the 2-nd type". N.F.Kalinin is credited with accomplishment of compiling a first in the history catalogue (album) of the Bulgaro-Tatar epitaphs [Kalinin N.F., 1960]. G.V.Üsupov is credited with accomplishment of compiling and publications of a first in the history of the Bulgaro-Tatar epigraphy capital monograph [Üsupov G.V., 1960].

To the task of the study the language of the Itil Bulgars' gravestone monuments a big contribution was also brought by N.I.Vorobiev, S.E.Malov, A.B.Bulatov, A.Rona-Tash, S.Fodor, O.Pritsak, F.S.Hakimzyanov (1987), D.G.Muhametshin (1987), T.Tekin, M.Z.Zakiev (1977), etc. In works of these authors we find various interpretations of the lexical units in the monuments of both the 1-st, and the 2-nd type, and differing attitudes toward the Bulgaro-Tatar and Bulgaro-Chuvash theories.

Due to the works of these scientists finally became clear that a uniform Bulgarian epigraphy does not really exist, that there are two types of multi-lingual Muslim epitaphs, some of which are written in common Türkic z-language, and the others are written in a Chuvash-like r-language.

The gravestone monuments of the 1-st type are investigated best, and they represent a typical Muslim gravestone stele with rich ornaments and graceful inscription in Arabic lettering. The top edges of these stelae, as a rule, are rounded or keel-like tapered, like in other Muslim countries. The ornaments and inscriptions on them are chiseled in relief, like ledges, and carefully profiled. The letters have intricate tracing with Suls and Nash fonts. In total were found about 150 such monuments. Mostly, they are in the territory of the Tatar Republic, but separate monuments were also found in the Bashkortostan, in the Ulyanovsk, Samara and Orenburg Provinces, i.e. in the huge territory of the former Itil Bulgaria. Judging by their dating, these monuments existed for a very long time. One of the early monuments of this style, found as a threshold in the village Yambuhtino church (yes, this what they built their churches of, thanks God for the Christian civilization, or there would be no monuments left - Translator's Note) in the Tatarstan and described by Ahmerov, is dated 1244 [Ahmerov G., 1909, 125]. Even earlier monument from Bilyarsk, described by N.P.Rychkov, which did not survive to the present, was dated 1173 and also apparently belong to the 1-st type, because the dating of the 2-nd type gravestones, written in the r-language, usually were not deciphered before Feyzhanov (1863).

During the Kipchak Khanate epoch these monuments existed in parallel with newly appearing monuments of the 2-nd type, and then they continued during the Kazan Khanate epoch and later.

The inscriptions on these monuments are rather verbose: first is cited a prayer formulae in the Arabian language, followed by the name of the deseased with a listing of his geneology, ranks and terrestrial acheavements, and in the end is given the date of the death. This information is written in the common Türkic language. For example:

 … Fatima-elci binte Äjüb ibn Mäčkä ibn Junus äl-Bolğari jegermi iki jašindä vafat boldy … hičrätdän jete jüz unberdä …

"Fatima-elchi daughter of Ajup son of Mechke son of Üsuf the Bulgarian died at 22 years … by hidjra in the year 711 …" (i.e. in 1311).

One more example:

 … ğalimlearni tärbiä qylğan häm alarny sügän mäsčitlär ğyjmärät qyjlğan.. .. tamğacy Ibrahim as-Suari vafat bulğan, bu - tarih jeti jüz un türtenčedä, cumadi … ajynyng • un altynčy köni irdi …

"… a philantropist and a lover of scientists, a builder of mosques, the tax collector Ibragim the As-Suari died, it was in the 714 year of the history in the month Djumadi the fourth (day)…" (i.e. in 1314).

In these epitaphs we see the proper Bulgarian tahalluses (As-Suari and al-Bolgari), and the names of the entombed, including the names of their fathers and grandfathers, and almost all of them are Muslim. The language of the monuments is common Türkic, which later bore the Bulgaro-Tatar national language.

The monuments of the 2-nd type represent small tombstones, approximately 120õ60 sm in size, with usually rough external furnish and short inscriptions. They do not have a relief, but the letters indentated in stone. In addition, in contrast with the monuments of the 1-st type, these monuments have a rectangular form (without a pointed top), which is reminiscent of the ancient Chuvash pagan gravestones. However, if the traditional Chuvash stone gravestones on the face had only indentations and a tamga of the entombed, the monuments of the 2-nd type carry an inscription in the Arabic lettering and a simple ornament. To impart to these rectangular slabs an appearance of the Muslim gravestone with a pointed top, at its top edge on the face side was drawn a so-called "arch with shoulders", i.e. chamfered the corners of the slab above a circular drawn line, and with that the front plane of the slab looked like a pointed top and like a version of the mihrab in the ancient mosques, while its back side remained rectangular. Below this arch was chiseled a simple ornament in the form of an eight-leaved camomile flower, and the text of the epitaph was written under the ornament. The inscriptions were always made with the angular Kufi or half-Kufi fonts.

As in their external appearance, and also by the text of the epitaphs, these monuments have no analogues in other Muslim world except for the Dagestan. They existed very briefly: there were none of them during the Bulgarian Khanate epoch, and they appeared only after the Mongol invasion: the earliest monument is dated by 1281 AD, and the latest by 1361 AD, then they suddenly disappeared and did not reappear any more.

Despite of such a short-term existence, they were produced in quantity (more than 200 artifacts were described), which far exceeds the quantity of the contemporaneously made monuments of the 1-st type. The greatest number of them was made in the 1313-1342, i.e. during the days of the Altyn Orda Khan Uzbek reign.

They are limited to a small territory, in the radius of about 150-200 km around the lower Kama, and they were not found in the distant periphery of the Bulgaria or in other provinces of the Kipchak Khanate. As a rule they are located in the Tatar cemeteries or near the Tatar villages, and they were not found in the Chuvash villages or in the territory of Chuvashia, except for the three villages on the boundary with Tatarstan (Bayglychevo, Bayteryakovo, Polevye Bikshiki).

It is notable that territorially they are not isolated from the monuments of the 1-st type: in the same villages, in the same cemeteries are both the monuments of the 1-st and 2-nd type: even exist cases when on the tomb of the father stands a monument of the 1-st type, and on the tomb of his son stands a monument of the 2-nd type.

The language of these epitaphs should be especially noted. All of them are written in a mixed Arabo-Chuvash-like language: first is cited in the Arabian language an ayat from the Koran, then follows the name and a patronymic name of the entombed (and as a rule the name of the entombed is Muslim, but the patronymic names are frequently Türkic, i.e. (Tengrian - Translator's Note) pagan); The Bulgarian tahalluses "al-Bulgari", "As-Suvari" are not given; at the end of the epitaphs in the Türko-Chuvash language is given the date of death. For example:

Al-xökmü li-l-lahi-l-gäliji-l-käbiri. Iljas auli Ismağil auli Möxämmäd bälukü. Räxmätü-l-lähi galaihi räxmätän vasigätän. Tarix ceti cur altysy cal zu-l-qagidä ajxy išna äči. Čarimsän syvna barsa v(i)lti.

"The Judgment of the Supreme, Great God. Monument of Mohammed, son of Ismagil, son of Ilyas. By the grace of the God Supreme, Boundless, in seven hundred sixth by chronology, in the month Zulkagid it happened. (He) Has died when went to the river Cheremshan".

And it is notable that the last phrase "Has died, when went to the river Cheremshan" is written almost in the Chuvash language and corresponds to the present expression: "Cheremshan shyvne pyrsa vilche".

Because these Chuvash-lingual parts of the epitaphs are extremely laconic, their lexical structure is pointedly not rich. Among the typical Chivashisms are frequently repeated the words:

cal 'year',
'Sunday (?)',
'Monday (?)',
‘maternal grandfather’,
or yul 'son',
or hir 'daughter',
or bel 'five',
or tokhyr 'nine',
'seven hundred',
'twentieth', etc.

From these examples is already visible that the language of these epitaphs, like the Chuvash language, is marked, firstly, by a rotacism, which is a consistent replacement z > r in auslaut and inlaut (instead of adna is arna 'week', instead of sakiz is sakar 'eight', instead of toguz is tokhyr 'nine', instead of djuz is djor 'hundred' and so on) (here the author, evidently, marks with [z] and [d] the interdental voiced [th] - Translator's Note); and, secondly, is marked by lambdaism, which is a replacement of sh > l: instead of biš is bel 'five', instead of ešik is elik 'door', etc.

Stated differently, if the language of the 1-st type epitaphs, like all other Türkic languages, was z-sh language (in abbreviated form called "z-language"), then the language of the 2-nd type epitaphs, like the Chuvash language, was the r-l language (in abbreviated form called "r-language"). In addition, the language of the 2-nd type epitaphs, like the Chuvash language, also had other features inherent to the Mongolian languages. Particularly, like the Mongolian language, in the Chuvash language are absent the anlaut k, q; therefore instead of qyryq is used khyrykh 'forty', instead of kyz is used  khir 'daughter', etc.

100. Analysis of the language of the 2-nd type Bulgarian epigraphy.

The supporters of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept, aiming to prove by all means its correctness, eased their work to the limit: they excluded from the body of the Bulgarian epitaphs, and declared to be Kypchak, i.e. Altyn Ordinian, those of them that are distinguished by the traits of the common Türkic languages, and classed separately as Bulgarian another group of the epitaphs that have some Chuvash features, and then from the analysis of this group of monuments they came to a preconceived conclusion about the affinity of epitaphy language with the Chuvash language.

The following analysis is based on the examples given in the book of the Hungarian scientist A.Rona-Tash, which is devoted to the study of the language of that Chuvash-featured part of the Bulgarian epitaphs only. It is possible to extract from it more than 50 Türkic words and Arabian loanwords that preserved to some extent in the Chuvash and the Tatarian languages [Rona-Tash À., 1973, 149-156]. For convenience, in the analysis we shall round off the number of these words, and review them in the following table.

Because the original table is using a mixture of Greco-Cyrillic, Cyrillico-Türkic, and Latin alphabets to spell out the entries, below follows a facsimile image of the table, with the transliteration of the entries to the Latin alphabet deferred to later times - Translator's Note

To prove the affinity of the epitaph language with the Chuvash language, usually are selected only those epitaphs that can have some relation with the matching Chuvash lexemes. In addition, the scope of comparison usually excise the Tatar (and especially colloquial) language which has developed in the territory of the Bulgarian state, and has a direct relation to the language of the Bulgarian epitaphs. At best are included either the Ancient Türkic language, or the Türkic literary language introduced to the Itil region from the Karahanid state, which could hardly have any direct relation to the language of the epitaph. Such research technique, introduced by N.I.Ashmarin in his time, is adhered by all supporters of the Bulgaro-Chuvash theory. In view of that situation,  for comparison in the table are included the words of the Tatar spoken language. In addition, we gave new versions for the reading of some words coincidental with the Tatar dialectal words. However in the first version of the comparative analysis we have included the currently universally accepted rendering of the words, correcting only the obvious mistakes. The first version of the lexical analysis is below:

1.  15 words of the epitaph, borrowed from the Arabian language, are included in the lexical fund of the Tatar language, they were actively used in the Old Tatarian, and are used in the modern Tatar language, they even penetrated the spoken language. If the Chuvash language represented a continuation of the Bulgarian, it would retain at least one of these loanwords.

2.   All other words of the Türkic root in some form can be found both in the Tatar, and in the Chuvash languages, with exception, perhaps, of two words: bledje (fifth), tuatm (fourth). The Tatar language does not have these roots with the same meaning. The root of the word bledje was preserved in the word belək (hand). The root of the second word tuatm probably ascends to the word dürt that was significantly changed in the illiterate dialectal vernacular. Anyway, these two words were more distinctly preserved in the Chuvash language.

3.   22 words were preserved both in the Tatar, and in the Chuvash languages, but phonetically they are much closer to their Tatar verbal matches: alty, altyshy, uly, byltyiy (buldy iye), battyiy, belüe ki, berü, beredje, ike, ikeshe, ite (idje/iye), djal (djyl), djierme, djiermeshe, djiete, djieteshe, küchdeye, kön, tyndyiy, uyn, uynym, üdjem (öchem).

4.   11 words were preserved both in the Chuvash, and in the Tatar languages, but phonetically they are much closer to their Chuvash equivalents: aikhy, biélem, éllü, khyrykh, hurkhum, sékr, tukhr, djur, utyr, irne, hur.

Thus, the first version of the lexical analysis of the 50 sample words gives the following picture. Only in the Tatar language had preserved 30% , only in Chuvash language had preserved 4% of the words. The other 66% of the words are in both languages, however 2/3 of them are much closer to the Tatar language.

In the result, of the 50 words in the epitaphs, 74%, i.e. three quarters, are closer to the Tatar language, and 26%, i.e. just one fourth, are closer to the Chuvash language. And it is natural: the analysis of any ancient Türkic text would give a similar picture, for the Tatar and Chuvash languages are both Türkic. Therefore from the analysis should be made a conclusion about the affinity of the epitaph language of this group (2-nd type) to both the Tatar at large (common Türkic) language, and the Chuvash language. We can only state the influence of the Chuvash type language upon the language of the (2-nd type) epitaphs. Apparently, such influence became possible, only because the Chuvashes (Suaslamaris) served as masters, manufacturers of the tombstones, and they, being Moslems, then assimilated among the common Türkic-speaking Bulgars.

The final assimilation of the Moslem Chuvashes took place sometime in the 60es of the 14th century, because the latest monument written in the Chuvash-similar language was dated by 1361. And this type of the monuments rather abruptly disappeared, which is difficult to explain only by the assimilation processes, because the linguistic processes in the society do not happen instantly. In the 1361 the Bulgarian Ulus was completely ravaged by the armies of the Altyn Orda Khan Bulat-Timur, which apparently was a direct reason for the disappearance of the orthodox traditions. Exactly then the manufacture of the gravestones, both of the first, and of the second type has stopped. Later, only after twenty years, that is in the 1380es, began to appear again the stone stelae, but they already were of a mixed type and without Chivashisms. Obviously, by then the new generation of the artisans has completely lost the Chuvash language. Though individual representatives of the Chuvash people were converting to Islam after that, but they did not do it any more by the whole communities, but only one by one, and in addition knowing beforehand the Bulgaro-Tatar language. Therefore the later epitaphs were written only exclusively in the Bulgaro-Tatar or in the Arabian languages. (Note that the Arabic script was the script of the Itil Bulgar/Tatar nation for a millennia, from ca. 900 to ca. 1930 AD, the Arabic language was taught as a main subject in schools and medresse, and the girls were customarily taught literacy along with the boys for at least a couple of hundred of years before the 1930 - Translator's Note)

Thus, the analysis of the Bulgarian epitaphs' language proves that this epigraphy cannot support the adequacy of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept.

101. How and why A.P.Kovalevsky "found" Chivashisms in the Ibn-Fadlan work?

The "Chuvash" words preserved in the ancient notes by Ibn-Fadlan about his trip to the Bulgaria  are considered to be another argument "proving" the Chuvash-linguality of the Bulgars. This author, who in 921-922 made a voyage from Bagdad to the Bulgaria with the Arabian embassy, wrote down during the trip the names he met on the roads to different countries, peoples, locations and personal names, including the Bulgarian names, among which some researchers also find the Chuvash words. Of the thirty two Bulgarian locality and personal names written down, the supporters of the Bulgaro-Chuvash theory considered six words to be Chuvash, specifically they are: Khelleche (name of a group of lakes), Gausherma (name of a river), Atal (name of Itil), sadjuv (name of a honey drink), Savaz (name of a tribe) and Vyrakh (name of the head of  the Suvar tribe).

These ostensibly Chuvash words prove the origin of the Chuvashes from the Bulgars.  They were found by the translator of the Ibn-Fadlan book to Russian, an Arabist A.P.Kovalevsky, with the assistance of the Chuvash linguists of the Ashmarinian bend, and besides, he found them not right away, but more than twenty years after publication of the first edition of his book.

As is known, A.P.Kovalevsky translated these records to Russian twice: once in the 1930es, another in the 1950es, and both times from the Meshkhed manuscript of the Ibn-Fadlan notes which were received from the Iranian Shakh. He did the first translation under a guidance by the academician I.J.Krachkovsky, and with his editing it was published in the 1939 in Moscow, but in that edition there were no Chivashisms. This circumstance has greatly surprised the Ashmarinists, who were convinced that Bulgars were the ancestors of the Chuvashes, for in the Ibn-Fadlan's messages about them was not a single Chuvash word. With that question the Chuvash linguists P.G.Grigoriev and N.R.Romanov addressed the translator of the book, Kovalevsky, who in the 1950es was working on a new translation of the same book.

Finding the questions of the Ashmarinists quite reasonable, Kovalevsky found it possible to reconsider the transcriptions of some Bulgarian names, written with the Arabian graphics without a strict phonetics, and with the assistance of the same Chuvash linguists he changed the spelling of a number of words toward the Chuvash manner. So in the second edition of the Ibn-Fadlan book appeared the above named six Chuvash words: Helleche, Gausherma, Atal, sadjuv, savas and Vyrah [Kovalevsky A.P., 1956]. To justify better the reasons for the corrections in the second edition of the book, in the 1954 Kovalevsky published a special brochure, where he was already treating the contents of the Ibn-Fadlan's book  from the Ashmarinian positions, and he likened a number of terms to the Chuvash words [Kovalevsky A.P., 1954]. Apropos, the author interpreted these six words, from the position of the Chuvash language, pretty unsuccessfully.

Why had Kovalevsky to so carelessly counterfeit the book of Ibn-Fadlan he had translated, and even worse, the quality of his second translation in the opinion of the Arabists did not win at all, but on the contrary, it was lost in comparison with the quality of the first translation in the 1930es? [Yanina S.A., 1962, 184]. Did not know Kovalevsky that the first duty of any diligent translator is a maximally exact reproduction of the text being translated?

To answer this question, apparently, it should be noted, what great love had this man toward the object of his translation, and at the same time toward the author of the book. Transforming the Old Bulgarian words onto the Chuvash manner, he certainly had no any bad intentions at all, and was doing this out of the most goodly intentions, with a purpose of perfecting the translated composition to make the book of Ibn-Fadlan more realistic and clearer to the modern reader.

And A.P.Kovalevsky wanted to safeguard somehow Ibn-Fadlan himself from any unfair accusations by any critics.

For this, for a very long time he worked putting together the extensive comments to the translations of the text, and in the 1950es with the same purpose he undertook a second translation of the book. Hearing from the Ashmarinists that the present Chuvashes are viewed as the descendants of the Itil Bulgars, Kovalevsky naively believed this roumor, and began to study seriously the Chuvash culture, in order to find a historical continuity between these peoples of different epoch. Therefore it is no wonder that he tried to alter some Bulgarian names toward the Chuvash manner.

The only Kovalevsky's mistake consisted of being carried away by the arguments of the Ashmarinists, he should not have tried to correct the writings of Ibn-Fadlan, however imperfect it had seemed to him. That the messages of Ibn-Fadlan do not require anybody's corrections had to be remembered, and the author himself also did not require a protection. Everything that the author has written was a real truth, it was the truth that existed in the mind of the person living a millennia ago. His messages should not be corrected at all, but should only be precisely translated and the names and the terms had to be maximally precisely reproduced.

102. "Chuvashiing" the Bulgarian words from the notes of Ibn-Fadlan.

As was stated above, six words of the Ibn-Fadlan notes were subjected to the A.P.Kovalevsky's "Chuvashiing": Helleche, Gausherma, Atal, südje (sadjuv), Suaz, and Vyrah.

1. The first of these Bulgarian words is Helleche. "When we arrived to malik, we have found his{its} stopped at water Helleche …" [Kovalevsky A.P., 1956, 138] (rendered "Haldja" in the reference English translation of the Russian 1939 Kovalevsky publication - Translator's Note), in the Arabic original of the Meshkhed manuscript this word was originally traced as


 [Kovalevsky A.P., 1956. Appendix. 108, 108-b.]. It is remarkable that in the first edition of the 1939 book this word was transcribed into Russian as Haldja [Ibid, 75]. But the Chuvash language does not have such word, in the second edition of the book Kovalevsky changed it to Helleche, to liken it to the Chuvash word helle 'winter', and at the same time to ascribe to this hydronym a meaning of a 'winter stan’ of the Bulgarian Khan, as it was interpreted by some researchers of the text. But this recasting was obstructed by the ending -dja in the word Haldja, which could not be explained from the Chuvash language, so it became necessary to alter it into the Chuvash -che (a formant of the past tense), which brought about an unusual word Helleche which in translation means ‘was in the winter’, instead of the 'winter stop'. The tensity of this "conjecture" is also visible in the spelling of the written word Helleche, which Kovalevsky spelled with two "l"s following the Chuvash orthography, and in the Arabic original the letter "lam" is written without a doubling tashdid. So the "Chuvashiing" of the hydronym Haldja was wrongful in every respect. Actually, this hydronym  should be read as Sulcha, for the first letter of the word in the manuscript is not (õ), but (ñ), and in addition there flows the river which was called then and is called now Sölchə/Sulcha. (This discovery belongs to the Arabist Anvar Hayri). (The above section provides a good illustration of the forced isolation and parochialism of the Russian science: in the country with multi-million Arabic-literate population and traditions, the translation was done in an isolation from its own experts, by a cluster of the Russian-Arabist scholars whose Arabic was not ingrown but learned, and whose work would not have allowed evident blunders if the generations of the non-ethnically Russian scholars were not totally ignored and decimated - Translator's Note)

2. The second word is Gausherma, in the phrase: "And the malik departed from the water named Sulcha, to the river named Gausherma …", also turned out wrongfully deformed. In the Arabic original Meshkhed manuscript in one place was written as


(Djaušiz) (Djaushiz),

 and in the other place as

 (Djaušir) (Djaushir)

 (without a point over zayn) [Kovalevsky A.P., 1956, 203, 208]. In the first 1939 edition of the book it was transcribed per the second spelling in the form Djavashir [Ibid, 76], which had an objective to show the existence of the r-language at the Bulgars, but then, in the brochure of 1954, Kovalevsky has gone even further and altered it to Gausherma, with the objective to liken it with the Chuvash word s'yrma 'river', because the subject there was a river. But for that purpose all the phonetic structure of the word had to be changed, and to arbitrarily attach to it a syllable -ma ending, and also to replace the initial phoneme [dj] to [g]. As we can see, this "conjecture" is also not too successful. Therefore in 1956, before sending off the manuscript for the second print, Kovalevsky restored back this word to Djavshyr, but nevertheless the Ashmarinists still continue to treat it as Gausherma.

The river under a name Djaushir can be identified with the river Yaushirme in the Chistopol district of Tatarstan. Apparently, the hydronym consists of two parts: Yaush is the name of the person related to this river, yiyrma is a Türkic word meaning "river" (compare the Tat. ermak). Another interpretation is also possible: Yau is 'army', shirma comes from a dialectal pronunciation of the same word erma as yoyrma. The Chuvash language preserved the pronunciation s'yrma.

3. The third word is Atal (the name of Itil), it is really present in the Ibn-Fadlan book, and it coincides with the Chuvash name of the river Itil: Atal. But that does not mean that the Bulgars spoke the Chuvash language yet. Some Türks and Arabs use this word with an anlaut [ə] (Ətil, Ədil), and the Tatars and Bashkirs use this word with the initial [i] (Idil), but in the Arabian script all these vowels are designated by the same letter alif, with added diacritical marks.

The Ashmarinists got excited that in the Ibn-Fadlan's book is a spelling of this word in the Chuvash form Atal. But that also still proves nothing. In the Meshkhed manuscript this word is repeated five times, and three times it is written with the initial alif with fatha (pronounced "fat-hah" - Translator's Note)

and two times is written without diacritical marks




 which can be read as Ətel or even Itel. Therefore this question remains disputable: it is possible to expect that the Bulgars called Itil by Chuvash Atal, but they also could call it in the Bulgarian Itil. The original of the Ibn-Fadlan manuscript has not survived to the present. It is possible that in the manuscript Itil was called Itil, but the Persian-lingual copyist of the Meshkhed manuscript in two places copied it correctly, and in three places mechanically wrote in his own way as Atel.

Considering the etymology of this hydronym, it is easy to notice that it consists of two parts: Türk. idi-ide ‘great, big, god’ and el (the most ancient form of the hydronym elga 'river'). The Türkic el is also borrowed in the Mari language to designate the river Itil itself. Thus, Idi+el (Idel) was used and is used now in the sense ‘big river, great river’. If so, then the most ancient form of this hydronym is not Atal, Ətil or Itil, but Idel (Idi-el). From the stated above, it is clear that the Arabian spelling of this hydronym should be transliterated as Itil, Itel or Idel.

4. The fourth word is südje (drink), in the Meshkhed manuscript it was written as


 (al-sadju or, truer, as-sdju), and in the first 1939 edition of the book it was also transcribed as as-sadjuv, but then, in a specially published 1954 brochure, Kovalevsky altered it to sadjuv to liken it with the Chuvash word shchu, shyv (water). But because the Chuvashes call a honey drink not sadjuv, but simpyl or karchama, this conjecture also turned out too stillborn, and in that connection in the 1956 Kovalevsky reversed it back to "sudjuv" [Kovalevsky A.P., 1956, 132]. Per Fleisher and Fren, the sadju was not a Chuvash, but an ancient Türkic name of the fermented drink, and in the A.P.Smirnov's opinion, it was a loanword from the Russian syta, sychevka.

Actually südje (södje ~ südje) is a sweet drink spread among the Türks of the various regions. In the Azerbaijan language it survived till now. The word södje in the Tatar literary language has a form töche , in the Tatar dialects it has a form  söche (sweet, luscious) and acts as an antonym of the word achy (sour) (recall here the Herodotus' 4.23 description of Argippaeans drinking juice called "achy" - Translator's Note).

5. The fifth word is Suaz (the name of a tribe), it too was subjected to an unreasonable distortion. In the Arabic original of the Meshkhed manuscript it is used only once and as


 In the first 1939 edition of the book Kovalevsky transcribed it in the form Savan, because in the manuscript the last letter (z) was shown as (n). But in the next edition of his book he already transcribed this word as Suvaz. By doing that, Kovalevsky wanted to emphasize that the word Suvaz later began to be applied as Chuvash, and designated the Chuvash ancestors. Hence, in his opinion, the Bulgars-Suvazes were Chuvash-lingual.

A more exact research [Zakiev M.Z., 1986, 40-54] shows that the word Suaz~Suas is Bulgarian, and it is composed of two Türkic words: su 'water' and As (the name of a tribe). The Maries call Tatars with the ethnonym Suas/Süas, and they call the Chuvashes "Suaslamari".

6. The sixth word is Vyrah (a name of the Suvarian Khan), apparently it too was distorted by the translator. In the Arabian original of the Meshkhed manuscript it is written as


 [Kovalevsky A.P., 1956, 208]. Kovalevsky himself in the 1939 first edition of the book transcribed it as Virag. But because no such word exists in the Chuvash language, he subsequently has tried to somehow "Chuvashize" it, changing it in the second edition of the book to Vyrag [Ibid, 139], and in the 1954 brochure to Vyrakh [Ibid, 43]. But all these "conjectures" were in vain, because in the Chuvash language are no words similar to Vyrag/Vyrakh. From the viewpoint of the common Türkic etymology, this word has not been investigated yet.

Thus, all six words, which Kovalevsky adjusted to liken them to the Chuvash lexemes, cannot testify that the Bulgars had the Chuvash type r-language. But despite of that, the Ashmarinists persistently continue to use this "discovery" as a proof of the correctness of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept. With this purposes were and are published a multitude of the works and articles of such authors as P.G.Grigoriev, N.R.Romanov, N.Danilov, V.G.Egorov, V.F.Kakhovsky and many others, aimed for popularization of the (falsified - Translator's Note) conclusions about the Bulgarian origin of the Chuvashes.

103. Are any Chuvash words in the Slavic-Bulgarian "Khanlist"?

 Next we shall review the following argument of the supporters of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept: the Chuvash words in the so-called "Slavic-Bulgarian Khanlist" (aka "Shedjere", "Nominalia" - Translator's Note). If this Khanlist contains Türco-Bulgarian words, in the opinion of the supporters of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept they should be characterized by the Chuvash distinctions.

It is known that in the 1866 professor A.Popov found and published a written monument created by an unknown author in the 16th century and kept in the library of St. Synod together with the hand-written book "Hellen and Roman Chronist" [Popov À., 1866].

Here is the full text of the Nominalia (see Atilla Khan => Avitohol, and facsimile of the original, and Slavic and English text in Bulgarian Khans List. In the following citation only the Slavic words are translated to English, the others are transliterated  - Translator's Note)

"Avitohol live years 300, clan his Doulo, and years his dilom tvirem. Irnik live years 150, clan his Doulo, and years his dilom tvirem. Gostun regent sy 2 years, clan his Ermi, and years his dohs tvirem. Kourt 60 years reigned, clan his Doulo, and years his shegor vechem. Bezmer 3 years, and clan his Doulo, and years his shegor vechem. These 5 knyaz held reign that side Danube years 500 and 15 with shaved heads and then came to Danube side Isperih knyaz, from then on. Espererih knyaz 60 and one years, clan his Doulo, and years his vereni alem. Tervel 20 and 1 years, clan his Doulo, and years his tekou chitem … tvirem 20 and 6 years, clan his Doulo, and years his dvanshehtem. Sevar 15 years, clan his Doulo, and years his toh altom. Kormisosh 17 years, a clan his Vokil, and years his shegor tvirem. These knyaz change clan Doulo, called Vihtun. Vineh 7 years, and clan his Oukil, and years his name shegor alem. Telets 3 years, clan his Ougain, and years his somor altem … Oumor 40 days, clan his Oukil, and his dilom toutom".

Here the subject is not the reliability or inauthenticity of the document (this subject was reviewed in detail by a Bulgarian scientist Mosko Moskov in his book "Imennik on Blgarskite hanove - novo tlkuvane. Sofia, 1988. 368 pp.), but in the enigma of those postscripts which are given after each of the thirteen names, which in the literature came to be known as "non-Slavic vocables in Nominalia". Such unclear words total 26, but some of them repeat two and three times, so as the mysteries remain 15 vocables: dilom, shehtem, tvirem, dohs, shegor, vechem, vereni, alem, tekou, chetem, dvan, toh, altom, somor, toutom.

Scientists tried to decipher these words from the basis of various languages. So, the academician A.Kunik, who at that time was under the impression of the recently published article by N.I.Ilminsky about the Chuvash words in the Bulgarian language, decided to explain vocables in the Nominalia from the material of the Chuvash language, because he thought that the language of the Danube Bulgars (the author is using a Russian moniker "protobulgar" - Translator's Note)  should be related to the language of the Itil Bulgars. Kunik, without knowing the Chuvash language, could not do it and asked for the help from the Turkologist V.V.Radlov, asking him to decipher the Nominalia from the material of the Chuvash language [Kunik À., 1878, 18-161].

The young Radlov, who was then in his internship training in the Barnaul, evidently did not dare to decline the request of the known academician from the capital, and sent him somewhat foggy response about some possibilities to identify the vocables with the Chuvash numerals. For example, the vocable somor linked to the Chuvash ikke 'two', chetem he linked to the Chuvash śidje 'seven' and also to shitmel 'seventy', he both linked dohs and tekou to vătăr 'thirty', shehtem - to săkăr-vunnă 'eighty', tutom - to kherekh 'forty', and the endings of the vocables with -om and -em he interpreted as the numeral vunna 'ten'. As a result of such arbitrary interpretation Radlov has deduced the nonexistent in the Chuvash language "numerals"; for example, dilom tvirem he interpreted as ‘five twenty’, shegor vechem - as ‘eight thirty’, tekou chetem - as ‘nine seventy’, dvan shehtem - as ‘four eighty’, etc. But what mean all these incoherent words, he himself could not explain [Kunik A., 1878, 138-143], because the single digits in it "two-digit" numbers appeared in front of the tens. Such reverse sequence in the structure of complex numerals is alien not only to the Chuvash language, but also to the majority of other Türkic languages; something similar can be met only in the Saryk-Ügurian language and in the ancient Orhono-Yenisei inscriptions, where some complex numerals have another structure and quantitative meaning [Kononov A.N., 1980].

If Radlov was not then connected with the request of the influential academician Kunik, and would treat the decoding of the Nominalia more objectively, he surely would come to a conclusion not in favor of the Kunik hypothesis, and more likely in favor of the statement by Geza Kuun, who considered the vocables to be the Türkh lexemes. Really, many vocables are much closer to the common Türkic numerals, than to the Chuvash. For example, the vocable vereni is more close with the Türkic berendje 'first', than with the Chuvash pěrrěměš; the vocable dohs is more close with the Türkic togyz 'nine', than with the Chuvash tăkhăr; vechem too it is more similar to the Türk. učon (uchon) 'thirty', than with the Chuv. vătăr; chitem and shehtem too are more close with the Türkic citen (djiten) and siksen, than with the Chuvash śitmel (shitmel) 'seventy' and sakărvunnă 'eighty'. The endings of the second vocables with -om and -em are much better comparable with the Türkic on 'ten', than with the Chuvash vunna. (See numerical's table in Bulgarian Khans List  - Translator's Note)

Besides, the eight knyazes in the Nominalia are directly desribed "clan his Doulo", and it is known that the clan Dulo was not actually Bulgarian, but the Western Türkic, who in the 7th century usurped the Bulgars, which also certifies about a higher probability of the use in the Nominalia of the common Türkic z-language. However, the young Radlov had neglected this data and wrote to Kunik that "this vernacular is very close to the Chuvash". But in the same letter he also stipulated unambiguously: "According to your desire … I came to the conclusions stated above", but "I myself feel all the dissatisfaction … of my research" [Kunik À., 1876, 130, 143].

However, this admission of Radlov has not stopped Kunik, who intended to publish his hypothesis. In the 1878 he augmented the response letter of Radlov with his surmisals, layed out the history of the problem and, adding to all that a screaming heading "Relatedness of the Hagano-Bulgars with Chuvashes from the Slavic-Bulgarian Nominalia", has published it in the appendix to the 32-nd volume of the "Notes of the Russian Academy of Sciences". Thus was born this version about the "relatedness of the Hagano-Bulgars with Chuvashes", and at the same time also about an imaginary relationship of the Bolgarian language with the Chuvash.

In the beginning of our century the version of Kunik and Radlov was finally rejected, and instead of it was suggested a completely new version that consider the vocables as the date names in the ancient Türkic "animal" calendar.

The Finnish linguist I.Mikkola is rightly known as the founder of this new version, though this idea for the first time was expressed by Biuri. Rejecting the opinions of Kunik, Radlov, Zlatarian and other authors, who considered the vocables to be numerals, Mikkola suggested to view them as the names of the years and the months of the eastern "animal" calendar, which was also used by the medieval Türks. In his opinion, each pair of vocables in the Nominalia has the first words with the names of animals designating years, and the second words with the numerals designating sequential numbers for the months in a year. And the names of animals, in his opinion, were taken from various Türkic and non-Türkic languages. For example, the vocable shegor he ascended to the Türkic sygyr 'cow', ostensibly designating the Year of the Bull; the vocable somor he ascended to the Mongolian morin 'horse', dvan - to the Oguz davśan 'hare', dilom - to the common Türkic jylan 'snake', toh - to the Djagatai tauk 'hen', dohs - to the Türkic tonguz 'pig', tekou - to the Oguz koć (koch) 'ram', vereni - to the Chuvash săvăr 'marmot', etc. And the second vocables in each pair (tvirem, vechem, alem, chetem, shehtem, altom, toutom) Mikkola considered to be numerals, meaning sequential numbers of the months in a year. Because in a year can be no more than thirteen lunar months, and in the Nominalia are numerals even as large as "fifty" (alem) Mikkola had to give to such vocables other numerical and even non-numerical meaning. For example, a vocable alem he ascended to the Chagatayan iläg 'before', giving it a sense "first month in a year"; the vocable tvirem, which was before considered to be a Chuvash sirem 'twenty', he traced to the Chuv. măkhkhăr 'nine', and to explan the vocable tekou he had to assign to the Chuvash language a nonexistent word koč "ram", etc. [Zakiev M.Z., Kuzmin-Ümanadi J.F., 1993, 42].

Because the version of Mikkola appeared unpersuasive in every respect, and mainly, not linking the vocables of the Nominalia with the Chuvash language, the supporters of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept were undertaking many times the attempts for its "perfectioning", making various amendments and additions. Ashmarin himself, who was earlier basing on the numerical version of Kunik - Radlov, in the 1917-1923 had completely renounced it and made an attempt to "Chuvashize" the new version of Mikkola. For example, the vocable somor, deduced by Mikkola from the Mongolian morin 'horse', he suggested to ascend to the Chuvash ămărt 'eagle', vereni to ascend to the Chuv. păran ‘young sheep’, tekou - to the Chuv. căxă (djăkhă) 'hen', tvirem - to the Chuv. těpěr ‘another, other’, dilom - to the Chuv. sělěn 'snake', alem - to the Chuv. ülěm ‘later, in the future’, shehtem - to the Chuv. sičč (sichch) 'seven', but for the other vocables (toh, dohs, dvan, chetem, etc.) Ashmarin did not find matching words, but he nevertheless asserted that once in the past such words could exist in the Chuvash language [Ashmarin N.I., 1923, 227-237].

O.Pritsak, finding the amendments by Ashmarin unsuccessful, suggested to uphold the comparisons by Mikkola in respect to the vocables dilom, tvirem, shegor, vechem, toh, dohs, and the vocable vereni suggested to ascend to the Türk. bure 'wolf', and to interpret it as the "Year of the Wolf", even though such a name of a month does not exist in the eastern calendars. Finding it inappropriate to compare the vocable somor with the Mongolian 'horse', Pritsak suggested to allocate for the horse the first syllable, i.e  ima- ,  from a conjoint vocable imashe goralem, and to interpret it as a name for a horse in the presumed Bolgarian language [Pritsak Î., 1955].

After Pritsak, not once were made attempts to perfect the Mikkola's version. For example, V.F.Kakhovsky offers the vocable tekou, ascended by Ashmarin to the Chuv. djăkhă 'hen', to ascend to the Chuv. taka 'ram', and the vocable somor to ascend to a hypothetical samăr 'horse', even though though such word also does not exist and never existed in the Chuvash language, as well as in the other Türkic languages [Kakhovsky V.F., 1965, 276-278].

A multitude of other suggestions also were advanced for the decoding of the Nominalia [Zakiev M.Z., Kuzmin-Ümanadi J.F., 1993, 44]. But all of them are only subjective guesswork or, in the expression of Ashmarin himself, the "conjectural assumptions". Will the "Nominalia" be deciphered sometime? Many scientists doubt it. But if the noted words of the "Nominalia" will be authentically deciphered, they still cannot prove the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept. The Bulgarian scientist I.D.Shishmanov noted it in the 1900. He wrote that in the "Nominalia" are words with the initial d, g, b  that conflict with the Chuvash phonetics. For example, doulo, dilom, doxs, Gostun, goralem, Bezmer. The ethnonym of the Bulgars itself conflicts with the Chuvash phonetics. If the Bulgars spoke a Chuvash-like language, they would spread not the ethnonym Bulgars, but Palgar/Palkhar or Murgar. From such points, I.D.Shishmanov concludes that the Bulgarian language had no similarity with the Chuvash language, it was close to the Chagatayan language [Shishmanov I.D., 1900, 684].

The most authentic and accessible source for extracting the features of the Bulgarian language is, undoubtedly, the alive Slavic-Bulgarian language with its ancient Bulgarian substrate. If the Bulgarian Türki (Türki, with an accent on last syllable,  is a common Türkic spoken language of the early Middle Ages, documented since ca. 10th century - Translator's Note) was a Chuvash type r-language, among the substrate Türkizms would also be preserved the elements of the Chuvash type r-language. But in the Bulgarian language they just do not exist. On this occasion K.G.Menges fairly writes: "when it is promulgated in print that in the modern Bulgarian language are present many words common with the Chuvash, like dost (Bolg.) - tus (Chuv.), dushek (Bolg.) - tushek (Chuv.), chavka (Bolg.) - chavka (Chuv.), and others, their authors make a gross blunder, because these are Türkh loans in the Bulgarian language, which in their phonetical form do not differ at all from the Kypchak loans in the Chuvash language" [Zakiev M.Z., Kuzmin-Ümanadi J.F., 1993, 48].

In the Bulgarian Türki were no Türkizms of the Chuvash type, that language was same zeta-ing as also was the language of the Itil Bulgars. In any case, neither in the ancient written monuments, nor in the alive Bolgarian language, nor in the Slavic-Bulgarian Nominalia are found the attributes of the Chuvash type r-language.

104. Are any Chivashisms in the ancient Balkarian inscriptions?

following "proof" of the existence of the r-language at the Itil Bulgars are considered the conceivable Chivashisms "found " in the rock inscriptions of the N. Caucasus Balkars. Because the Balkars  are considered to be the historical relatives of the Itil Bulgars, naturally the presence of the Chivashisms in their language should testify about r-linguality of the Itil Bulgars. Therefore the supporters of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept were assessing many times the character of this North Caucasian language, but did not find neither in the Balkarian language, nor in its dialects, any signs of rotacism and lamdaizm, as all ethnic groups of the Balkars  speak a common Türkic language of the Kypchak group. In that connection were composed hypotheses of the existence of the r-language in the ancient Balkar  language, in the belief that once these people spoke in the r-language, and then with the arrival of the Kypchaks to N. Caucasus they adopted the Kypchak language. But it was impossible to confirm this hypothesis for the lack of the ancient written monuments in the Balkarian  language.

And, at last, in the 1970es such written monuments were "found" in the mountain gorges of the Northern Caucasus, together with the ancient rock burials of the mountaineers, and with that the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept of the Ashmarinists received a new "confirmation". But before proceeding to the review of these written monuments, we shall briefly remind of the circumstances with which has this unusual find appeared.

Generally, the existence of the strange inscriptions and rock burials in the Northern Caucasus mountains was known for a long time. The attention of the researchers was attracted by the frequent rock burials found in the gorges around the Elbrus, made in small caves hollowed in the cliffs with a quadrangular, and sometimes a round entrance. The attention of the researchers was attracted by the writings around these burials.

These writings represent a variety of figures, similar to the hieroglyphs, incised in the rock or drawn with a brown-red ochra. They are located by groups, sometimes above the cave entrance, in other cases near it, and sometimes in the depth of the cave, somewhere on a smooth surface. The quantity of signs near the caves varies from a single to several tens. A close inspection allows to subdivide them into four types:

1) simple pictograms,

2) personal tamgas,

3) Türkic alphabetical signs, and

4) letters of the Uigur alphabet.

They are located together, commingled, without any delineations.

Various points of view exist in respect to the ethnic identification of these rock monuments. Some researchers attribute them to the ancient Caucasian mountaineers, others to the medieval Türkic-speaking or even to the "Persian-lingual" Alans, the third, for example, G.F.Turchaninov, to the Northern Caucasian Kosogs (i.e Adygs, called in Old Rusian by its Türkic exoethnonym "Kosogs" and "Kashags", aka "Cherkesses" - Translator's Note), the fourth to the Khazars, etc. [Zakiev M.Z., Kuzmin-Ümanadi J.F., 1993, 52]. But the majority of researchers is nevertheless inclined to attribute them to the mountain Alans. So T.M.Minaeva, for example, who dedicated a special research to these monuments, regards them as a creation of the Alans, who came to the Elbrus area in the 6th century AD under a pressure of the nomadic Türks, and had to bury their diseased in the cliffs for the lack of the free land [Minaeva T.M., 1971, 227]. A.P.Runich also attributes these monuments to the Alans, in a belief that the Alans transformed their traditional funeral catacombs to the rock caves after they were pushed against the mountains. With that opinion also agree G.F.Turchaninov, M.A.Habichev, V.A.Kuznetsov and many other researchers. But it should be noted that some authors promulgate the Alans as the ancestors of the Persian-lingual Ossets, the others depict them as the ancestors of the Türkic-speaking Balkars and Karachays.

A Karachay scientist S.J.Baichorov in the 1970es raised an absolutely different viewpoint. In his opinion, these monuments belonged not to the Alans (and under Alans he referred only to the Persian-lingual Ossets), but to the Northern Caucasian Bulgars, i.e. to the ancestors of the present Balkars  and Karachays, who ostensibly earlier spoke a Chuvash-type language. "The analysis of the language of the Elbrus area monuments' inscriptions has shown, he writes, that by the graphical-phonetical features it is the Old Bulgarian language, with d- and dj- dialects with rotacism distinction." [Baichorov S.J. is , 1977, 19-23].

These conclusions by Baichorov were an unexpected sensation much like the the last century publication of N.I.Ilminsky related to the Itil Bulgarian language and that of A.A.Kunik concerning the Hagano-Bulgarian language of the Danube Bolgars. In both cases was asserted the same idea, that the ancient Bulgarian language, be it at the Danube, in the Itil region or in the Northern Caucasus, was characterized everywhere by the same features of the Chuvash type r-language.

As this idea looks completely logical and at a first sight seems enough justified, the works of Baichorov, like the works of Kunik and Ilminsky in the last century, found a lot of hot followers. For example, the archeologists V.B.Kovalevsky, H.H.Bidjiev and M.P.Abramova [1978] reacted to them positively, and especially enthusiastically took them the Ashmarinists, who were pleased with the finding of a new confirmation for the defended by them Bulgaro-Chuvash concept. For example, the Outstanding Man of Deeds of Science of the Chuvash ASSR V.D.Dimitriev, wrote not without a delight: "Baichorov located and investigated the monuments of the North Caucasian Bulgarian writing with a characteristic rotacism for their language" [Dimitriev V.D., 1984, 29]. In unison with him were also elated some Kazan scientists. In particular, D.G.Muhametshin and F.S.Hakimzyanov wrote: "So the ancient Bulgars (in the Elbrus area), in their environment, in honor of the entombed constructed memorial houses and composed inscriptions" in the ancient Bulgarian language, by stating that they meant that, in their opinion, the ancient Bulgarian language was characterized by the Chuvash features [Muhametshin D.G., Hakimzyanov F.S., 1987, 15].

But the texts read by Baichorov in the Türkic inscriptions are rather dubitable and most likely exist only in the imagination of their reader, rather than in reality. By setting beforehand an aim to find in the writings the Chuvash-like Türkizms, he at different stages of work with the text gradually transforms it in the desired direction, and finally achieves the required result. Already during the stage of the copying and creating imprint of the rock inscriptions, he gradually "corrects" them under a guise of restoration of the erased places and completion of the unfinished strokes.

Then in the second stage of work, while extracting the Türkic signs from the common mass of the inscriptions, he adds to the signs not only the valid letters, but also imagined pseudo-letters, which in his opinion could have existed in the ancient Bulgarian script. For example, he reads the image of a ladder, which is frequent in the rock writings, as the letter "d" or "d' ", although in the Türkic alphabet such sign does not exist (letters 8, 9 and 12, 13 in the Soslanbek Baichorov Alphabet Table - Translator's Note). Then at the stage of the reading of the inscriptions he also uses an arbitrary approach, reading them from right to left, and from left to right, and from top down, and from down up, and also finding a letter inside another letter, etc., just to get a necessary Türkizm.

That way, from the beginning and to the end, at all stages of the decoding the writings, Baichorov invariably transforms them at his own discretion, and finally produces the "ancient Bulgarian texts". With such method of decoding, the same letters of the inscriptions can be read not only in the ancient Bulgarian, but also in any other language of the world.

Baichorov regards the word beleg, belükh (marker, monument) he read in the rock inscriptions and identified with the Itil Bulgarian bälük ‘marker, monument’ to be an indirect evidence of the rotacism in the Elbrus area language. He believes that this word only belonged to the r-languages, and consequently it testifies to the rotacism of the Elbrusian language also. But this opinion is erroneous, for belük/belüg is a common Türkic word formed from the ancient Türkic of a verbal root bel "to know", and is in all Türkic languages without exception. In the Itil Bulgaria it was equally frequent in the epitaphs of both the 1-st, and of the 2-nd type. Therefore its presence in the Elbrus area language also cannot testify to its rotacism.

And, at last, the direct and immediate proof of the Elbrus area language rotacism is considered found there word chur (hundred), ostensibly used instead of the common Türkic zeta-form yöz (hundred). In the cited above Baichorov's materials this word is met only once, and just in the same incoherent semtence "Djgutur ucheme menchur elinche ur biti eshgen". There the word chur is artificially formed from a fuzzy lexeme menchur by splitting it into two syllables (men+chur) and subsequent arbitrary semantizatioin. Therefore to rationalize, by this contrived word, the presence of the rotacism in the ancient Bulgarian language would be frivolous, especially so given the absence of other similar examples in the Baichorov's lexical material.

Therefore, even assuming that the language of the Elbrus area inscription monuments was really the ancient Bulgarian, still the Baichorov's lexical materials do not contain anything that would authentically testify about the rotacism character of that language. It should be inferred that the original ancient Bulgarian language of the Northern Caucasus was the same zeta-formed as its present successors, the Balkarian and Karachay languages, and also as the Bulgaro-Tatar language which is the successor of the Itil Bulgarian language, for all of them belong to the same common group of the Türkic z-languages.

105. Are there Chivashisms in the Hungarian language?

To prove the Chuvash-linguality of the the Itil Bulgars, the supporters of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept thought up one more argument. They proposed that because the Hungarians ostensibly lived in the Middle Itil, i.e. in the "Great Hungary", next to the Bulgars for more than 100 years, the Chuvash-like loanword should be present in the Hungarian language, those so-called Chivashisms proving the Chuvash-linguality of the Bulgars.

Having believed this supposition, in the 1894 a Hungarian scientist B.Munkachi started to search for the Chivashisms among the Türkic loanwords in the Hungarian language. Another Hungarian scientist Zoltan Gombots in the 1912 published a special book, where out of the 800 Türkic loans in the Hungarian language he noted 227 words with the Chuvash features [Gombots Ç., 1912, 203-206].

After the release of this work of Z.Gombots, the idea about the identity of the Bulgarian and Chuvash languages, i.e. the Bulgaro-Chuvash theory, for the Hungarian scientists, and also for some foreign and Russian Türkologists, became a postulation that does not need any proofs . Therefore  nobody checked these materials. Meanwhile, the first acquaintance with the book enables the establishment of the following objective picture.

1. Out of the 227 loanwords, 87 words are so adapted to the Hungarian pronunciation norms that without a careful phonetical analysis they are difficult to liken to either the Chuvash or to the Tatar language, for example, artany 'to clear', bay 'sorcery', beko 'horseshoe', bika 'obstinate', boglya 'heap', bü 'conjure', gyur 'to press, tie', koporso ‘coffin, box’, tömeny 'countless', zerge 'goat', etc. In this list we also included such loans which became phonetically far from the Chuvash and Tatar words, but better reflect the Tatar variations. For example, in the Hungarian boglya, in the Tatar bogol ‘heap, haystack’; in the Hungarian artany, in the Tatar arynu 'clear up, free'; in the Hungarian tömeny, in the Old Tatarian tömən ‘countless, ten thousand’, etc.

2. Another 44 words coincide both with the Tatar, and with the Chuvash equivalents almost to the same degree. For example, sörke 'nit', Tat. serke, Ch. sharka; szakal 'beard' Tat. sakal, Ch. suhal, etc.

Thus, of two previous line items, 131 words, or 58%, cannot serve as a proof to what language these loanwords are closer: to the Chuvash-Türkic or the Kypchak-Türkic.

3. Another 43 loanwords find equivalents in the Tatar language. For example, balta 'axe' - balta; beka 'frog' - baka; beke 'closed' - böke; cziczkany 'mouse' - sychkan; gözü 'rat' - küse; gyalom ‘boathook, net’ - yoylym; guart 'make, produce' - yaratu; gyöplö 'sheaf' - ¸epleü; ildomos 'wise' - yoyldam; kesik 'late' - kichegü; kobak 'pumpkin' - kabak; kedek 'navel' - kendek; söprö 'yeast' - chüpre; szan 'count' - sanau; szirt 'ridge' - syrt; szongor 'eagle' - shonkar; teker 'twist' - tekermech; tür 'build' - tör; tyuk 'hen' - tauk, etc.

4. Another 38 loanwords exist both in the Tatar language and in Chuvash language, but have the distinctions of the Tatar language, for example, al 'deceive' - Tat. aldau, Chuv. ultala; alma 'apple' or 'potato' - Tat. alma, Chuv. ulma; arpa 'barley' - Tat. arpa, Chuv. urpa; bator 'brave' - Tat. batyr, Chuv. pattar; bors 'pepper' - Tat. borych, Chuv. paras; kender 'hemp' - Tat. kinder, Chuv. kantar; korom 'soot' - Tat. korym, Chuv. haram, etc.

Thus, of two previous line items, 81 words, or 35,5% are borrowed by the Hungarian language from the Kypchak-Türkic language.

5. Only 15 loanwords, or 6,5% can be found in the Chuvash language and with so-called Chuvash features: borji 'telenok', borso 'peas', gyom 'grass', gyürü 'ring', iker 'twins', ir 'write', köris 'ash', ör ‘grind, fragment’, ökör 'bull', sar ‘dirt, bog’, sarlo 'sickle', gyürü 'ring', szücs 'furrier', tükör 'mirror', ünö 'cow'.

Thus, also including the Tatar language in the Z.Gombots scope of the object comparisons, only 6,5% of the material he collected can support the affinity theory between the Bulgarian and Chuvash languages, while everything else, i.e. the overwhelming majority, proves the falsity of that theory.

Graphical representation of Zoltan Gombots 1912 Hungarian-Türkic word list - Translator's Note

This leads to a logical question: how to explain the presence, among these loanwords, of the several words with the Chuvash features? It can't be explained that the Bulgars are the ancestors of the Chuvashes, for neither the linguistic, nor the ethnographic, nor the anthropological data corroborate this postulate. Evidently here at work are the laws of the word borrowing process: like in the formation of the Chuvash language, so also in the borrowing of the Türkic words by the Hungarians, these acquisitions were absorbed by the Finno-Ugors. Hence, in both cases the conditions were the same: the Türkic words were perceived by the hearing used to the Finno-Ugrian speech, and they were reproduced by the lips used to the Finno-Ugrian articulation. Therefore it is possible to find both in the Chuvash and in the Hungarian languages the some common, phonetically similarly changed, the usual Türkic words. They penetrated both of these two languages not by a mutual influence, but completely independently. This postulate is also evidenced by the Zoltan Gombots materials: there are some words with a rotacism, which are absent in the Chuvash language or exist in it without the rotacism. For example, göreny 'polecat' - Tat. kozen (sasy kozen), Chuv. pasara; karo 'pole' - Tat. kazyk, Chuv. shalsa; tar 'bold' - Tat. taz, Chuv. kuksha or tasa in sense 'clear'; tenger 'sea' - Tat. dingez, Chuv. tines; tör 'loop' - Tat. tozak, Chuv. yyala (s)r)n)); tür 'suffer, tolerate' - Tat. tüz, Chuv. tus.

Probably, Zoltan Gombots later was burned by the unfair partiality of his comparative-historical research, and found a strength to repudiate his belief about the penetration of the Bulgarian words into the Hungarian language. Otherwise, the Hungarian scientist Ü.Nemeth would not write regretfully: "Gombots should not have repudiated the old theory about the contacts of the Itil Bulgars with the Hungarians" [Nemet Ü., 1971, 261]. Thus, the Hungarians did not interact directly with the Itil Bulgars and with the Chuvashes. Therefore the fictitious "Chivashisms" in the Hungarian language could not serve as a proof of the "correctness" of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept.

Also, the Great Hungary did not exist in the Middle Itil area. If the Hungarians were living there once, not only should have been in the Hungarian language the Bulgarian and Chuvash loanwords, but also in the Bulgarian, and in the Chuvash should have been a mass of the Hungarian words. But they do not exist. Positing this phenomenon, V.D.Arakin wrote that contrary to any expectations, in the Chuvash language Magyarizms are absolutely not present, that in it are only the Finnizms, which can be mistaken for the Magyarizms, but all of them are borrowed from the Itil region's Finns, and not from the Hungarians [Arakin V.D., 1953, 49].

Consequently, the fact of the Chuvash loanwords in the Hungarian language, as a proof of the correctness of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept,  was concocted unsuccessfully.

106. The Itil region Finno-Ugrians adopted loanwords with rotacism not from the Bulgarian, but from the Chuvash language.

One more proof of the r-linguality of he Itil Bulgars are the Chuvash-Finno-Ugrian lexical convergences. The fact is that in the languages of Mari, Mordva, Udmurts and Komi are a multitude of Türkizms, among which are the r-lingual and other lexical loans distinguished by the Chuvash features. Among them there are production terms, terms of relationship, of the family life, but especially many terms related to the agriculture and domestic cattle breeding. For example: Chuv. śăkkăr 'bread', Mord. śukro 'bread', Mari sykyr 'bread', sukyr ‘bread loaf’; Chuv. śarăk 'turnip', Udmurt. śarči 'turnip', Komi serkni 'turnip', etc. In addition, in some Finno-Ugric languages are grammatical forms identical with the Chuvash, for example, the Chuvash form of a participle with -sa (compare Chuv. tarsa 'standing', Udmurt. puktysa 'standing', Komi suvtsa 'standing'); or the Chuvash form of a relic verb with -ni (Chuv. sutni ‘to shine, a shine’, Udmurt. sötyny 'to shine' (in the expression jugyt sötyny 'to consecrate'), compare with the Hungarian. sütni 'to shine', etc.).

It is a well-known fact that in the Itil and Urals region from the most ancient times was establishing a Türko-Finno-Ugrian language union. As a result of the interaction of these peoples are noted the Türkizms in the Finno-Ugrian and Finno-Ugrizms in the Türkic languages. Some Türkic words in the Ugro-Finian languages are adopted with the corresponding phonetical changes, for example, the phoneme [z] through [d] transformes to [r]: tugyz > tugyd > tuhyr; occur a phenomenon of devocalization of the initial sonorous, etc. Because the Chuvash language formed as a result of blending of the Türkic, Mongolian and later the Finno-Ugric languages, consequently we notice such changes of the Türkizms in both the Chuvash, and in the Finno-Ugric languages. Therefore the Türkizms with specific changes in the Finno-Ugric languages also appeared without an influence of the Chuvash language, but at the same time it is also impossible to completely deny the influence of the Chuvash language, instead of the Bulgarian language.

Some scientists try to explain this Chuvash influence as the Bulgarian influence. In the opinion of the researchers G.Ramstedt, R.Ryasyanen, Ü.Vihman, and others, these Chivashisms were borrowed very long ago, still at the time when the Bulgars spoke in Old Chuvash  language, and consequently they evidence the rotacism of the Bulgarian language. For example, M.R.Fedotov, one of the supporters of this hypothesis, writes: "... The ancestors of the modern Komi, still during their common Permian linguistic unity, were under a strong influence of the Türkic-speaking Bulgarian tribes", and consequently the Bulgarian language "rendered on the Permians a huge for that time influence, which is proved by the presence in the Komi language of the several tens of the Chuvash origin words, let alone the hundreds of the Chuvash loans in the Udmurt language...". An identical suggestion is also stated by this author concerning the Chivashisms in the Mari language: "The existence in the Mari language of unproductive and productive Chuvash morphemes, he writes, tells about the extreme antiquity of the Türkic loans which have a thousand-year age, and about the force of the Türkic influence which penetrated all the morphology of the Mari language" [Fedotov M.R., 1980, Part. 3, 1986, 3].

With such impression about the antiquity of the Chuvash loans it is really possible to come to a conclusion about the existence of a rotacism in the Itil Bulgarian language. However, as we already saw in the previous paragraphs, many facts of the historical and linguistical nature contradict this notion.

107. Are Bulgaro-Chuvash loans in the Russian language?

The Bulgaro-Chuvash concept has also reached the specialists in the Russian philology. Believing in its correctness, some specialists in Russian philology started searching for the Chivashisms among the Bulgarian loanwords in Russian. So, in the 1918 A.A.Shahmatov and the Turkologist A.N.Samoylovitch released in the same compendium their articles devoted to the proof of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept's correctness. Both of them note the word turun 'great-great-grandson', 'manager' which is found in the Rus annals and which, in their opinion, is transformed from the word tudun 'manager', where [d] alternates with the sound [r] and hence, they say, show the rotacism phenomenon, i.e. exists the feature of the Chuvash type.

The ancient Türkic word tudun, though it was applied as the 'manager', but its initial meaning was 'relative'. Probably the managers were the relatives of the Beks, Khans, etc. That turun is not a simple Chuvashized version of the word tudun is proved by the presence of such dialect words as tudyka "cousins or sisters", tumachi "three times removed", torachi "fourth degree of relationship". Torachi and turun go back to the word türəü 'to give birth', which is noted in the Temnik vernacular of the western dialect and also in the territory of the Penza area [Mahmutova L.T., 1972, 229]. Thus, the words tudun and turun already coincide at the level of the verb root (tuu, türəü  'to give birth'), and therefore it is baseless to regard that turun comes from the word tudun by the way of a rotacism.

The pre-Mongolian Bulgarian loans in the Rus language are are investigated in detail by I.I.Nazarov. Among these loans there is not a single word with the Chuvash features, i.e. with the attributes of the rotacism. Having analysed the pre-Mongolian Türkic loans in the Rus language, I.I.Nazarov comes to a conclusion about the affinity of the Bulgarian, Khazarian and Kypchak languages. Simultaneously, he concludes that the Bulgars and the citizens of Kazan spoke the same language [Nazarov I.I., 1958, 239]. To prove this position the author gives the following examples. (The author is not providing translations because all words now are Russian words know to a Russian reader, except for obsolete words - Translator's Note)

1. The titles of the persons by their place in the society: atalyk, alpaut, amin, baskak, buralojnik (from the word boer '(you) order'), bash, imildeshi (siblings reared by the same mother's breast), kushtan, kalga, kilichey (ambassador), karachi (supreme nobility), sunch, seunchuy, senunshchik (ambassador, messenger), tafeynik (manufacturer of tafia - a headdress), ulan, ulubey (great), yasaul, cheush (orderly), chaga (child) [Nazarov I.I., 1958, 250-256].

2. Terms of trade: altyn, asmachey, bashmak, batman, denga, kuman, kaptorga (fastener), tesma, tagan, shalash [Ibid, 256-260].

3. Terms of military trade: batyrlyk, ertaul (scout group), saydak, sagadak, tüfyak [Ibid, 261-262].

4. Terms of construction: sal, kosh, shatry, chechen (wattle fence), chulan [Nazarov I.I., 1958, 263-264].

5. Terms connected with horses: argamak, igrenka, igren, chik, bulan, karyi, chalyi, tebenek [Ibid, 265-267].

6. Terms  related to animals and plants: korsak, bars, zilan, izüm, kichiri (carrot), sarana [Ibid, 267-269].

7. Types of dress: caftan, kolpak, kushak, chichak (girl's headdress), yaponcha (from the word yapma 'cover') [Ibid, 269-270].

8. Words related to religion: amir, basma, kafiry, bayram, bagram, deni (faith), kurban, kuran (Quran), mechet, namaz, Musulman, Besermen [Ibid, 270-273].

As is seen, the Bulgarian language that influenced Rusian was a common Türkic language.

In the 1976 E.N.Shipova published a "Dictionary of Türkizms in Russian", where were collected about two thousand Türkic loans taken from the Avarian, Khazarian, Bulgarian, etc. languages. Of them she excerpted 15-20 words borrowed from the Chuvash language: keremet ‘evil spirit’, 'deity', kashpa ‘Chuv. woman headdress’, nashmak 'headdress', serga 'ring', hirka 'girl', chuklet 'to sacrifice', sharkoma ‘female decoration’, sharpan ‘Chuv. narrow textile bolt’, shirtan ‘Chuv. dish’, shura ‘viscous clean clay’, yashka ‘Chuv. porrige’. Here we note that among the cited examples there is no rotacism phenomenon.

The E.N.Shipova's "Dictionary" once again proves that around of Ruses lived Türkic tribes who were speaking the common Türkic language. If the Bulgars spoke a Chuvash-like language, the Russian also would necessarily have many Chuvash-like loans.

108. Itil-Bulgarian language in the primary sources.

In the previous paragraphs we analyzed all the arguments of the supporters of the Bulgaro-Chuvash theory, and have not found a single real fact which would directly or indirectly testify to the existence at the Bulgars of the Chuvash type r-language. In substance, all arguments advanced by them were based exclusively on misunderstanding or wrongly interpreted facts. Hence, the falsity of the Bulgaro-Chuvash concept is now obvious. The belonging of the Chuvash-like language to the Muslim Chuvashes in the process of adopting the common Türkic Bulgarian language does not cause any doubts.

Now we are passing to the review of the Itil-Bulgarian language in the primary sources.

Itil-Bulgarian language is recorded in the gravestone monuments of the 1-st type. We shall start with the language of the 1244 epitaph, when the Mongolo-Tatars have not yet settled in the Bulgaria.

… aldynda, 84 yašynde ğadäde: tarix alty yüz qyrq ekidä. 642...

 "... at the age of 84 years, by calendar in six hundred forty second. 642-nd …", i.e. in the Christian chronology in 1244 … [Üsupov G.V., 1960, 46].

As we see, this epitaph is written in the z-language, since its numerals are named yüz (instead of sür ), qyrq (instead of kherkh), ekida (instead of ikemeš). The belonging of this epitaph to the Bulgars does not cause any doubts as a minimum because it is dated by 1244, when the Bulgarian people continued to fight a guerilla war against the conquerors. And in the correctness of the dating also there can be no doubts because it is shown twice: once with the words "alty yüz qyrq ekidä", and the second time with the numbers "642".

Or here is another, a more verbose epitaph from the Bulgarian fortress, dated by the 1311:

... Fatima elci bint Ayup ibn Myxammet ibn Yunys äl-Bolgari... Yegerme eki yašynda vafat boldy... hicratda yeti yüz on berdä. "...

 Fatima-ilchi daughter of Ayup, son of Mohammed, son of Yunus the Bulgarian... At age twenty-two died in seven hundred eleventh by calendar" [Ibid, 10-th table.]

This monument is devoted to a noble Bulgarian woman Fatima, all ancestors of whom, judging by her family tree, the father, and the grandfather, and the great-grandfather, were Moslem Bulgars and lived in the city Bulgar, apparently, long before the Mongols, but the epitaph is written in the same z-language: in it, like in the previous example, are given the numerals with zetasizm, the same common Türkic forms of the verbs, and the affixes of the Bulgarian case inflexions.

One more text of a similar Bulgarian epitaph, but this one from the village Tarhany of Tatarstan, dated by the 1314:

... Galimlärny tärbiyä qylğan häm alarny sügän, mäscedlär giymarät qylğa(n), üküš khäyr sahibe, meskenlär... Khudja uğly Gosman uğly tamğačy Ibrahim as-Suvari vafat bulğan. Bu tarix yeti yöz un türtenčedä djomady äl-ävväli ayiynyng un altunč köne ärdi.

"...Had given care to the scientists and loved them, erecting mosques, made many beneficences, son of Hodzha, son of Gosman, tax collector Ibrahim the Suvarian died, by calendar in seven hundred fourteenth, Djumadi of the first month, in the sixteenth day it was" [Üsupov G.V., 1960, 12-th table].

This monument is devoted to the tax collector Ibrahim, a representative of the Bulgarian tribe Suvar, there are no attributes of the Chuvash rotacism and lambdaizm: all numerals (yeti 'seven', yuz 'hundred', un 'ten', türt 'four', alty 'six'), and also all other words (ay 'month', ugly 'son', üküs 'poor', and so forth) are written in the typical z-language.

It is possible to cite a multitude of other epitaphs of the same style (in total were found and described about 150 monuments from different periods), and all of them are written in the same z-language, which does not have any signs of the rotacism and lambdaizm.

Because of the z-linguality of the late Bulgars, the Ashmarinists advanced a new version about surmised "change of the Bulgarian language". According to that line, the Bulgars ostensibly nevertheless spoke once the Old Chuvash  language, but then before the coming of the Mongols have abandoned their own language and started to speak a common Türkic z-language. The reason for such change of language is advanced either an arrival to the Bulgaria of the z-lingual Kypchaks, or the arrival of the Middle Asian clerics, or the influence on the Bulgars of the common Türkic literary language [Hakimzyanov F.S., 1987, 9-12], or even a full change of the population: ostensibly after a plaque killed all the Bulgars, this territory was occupied by the Kypchaks [Shamil Ülay, 1994].

Certainly, a transformation of the Chuvash r-language into a common Türkic z-language is hardly probable, because these languages already coexisted for more than a thousand years in parallel, and the turning of one into another in the recent past could not happen in any way.

More specific information about the Bulgarian language was preserved in the composition of Mahmud Kashgarly belonging to the 11th century. In the "Divan lugat-at-türk" he gives the data not only about the Bulgarian, but also about other languages of the medieval Türks. He attributes to the Bulgars  the words qanaq 'cream', azaq 'leg', avus 'wax', lav ‘seal wax’, tügel ‘no, not’, kükleš 'to become related', and to the Suvars bal 'honey', tävä 'camel', azaq 'leg', bün 'broth'. M.Kashgarly writes: "The language of the Bulgars, Suvars and Besenyos (Badjinaks), who are close to the Rum, (is) Türkic with the identical dropping endings" [Kashgarly Ì., 1992, vol. 1, 30], which confirms the similarity of the Bulgarian language with the Besenyo (Badjanak).

Unfortunately, all these valuable information from Kashgarly about the Bulgaro-Suvarian language until now was unduly ignored by many linguists with a justification that they contradict the ideas of the Ashmarinists. For example, Omelian Pritsak, who devoted to the information of Kashgarly a special scientific publication, asserts that Kashgarly himself never was in the Bulgaria, did not know the Bulgarian language, and wrote about it only from hearsay, from the words of the visiting merchants, who could be not the Bulgars at all, and could have not known the Bulgarian language. As a confirmation of this opinion Pritsak takes that the Bulgarian words cited in the "Divan" were not found in the texts of the 2-nd type of the Bulgarian epitaphs. Therefore he suggests to completely ignore in the messages of Kashgarly about the Bulgarian and the Suvarian languages [Pritsak Î., 1959, 106-116].

Actually, the information of Kashgarly surprisingly precisely characterize the features of the pre-Mongolian Bulgarian language found in the written monuments of that epoch. For example, among these monuments a special place occupies the poem of Kul Gali "Kyssa-i Üsuf" ("Tale about Üsuf"), written shortly before the Mongol invasion and reflecting the language of that epoch. Though Ashmarinists also try to distance this work from the Bulgars, and to attribute it to other peoples because it is written in the z-language, the more qualified research of the linguists authentically established that it is a Bulgarian composition and it belongs to the pen of poet Kul Gali, a native of the Bulgaria.

... Gaziz Üsef tämam unber yäšär idi,
Yakub säuči oylykynda oyyr idi,
Oyurkän ber gaçäb dös Üsef kürdi,
Täzvileni atasyndan sorar imdi:

"Dogar kön, tulun ay, onber yoldyz,
Döšem icra säcdä qyyldyy bänga döpdöz,
Ošbu döši bila kürdem hic gömansyz,
Ya äbäta, bänga täzvil äygyl imdi".

Anda Yakub Üsefnyng döšen yurdyy,
Täzvileni möbäräk äytü üirdi,
Ömitder kem, mäüladan mädäd irdi,
Sänga gyyzzät vä räfägat kürner imdi.

Judging by this fragment, the poem is written in the common Türkic language.


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Origin of Türks-Contents · Introduction · First chapter · Second chapter · Third chapter · Fourth chapter · Fifth chapter · ORIGIN OF TATARS
Part 2 - ORIGIN OF TATARS · First chapter · Second chapter · Third chapter · Fourth chapter · Conclusion · Name and Ethnic Index · Literature
In Russian
Writing Contents
Alphabet Contents
Besenyos, Ogur and Oguz
Alans and Ases
  Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
Bulgar Dateline
Huns Dateline
Karluk Dateline
Khazar Dateline
Kimak Dateline
Kipchak Dateline
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
Seyanto Dateline
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