Wednesday, October 10, 2007

the codex cumanicus

peter b. golden

central asian monuments-edited by h. b. paksoy

i. introduction
from the time of the appearance of the "european" huns until the collapse of the cinggisid khanates, the ponto-caspian steppe zone and as a consequence, to varying degrees, the neighboring sedentary societies, have been dominated by or compelled to interact intimately with a series of nomadic peoples. although scythian and sarmatian tribes of iranian stock had held sway here for nearly a millenium before the coming of the huns and iranian elements both in their own right and as substratal influences continued to have an important role in the ethnogenesis of the peoples of this region, the majority, or at least politically dominant element, of the nomads who became masters of these rich steppelands were turkic. in the period after the turk conquest of western eurasia in the late 560’s, until the cinggisid invasions, the turkic polities of the area all derived, in one form or another, from the turk qaganate.
of these peoples, only the khazars, the direct political successors of the turks, produced a qaganate in the classical turkic mold. the others remained essentially tribal confederations which, for a variety of reasons, did not feel the impetus to create a sturdier political entity, i.e. a state.
those that were driven from the area into sedentary or semi- sedentary zones, such as the hungarians ( a mixed turkic and ugrian grouping under strong khazar influence ) and parts of the oguz, under seljuq leadership, did create states but along largely christian (hungary, danubian bulgaria) or islamic (the seljuqs) lines. these polities, whether full-blown nomadic states, such as khazaria, or tribal unions, such as the pecenegs, western oguz (torks of the rus’ sources) or cuman- qipcaqs, however great their military prowess and commercial interests, have passed on little in the way of literary monuments stemming directly from them in their own tongues. khazaria, for example, which as a genuine state had a need for literacy, has left us only documents in hebrew, reflecting the judaization of the ruling elements. indeed, their language about which there are still many unanswered questions, is known, such as it is, almost exclusively from the titles and names of prominent khazars recorded in the historical records of neighboring sedentary states. the balkan bulgars who, living in close physical propinquity to and cultural contact with byzantium and ruling over a slavic majority to which they eventually assimilated, have left somewhat more in the way of scattered inscriptions in mixed bulgaro-greek (in greek letters) and in mixed slavo-bulgaric.
their kinsmen on the volga who adopted islam in the 10th century, have left a number of tomb-inscriptions (dating largely from the cinggisid era, 13th-14th centuries) in a highly stylized, mixed arabo-bulgaric language in arabic script. volga bulgaria, as an islamic center, used, of course, arabic as its principal language of communication with the larger world. the inscriptional material, it might be argued, bespeaks a long-standing bulgaric literary tradition. but, in this respect, as in a number of others, volga bulgaria, which did form a state, in the forest- steppe zone ruling over a largely finnic population and in which denomadization was well-advanced, was atypical.
what is interesting to note here is that unlike the turkic peoples of central eurasia and inner asia ( the turks, uygurs, qarakhanids ), the western eurasian turkic tribes did not create significant literary monuments either in turkic runic script, several variants of which were in use among many of them or in any of the other script systems that were available to them (greek, arabic, hebrew and even georgian). this seeming lack of literary ambition ( which may yet be disproved by archaeology) is probably to be attributed to the weak articulation of political organization among peoples such as the pecenegs, western oguz and cuman-qipcaqs. thus, it should come as no great surprise that one of the most significant literary monuments connected with the language of one of the dominant tribal confederations of the region, the codex cumanicus, was largely the work of non-cumans. before turning to the codex itself, we must say something about the people whose language it describes.
the tangled knot of problems that revolves around the question of cuman-qipcaq ethnogenesis has yet to be completely unraveled. even the name for this tribal confederation is by no means entirely clear. western ( greek and latin ) and infrequently rus’ sources called them comani, cumani, kumani.
medieval hungarians, who had close relations with them and to whose land elements of the cumans fled in the 13th century seeking sanctuary from the mongols, knew them as kun. this name is certainly to be identified with the qun of islamic authors (such as al-bir–ni and al-marwazi, the notices in yaq–t and al- bak–wi clearly derive from al-bir–ni ) who, according to al- marwazi, figured prominently in the migration of the cuman- qipcaqs to the west. whether the qun are, in turn, to be associated with the hun ( * u n) = xun/qun people affiliated with the t‘ieh-le/toquz oguz confederation is not clear.
old turkic sources knew elements of what would become the cuman-qipcaq tribal union as qibcaq and perhaps other names.
the ethnonym qibcaq was picked up by islamic authors (e.g. in the forms xifjax, qifjaq, qipcaq etc.) and transcaucasian sources (cf. georgian qivc‘aq-, armenian xbsax). these altaic names were loan-translated into some of the languages of their sedentary neighbors. thus, rus’ polovcin, polovci ( > polish, czech plauci, hung. palocz), latin pallidi, german and germano-latin falones, phalagi, valvi, valewen etc. armenian xartes. these terms are usually viewed as renderings of turkic qu *qub or similar forms meaning "bleich, gelblich, gelbraun, fahl." a variety of sources equate them, in turn, with the qangli, one of the names by which the easternmost, central eurasian branch of the cuman-qipcaq confederation was known.
these tribes included turkic, mongol and iranian elements or antecedents. the inter-tribal lingua franca of the confederation, however, became a distinct dialect of turkic that we term qipcaq, a language reflected in several dialects in the codex cumanicus.
the cuman-qipcaqs held sway over the steppe zone stretching from the ukraine to central eurasia where they constituted an important element, closely associated with the xwarazmian royal house via marital alliances. they had equally close relations with rus’ (with whom they often warred), georgia (where elements of them settled and christianized ), hungary and the balkans where later, under mongol auspices,the cuman terterids established a dynasty.
cuman-qipcaq hegemony extended to much of the crimea as well. here their interests were, as in many other areas, commercial. in the pre-cinggisid period, the cumans took tribute from the crimean cities. the city of sudaq, an ancient commercial emporium, was viewed by ibn al-air (early 13th century) as the "city of the qifjaq from which (flow) their material possessions.
it is on the khazar sea. ships come to it bearing clothes. the qifjiqs buy (from) them and sell them slave-girls and slaves, burtas furs, beaver, squirrels..." by virtue of their political hegemony, cuman became the lingua franca of this area.
it spread to the other communities resident there as well.
thus,the crimean armenian and karaite jewish communities adopted this language and preserved it for centuries afterwards in milieus far removed from the crimea with the mongol conquest of the qipcaq lands completed by the late 1230’s, some qipcaq tribes (most notably those under kten) fled to hungary. the majority, however, were incorporated into the mongol empire. the pan-nomadic empire of the turks was thus recreated on an even larger scale. the qipcaq language, far from receding into the background, established itself as a lingua franca in the western eurasian zone of the cinggisid state within a century of the conquest. thus, a maml–k scholar, al-‘umari (d.1348), observed that the "tatars," whose numbers, in any event, were not great and whose ranks already included numerous turkic elements from inner and central asia, had intermarried extensively with the local turkic population and had, in effect, become qipcaqicized.
in the latter half of the 13th century (beginning in the 1260’s), as the cinggisid khanates began to squabble over territory, the jocids of saray in their struggle with the hlegids of iran, found a useful ally in the qipcaq mamluks of egypt-syria to whom they continued to supply maml–ks from their crimean ports. the spread of islam to the mongols beginning with berke (1257-1266) and culminating with ozbeg (1313-1341) helped to strengthen this tie.
ii dating and origin
the codex cumanicus, which is presently housed in the library of st. mark, in venice, cod. mar. lat. dxlix, is not one but several unrelated (except in the broadest sense) works which were ultimately combined under one cover. the codex may be divided into two distinct and independent parts : i) a practical handbook of the cuman language with glossaries in italo-latin, persian and cuman ii) a mixed collection of religious texts, linguistic data and folkloric materials ( the cuman riddles), stemming from a number of hands, with translations into latin and a dialect of eastern middle high german. it is also clear that a number of subsequent hands made contributions to both sections.
many scholars have simply termed these two, distinct works, the "italian" part and the "german" part. this is undoubtedly true with respect to the ethno-linguistic origins or milieus of the authors. but, ligeti is probably closer to the mark in calling the first part, the "interpretor’s book" and the second part the "missionaries’ book."
the codex was first mentioned in the 17th century and was believed to have come from the library of the great italian humanist petrarch (1304-1375). this attribution, however, has been shown to be incorrect. the dating and place of origin of the codex’s different sections have long been in dispute. bazin, who has closely studied the calendrical entries (cc, 72/80-81) concluded that the "interpretor’s book" was probably composed between 1293-1295. drll, however, would place it as early as 1292-1295. the date found in the venice ms. "mccciii die xi iuly" (cc, 1/1) should be viewed as the date of the first copy or the beginning of the first copy. the copy preserved in the venice ms., as an examination of the paper has demonstrated, stems from, or was at least copied on, paper made in the mid-13th century. the "missionaries’ book" comes from a variety of sources and was put together ca. 1330-1340. other elements were perhaps added later. the authors are unknown, although it seems likely that they were part of the franciscan community. the german francsicans who played an important role in the creation of the "missionaries’ book," came from an eastern high german- speaking background. the "interpretor’s book" was compiled by italian men of commerce (venetians or genoese) or their scribes in solxat (eski krim) or kaffa (feodosija). there is evidence to indicate that different individuals ( perhaps many ) were involved in preparing/translating the persian and cuman sections of the tri-lingual glossary. the first copy (1303), it has been suggested, was done in the monastery of st. john near saray. the later copy which is preserved in venice, dating to ca. 1330-1340, probably came from some franciscan monastery. here too, it seems likely, is where the different sections of the codex were combined. somehow, these various parts came again into italian hands and thus to venice. the work, then, is a pastiche of larger and smaller pieces which were composed/compiled with different intentions. the "interpretor’s book" was largely, but not exclusively, practical and commercial in nature. the "missionaries’ book," in addition to its purely linguistic goals, contains sermons, psalms and other religious texts as well as a sampling of cuman riddles.
the venetians and genoese were actively involved (as well as competitors) in trade in the crimea. this trade, as we know from contemporary accounts, such as pegolotti, went by stages from tana (azov, a major unloading site for goods coming from asia to the crimea ) to the lower volga (astraxan-saray) and thence to the urals and xwarazm and ultimately to china. it dealt with a wide variety of items, e.g. wax, metals (including precious metals), spices and other foodstuffs, silk and other fabrics, pelts of valuable furs etc. the italian commercial colonies in the crimea, had, of course, regular contact with tana. there was also contact with ilkhanid iran via trapezunt. indeed, drll argues that the author(s) of the latin-persian-cuman glossary of the "interpretor’s book" must have been genoese, operating from kaffa, as the genoese were the only ones who had contact with merchants from both the ilkhanid and jocid realms. although the italian merchants were not involved in the slave or maml–k trade with egypt, the crimea had a long history of involvement in this activity. there is a modern kazax proverb that reflects this : uli irimga, qizi qirimga ketti "the son went as a hostage and the daughter went off to crimea (i.e. to slavery)." the trilingual glossary reflects this trade orientation and as we shall see has extensive lists of consumer goods.
iii the languages of the codex cumanicus
the latin of the codex is found in two variants, indicating the ethno-linguistic affiliations of the authors and their educational level. the latin of the "interpretor’s book" is a vulgar italo-latin, while that of the "missionaries’ book" is more "correct," reflecting the ecclesiastical training of its franciscan authors. the persian material has been the subject of two recent studies. daoud monchi-zadeh has argued that the persian material came through cuman intermediaries, a kind of cuman filter, and was translated by them. andras bodgrogligeti, on the other hand, suggests that this persian was rather a lingua franca of the eastern trade. as a consequence, it had undergone, to varying degrees, standardization, back formation and simplification. some words are archaic, others unusual. in short, what we see reflected is not the living language of a native speaker, but rather a kind of simplified koine.
the cuman of the cc also represents some kind of lingua franca, one that was understood throughout central asia. this language, however, was not perfectly reflected in the cc. the latter, we must remember, was compiled by non-turkic-speakers with varying levels of command of the language. there are a number of "incorrect" syntactical constructions as well as mistakes in grammar, phonetics and translation. some of these are simply the result of faulty knowledge or scribal errors. other deviations from the "norms" of turkic are probably to be attributed to the word for word, literal translations. these types of translations in the middle ages, were well-known, especially when translating sacred, religious texts. thus, in karaim, one of the closest linguistic relatives of the cuman mirrored in the cc, we find sentences such as : kisi edi yerind’a ucnun, iyov semi anin, da edi ol kisi ol t’g’l da t’z, qorxuvcu t’enrid’n ("there was a man in the land of uz whose name was job and that man was perfect and upright and one that feared god," job,1 ) , a word for word rendering of the hebrew. some of the forms which have an "unturkic" character about them may almost certainly be attributed to the influence of the compilers’ native italian/italo-latin and german. many of these forms, however, are ambiguous in origin as similar phenomena can be found in other turkic langauges as well and may here also reflect the influence of indo-european languages.
of greater interest is the fact, hardly unexpected in a work in which so many different hands were involved, that the cc lexical material is comprised of several qipcaq dialects. some of these can be most clearly seen in the different sections :
"interpretor’s missionaries’
book" book"
kendi kensi "self"
tizgi tiz "knee"
bitik bitiv "book,writing"
berkit- berk et- "to strengthe"
ipek yibek "silk"
ekki eki "two"
todaq totaq "lip"
etmek tmek "bread"
yag yav "fat"
tag tav "mountain"
kyeg kyv "bridegroom"
igit yegit "youth"
sag sav "healthy"
abusqa abisqa "old, aged"
qadav xadaq "nail"
agirla- avurla- "to honor"
in some instances, one of the sections indicates several dialects, e.g. "interpretor’s book" (cc, 52/57, 57/61) lat.
similo pers. chomana mecunem (homana mikunm "i resemble" ) cum. oscarmen (osqarmen), (cc, 76/86) lat. similtudo pers.
manenda cum. oasamac ( or oosamac which grnbech reads as oqsamaq) and the "missionaries’ book" (cc, 141/199) ovsadi (ovsadi "resembled, was like"), (cc,162/226) ovsar (ovsar) "enlich;" (cc, 131/183) job sngnc ( ypsengenca ) "sin quod tu approbas," (cc, 140/195), iopsinip ( ypsinip ) : ypsen- / ypsin- "billigen, genehmigen, gutheissen."
the well-known shift in qipcaq g > w/v is clearly indicated in the "missionaries’ book." the latter also has greater evidence of the q > x shift (e.g. yoqsul > yoxsul "arm, mettellos"). the "interpretor’s book" appears to represent an older or more conservative dialect.
we may also note that whereas the "missionaries book" clearly renders j with g in non-turkic words, e.g. gahan =jahan "world," gan = jan "soul," gomard = jomard "generous" ( all borrowings from persian), the "interpretor’s book" renders this with j or y. this might indicate a pronunciation with y (although the persian forms with j are also regularly rendered with i), cf. jaghan = yahan or jahan, jomard, jomart = yomard or jomard, joap = yowap or jowap ( ar. jawab "answer") and yanauar = yanawar or janavar. this shift in initial j > y is known to some qipcaq dialects, especially in loan-words, cf. baskir yawap "answer," yemeyt "society, community" (ar. jam‘iyat), yihan "universe" (pers. jihan, jahan).
finally, we might note that intervocalic v/w which grnbech regularly transcribes as v, may just as easily represent w, e.g.
(cc, 65/72) youac = yovac or yowac "opposite," (cc, 102/121) culgau = culgav or culgaw "foot-wrappings," (cc, 90/105) carauas = qaravas or qarawas "maid, slave," (cc, 139/192) koat = qovat or qowat ( arab. quwwat ) "might" (cc, 109, 113/130,134) tauc, taoh = tavuq or tawuq, tavox or tawox "hen."
the numerous orthographic peculiarities (e.g. s is transcribed by s, s, z, x, sch , thus bas "head" in the "interpretor’s book" is rendered as (cc, 29,86, 94,/30,99,109) bas, bax and in the "missionaries book" (cc, 121,126,128/161,171,175) as bas, basch, baz; basqa "besides, apart from" the "interpretors’s book" (cc, 64/70) bascha and in the "missionaries’ book" (cc, 121,123,138/158,163,189) baska, baschka, bazka) clearly indicate that there were many contributors to the cc and little attempt was made at regularization. this, of course, makes many readings conditional.
iv contents of the codex cumanicus
the "interpretor’s book" consists of 110 pages (cc,1-110/1- 131). pages l-58/1-63 contain a series of alphabetically arranged (by latin) verbs in latin, persian and cuman. the first entry is audio. a sampling of some of the forms is given below: audio "i hear" mesnoem (misnowm) eziturmen (esitrmen), audimus "we hear" mesnam (misnowim) esiturbis (esitrbiz), audiebam "i was hearing" mesin(.)dem (misinidm) esituredim (esitredim), audiebant "they were hearing" mesinident (misinidnt) esiturlaredj (esitrleredi), audiui "i heard".sinide (= sinidm) esitum (esitm), audiueratis "you had heard" sindabudit (sinada b–dit) esitungusedi (esitnguzedi), audiam "i will hear" bisnoem (bisnowm) esitcaymen (esitqaymen or esitkeymen), audiemus "we will hear" besnoym (besnowim) esitqaybiz/esitkeybiz, audi "hear!" bisn" (bisno) esit (esit), audirem "were i to hear" ysalla mes(i)nde (isalla misinidm "if i should only hear" ) chescha esitkaedim (keske esitqayedim/esitkeyedim) audiuisse(m) "if had heard" y sinada budim (isalla sina budim "if i had only heard") c esitmis bolgayedim (keske esitmis bolgayedim), audiam "if i should hear" y besnoem (isalla besnowm "if i should only hear") c esitchaymen (keske esitqaymen/esitkeymen "would that i hear"), audire(m) "were i to hear" zonchi mesnide(m) ( conki misinidm "since i hear") esittim essa (esittim ese), audires "were you to hear" z mesnidi (conki misinidi "since you hear" nezic chi esiti(n)gassa ( necik ki esiting ese "lorsque tu as entendu" , audiueim (=audiverim ) "were i to have heard" z s(.)ndidem (conki sinidm "since i heard") esittim ersa (esittim erse), audire "to listen" sanadae(n) (sanadn) esitmaga, yzitmaga (esitmege, isitmege),audiens "one who hears, hearer" sanoenda (sanownda "he who hears") esattan (for esatgan = esitgen), auditurus "one who will hear, is about to hear" ghoet sinidn (xoht sinidan "he who wants to hear") esitmaga cuyga (esitmege kyge "one who expects to hear").
no other verb is given such detailed treatment. most have 3- 5 entries, e.g. (cc, 5/6) adiuuo "i help" yari medehem (yari midehm) boluzurmen (bolusurmen), adiuuaui "i helped" yari dadem (yari dadm) boluztum (bolustum), adiuua "help!" yari bide (yari bideh) bolus (bolus) adiutorium "help, aid" yari (yari) bolusmac (bolusmaq).
some latin terms are translated by two verbs in cuman, eg.
(cc, 6/7) albergo hospito "i lodge" ghana cabul mecunem (xana qab–l mikunm) conaclarmen vel condururmen (qonaqlarmen or qondururmen, (cc, 9/10) balneo aliquid " bathe something" tarmecunem (tar mikunm) "i wet" us etarmen vel iuunurmen ( us etermen or yuvunurmen ). in a number of instances, we are given deverbal nouns as well as the verbs, e.g. (cc, 12/13) coquo "i cook" mepaxem (mipazm) bisuturmen (bistrmen) coqui "i cooked" pohten (poxtm) bisurdum (bisirdim) coque "cook!" bepoh (bepox) bisur (bisir) motbahi (motbaxi) bagerzi (bagirci baqir "copper," cf. nogay baqirsi bala "junosa obsluzivajuscij ljudej v roli povara u kotla iz medi") coquina "kitchen" muthagh (= mutbax "kitchen") as bisurgan eu (as bisrgen ew (lit. "house where food is cooked").
compound verbs (henceforth, unless needed to further explicate the cuman forms, the persian entries will be omitted and the cuman forms will be given only in transcription) : yük tasırırmen "i unload," tinimdan kecermen "i despair," (cc, 19/21 eligo "i pick, i choose") köngül icinde ayturmen "say what is in my heart," eygirek etermen "i make better," (cc, 35/37, nauigo "i sail" dar driya mirowm "i go on the sea") tengizda yürürmen ("i go on the sea"), qulluq etermen "i serve."
compound verbs with arabic elements are fairly well represented.
the arabic element does not always correspond to the that found in similar compound verbs in the persian entries : (cc,20/21) denpingo (sic) "i paint" naqs mekunm naqslarmen ( naqs "painting"), (cc, 23/25) expendo "i spend" xarj mikunm, xarj etermen etc. but, cf.(cc,44/47-48) quito "i quit" raha mikunm tafs etermen arab. tafs "flight, run away, escape").
compound verbs with persian elements. in many instances it may be presumed that the arabic elements entered cuman via persian. the words considered here are only those that are etymologically persian. (cc,23/26) estimo "i estimate, value" baha mikunm "i consider the value" bacha ussurmen (baha usurmen "i consider the value," kwb., p.266 reads it as baha ur- "schtzen bewerten," paha "price." (cc, 42/454) penito "i repent" pesman m, pesman bolurmen pesman "penitent."
the verb "to have" is expressed using three different forms: (cc, 29/30-313) habeo "i have" mende bar, habui "i had" tegdi ( teg- "treffen, berhren, erreichen, gelangen, zuteil werden") habeas "you have!" dar "have!" saga/sanga bolsun "may you have!." adverbs
the section of verbs is followed ( cc, 59-65/64-72) by one on adverbs ( many of which are expressed by postpositioned forms), e.g. ( cc, 54/61) ante "before" eng borun or ilgeri ab "from" idan, aput "at, near, by, with" qatinda ( qat "seite, der raum neben oder bei etwas"), brevitur "soon" terklep, bene "good, well" yaqsi or eygi, benigne "benignly, heartily" xos köngül bile ( "with a good heart"), com "with" birle, bile, (cc, 61/66) hodie "today" bu kün, (cc, 61/67) ideo "on that account, therefore" aning cün, jam "now, already" saat digar "immediately" bir anca or imdi, (cc, 62/68) multum "much" köp, malicioxe "maliciously" knavishly, wickedly" yaman köngül bile, non "no" yoq, nihil "nothing" hec-neme-tagi, (cc, 62/69) postea "afterwards" songra (cc, 63/70) quid "what?" ne, (cc, 64/70) sane "healthily" sagliq bile.
personal pronouns (cc, 66-68/72-74) follow the listing of adverbs, examples are : ego "i" men, mei "of me" mening, michi "to me" manga, me "me" meni, ame "from me" menden, nos "we" biz etc.(cc, 68/74) ipse met "himself" anlar ox (anlar öz ?) "they themselves." this same section contains a series of indeclinable nouns, e.g. : alius "other (than)" özge, (cc, 69/74) omnis "all" tegme or barca, solus "alone" yalguz, talis "of such a kind, such" falan, qualis "of what kind?" qaysi and basic adjectives, e.g. : ulu "big," kici "little," yaqsi or eygi "good," yaman "bad," yüngül "light," agir "heavy."
vocabulary pertaining to religion (cc, 70/77) tengri "god," maryam qaton "the queen (virgin) mary" mater dey, friste "angel," peygambar "prophet," ari, algisli "holy, saint" santus, xac "cross," bapas "priest," töre "law,"yarligamaq "mercy," bazliq "peace," tengri sövemeklig "love of god"
(caritas, dosti-i xuda).
the elements (cc, 71/78-79): hawa "wind" and salqon "wind" (cf.
mong. salkin "wind" and old turkic salqim "cold, hoar-frost," siberian turkic salqin "violent (cold) wind"), su "water," yer "earth, land," ot "fire."
humours of the body (cc, 71/79): qan "blood," balgam "phlegm ( ar. gr.), qursaq "stomach," sari "gall, bile" (lit. "yellow,"cf. pers. safra ( ar. safra "yellow"), sauda "melancholy" (cf. pers.sauda ar. sauda "the black (bile)").
terms relating to time (cc, 71-72/78-81) : yil "year," ay "moon, month," kün "day," kece or tün "night," etc. this fairly full section contains a list of the days of the week (largely deriving from pers.) and the months of the year : tu-sanbe (pers.) "monday," se-sanbe ( pers.) "tuesday," caar- sanbe ( pers.) "wednesday," pan-sanbe ( pers.) "thursday," ayna ( iran. a ina) "friday," sabat kün "saturday," (sabat ultimately derives from hebrew sabbat. it is also found in qaraim ( sabat kün, hardly unexpected there ), armeno-coman (sapat’ k‘un) and qaracay-balqar (sabat kün), all western qipcaq languages deriving from cuman. this culture-word also entered into cuvas ( samat, samat kun ) and volga finnic ( ceremis/mari sumat votyak/udmurt sumot, perhaps from volga bulgaric). in all instances, the ultimate source for this word in turkic was most probably khazar. )ye-sanbe "sunday," aybasi "first day of the month," kalendas. the cuman calendar is given below, together with the latin and perso-islamic equivalents :
januarius safar safar ay
februarius rabi awal swnc ay
martius rabiolaxer ilyaz ay
aprilis jimidi-awal tob(a) ay
madius jimidi-al axel songu yaz ay
junius rejeb kz ay
julius sa’ban orta kz ay
augustus ramadan song kz ay
september saugal (sawwal) qis ay
octuber zilga’da orta qis ay
november dilhija qurban bayram ay
december muharam azuq ay

the five senses (cc, 72/81) : kormek "sight," esitmek "hearing," tatmaq "taste," iylamaq "smell," tutmaq "touch."
other terms relating to time, the seasons, direction, orientation ( cc, 73/81-82) kun towusi "east," kun batisi "west,"yarix, yariq "clear, bright," bulud "cloud" (for nubiloxum "cloudy") etc.
opposites (cc, 73-74/83-84) : jift "like, pair," par, hamta, taq "unalike," behamta, dispar, bütün "whole," sinuq "broken," tatli "sweet," aci "bitter," sismis "swollen," sisik ketken "the swelling has gone" (cf. pers. amah raft "it went down").
qualities of things (cc, 75-77/85-88) : eygilik "goodness." sometimes these are given in pairs of opposites, e.g. yaqsi or eygi "good," yaman "bad," korkul "beautiful," korksuz "ugly," uzun "long," qisqa "short," jigit "young, youth," abusqa or qart "old," tiri "alive," ölü "dead."
things of the everyday world (cc, 78-79/88-90) : jahan "world," tengiz "sea," tag "mountain," yol "road," tos/toz "dust, powder," terek (old turkic "poplar," in qipcaq it has comes to mean "tree" in general ), yemis "fruit," sa(h)ar or kent "city," qala/qalaa "fort, castle," xala "village," saray "palace," ev/ew "house," kebit or tugan "shop," kopru "bridge."
business, names of articles of trade and things pertaining to them (cc, 80/90-91) : saraf "banker," tarazu "scales," bitik or taftar ( cartularius "ledger book, calendar," taqwim "calendar"), naqt or aqca "money," borclular "debtors," bitik "letter," ( litera, xat ) etc.
these are followed by several lengthy lists of articles of trade and handicraft (cc, 80-86/91-99) and the professionals involved in them. many of the terms are "international" in character, often of indic origin via persian and arabic : atar ( arab. ‘attar ) "spice-merchant," comlek "cooking pot," sakar/seker "sugar" ( middle iran. sakar sanscrit sarkara ), bal "honey," burc "pepper," ( sanscrit marica via iranian) jinjibil "giner" ( arab. zinjibil sanscrit sringgavera), darcini "cinnamon" ( pers.), nil "indigo" ( pers. nil sanscrit nili), qondroq "incense" ( pers. kundurak "mastic" kundur gr. ) baqam "brazilwood" ( baqqam), tutiya "tutty, zinc" ( arab. tutiya’ sanscrit tuttha ), etc. oglanlar "servants," otlar "herbs," maajunlar "powdered medicines, electuaries" ( arab. ma‘j–n), altunci "goldsmith," temirci "blacksmith," caquc [ ceküc ] "hammer," temir "iron," kümis "silver," altun "gold," baqir "copper," qalaj, aq qorgasin "tin," qorgasin "lead" ( mong. qorgaljin ? ), kümür "coal," küre "furnace, forge," tonci "furrier" ( saka thauna "clothing" ) igine "needle," bicqi "saw," oymaq "thimble," ip "thread," tülkü "fox," teyin "squirrel," qara teyin "grey squirrel," kis "sable," silevsn ( mong. silegsn), teri ton "fur coat," derzi ( pers.), cekmen "woolen clothing," qipti "sheers," arsun, qari "yard," tüsek "mattress, cushion, " etikci "shoemaker," basmaq "shoe," balta "axe," burav "augur," trg "chisel," toqmaq "mallet" etc.
barbering and related equipment (cc, 86-87/100) ylci "barber," yülngüc "razor," saqal "beard," küzgü "mirror," tas "barber’s basin," snglce "lancet," bilev "whetstone, " ot, malahan ( pers. malaham arab. marham) "salve." professions (cc, 87-90/100-104): qılic ostasi "sword-maker," eyerci "saddle-maker," ygenci "bridle-maker," otaci "medical doctor (physician and surgeon)," xökümci ( arab. hukm) "lawyer," siqriq "courier," yalci "pommel-maker,"astlanci "middleman, broker," talal, miyanci (arab. pers.) "broker, br(k)ci "hat-maker," naqıslagan (arab. naqs) "painter," qulluqci "servant," julaxak ( pers. jullahak ) "weaver," yaqci "bow-maker," qobuzci "musician," bitik ostasi "magister scolarum," etc. to this list various words were added: etmek "bread," urluq "seed," tüb "root," olturguclar "seats," is "work," küc "labor" etc.
political titles, offices and related terms (cc, 90/104-105) : qan "emperor," soltan ( arab.) "king," beg "prince," bey "baron ( amir)," ceribasi "army leader," elci "envoy," yarguci "judge ( potestas, sana arab. sahna "prefect"), seriyat ( ( arab. sar‘iyyah "islamic law" ) "judge" (consul, qadi ), bogavul/bogawul "servant of the court, gerichtsdiener" (placerius, tatawul) mong. buqawul (see below), atlu kisi "mounted soldier," qan qatuni "empress," evdegi/ewdegi epci "female servant," tilmac "translator," etc.
things pertaining to the bazar, merchandise (cc, 91-92/105-108): bazargan "merchant," satuq "trade," alici "buyer," satugci/satuqci "seller," behet ( arab. bai‘at "commercial transaction ? ) "deposit, down payment," ötlemek "payment," naqıt (arab. naqd) "money," kendir "hemp," skli "flax," fanar (gr.)"lantern," qoz "nut," cuz "light taffeta," g yungi "owl feather (brush ? )," baliq "fish," brinc "rice," ipek "silk," frangi suf "western wool, bolting cloth, " isqarlat (middle latin scarlata arab.pers. saqallat ) "scarlet," kvrk "sulphur," jonban ketan "linen of champagne," rusi ketan "linen of rus’," alamani ketan "german linen," orlens ketan "linen of orleans," etc.
colors (cc,92- 93/107-108): aq "white," qara "black," qizil "red," qrimizi "crimson," kök "blue," sari "yellow," yasil "green," ipkin "violet," etc.
precious stones (cc, 93/108=109) yaqut ( arab.) "ruby," laal ( arab.) "ruby of badakhshan," kabut, yapqut "saphire," zümurut (probably for zumrut, zumurut, pers. arab. zumurrud gr.
) "emerald," yalmas ( pers. almas gr.
) "diamond,: ingci ( chin. ) "pearl," etc.
the human being, parts of the body (cc, 94-96/109-113): azam ( arab. adam ), kisi "man, human being," epci "woman," bas "head," elat ( arab. axlat ) "humors," alin, manglay ( mong.) "forehead," qas "eye-brow," kirpik "eyelid," qulaq/qulax "ear," köz "eye," köz yaruxi "light of the eye," burun/burin "nose," yangaq "cheek," tis "tooth," til "tongue," qursaq "stomach," köngül "heart," icex, sucux "gut, intestine," teri "skin," sik "penis," tasaq "testicles," am "vulva." köt "anus," qol "arm," qoymic "coccyx," tamar "vein," qan "blood," el, qol "hand," barmaq "finger," ayaq "foot," tin "soul," etc.
the family, relatives (cc, 97/113-115) : at(t)a "father," anna "mother," er "husband," epci "wife," ogul "son," qiz "daughter," qarandas "brother," qiz qarandas "sister," ul(l)u at(t)a "grandfather," qayin "father-in-law," kyeg "son-in-law," abaga "uncle( mong.)," ini "nephew," ortaq, nöger ( mong.), "friend, comrade," qonsi "neighbor," etc.
good qualities of people (cc, 97-98/115-116) : tükel "complete, whole," yaqsi, eygi "good," barlu kisi "wealthy," ustlu, aqil ( arab.) "intelligent," körklü "pretty, handsome," kn "legal, lawful," xalal ogul "legitimate son," zden "noble, free," erdemli "virtuous," küclü "strong," tanur kisi "experienced person," söver kisi "amiable person," erseksiz "chaste," qiliqli "honest," etc.
human defects (cc, 98-99/116-117): yaman "bad," yarli, yoqsul "poor," qart, abusqa "old (person)," teli, aqmaq ( arab. ahmaq ) "insane, stupid," soqur, calis "squint-eyed," közsiz, kör "blind," tvlk "blind," kniden towgan "illegitimately born, bastard," aqsax "lame," tasaqsiz "castrated," qaltaq "pander, procurer," qulaqsiz "deaf," tilsiz "mute," trkci "liar," yazuqlu "sinful," egri kisi "false person," etc.
things pertaining to war (cc, 100/118) : ceri "army," sancis "war," sagit ( ?) "arms," sirdaq (cf. mong. siri-deg "gesteppte filzdecke, saddlepad," siri- "to quilt, stitch") "coat,"tovulga/towulga "helmet," köbe "coat of mail," btlk "cuirass," qılic "sword," bicaq "knife," etc.
things pertaining to the home (cc, 100/119) : izba ( e.slav.) "room," boxorik ( pers.) "oven," yuzaq "lock," acquc "key," qadav/qadaw "nail," olturguc "seat," etc.
things pertaining to sewing and clothing (cc, 101/119) : opraq "clothing," teri ton "fur clothing," tüvme/tüwme "button," yeng "sleeve," etc.
things pertaining to construction (cc, 101-102/119-120) : töb "fundament," tas "stone," kirec "lime-stone," qum "sand," su "water," taqta, qanga "floor," tik agac "column," kerpic "baked brick," aginguc "ladder," etc.
sundry articles of attire and travel gear (cc, 101-102/120- 121): kövlek/köwlek "shirt," kncek "trousers," qur, beli-gab "belt," yanciq "purse," kepes, börk "hat," calma "turban," etik "book," basmaq "shoe," tizge "garter," artmaq "saddlebag," yasman "flask," catir "tent," qamci "whip," araba "wagon, coach," etc.
things pertaining to the horse (cc, 102-103/121-122) : at "horse," naal ( arab.) "horse-shoe," ayran "stall," eyer yabogi "saddle-blanket," tizgin "reins," aguzluq "bit," zengi "stirrup," kmldrk "pectoralis," yingircaq "pack-saddle," etc.
things pertaining to the bedroom (cc, 103-104/123) : tösek "couch, bed," tösekning ayagi "tripod," yastuq "pillow," yorgan "blanket," kilim "rug," gali/qali, küvüz/kz "carpet," ksegen "bed-curtains," etc.
things pertaining to the table (cc, 104/123-124): tastar, sarpan "table cloth," yiltrin, sise ( pers.) "bottle," piyala (pers. ) "goblet, cup," bardaq "pitcher, mug," ciraqliq "candelabrum," aş "food," etc.
things pertaining to the kitchen (cc, 104-105/124-125) qazan "pot," cömic "ladle," qasuq "spoon," cömlet/cömlek "cooking pot," yaglav/yaglaw "frying pan," qavurqina/qawurqina "kind of frying pan" (tianus, tawa ), tütün "smoke," yirgaq "hook," tepsi ( middle chin.*dep tsi ).
trees and fruits (cc, 105-106/125-126) : terek "tree," butaq "branch," yabuldraq "leaf," agac "wood," kölege "shadow," yemis "fruit," kiras "cherry" (gr.), armut ( pers.),kertme "pear," alma "apple," catlavuq /catlawuq "hazel-nut," qoz "nut," saftalu (pers.) "peach," erik "plum," limon ( cf. ital. limome arab. pers. laymun ) "lemon," pistaq ( gr. "pistachio," qovun "melon," etc.
herbs and vegetables (cc, 106-107/126-127) : sadaf ( pers.) "rue," yisqic "mint," ispanaq ( pers. gr.) "spinach," marul ( gr.) "lettuce," qabuq "rind, crust, bark," cgndr "carrot," etc.
names of animals (cc, 107-108/127-129) : janavar "beast, animal" ( pers.), at "horse," astlan "lion," qistraq "mare," qatir "mule," esek "donkey," tonguz "pig," keyik tonguz "wild boar," öküz, sigir "ox," inek "cow," buzav/buzaw "calf," tisi qoy "female sheep," qocqar "ram," qozi "lamb," ecke "goat," it "dog," maci "cat," pil ( pers.) "elephant," sazagan "dragon," ayu "bear," qoyan "hare," bör "wolf," sicqan "mouse," boga "bull," etc.
names of reptiles, vermin and insects (cc, 108-109/129) : qurt "worm," sazagan "snake," yilan "snake," cibin "fly," bit "flea," qandala (?) "bug."
names of birds (cc, 109/129-130 ) : cipciq "bird," qaraqus "eagle," balaban "falcon," qarciga "hawk," qirqiy "sparrow- hawk," turna "crow," yabalaq "screech-owl" sigirciq "dove"(?) etc.
grains, dairy products and other comestibles (cc, 110-130-131): boday,bogday "wheat," arpa "barley," tuturgan, brinc "rice," marjumak ( pers.) "lentils," bircaq "vegetables," un "flour," süt "sweet milk" ( lac dulce, sir), yogurt "sourmilk" (lac acer, mast ), köptelük "a dish of flour and meat" (granum marcengum, koptaluk) etc.
the missionaries’ book (cc, 111-164/132-235) consists of several very different sections or parts from undoubtedly a number of authors. a strong impression is left that this is hardly a finished work, but rather one that may have been still in progress at the time in which our copy was made. it contains a variety of vocabulary listings ( not in alphabetical order ), grammatical notes, a conjugation of the verb anglarmen "intelligo" (cc, 129-134/177-180), a section of cuman riddles, a number of religious texts and a scattering of italian verses. it begins with the verbs seskenirmen, elgenirmen "ich irschrake" (= eastern middle high german trans.) and several other verbs and phrases, e.g. yiti bicaq "eyn scharf messier," satov etermen "ich kouflage," yp yp ulu bolur "is wirt y lengir y grossir."some of the phrases are translated into both east middle high german and latin, e.g. it redir "d’ hunt billit canis latrat," it ugrayadir "d’hunt gru(n)czet," qoy mangradir "ouis balat," kisi incqaydir "d’ menche brehtit (grnbech, kwb., p.273 reads this as "der mensche krhcit"), ucamda yatirmen "ich lege uf dem rucke," etc. without any preamble there is on cc,117/141 a brief religious text that begins with : bilge tetik kisiler menim sözüm esitingler, eki yolni ayringlar ("wise and intelligent persons, listen to my words, distinguish between two paths...").
given the fragmented and highly variegated nature of these texts, we will not follow, as we have thus far, a page by page analysis, but rather will excerpt texts and sections that best illustrate the character of the whole.
the cuman riddles (cc, 119-120/143-148) are a very important early source for turkic folklore. indeed, they represent the oldest documented material that we have for turkic riddles. they are, as andreas tietze has remarked in his excellent study "early variants of riddle types that constitute a common heritage of the turkic- speaking nations." some of the riddles have clear, virtually identical modern equivalents, e.g. : (cc, 119/144):
kecak ut(a)hi kegede semirrir. ol huun, which tietze reads as : kkce ulaxim kgnde semirir. ol xowun "my bluish kid (tied) at the tethering rope, grows fat, the melon. cf.
qazaq kk lagim kgende turup semirgen. qarbiz. "a green kid grew fat lying tethered. the watermelon,"
osm. gk oglak kkende bagli. karpuz "the bluish (greenish) kid is tied to a tethering rope.watermelon."
cuman olturganim oba yer basqanim baqir canaq ( kuun : camek which tietze reads as ck, but grnbech, kwb., p.73 has, correctly in my view, canaq ).ol zengi. "where i sit is a hilly place. where i tread is a copper bowl. the stirrup." cf.
qazaq otirganim oba zer basqanim baqir sanaq. uzengi (cc, 120/145) yazda yavli/yawli toqmaq yatir. ol kirpi-dir. "in the plain a fatty club lies. it is the hedgehog." Cf.
xakas: cazida caglig toqpag cadir. cilan "on the plain a fatty club is lying.the snake."
qazaq : dalada zabuli toqpaq zatir. kirpi "on the plain there lies a closed club (or "club covered with a horse cloth"). hedgehog."
other riddles show close structural or semantic parallels, e.g. ( cc, 119/143) aq kmening avzu yoq. ol yumurtqa "the white- vaulted structure has no mouth (opening). that is the egg." cf.
qazaq: auzi biten aq otau. zumirtqa "a white yurt whose mouth is closed. egg,"
qazan tatar : ber aq y bar, kerege isegi yuq. yomirtqa "there is a white house, it has no door for going in.
egg." (cc,120/145)
burunsiz buz teser. ol qoy bogu. "without a nose it breaks through ice. it is sheep dung." cf.
qazan tatar borinsiz cipciq boz tis. tamci,
baskir boronho turgay bo tisr. tamsi.
qazaq murinsiz muz tesedi. tamsi "beakless sparrow pierces the ice. drop."
the religious texts
at the time of the composition of the "missionaries’ book," attempts to convert the cumans already had a considerable history. an episcopatus cumanorum seems to have been in existence by 1217 or 1218. the papacy and the hungarian kings were particularly interested in their conversion for a variety of reasons, both foreign and domestic. the dominican and franciscan orders were tapped for this program. the mission took on further momentum when a cuman chieftan borc/bortz and his son membrok as well as a goodly number of their tribesmen converted in 1227.
robert, the archbishop of esztergom, received papal permission to go to cumania for this purpose. these missionary activities appear to have survived the mongol invasions. by 1287, the franciscan mission was flourishing under cinggisid protection.
they had a church and hospice at kaffa and a chapel at the administrative center of the crimea, solxat. yaylaq, the wife of nogay, the tatar strongman of the late 13th century, was baptized there. from the crimea, missions were sent to the more northern qipcaq-tatar lands.
the religious texts consist of homililetics that would be useful in the task of proselytixation, the ten commandments, the nicene creed and various psalms. an illustrative sampling is given below (cc, 132/184-185) :
tengrini sövgil barca üstünde "love god above all else" (= "thou shalt have no other gods before me"),
tengrining ati bile anticmegil = "thou shalt not take the lord’s name in vain,"
ulu kün avurlagil = "remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy,"
atangi anangi xormatlagil "honor they father and thy mother,"
kisini öltürmegil = "thou shalt not kill,"
ogur bolmagil = "thou shalt not steal,"
(h)ersek bolmagil = "thou shalt not commit adultery,"
yalgan tanixliq bermegil "thou shalt not bear false witness,"
özge kisining nemesi suxlanmagil = "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house " etc.
the prohibition on graven images in curiously absent. added to these commmandments, however, are a number of others, e.g.
sevgil sening qarindasin sening kibi "love thy brother as thyself."
"ari augustus alay aytir : yazuqlu kisi, kim tiler kensi yazuqin aytma(ga), necik tengri tiler daxi, sening janing aringay, anga kerek tört neme burung qaygirmax kerek kirti köngül bile kensi yazuxung cin..." "st. augustine says thus : a sinful man who wishes to confess his sins, as god wishes it, so that your soul may be pure, four things are necessary for him (to do). first, it is necessary to regret (repent) with a true heart one’s sins..."
(cc, 121/158)
"kim egi köngül bile bizim yixvge kelse ulu kün agirlap anga bolgay alti yil bosaq" "he who comes with a good heart to our church and honors the sabbath, to him will be (granted) six years indulgence"
(cc, 137/186, the psalm ave porta paradisi) :
"ave ucmaqning qabagi
tirilikning agaci
yemising bizge teyirding
yesusni qacan tuwurdung"
"ave gate of paradise, tree of life, thou hast brought forth thy fruit to us, when thou gavest birth to jesus"
(cc, 124/164, "parable of the lepers"):
"kristus alay aytti kelepenlerge : barungiz körüngiz papazlarga. ol sözin kristus bugün aytir barca yazug(li)larga kim kerti kelepenler tengri alinda." "christ sppoke thus to the lepers : ‘go, show yourselves before the priests.’ these words christ today says to all sinners who are true lepers before god."
(cc, 126/171, the "pater noster" ) : "atamiz kim kte sen.
algisli bolsun sening [ating, kelsin] xanliging bolsun sening tilemeging necik kim kökte alay yerde. kündegi etmekimizni bizge bun bergil daxi yazuqlarimizni bizge bosatgil necik biz bosatirbiz bizge yaman etkenlerge" "our father which art in heaven. hallowed be thy name. thy kingdom come. thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. give us this day our daily bread. and forgive us out sins as we forgive those who have done us evil" (instead of "for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us"). this may be compared with a somewhat garbled "pater noster" which survived in hungarian cumania (cc, xliv-xlv) :
"bezen attamaz kenze kikte, szenleszen szenadon, dsn szenkklon, nicziegen gerde ali kekte, bezen akomazne oknemezne ber bezge pitbtr kngon..." = "bizim atamiz kim sen kökte, sentlessen ading, dznsen kngln nicekim zerde alay kökte, bizim ekmemizni ber bizge...kngn..."
finally, we may note the "nicene credo" ( cc, 148/211-212) :
"inanirmen barcaga erkli bir ata tengrige kökni yerni barca körünür körünmezni yaratti dey. dagi bir beyimiz yesus kristusga barca zamanlardan burun atadan tuwgan turur (kuun : ata tuuptrur = ata towupturur ), tengri tengriden, yarix yarixtan, cin tengri cin tengriden, etilmey ataga tzdes tuwupturur, andan ulam bar barca bolgan-turur kim biz azamlar cn dagin bizim ongimiz kökden enip ari tindan ulam erdeng ana maryamdan ten alip kisi bolup- turur..." "i believe in one god the father, all-powerful, who created heaven and earth and all things visible and invisible, and in one lord jesus christ, the only-begotten son of god, who was born of the father before all times, god from god, light from light, true god from true god, not created, born ( of ) the same substance as the father, through thee all things were made, who for us men and our health (=salvation) also descended from heaven and through the holy spirit and from the virgin mother mary took flesh and became man..."
there are many other aspects of the cc which we may explore further. given the limits of space, however, we will touch on only a few of them here.
the cc is very rich in the international mercantile vocabulary that had developed in the eastern mediterranean and western eurasia. this vocabulary is particularly well-represented in the trilingual "interpretor’s book." these terms, as we have seen, were largely of persian or arabic origin, often going back to still earlier borrowings into those languages from greek and indic. on the basis of the cc, it would appear that this international vocabulary had entered virtually every aspect of cuman life. having noted this, a word of caution is necessary. we must bear in mind that the vocabulary of cuman urban dwellers was undoubtedly richer in these terms than their steppe neighbors.
the polyethnic origins of the population of the crimean cities almost certainly increased the "foreign" elements in local cuman speech. moreover, the compilers of the cc, given their origins, may have also been more inclined to use and hence include in their glossaries these lingua franca elements.
greek elements :
bapas, papas, papaz "priest" is also found in qaraim, armeno-coman, mamluk qipcaq, balqar and ottoman. this term probably entered cuman directly from greek perhaps through orthodox missionaries or merchants in the crimea.
fanar "lantern" , cf. also osm. fener. it is found as a recent loanword from russian (fonar’) in qazan tatar and qaracay-balqar.
k(i)lisia "church" , cf. qaraim kilise, qaracay-balqar klisa osm. kilise.
limen "port" , cf. osm. liman.
mangdan "parsley" > arab. maqd–nis/baqd–nis, cf. also osm. maydanoz > mod. gr.
. marul "lettuce" lat. amarula (lactuca), cf. osm. marul, mamluq qipcaq marul.
timean "incense" possibly via eastern slavic timian.
trapes "table" eastern slavic :
izba "room, chamber" (cc, 100/119 camera, hujra) izba "house, bath."
ovus "rye" old rus’ ov’s, russ. ovs "oats," cf. qaraim uvus.
pec "stove" pec’, cf. qaraim pec. there are also more recent borrowings of this word into other turkic languges from modern russian.
samala "pitch" smola "soot," cf. maml–k qipcaq samala, samla, salama. salam "straw" soloma, cf. maml–k qipcaq salam, kk salam - saman, found also in qaraim, qaracay-balqar, qazan tatar salam and in hungarian szalma. the connection of turkic saman "straw" with this term is unclear.
some terms are problematic, e.g.
terem "tabernacle, shrine," cf. old rus’ terem "high house, court, cupola, watch-tower," russ. "room, tower-chamber" - gr. "room, chamber." but sagay turkic has trb "yurt," cf.mong. terme "wall."
similarly, bulov "some kind of weapon, probably a club ( cf. maml–k qipcaq bulav, bula’u) may be taken from eastern slavic bulava. the reverse may also be true.
mongol :
the cc contains a number of mongol loanwords. given the historical contacts of the turkic and mongolian peoples, not to mention the much-debated altaic question, the dating and nature of these words pose many problems. our task is further complicated by the fact that mongol-speaking, or bilingual, mongol and turkic-speaking (i.e. mongol tribes that were becoming turkicized) joined the cuman-qipcaq confederation before the 13th century. other mongol influences undoubtedly stem from the era of cinggisid hegemony. thus, there are many layers of cumano-qipcaq- mongol interaction, some very old, which cannot be easily differentiated. poppe has done a very thorough study of these words. as a consequence, we shall give here only a representative sampling :
codex cumanicus mongol
abaga abaga "uncle"
abra- "to defend" abura- "to save"
bilev "grindstone" bileg, bile’, bile-, bili-
"to stroke, stripe, streak"
ceber "pleasant, amiable" ceber "pure, sober"
egeci "father’s sister" egeci *ekeci "older sister"
elbek "richly" elbeg "richly"
kenete "suddenly" genete, genedte "suddenly"
maxta- "to praise" magta-, maxta-, maqta- "to
nöger "friend, comrade" nöker "companion"
olja "war booty" olja "booty"
bge "grandfather" ebge *ebke "grandfather"
qaburga "rib" qabirga "rib"
silevsn "lynx" silegsn "lynx" etc.

among some of the problematic words, we may note cuman
bagatur, pers. bahadur, mong. bagatur "hero" which poppe considered a mongol loanword. clauson, however, suggested that this very old, inner asian culture word went back to the language of the hsiung-nu.
cuman qarav, qarov "recompense, reward, retribution" ( cc, 43/46 premium, jaza ) and qarav berrmen "i forgive, absolve" ( retribuo, miamorzm ), cf. qaraim qaruv "answer"—mong. qarigu, xarigu "answer, response, return, retribution."
cuman tepsi "plate, dish" ( in numerous turkic dialects ) -- mong. tebsi "large oblong plate, platter or tray, trough" chin. tieh-tzu middle chin. dep tsi.
of uncertain origin is (cc, 90/105) bogavul/bogawul "officer of the court" placerius, tatawul, cf. the ilxanid functionary bukawul/buqawul "vorkoster, vielleicht general zahlmeister."
arabic elements, as we have seen, are quite numerous in all the socio-linguistic categories noted in the "interpretor’s book" and elsewhere. this reflects the important muslim political, commercial and religio-cultural influences in the crimea. that these words were not limited to the muslim population can be seen by their presence, without sectarian connotations, in qaraim and armeno-coman. elsewhere in this study, frequent reference has been made to words of arabic origin, many of which entered cuman via persian. we shall cite here only a few examples : alam "banner" arab. ‘alam, albet "certainly, of course" arab. albatta, azam "man" adam, seriat "judge" arab. sar‘iyyah "muslim law." this use of a specific muslim term for a broader category is also a feature of the tolkovanie jazyka poloveckogo (13th century ?, discussed below), cf. alkoran "zakon" al-qur’an, elfokaz "uciteli i velikie tolkovnici" al-fuquha "jurists of religious law." xukm "judgement, decision" arab. hukm, hakim, xakim "doctor" arab. hakim, aziz, haziz "rare, costly, pilgrim, holy, sacred" arab. ‘aziz, nur "light" arab. n–r, safar "journey" arab. safar, seir "poet" arab. si‘r "poetry," sa‘ir "poet," tafariq (cc, 132/184, tafsanyt ) "difference" arab. tafriq, pl. tafariq "separation, differentiation."
the principal muslim lingua franca of the east, persian, is also well-represented in the cc. as these words have been pointed out in much of the foregoing, the following is only a very brief sampling :
daru "medicine" pers. dar–,
drust "true" pers. drust, durust,
bazar "bazaar,market" pers. bazar,
bazargan "merchant" pers. bazargan,
hergiz, herkiz "never" pers. hargiz "ever, always, continuously,"
jahan, jehan "world" pers. jahan, jihan,
jigar "liver pers. jigar,
piyala "goblet" pers. piyala etc.
hebrew, syriac and others elements :
as was noted earlier, cuman sabat kün "saturday" derives ultimately from hebrew sabbat via a probable khazar intermediary.
the name (cc, 143/202) hawa/hava "eve" also appears in its hebrew form (hava) rather than the expected eva.
interestingly, the word for "messiah" appears in its syriac form, or a form derived from it : (cc, 138/189) misixa syr. mesiha.
there are a number of words of undetermined origin. among them is (cc, 160/222) kesene "grave mound," which is preserved in qaracay and balqar k‘esene, kesene "friedhoff, grobnica." ligeti suggested a caucasian provenance without adducing further evidence. zajaczkowski noted pelliot’s earlier persian etymology, kasana "a small house." but, it is not quite clear how the cuman form could have emerged from the persian.
the authors of the "missionaries’ book" had to create or elaborate a special christian vocabulary. certain religious terms were already known to cuman, as part of the inner asian turkic legacy of long-standing contacts with a variety of religions.
thus, terms such as tamu,tamuq, tamux "hell," ucmaq "paradise," both loanwords from sogdian ( tamw, ‘wstmag ) or some other iranian language , were already familiar concepts and not necessarily in a christian form.
these and other old turkic terms were now given a specific christian nuance,e.g. bitik ( biti- "to write" middle chin. piet "brush" ) "anything written, book" now became "the book," i.e. the bible. other terms were loan- translated into turkic, e.g. bey(imiz) tengri "dominus deus," clk "the trinity," ari tin "the holy ghost," köktegi xanliq " the kingdom of heaven," etc.
an interesting usage (if not original in cuman) is yixev ( iduq ev "holy, sacred house") "church" (found in qaraim as yeg’v "church," a semantic parallel can be seen in hung. egyhaz "church, " lit. "holy house"). the notion of "saviour" was directly translated into turkic : (cc, 122/160) "yesus christus bitik tilince, tatarca qutqardaci, ol kertirir barca elni qutqardaci" "jesus christ, in the language of the book, in tatar, is the saviour, that means the saviour of all people."
the cuman calendar ( see above) shows neither specific christian influences nor any trace of the sino-turkic 12 year animal cycle. this appears to be an archaic system, typical, perhaps, of the northern turkic milieu from which the qipcaqs emerged.
other examples of this older turkic culture can be seen in words such as qam "sorceress" qam "shaman, sorcerer, soothsayer, magician."
cuman documents contemporary to the codex cumanicus
a number of qipcaq-arabic grammar/glossaries (sometimes containing other languages as well ) appeared in mamluk lands in the 14th and 15th century. close in content to the cc, although very different in format, are
the kitab al-idrak li’l-lisan al- atrak (ca. 1313 or 1320) of abu hayyan (1286-1344),
the kitab majm–‘ tarjuman turki wa ‘ajami wa mugali wa farsi (now dated to 1343),
the kitab bulgat al-mustaq fi lugat at-turk wa’l-qifjaq of jalal ad-din abu muhammad ‘abdallah at-turki (which may date to the late 14th century, but certainly before the mid-15th century),
the at-tuhfah az-zakiyyah fi’l-lugat at-turkiyyah of as yet undetermined authorship (written before 1425) and
the al- qawanin al-kulliyyah li-dabt al-lugat at-turkiyyah written in egypt at the time of timur.
to this list may perhaps be added the thus far partialy published six-languge ras–lid hexaglot (dating to the 1360’s) which contains vocabularies in arabic, persian, two dialects of turkic (one of which is clearly oguz, the other may be viewed as qipcaq or a mixed eastern oguz-qipcaq dialect), greek, armenian and mongol.
there are also fragments of cuman-rus’ glossaries such as se tatarsky jazyk which is found in a 15th century sbornik from novgorod
and the tolkovanie jazyka poloveckago found in a 16th century menologium. these undoubtedly date from an earlier period.
finally, mention should be made of the qipcaq translation of sa‘di’s gulistan done by sayf-i sarayi in cairo in 793/1390- p1391.

(c) copyright h. b. paksoy
isbn: 975-428-033-9
library of congress card catalog: ds329.4 .c46 1992 173 pp. (paperback) us$20
isis press
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please refer to the printed version for the footnotes
published as part of eurasia research center's turko-iranian monograph and paper series


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