Words used for Ink in Turkic Languages

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Words Used for Ink in Turkic Languages

64th Meeting Budapest, 2022)

The colored liquid material ink used for writing and printing is named with different words in historical and contemporary Turkic languages. The words mürekkep ‘ink’ in Turkish, mürǝkkǝb in Azerbaijani, мерекeб in Karachay are borrowed from the Arabic word مُرَكّب. The word mürekkep acquired the meaning of ‘ink’ in these Turkic languages. The interesting thing is that مُرَكّب means ‘united, combined’ in Arabic. The main words meaning ink in Arabic are midād and hibr.

The word meaning ink is сия in Kazakh, сыя in Kyrgyz, Nogai, and Karakalpak, siyoh in Uzbek, syýa in Turkmen, and سىياه in Uyghur. These words are borrowed from the Persian word سیاه ‘black’. Another interesting data is that the word سیاه is used only as black, a color name in Persian. The word meaning ink in Persian is جوهر.

The words used for ink in Tatar and Bashkir are Turkic origin кара. Derivatives of kara are used with the meaning of ink харалтхыс in Khakas, karatkış in Shor, and karaltkış in Teleut.

The Russian word черни́ла meaning ink is used in the same meaning as чернила in Altai and Khakas, чернил in Chuvash, and чэрэниилэ in Yakut.

The oldest word used to mean ink in historical Turkic written languages is mekkeh (مَكّهٓ). Mahmud al-Kashgari reports that this ink was brought from China. This word, which is also mentioned in the old Uyghur texts, is used only as бэх in Halkha, бэхэ in Buryat, and бек in Kalmyk.

All this vocabulary is an indicator of the language and cultural relations that Turkic languages have lived for centuries. In this paper, the appearance of the words in Turkic languages for ink, which is the most basic material of written culture, at the crossroads of languages and cultures will be examined.