Linguistic and Ethno-Cultural Information in the Turkic Monument of the XIX Century “Kyrgyz-Russian Dictionary” of 1897
(63rd Annual Meeting Ulaanbaatar, 2021)
With the introduction of Islam to Steppe Eurasia, Altay, Turkic peoples for several centuries used Arabic graphics and Arabic language in their writing. However, in order to educate the people, get a secular education, and learn culture of Western countries, in the middle of XIX century, Turkic peoples, including Kazakh people, had to switch to Latin script or Cyrillic alphabet. Therefore, thanks to the Russian and Kazakh educators, primers, self-help books, dictionaries of the Kazakh language in Cyrillic are published in Russia, including the “Kyrgyz-Russian Dictionary”, published in Orenburg in 1897. In tsarist Russia, in order not to confuse the ethnonym Kazakh with Russian Cossacks, former serfs who fled to the south of Russia and formed Cossack military detachments, the Kazakhs of XVII-XIX centuries were called Kirghiz. Therefore, the “Dictionary” is called Kyrgyz, but it is based on the material of the Kazakh language and Kazakh culture.
The vocabulary of the monument includes common words, an extensive group of obsolete words, semantics of which have undergone significant changes in the modern Kazakh language, and thematic words that reflect Kazakh worldview at turn of two centuries. Key concepts of the Kazakh worldview are associated with man, society and nature, which are revealed by us through differential, characteristic words-signs. The natural world includes the Kazakhs’ habitat, flora and fauna, including domestic animals, among which horse has a special status, which is a symbol of nomadic way of life of Kazakhs in past centuries.
The monument also describes Kazakh customs and rituals: the rite and customs, wedding customs in everyday life customs, burial rites, many of which found continuity in the culture of modern Turkic and Altay peoples.