Masculine Model Of A Person In Kalmyk Song Folklore: Age And Relationship


The study of nomination problems is one of the most important of modern linguistics research directions. At the same time, there is a lack of visibility of some aspects of this problem. The relevance of the topic stated in the title derivers from the insufficient development of a range of complex semantic problems associated with gender nomination in the field of vocabulary. The specificity of the gender nomination of males for various reasons, including age and degree of kinship, underexploited agenda for Kalmyk linguistics.This article is based on an analysis of the original texts of Kalmyk folk songs from different time periods recorded by collectors in the XIX-XX centuries. A. D. Rudnev ( 1909 ), G. Ramstedt ( 1962 ), both published in various collections and not introduced into scientific circulation, as well as on the authors' own field materials (records made in 2000-2018). The field materials collected by scientists during scientific expeditions in the first half of the twentieth century on the territory of Kalmykia are now stored in the archival collections of the Republic and beyond.The article contains the description of an image of a man in Kalmyk culture and the means of its representation in the Kalmyk language. The authors analyzed the main theoretical and methodological problems of developing a human model in an interdisciplinary context and identified the key achievements of gender studies. The system of Kalmyk masculine denominations by age and degree of kinship is described.

Keywords: Gendermalemodelagekinship


Scientists have always tried to explain human behavior. Naturally, the question arises: what is the purpose of human behavior? This problem was considered from different points of view (philosophical, religious, moral, economic, political, sociological), and worries scientists in the interdisciplinary frames. And now we should talk about the model of a person, meaning certain assumptions regarding behavior strategy. In search of the optimal working model of “gender man”, it is important to take into account the achievements of various sciences in the issue of human behavior.

One of the most actively developing areas in modern linguistics is linguistic gender studies, which the most important task is to describe the human model: masculine and feminine.

Traditionally, gender (eng. Gender) refers to social meaning of sex, unlike biological meaning sex (eng. Sex). This concept is considered to be one of the basic criteria for measuring the social structure of society, as well as age and other characteristics that constitutes the social system.

It is generally agreed that there is a social and gender inequality: men in almost every society have a higher status than women. Activities in the public sphere and outside the home have been traditionally considered the Kalmyk males prerogative.

In studies of gender, there is a tradition to assess the social status of men and women according to such basic indicators as income, power and prestige, where women inevitably lose to men. But such a comparison does not begs the question of criticism, so if examine this through the prism of a wider set of indicators, then “the socio-sexual stratification loses its indisputability and uniqueness” (Ilyin, 1996).

Today gender is mostly considered as a system of power relations interconnected with other power relations. Psychological gender studies, earlier mainly focused on the analysis of gender differences and gender roles, are beginning to be based on this new understanding of the term.

The problem of the model of a man is one of the most relevant. However, for all its relevance, it has got sufficient in-depth attention. The stated theme (the gender model of a person) requires a description of the theoretical and methodological foundations of the issue, contained in the basic ideas of the famous foreign scientists’ works (Barron & Norris, 1976; Spense, 1984; Spence, 1985; Hirdman, 1991), where an original solution to the problem of understanding the model of both men and women were proposed. Foreign experience can be used taking into account modern conditions, historical past and national culture.

There is mainly a consideration of the social and rational model of a person (Simon, 1957). A person is a multi-level hierarchical system, where he appears to be an isolated individual (rational being, endowed with needs), and a member of a social group, class, society, humanity as a whole.

A new description of the human model was given by American economists W. Meckling and C. Brunner (Brunner & Meckling, 1977). The REMM model stands for “Resourceful, Evaluating, Maximizing Man” (an inventive, evaluating, maximizing person). It can be compared to the human sociological model - SRSM (“Socialized, Role-playing and Sanctioned Man”), with the economic model representing the general scheme, and the sociological one - its modification.

From the sociological model of a person point of view, it is better to consider gender as a social construct (Lorber, 1991), characterized by three components: biological sex; gender role stereotypes common in a particular society, and the behavior strategy. Socio-cultural dynamics of the male role reflects the realities of a transforming society. But, clearly, the role prescribed by society on the basis of gender concept does not fully explains the essence of the gender. I. Hoffman writes about gender display, i.e. the many manifestations of cultural components of gender (Goffman, 1996). In other words, gender can be viewed as a multidimensional measure of social relations rooted in a particular culture.

Problem Statement

The gender factor is one of the most important parameters of the individual and society in general. It is known, that the concept of gender was borrowed to study the sociocultural aspects of the gender problem. We usually adhere to stereotypical beliefs regarding gender characteristics associated with men and women. Naturally, when studying the Kalmyk masculine model, a number of questions arise: 1) to what extent do men in this society differ from women in their psychological characteristics; 2) how does men see themselves, meaning to what extent gender stereotypes are included in the self-perception of the male gender group; 3) what is the ideology of the male (men’s view on the proper role relationships between men and women in Kalmyk culture) and, finally, 4)when children begin to associate different characteristics within one or another gender group (in our case, within the male). We are primarily interested in the ways in which Kalmyk has to construct a masculine identity.

Research Questions

How do men viewed in different cultures? We consider the Kalmyk model of a person with masculine refraction as an object of study. The subject of study – the peculiarities of the male model implementation in the language and in the song texts.

We will start with gender stereotypes, since they underlie gender differences in traditional perception. Consider the way gender stereotypes relate to gender roles.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to describe the masculine model of a person in Kalmyk song folklore on the example of the designations of males by age and degree of kinship.

Research Methods

Researchers conducted empirical studies to determine whether cultural values affect the specific content of gender stereotypes and concluded that cultural stereotypes about what men are, are reflected in self-perception, self-identification, and affect men and women interaction. In modern literature, there are a number of works that examine ways of language marking the gender opposition “male / female”. The key role among the means of lexical marking of semantics “masculine” is played by the terms of kinship, meaning a group of words united by a common theme of kinship, gender marking the status of relations in the family and in the genus. Relatives, as is known, are considered to be the people related by descent of one from another (direct relationship) or from one ancestor (lateral relationship). The “mathematical” expression “kinship algebra” emphasizes the complexity and hierarchy of the kinship system related to ethnic traditions and rites, cults and rituals, food, clothing and other components of material culture. Interests of the clan, concern for its continuation and glorification were reflected in the developed system of terms of kinship that existed among Kalmyks.

Alfred Louis Kreber (1963), the author of the classification system for the designation of kinship, identified 8 main features, which should described the terms of kindship: 1) generation (grandfather and father, father and ego, ego and his son); 2) direct or indirect (side) relationship (father and brother of the father); 3) relative age of a sibling within one generation (elder brother and younger brother, elder uncle and younger uncle); 4) the gender of the relative (man or woman: brother and sister, uncle and aunt, son and daughter); 5) the sex of the ego; 6) the gender of the relative; 7) kinship or characteristics; 8) other: whether a relative is alive, belonging to a certain age group. But in different languages linguists, considering the terms of kinship, use different approaches.

A systematic study of kinship terminology is largely based on the method of component analysis connected with the hypothesis that the meaning of a word consists of semantic components (signifiers). In other words, the semantics of kinship terms in different languages can be described by combinations of signs.

Component analysis of kinship terms was first performed by T. P. Lomtev (Lomtev, 1979) on the basis of the Russian language. According to the scientist, the semantic field, expressed in terms of kinship, has become a kind of testing ground where different methods of analysis were tested. M. Krongauz (Krongauz, 2001) in his research developed a semantic-functional approach to the analysis of Russian kinship terms.

Well-developed kinship terminology is designed to denote kinship in the Kalmyk language, the main opposition of it is masculinity / femininity. It is known, the Kalmyk language does not have the grammatical category of the gender, therefore, unlike the Russian language, and it is difficult to speak about the generic correlation of the terms of kinship.

Kalmyk kinship terms can be studied both in terms of identifying the common of the kinship terminology of different languages in general, and in terms of existing significant inter-ethnic differences.

Famous American researcher of kinship terms D. Greenberg identified three universal characteristics: 1) all languages tend to have different terms for the designation of kinship between different generations (the difference between the designations of grandchildren, children, parents, etc.); 2) there is a terminology for designation of consanguinity and kinship established through marriage (father, father-in-law from wife or father-in-law from husband); 3) all languages tend to label gender differences even among some relatives (father - mother, daughter - son).


Men and women usually perform various professional, family and game roles in any society. The main parameters that determine the general character traits of a person are, apart from gender, age, relationship, marital status, personal qualities, etc. We’ll consider them in order.


Age terminology includes the term үy ‘generation’. This is a key concept. People of one generation (нег үйин улс) shares the same views and values. There are different stages in the Kalmyk model of age: childhood, youth, maturity, and old age. Male – a boy, a lad (көвүн), a man (залу), an old man (көгшн, өвгн). To refer to a newborn baby, the нилх nilch token is used regardless of gender.

Нилх - newborn

Traditionally, the Kalmyk child did not got the name right after the birth, therefore the word нилх was used as the main nomination until the infant reached a certain age, which is connected with the superstitions and traditions of the Kalmyks. Kalmyks chose a name for a newborn with the help of a zurkhachi (зурхачи) ‘astrologer’, who, taking into account the time of birth and the location of the heavenly bodies, determined the fate of the newborn and gave him a “happy” name (Omakaeva, 1998). The name was given great importance, as it was believed that the name should protect its owner. These names include religious names. Parents did not have a clear idea of the semantics of the Buddhist anthroponomastics, since canonical names were usually of Tibetan origin (Omakaeva, 2008).

According to the I.A. Zhitetskiy researches, the name was carefully selected mainly for the eldest son, rarely – the eldest daughter. The names of subsequent children were not chosen so carefully. He also accented the factor of chance in choosing a name for newborns and cited interesting examples that support this conclusion: “On the birthday of the Zaisang Onkorov of the Bagatsachurovsky ulus, in the father’s house, the Kirghiz owner and Begeli spent the night, and therefore the newborn was named after him (although it’s only nickname). Some of the Derbetov Kalmyks were demonstrated at the Paris World Exhibition, and when the fathers were at the exhibition, two of them had children: a boy and a girl; the boy was called "Paris", and the girl is "France" (Zhitetskiy, 1893).

In modern colloquial practice, , instead of proper names, Kalmyks often use the words бичкн, нилх in relation to young children in order to take the evil eye away, to deceive evil spirits, that is, with “security” function.

Көвүн – lad, boy

Males related to the age of көвүн наста – ‘youthful age’ are generally considered inexperienced in both social and everyday life. They are in the process of growing up, this is determines their status in the family and society, the attitude of those around them, first of all, father, grandfather and men of the older generation, due to the fact that the education of Kalmyks was built on the gender principle. Under the mother guidance, daughter joined the women's work, assimilated the model of behavior in the family and society. The son was, basically, raised by the father, who since the childhood introduced him into male activities. Kalmyk proverb indicates that the father plays a big role in raising boys: Модчин көвүн – утднь, төмрчин көвүн – ахрднь ‘The son of a carpenter (prefers) is longer, the son of a blacksmith is shorter’.

Parents pay great attention to development of male skills of a son - the future man. The proverb Хамр нуста гиһәд авч хайхд берк, көвүн му гиһәд көөҗ йовулхд берк “It is difficult to tear off the nose, despite the snot, it is difficult to get rid of the son, even though he is bad” shows the difficulties of raising the boys. Another example: Тарха хоҗһр һарһад тәвх һазр олхш “Having given birth to a bald and gaunt son, they could not find a proper place for him”.

You should keep the pride, and never drop the honor of a kind: Көвүн күн задһа эс болсн хөөн – дуутань сән, күүкн күн бүтү эс болсн хөөн – ду угань сән “That silent guy is good, who can speak out loud, that talkative girl is good, who could keep silence”.

Kalmyks have a saying: Эцкин әмдд кү тань, мөрнә тарһнд һазр тань “While there is a father, go meet new people, while there is plump horse, go travel”. This proverb teaches young men that a man should not stay at home like a woman, he should be among people in order to learn and to gain experience.

Залу – a man

According to the Kalmyk, залу is the bearer of the best male qualities. His main advantage is courage (залуд – зөрг чимг). Perseverance, dedication are important qualities of a man: Залу күн заңһсн талан, зандн модн нәәхлсн талан “A man achieves what he has planned, sandalwood tends in the direction he bends’; Залу күн зөрсн талан “A man should strive to achieve his goal”.

An important feature of man is honor: Залу күн ичсн дорхнь үксн деер “For a man, it is better to die, then to be ashamed”; Өдртән хатрхла – мөрн, үгдән күрхлә – залу “If the whole day is trotting, this is a real horse; if he keeps his word, this is a real man”; Залу күн худл келсн – цаһан мөрн шорад көлврснлә әдл “The fact that a man lied is similar to how a white horse fell into dust”; Залу күн зөрсән эс күцәхлә - нерән геедг, чон бәрсән алдхла - харһндг “A man who has not achieved his goal loses honor; A wolf that has lost its prey is doomed to starvation”.

A man is the creator of his fate: Залу күмни зам олн, зандн модни бүчр олн “A man has many paths, as a sandalwood has a lot of branches”. Popular wisdom teaches that men should not live idly: Залу күн зав уга, зандн модн эрмдг уга “A man does not have free time, as sandalwood does not have a defect”; Залуһас үүл хөөһдг уга “For a man there is always business to do”; Утхан бүлүдсн залу мах иддг “A man sharpening his knife will always have meat”.

According to Kalmyk ideas, a good man has high thoughts (Сән залу нутгин төлә төрдг, сән мөрн эзни төлә төрдг “A good man is born for the sake of the homeland, like a good horse is for the sake of the owner”; Тоомсрта залу нутгин төлә зүткдг, тоһстн шовун сүүлән хәләҗ нисдг “An honored man cares for the good of the homeland, the peacock flies, looking only at his tail”); is beloved by people (Замг сәәнд заһсн хурдг, залу сәәнд күн хурдг “Fish meets where there is good ooze, people - where there is a good-minded man”); is a breadwinner (Сән залуһин һанзһ улан “A good man always comes with loot”); is freedom-loving (Мөрнә сәәг холд йовҗ мед, залуһин сәәг кеер йовҗ мед “ Feel the best qualities of the horse on the road, the best qualities of men - in the steppe”).

Көгшн күн ‘elderly man’, өвгн күн ‘gramps’

Men from the age group көгшн күн, өвгн күн ‘old men’ do not possess physical strength or visual appeal: Көгшн күн хувцарн сәәхн ‘The old man is beautiful by his clothes’; Залу күн олсан өмсдг, көгшн күн олсан иддг ‘A young man spends his earnings on clothes, and an old eats his earnings’. The wealth of old people – their life experience that they share with others: Өндр толһа деер һархла - нүднә хуҗр хандг, өвгн күүнлә күүндхлә - чикнә хуҗр хандг ‘When you climb a high mound, it’s pleasure to your eye, when you talk to an old man, it’s a pleasure for your ear’. The social function of old people is the upbringing he younger generation, the transmission of wisdom and experience.

The society properly appreciates the social role of the elderly, surrounding them with respect and reverence: Өвгдиг (көгшдиг) оньдинд күндл, бичкдиг (күүкдиг) оньдинд хәәрл ‘Always respect the old people, and always pamper the children’. The behavior of old people is characterized as “weighted, staid, status”, which is expressed verbally and non-verbally. Their speech is more restrained, the pace of speech is slow with pauses. Proverbs and sayings can be used in their speeches. They rarely use facial expressions and gestures. It is believed that people of venerable age should speak appropriately, talk only business.

The semantics of the word көгшн ‘old man / old’ contains basic connotation of “politeness”. The variant of the word көгшә ‘senior, elderly’ is used in modern oral speech as a courteous address to elderly people.


Kalmyks extremely worship a kinship. Since childhood, a person knows about his belonging to a certain race, is familiar with his bloodline. The more relatives, the more protection he can feel. Kalmyks proudly names their relatives of a high social status.

Kalmyk terminology of kinship is determined by its degree, belonging to the male or female gender, kinship line, etc. (Ochirova & Omakaeva, 2014).

The masculine terminology of kinship is represented by a number of tokens: эцк ‘father’, көвүн ‘son’, аав ‘father, grandfather ’, ах ‘elder brother’, дү ‘younger brother’. In its turn, with the participation of the term эцк ‘father’ kinship terms are formed, nominating other males: өвк эцк ‘paternal grandfather’, хөөт эцк ‘stepfather’, хадм эцг ‘father-in-law’ (хадм ‘relatives by husband, wife’), элнцк эцк ‘great grandfather’, элнцк аав ‘great-grandfather’, хадм аав ‘father-in-law by wife’, ‘grandfather’, ‘grandpa’, ‘granny’ (paternal line), ‘grandfather (maternal line)’, etc. The term көвүн ‘son’ is involved in the designation of males by kinship lines: ууһн көвүн ‘eldest son’, отхн көвүн ‘younger son’, көвүн дү ‘younger brother (in relation to the elder brother of the wife)’, ач көвүн ‘nephew’, ‘grandson after son’, зе көвүн ‘grandson of daughters’, күргн көвүн ‘son-in-law’, дү көвүн ‘younger brother’. The word ах ‘senior’ is a component of composite nominations of male relatives: ах көвүн ‘senior son’, хадм ах ‘senior brother-in-law’.

Аав ‘grandfather’ denotes the male senior member of the family. His social role is to be a support for the family, to be responsible for its members, to give advice, to instruct the younger generation of the family.

Эцк ‘father’ refers directly to the parent of the child. In the Kalmyk family, children are brought up in the tradition of respecting and honoring their parents, first of all, the father, who is the head of the family, fulfilling responsibilities for maintaining family members and ensuring material well-being. Important decisions for the family are made by the father on the advice of his аав.

It must be noted that in general, boys in the Kalmyk family have a higher status than girls. In the Kalmyk family, көвүн ‘son’ is the most desirable child, since considered the continuation of the genus. In this case, the greatest respect is shown to the eldest of the sons. It is not by chance that the proverb says: Ахан алд күндл, дүүһән делм күндл ‘Respect your older brother on a mile, and your younger brother on a half of mile’.

Traditionally, the eldest son ах көвүн inherited the parental household, took upon his shoulders the responsibility for all family members at the death of the older male relatives. In this case, even the mother recognized his primacy and respected the custom of хадмлhн “respecting” in relation to her eldest son. The elder brother is respected by all children: ахнь келдг, дүнь соңсдг ‘the elder brother says, the younger one is obeyed’, зарх дүүтә, закрх ахта ‘the younger brother is for prodding, the elder brother is for ordering’. “The youngest son”, отхн көвүн, has special social roles: he must take responsibility for the old parents and bury them ‘ясинь бәрх’.

Күргн көвүн the son-in-law is respected in the family of his wife’s relatives. If the parents of the wife do not have their sons, they accept the son-in-law as their own son.


Marriage among Kalmyks indicates the maturity of a man, his transition to the status of "man." Kalmyks called an unmarried person a күн болад уга ‘not becoming a man’, and a married man күн болсн ‘become a man’.

From the point of view of marital status, герин эзн залу ‘husband, master of the house’, көгшн көвүн ‘unmarried old boy’, гер-мал уга залу, күн болад уга көвүн ‘unmarried, not a man’, белвсн залу ‘widower’, аваль залу ‘first husband, law husband’ stand out. The highest status has герин эзн залу ‘husband, master of the house’, күн болсн ‘married’.

It was very important to live with your other half until old age, because авалясн хаhцхла амр уг ‘there is no happiness when you lose your first husband / wife’. Therefore, for Kalmyks there is no more terrible curse, than Наснаннь дундурт авалясн хаhц, hазриннь дундурт мөрнәснь хаhц ‘In the middle of your life you will be left without your first wife / husband, as you will be halfway through without a horse’.

To create a family, to become a man, to give birth to a son, a continuer of the race, is the life plan of the Kalmyk.

The attitude of others to белвсн залу ‘widower’ is sympathetic. It is believed that белвсн ‘widowed people’ are in the border zone between the world of the living and the dead. Kalmyks avoided touching them, showing negative attitudes towards them, etc. Single men (гер-мал уга залу, күн болад уга көвүн, көгшн көвүн) also cause sympathy from others. Relatives are concerned about their lack of life.

In the Kalmyk language, two universal groups of kinship terms can be distinguished to denote males: 1) by blood relationship (for example, father, son, brother), 2) by affinity relationship (property, marriage, for example, husband). It should be emphasized that belonging to both of them imposed certain responsibilities on a member of the family. The universal feature of Kalmyk kinship terms is also the semantics relativity.

As for the specific features of the Kalmyk terminology of kinship, these include the presence of separate general terms for the designation of relatives as a whole by the father and the mother. As is known, kinship in Kalmyks is determined by the male (paternal) and female (maternal) lines. The first is nominated as aehHp, which are considered relatives in the true sense of the word, that is, true relatives. By the way, Kalmyks have a clan under this name. The paternal line is considered kinship by bone (ясн), and relatives by mother (наЩнр) - by blood (цусн).

From a sufficiently large amount of lexical units, defined by us as kinship terms, the texts of Kalmyk songs revealed “masculine” lexemes distinguishing males by kinship line, gender, age:

1. The word аав is used to designate a father in songs, although in modern Kalmyk the term is used for the nomination of the concept ‘grandfather, grandfather’. The term аав, originally intended in Mongolian languages to refer to older relatives of the class of fathers, apparently, for some time parallel existed with эцк, but was later ousted by the latter.

But in song lyrics, the analyzed lexeme regularly appears in the meaning of ‘father‘:Аавин вгсн селвгинь ацхун болщ ядлав ‘The advice that my father gave me, / By his carelessness he neglected’; Аавин hанц чамаhан / Аашна гищ соцслав ‘I heard that you were going, / The only son of (my) father’.

In the well-known historical song about Galdam, dedicated to the outstanding Oirat commander of the XVIIth century, the hero appeals to his father to release him to the war: Хар мерн эцэд угад, / Харhа жид мокад угад, / Аав, тэв, шурhнав би ‘Until the black horse got tired, / Until the pine spear was dulled, / Father, let me go, I will attack’.

As for the name of the grandfather, there is a gender differentiation: the paternal grandfather was named ввк; maternal grandfather – наhц эцк, наhц аав.

It should be noted that the word аав is also used when referring not only to his father (that is, not only as a term of kinship), but also to any male person of advanced years.

2. There is no single nomination for the term “uncle” in the Kalmyk language at all. It is necessary to know what kind of uncle is meant, because uncle as a mother’s brother in Kalmyk will be denoted by one lexeme, and a completely different word is used to denote the notion of uncle as father’s brother in Kalmyk.

For example, the word наhцх ‘uncle (on the maternal line)’: Наhцх зе хойран яhад эс медвч? “How could you not know that you are relatives on the maternal line?” (it is about the fact that the young man did not know that he is maternal uncle to his beloved) .

Kalmyks had used to know relatives on the father’s side up to the ninth generation, this was done in order to avoid incest. As for relatives on the maternal line, marriage with them was forbidden: Зееhэн авхла, зел тасрдмн “If you marry a relative by mother, / Your race will be interrupted (literally The rope for tying calves and foals will crash)”.

It is interesting to note that in the song texts there are practically no terms авh ‘father uncle’ авhнр and‘paternal relatives’, but rather often the lexeme наhцх ‘maternal uncle’ and наhцхнр ‘maternal relatives’ were used, which, of course, is not accidental.

Until the establishment of the patriarchal system, maternal kinship played a dominant role. Some elements of the matrilinearity of the past are preserved in the modern structure of the system of kinship terms.

Lyrical folk songs performed on behalf of a married girl often mention relatives on the maternal line. In confirmation, we will bring the Kalmyk proverbs: Ээщин элгнд бууhад золhдг, / Аавин элгнд мврн деерэс золhдг “Mother relatives welcome, dismounting from horse, / Father relatives welcome from horse” Экин элгнд сууhад hардг, / Эцкин элгнд зогсад hардг “When visiting relatives by the mother, they leave, after sitting a while, / When visiting relatives by the father, they leave, with a little standing ’.

In difficult moments, it was the relatives of the mother who first came to help their nephews (зеенр). Thus, in the Kalmyk folk song “Цаста цаhан уул” (“Snow White Mountain”), the hero Luzang Sharap was sent for support to the relatives of his mother: Заартын зандн бyшmyдтэ билэ, / Заыма куцм борта билэ, / Заяни hанц Луузц Шарв / Заятахн наhнран темцв “He had smelt sandalwood beshmet, / He had Serko, capable of catching a red-footed falcon, / Luzang Sharap, alone from birth, / He rushed to his happy relatives by his mother”.

3. In the system of Kalmyk kinship terms, a significant role is played by the age attribute, which is due to the tradition of respect for elders not only within the family or clan, but also of society as a whole. An example is such a term as ах ‘elder brother’: Хээрлдг ахнрнь болхла / Хэрщ ирэд, двцнэд суув ‘As for the gracious elder brothers, / returning and they supported (us)”.

4. To refer to the younger brother, there is the term дy ‘younger brother’: Генн баh дуунртэн / Герл орулщ вргщyлий ‘Naive, gullible younger brothers of theirs / Enlighten and will develop their strength’.

5. The compound the word ахнр-дуунр ‘brothers’ appears as a generalized name : Ахнр-дуунр гищ / Амнлщ маниг дуудла ‘Believing us to be brothers, / Called us‘.

6. Some terms of kinship in the Kalmyk language have additional meanings. So, the term кввyн ‘boy; the son’ means not only a male child in relation to his parents, but also a representative of a male of a certain age: Кввyн баh насндан куукнлэ бичэ наадич ‘At a young age (at the age of a boy) do not play with a girl’.

In song lyrics this word is also found in the first meaning: Альхн чинэн / Цааснднь, гинэ, / Эвэн кввYн Бадмнь /Бичэд вгдг билэ ‘On the size of a palm paper, they say, / Badma, son of Abi, / Usually wrote’.

7. The names of the man and the husband in the Kalmyk language are the same: залу ‘man, husband‘:Зурhан, гинэ, давхр-ла Москван чолун вргэднь / Залусин сээдyднь хурад, куундэд бээнэлэ ‘In the Moscow six-story stone house, they say, / The best of men, having gathered, are talking’.

The described Kalmyk terms of kinship and properties from an etymological point of view are presented mainly in general Mongolian words, but they have undergone certain phonetic and semantic changes, including due to the social specifics of the Kalmyk family.


As we have seen, Kalmyk language has detailed designations for males according to “age”, “degree of kinship”, and “marital status”. These nominations characterize males from birth to old age, registering all of his social roles (son, grandson, husband, grandfather, son-in-law, master, unmarried man, widower, first husband, nephew, etc.). Marriage gives a man the status of a man. Kalmyks judge the viability of a man by family and children.

The key point in understanding the behavior of men and women is the differences in the types of world view and world perception. Gender, as a social status, that predetermines the professional activity possibilities, family hierarchy, corresponding to a family role and social behavior, functions within the cultural frames of this ethno-linguistic community. This allows talking about the Kalmyk gender culture.

The image of a man in the linguistic picture of the Kalmyk world reflects not only common, universal ideas about a person, peculiar to different cultures, but also ideal and ethnic phenomena, specific features reflecting the peculiarities of the national world perception.

In Kalmyk society have a different model of man unlike the one that is inherent in the Western world. Male has an empirical meaning, which is used as a label to identify specific objects or qualities that are perceived in this culture as being more closely associated with men. The Kalmyk male lifestyle is characterized by certain characteristics and a special type of behavior, in particular, for example, by an energy-saving behavior strategy. Thus, the Kalmyk model of a man is reflected in the language, in particular, in a vocabulary variety, denoting males depending on different social characteristics. Based on the analysis of the males nominations according to the degree of kinship in Kalmyk song texts, the following factors can be distinguished, which determine the current system of kinship: differentiation of blood relatives and relatives; designation by one term of the whole group of persons of different kinship degrees; delimitation of paternal and maternal kinship lines; differentiation of kinship terms by seniority and sex, etc. In conclusion, it should be noted, that the male “lexemes” identified by us in Kalmyk song lyrics nominating the degree of kinship are an important indicator of social attitude towards kinship relationships . The system of the Kalmyk kinship terms reflects the ethno cultural model of the traditional family. The purpose of further researches in the field of Kalmyk gender is to develop a holistic model of a person and create a complete Kalmyk gender lexicon description. A discussion of the human model within the framework of the main context of gender ideas and our first attempt at understanding the problem has shown that an adequate methodological research base is needed that will prevents mistakes in developing scientific strategies in the future.


The reported study was funded by RFBR according to the research project № 16-24-03005-OGN, № 16-24-03002-OGN


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29 March 2019

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Omakaeva, E. U., Esenova, T. S., Badgaeva, D. N., Esenova, G. B., & Tsebekova, G. V. (2019). Masculine Model Of A Person In Kalmyk Song Folklore: Age And Relationship. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1074-1084). Future Academy.