The article based on published, archival and field materials (2009, 2012, 2015, 2017) outlines, describes, classifies and introduces some animal names in the Sart-Kalmyk language. The Sart-Kalmyks (Karakol, Issyk-Kul Kalmyks) of Kyrgyzstan are descendants of two migration waves of Dzungarian Oirats that took place in the 1750s (after defeat of the Dzungarian khanate) and in the 1860s (after suppression of the Muslim uprising in Xinjiang). Unlike most Mongol peoples, the Sart-Kalmyks confess Islam. Today, the Sart-Kalmyk language is one of the endangered Mongolian languages with few native speakers, who are at the same time greatly influenced by the dominant Kirghiz language. Animal names are classified by the authors into the following groups: insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals (wild animals). Comparison of some Sart-Kalmyk animal names with those in the Oirat language and the Kalmyk language shows that there is no fundamental difference between them: Sart-Kalm. 'fly', Oir., Kalm., Kirg.; Sart-Kalm. 'frog’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg.; Sart-Kalm. 'milvus’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg.; Sart-Kalm. 'badger’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg.; Sart-Kalm. 'wolf’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg., etc.). This proves that the animal names go back to the common Oirat language. As a result, it has been concluded that further comparative studies of the Sart-Kalmyk language with the Oirat language and the Kalmyk language is of interest from the viewpoint of different linguistic issues.
The Sart-Kalmyks (Karakol Kalmyks, Issyk-Kul Kalmyks) reside in Kyrgyzstan, near the lake Issyk-Kul in the Ak-Sui district of the Issyk-Kul region, in the villages of Chelpek, Burma-Suu, Tash-Kya and Beryu-Bash located to the west of the city of Bishkek. They are descendants of two migration waves of Dzungarian Oirats that took place in the 1750s (after defeat of the Dzungarian khanate) and in the 1860s (after suppression of the Muslim uprising in Xinjiang). Unlike most Mongol peoples, the Sart-Kalmyks confess Islam. According to the 2009 Kyrgyz census, the population of Kalmyks numbered 3,801 (Census, 2010). However, it is almost impossible to give an exact figure, since they are registered as Kirghiz according to their passport data. Currently, according to unofficial sources, about 20 thousand Sart-Kalmyks live in the country.
The Sart-Kalmyks have been the object of research since the late 1920s. Burdukov (1935) gave a brief description of their language in the article "The Karakol Kalmyks (Sart-Kalmyks)": 'External "Kirghization" goes quickly, but the native features are still preserved. Everyone knows their native language as a home language: the older generation – to a larger extent, and the younger – to a smaller extent. In some cases, including everyday life, the Kalmyks speak Kirghiz more often than Kalmyk, especially in those families where a wife is a Kirghiz; but there are also cases when a Kalmyk lives with two wives — one Kalmyk, the other Kirghiz, and the latter still masters the Kalmyk language.... (Burdukov, 1935).
In 1976, the famous Russian linguist-Turkologist Tenishev (1976) said that the native language of the Sart-Kalmyks is limited to purely domestic use, mainly among the older generation. In the public sphere, the Sart-Kalmyks would use Kirghiz and Russian. They know Tatar songs well and sing them eagerly. According to the researcher, the Sart-Kalmyk language is a dialect of the Kalmyk language. The Kalmyk linguists Pavlov (1990) and Ubushaev (2006) believe that the Sart-Kalmyk language is the torgut dialect (tsataan sub-dialect) of the Kalmyk language. Suseeva (1973) and Esenova (2004) also consider the Sart-Kalmyk language to be a dialect of the Kalmyk language.
Today, the Sart-Kalmyk language is one of the endangered Mongolian languages with few native speakers, who are at the same time greatly influenced by the dominant Kirghiz language. The research problem consists in studying, describing and classifying the vocabulary of the Sart-Kalmyks of Kyrgyzstan. The material is represented with published, archival and the authors' personal field materials collected among the Sart-Kalmyks of the Ak-Sui district of Kyrgyzstan over the past decade (2009, 2012, 2015, 2017). The collection includes extensive materials on the language and folklore of the Sart-Kalmyks.
Purpose of the Study
The research purpose is to identify, describe, classify and introduce into scientific use some of the Sart-Kalmyk names of animals, grouped into insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals (wild animals), and to compare the names with their equivalents in the Oirat, Kalmyk and Kirghiz languages.
The methodology of the present article is based on the principles of studying the vocabulary of Mongolian languages, described by the Russian researchers: Burdukov (1935), Tenishev (1976), Kichikov (1979), Pavlov (1990), Ubushaev (2006), Rassadin et al. (2009), Arimenova (2012), Menyaev (2015), Borlykova (2019) and others.
Hundreds of species of amazing animals inhabit the territory of the Ak-Sui district of the Issyk-Kul region. Here you can find both the most common animals living in the steppes throughout Central Asia (wolves, foxes, hares, wild boars, roe deers, etc.), and rare species inhabiting only the Tian Shan mountains (snow leopard, manul cat, Turkestan lynx, white-footed bear, Tianshan maral, mountain goat, mufflon, etc.).
The following lexemes have been referred to the group of insects: Sart-Kalmyk (S.-K.) ‘fly’, Oirat (Oir.), Kalmyk (Kalm.), Kirghiz (Kirg.): / [He] gave a three-year-old infertile black fly (Scientific archive of KIHR RAS, Fund No. 21, Inv. No. 1, item 60.); S.-K. ‘gnat’, Kalm., Kirg.:/ When I went on, I [saw] a gnat making noise (Scientific archive of KIHR RAS, Fund No. 21, Inv. No. 1, item 60.); S.-K. ‘ant’, Kalm., Oir., Kirg.; S.-K. ‘locust’, Oir.,, Kalm., Kirg.; S.-K. ‘spider’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg.; S.-K. ‘mosqitoe’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg.; S.-K. ‘dor beetle’; Oir., Kalm., Kirg.; S.-K. ‘butterfly’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg.: / Staggered on dor beetle's horns (Scientific archive of KIHR RAS, Fund No. 21, Inv. No. 1, item 60.); etc.
The group of amphibians is represented by one lexeme in the Sart-Kalmyk language – 'frog' (Oir., Kalm., Kirg.. The Kirghiz word 'baka' originates from the Kazakh, a village in the Ili-Kazakh Autonomous region of Xinjiang (China).
The group of reptiles includes the following lexemes: S.-K. ‘tortoise’, Oir.(literally ‘bone frog’), Kalm., Kirg. (literally ‘stone frog'); S.-K.‘snake’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg.: / came to defeat a poisonous snake (Scientific archive of KIHR RAS, tape No. 143(134)); S.-K.‘lizard’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg., etc.
Bird names are also widely represented. The common name of birds in Sart-Kalmyk is 'shovud' (Oir., Kalm., Kirg.). The bird names are very popular in the folklore of the Sart-Kalmyks:
- shааzһа shovun ‘magpie’ (Oir. šāzγai, Kalm. shааzһа, Kirg. sagyzgan): Shааzһа shovun chuglurna (PMA); Shааzһа shovun tsuglrna (Ernzhene, 2013);
- bүrgүd shovun ‘golden eagle’ (Oir. bürgüd, Kalm. bүrgd, Kirg. bүrkүt): Bүrgүd shovun chuglurna (PMA); Bүrgd shovun tsuglrna (Ernzhene, 2013); Bүrgүd shovun chәshknә (Pavlov, 1990);
- һуrһуldа ‘nightingale’ (Oir. γurγuldai, Kalm. һуrһуldа, khаlvһ, Kirg. bulbul): Ter һazrt Bөk Һуrһуlda giһәd kүmүn һуrniһәd сууһаd bәәnә / A man named Beck Gurguldai was sad (Scientific archive of KIHR RAS, tape No. 143(134));
- kukug shovun, kүklүg shovun ‘cuckoo’ (Oir. köküq, Kalm. kөkg, kөkә, Kirg. kүkүk): Kukug shovun dongidna (Pavlov, 1990); Kүklүg shovun keerkү (Pavlov, 1990);
- zhaһylma shovun, zаһlma shovun ‘falcon’ (Oir. zaγalmai, Kalm. zаһlma, Kirg. zhagalmai): Zhaһylma shovun keerkү (Pavlov, 1990);
- itlg shovun ‘saker falcon’ (Oir. itelge, Kalm. itlg, Kirg. itelgi): Itlg shovun, keerk (Ernzhene, 2013); Itlg shovun, keerk (Ernzhene, 2013);
- elә shovun ‘milvus’ (Oir. elee, Kalm. elә, Kirg. ayry kuyruk): Elә shovun, keerk (Ernzhene, 2013);
- tоһs shovun ‘peacock’ (Oir. tоһоs, Kalm. tоһstn, Kirg. tооs): Tоһs shovuna bәәdltә (Ernzhene, 2013);
- eln ‘black-tailed godwit’ (Oir. eln, Kalm. eln, Kirg. saz sazdak): Eln shovuna bәәdltә / It is like a black-tailed godwit;
- yotun ‘partridge’ (Oir. yotun, Kalm. yotun, Kirg. kekiliktei): neg khorma аrhsn gentki dirdgd yotun bolad nisәd uga bolad odv / Suddenly, the fuel in the hem turned into a partridge and flew away (Scientific archive of KIHR RAS, Fund No. 21, Inv. No. 1, item 60);
- һаlun ‘goose’ (Oir. һаlun, Kalm. һаlun, Kirg. kaz): Һуrvn cholun tуlh "gag-gug" һаlun bolad nisәd odv / three stone tripods turned into geese with the cry "gag-gug" and flew away (Scientific archive of KIHR RAS, Fund No. 21, Inv. No. 1, item 60).
The birds mentioned in the folklore works of the Sart-Kalmyks include magpie, golden eagle, cuckoo, falcon, saker falcon, milvus, black-tailed godwit, etc. These are common birds of Kyrgyzstan. In everyday life, the Sart-Kalmyks encounter these birds closely and, of course, are well aware of their habits, habitats, lifestyle, etc.:On a wide-spreading treemagpies gather /The mottled eyes of a magpieare shedding tears. Why? /In a deep, deep forest, /Golden eagles gather. /The narrowed eyes / / are shedding tears. Why? (PMA); / A golden eagle is whistling; / A cuckoo is cuckooing (Pavlov, 1990).
The Sart-Kalmyks often use golden eagles (bүrgүd shovun) in hunting. In 1964, Kichikov (1979) made records about the habitat, habits and training of golden eagles according to information provided by Ahmed Shargaev, the owner of an 8-9-year-old golden eagle.(Kichikov, 1979);
The names of migratory birds ( 'cuckoo’,, 'falcon’, 'saker falcon’, 'milvus’) play an important role in creating an imaginative picture of the world of the Sart-Kalmyks. Married women are often compared to birds in songs: / Flown in from distant countries / / Cuckoo is a poor thing / / Living in a strange land / / Daughter is a poor thing (Pavlov, 1990). People in exile are also an object of comparison: / Arrived from the edge of the world / / Falcon is a poor thing / / Arrived from a distant land / / My poor younger brothers (Pavlov, 1990).
In the Sart-Kalmyk song "Өrkәrn khәlәkhn..." ("When you look down the chimney..."), recorded by K. Erendzhenov in 1933, birds (1) ‘black-tailed godwit’ and (1) 'peacock' symbolize a girl's beauty: / When you look in the chimney (of the tent) / / She's like a black-tailed godwit / / When you lie down embracing / / Softer than quilts / / When you look through the door jamb / / She's like a peacock / Тоkhаldad kevtkhn / When you lie down leaning / Тоrһnasn zheelkn... / Softer than silk... (Ernzhene, 2013). A version of this song was recorded among the Astrakhan Kalmyks by the Hungarian linguist Gabort Balint in 1871-1872 under the title "E! Shikrtә nuurin kevәd" ("On the shores of Shikrte nur lake").
The group of mammals is represented only with the names of wild animals:
- irbis ‘snow leopard’ (Oir. irbis, Kalm. irvs, Kirg. ilbirs) is the only permanent inhabitant of the highlands;
- manul ‘manul, wild cat’ (Oir. manul, Kalm. manul, Kirg. madyl);
- chon ‘wolf’ (Oir. čino, Kalm. chon, Kirg. karyshkyr, berү (Bөrү Bash ‘wolf's head’ – settlement in the Ak-Sui district of Kyrgyzstan));
- үngүn, arat ‘fox’ (Oir. ünegün, Kalm. үngn, arat, Kirg. tүlkү) inhabits the entire territory of Kyrgyzstan;
- ayu ‘bear’ (Oir. ötöq, ayu, Kalm. ayu, Kirg. ayuu);
- zorkhәn ‘badger’ (Oir. zorxon, Kalm. zorkhn, Kirg. kashkulak);
- buһ, marl ‘deer’ (Oir. buγa, maral, Kalm. buһ, marl, Kirg. bugu, maral) is the largest representative of the fauna of Kyrgyzstan. A deer weights over 300 kg.
Buhan arsn shchalvrig
Bulchn talan tatad imkrәd.
/ The pants from deer skins
(Scientific archive of KIHR RAS, tape No. 143(134)).
‘kulan’ (Oir., Kalm.):
Теkәn arsn shalvrig,
Takm talan imkrәd,
/ The pants from kulan skins
(Scientific archive of KIHR RAS, tape No. 143(134)).
‘wild sheep’ (Oir. ‘female wild sheep’, ‘male wild sheep’, Kalm. ‘female wild sheep’, Kirg. ‘female wild sheep’, ‘male wild sheep’);
‘hare’ (Oir., Kalm., Kirg.);
‘mouse’ (Oir., Kalm., Kirg., etc.
The Sart-Kalmyk version of the epic "Dzhangar" records the word 'to hunt wild animals', formed from the word 'hunting wild animals' (Scientific archive of KIHR RAS, tape No. 143(134)).
Comparison of some Sart-Kalmyk animal names with those in the Oirat language and the Kalmyk language shows that there is no fundamental difference between them: Sart-Kalm. 'fly', Oir., Kalm., Kirg.; Sart-Kalm. 'frog’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg.; Sart-Kalm. 'milvus’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg.; Sart-Kalm. 'badger’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg.; Sart-Kalm. 'wolf’, Oir., Kalm., Kirg., etc.). This proves that the animal names go back to the common Oirat language. The results obtained cannot be considered comprehensive and final due to the versatility of the research subject. Further comparative studies of the Sart-Kalmyk language with the Oirat language and the Kalmyk language is of interest from the viewpoint of different linguistic issues.
The research has been funded by the Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research in the framework of scientific project No. 20-012-00537 A.
Arimenova, R. S. (2012). Semantics and generic relations of animal names (based on the material of the Mongolian and Russian languages). Bull. of the Moscow Reg. State Univer. Ser. Russ. Philol,. 1, 31–37.
Borlykova, B. K. (2019). Kalmyk songs from the scientific archive of the Russian geographical society: experience of cluster description of nominal vocabulary. Proc. of Volgograd State Pedag. Univer., 9(142), 228–233.
Burdukov, A. V. (1935). The Karakol Kalmyks (Sart-Kalmaks). Soviet Ethnography, 6, 71.
Ernzhene, K. (2013). Sart khalmgin folklore. In Guarding the fire. People's poet of Kalmykia K.E. Erendzhenov (pp. 243–244). Kalmyk State Univer.
Esenova, T. S. (2004). Intonation system of the Mongolian languages. Kalmyk State Univer.
Kichikov, A. S. (1979). Үgin tusk үg. Khаlmg degtr һаrһаch.
Menyaev, B.V. (2015). From the history of collecting and studying the language and folklore of the Karakol Kalmyks (based on the materials of expeditions). Bull. of Issyk-Kul Univer., 40(3), 69–71.
Pavlov, D.A. (1990). The Karakol Kalmyks and their language. Manual for the course “Kalmyk dialectology”. Kalmyk state Univer.
Census (2010). Population and housing census of the Kyrgyz Republic. Book III (in tables). The Issyk-Kul region. www.stat.kg
Rassadin, V. I., Trofimova, S. M., & Denzinova, L. M. (2009). Names of wild animals in the Kalmyk language. Sci. notes of the Trans-Baikal State Human. and Pedag. Univer. named after N.G. Chernyshevsky, 3(26), 165–167.
Scientific archive of KIHR RAS (Kalmyk Scientific Center of RAS), Fund No. 5, Inv. No. 2, item 6. Record by A.V. Burdukov.
Scientific archive of KIHR RAS (Kalmyk Scientific Center of RAS), Fund no. 21, Inv. no. 1, item 60. Record by A.V. Burdukov.
Scientific archive of KIHR RAS (Kalmyk Scientific Center of RAS), tape no. 143(134). Record by A.Sh. Kichikov.
Suseeva D. A. (1973). On the ratio of the Kalmyk language and Kalmyk dialects. In Meeting on General issues of dialectology and language history (pp. 42–43). Moscow.
Tenishev, E. R. (1976). About the Kalmyk language of the Issyk-Kul region. Issues of linguist., 1, 82–87.
Ubushaev, N. N. (2006). Dialect system of the Kalmyk language. Dzhangar Press.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
About this article
17 May 2021
Print ISBN (optional)
Science, philosophy, academic community, scientific progress, education, methodology of science, academic communication
Cite this article as:
Borlykova, B. K., & Menyaev, B. V. (2021). On Some Animal Names In The Sart-Kalmyk Language. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization, vol 107. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1980-1986). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.05.262