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Cuman
Native toHungary
RegionCumania
EthnicityCumans
Extinct1770, with the death of István Varró [fr]
Turkic
Latin
Language codes
ISO 639-3qwm
GlottologNone

Cuman (Kuman) was a Kipchak Turkic language spoken by the Cumans (Polovtsy, Folban, Vallany, Kun) and Kipchaks; the language was similar to today's various languages of the Kipchak-Cuman branch. Cuman is documented in medieval works, including the Codex Cumanicus, and in early modern manuscripts, like the notebook of Benedictine monk Johannes ex Grafing.[1] It was a literary language in Central and Eastern Europe that left a rich literary inheritance. The language became the main language (lingua franca) of the Golden Horde.[2]

History

Codex Cumanicus
Codex Cumanicus

The Cumans were nomadic people who lived on the steppes of Eastern Europe, north of the Black Sea, before the Golden Horde. Many Turkic peoples including the Crimean Tatars, Karachays, Kumyks, Crimean Karaites, Krymchaks and Balkars are descended from the Cumans. Today, the speakers of these various languages belonging to the Kipchak-Cuman branch speak variations closely related to the Cuman language.

The Cuman language became extinct in the early 18th century in the region of Cumania in Hungary, which was its last stronghold. Tradition holds that the last speaker of the Cuman language was István Varró [fr], a resident of Karcag (Hungary) who died in 1770.

The Cuman-Kipchaks had an important role in the history of Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Hungary, Romania (see, for example, the Besarab dynasty), Moldavia, Bessarabia and Bulgaria.[3]

Sample

From the book known as the Codex Cumanicus, a Cuman Kipchak Turkic Pater Noster (transcribed in the Common Turkic Alphabet):

Atamız kim köktesiñ. Alğışlı bolsun seniñ atıñ, kelsin seniñ xanlığıñ, bolsun seniñ tilemekiñ – neçik kim kökte, alay [da] yerde. Kündeki ötmegimizni bizge bugün bergil. Dağı yazuqlarımıznı bizge boşatqıl – neçik biz boşatırbız bizge yaman etkenlerge. Dağı yekniñ sınamaqına bizni quurmağıl. Basa barça yamandan bizni qutxarğıl. Amen![4]

See also

References

  1. ^ Knauer, Georg Nicholaus (2010). "The Earliest Vocabulary of Romani Words (c. 1515) in the Collectanea of Johannes ex Grafing, a student of Johannes Reuchlin and Conrad Celtis". Romani Studies. 20 (1): 1–15. doi:10.3828/rs.2010.1. S2CID 170292032.
  2. ^ "Turkic written memorials". Old.unesco.kz. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  3. ^ Sun, Kevin (2019-04-07). "Sun Language Theory, Part 2: The Steppes of Tartary (Tatar, Bashkir, Kazakh, Kyrgyz)". Medium. Retrieved 2019-09-17.
  4. ^ Kuun; Géza; et al. (1880). "Codex cumanicus, Bibliothecae ad templum divi Marci Venetiarum primum ex integro editit prolegomenis notis et compluribus glossariis instruxit comes Géza Kuun". Budapest: XLIX. Retrieved August 11, 2016 – via Archive.org.

Sources