Foreword for the
Sumerian and Türkic were compared and earlier (Hommel). Two
methodological mistakes were made:
1. Researchers aspired to prove by all means a genetic relationship;
2. Were compared a small number of words, about ten, from different areas of the dictionary.
Results: Hommel was laughed at. His attempt is cited as an example of
unscientific conclusions made from unscientific comparisons. Though, the
deficiencies specified were different: he was comparing with Sumerian examples
from different Türkic languages, "and it should be pra-forms". And the
comparable lexemes he found could coincide with the Türkic accidentally, in view
of their small number.
We take into account the lessons of the Hommel's defeat,
and suggest to compare not the word examples from different fields of the
dictionary, but the semantic nests of lexemes, across the alphabetic order. Having
grouped the Sumerian lexicon into classes, and comparing them with the corresponding
groups of the Türkic terms, I saw that a greatest number of coincidence falls
onto two classes: a) God, b) Person.
The systematic convergences and
divergences of the semantic and formal excluded a chance of accidental concurrences,
and in many cases it was proving a dependence opposite of what I assumed in the beginning:
many Sumerian words of these two classes were dependent from Türkic.
And besides, what is even more amazing, the Sumerian loans preserved the dialectal features
which survived in the Türkic languages up until now, and are thorough studied.
That could mean that Sumers interacted not with general Türks, and
not with one of the Türkic tribes, but with several. And still more is can be
discerned: that the contacts with the Türks were numerous. There are "old"
Türkisms and rather "fresh", which did not have time to change.
A comparison of the semantic nests also answered a main question: are
Sumerian and Türkic languages related?
They are related, but not genetically.
They are the same like the relationship of the modern Uzbek, Dunganian,
Malayan, Circassian, Urdu, Iranian, Ossetic and Arabian. Such relationship can
be called cultural. The languages in this example are of one cultural unity
brought about by a shared religion.
But the concepts of the most ancient cultural
relationship of the languages and of the later should be differentiated. If in the second case
the languages come into contact already enriched, complete at all levels, and therefore borrow only a cult lexicon
(the class "God") and individual terms of the culture, at the most ancient stage of
the cultural kinship, when the joining languages are only being formed, more
extensive diffusion of languages should be expected. The lexicon being acquired
is the semantical class lexicon, i.e. Person, Nature, Culture (numerals, etc.).
The Türkic languages, in my opinion, were in a state of a most ancient cultural
relationship with the Sumerian and Mongolian, and in a state of late cultural relationship with
the Arabian. And the later cultural influence did not displace the final results of the
most ancient relationship, but was superimposed on it, fading, pushing aside into passive
state, but, we repeat, not wiping it off. This surprising property of the language (multi-tier)
has showed in the Kazakh term "Alla-Tengri", with which the last
Türkic nomads call the
Supreme, Indivisible God (the name of the God is not being distorted, the terms of religion
are the most hardy class of a lexicon in any dictionary).
With an eye for observation of these
phenomena, we approached the creation of a table for non-accidental concurrences
of the Sumerian words with the Türkic. A robbery of my storage was so significant, that I had to drop a romantic
idea to compose a full Sumer-Türkic dictionary. The work of restoring the loses would
lock me up in Moscow and Leningrad libraries for years. Apparently, the way out was
found. To amplify the effect of the concurrences, I have intentionally limited
Sumerian material to the lexicon which is analyzed in the I.M.Diakonov's article,
of the leading Soviet expert in the field of the Near Eastern dead
languages. To do that was forced by the conclusion at the end of the article
"Sumerian language": "At present state
of our knowledge neither the material of the grammatical formants, nor the material of such
basic dictionary words as the numerals, the terms of relationship, the terms for
the parts of the body, etc. do not display a relationship with similar material of the other
languages. Probably, it is caused by the fact that the initial phonetic system
of the Sumerian language appears strongly destroyed and smoothed under an
influence of assimilation of the vowels and a loss of the final sounds. Therefore for now the Sumerian
languages hould be classed as isolated and its relationship with any other
language as undetermined (Diakonov I.M. Languages of ancient Near East. Ì., 1969, page 84).
Even the status of the present knowledge and lexical material contained in the article of I.M.Diakonov allows to
establish a cultural "relationship of the Sumerian with alive present Türkic
languages". As examples, I.M.Diakonov uses little more than a hundred of the Sumerian
words. I have selected 60 of them, though it would be possible to select 50 or 80. Let
others, following a first research of 60 words, find 60 and 360 times more
words when the investigation of the dictionary becomes more complete. But my belief is that to
taste the sea, you don't have to gulp the whole Pacific ocean, a several salty
squirts, sprayed by a gust of wind on a person should be enough.
Notes for the "60 Word Table"
Brief Table comparing Sumerian lexicon with Türkic
1. Mostly, comparison covers the lexicon of classes "God" and "Person". To
run a sharp border between classes is not always
possible. To what class, for example, should be attributed the terms of a clan, the
terms for the earth, mountain, sun? Ancient man deified the secret of the
origin of man, and trying to understand it, he worshipped both
the producing earth, and the fire, and woman-mother: people and phenomena
are taken as a posterity of the gods.
2. The Sumerian words are not ordered alphabetically ,
but in semantic nests.
3. Asterisk indicates pra-forms. In the Sumerian section one asterisk
marks the pra-forms suggested by I.Diakonov, two asterisks mark the pra-forms suggested by us.
4. In the Türkic section in the parenthesis are the variants of
the forms found in live Türkic vernaculars, without notes detailing the areal
or the name of the vernacular (with rare exception).
Notation "common Türkic" means that a lexema belongs to a majority of the
5. In the Sumerian section in the parenthesis are given variations of spelling a word.
6. Letters with diacritical
Ä - soft "a"
Ö - soft "o"
Ü - soft "oo"
(not "oo" like in "moon, noon, cook", but "Ü" like in "mute, cute,
||ATA (HELL) father (common Türkic)
||AMA (ABA, APA, AHA) mother (common Türkic)
||AMAR offspring; calf
In Akkadian MAR is son
|*ÌÀRÀ (ÌÀLÀ, BALA, PALA) offspring. In complex words it was synharmonized: NI-MARA grandson; SHCHYO-BARA
||TU to give birth
||TUU (TUGU, TUVU, TURU) to give
birth (common Türkic). TU (TUG, TUV, TUR) give birth; be born
||TUD to give birth
||TUD (TUGD, TUVD, TURD) has given birth; was born
||TU'M a birth; making offsprings (common Türkic)
||DUMU child, descendancy
||TUMA child; descendancy; generation (common Türkic)
||TIR (TIL, TI) life
||TIRIK (TIRI) alive
TURU to live
TUR (you) live
||TIR (TIL, TI) arrow
||TIRIK weapon, missile, arrow
(Sagan). In other languages the root TIR constitutes an enormous
nest of words with meanings: sharp; prick; pierce; string; scratch, etc.
||SHI (ZI) life; soul
** TI (DEE)
|SHCHI (CHI, DJI, ZI) suffix designating a person (common Türkic)
||SILIK KZ virgin. A stable combination in ancient Türkic poetic language
||SIKIL pure (clean)
|SILIK pure (clean) (ancient Türkic.; Türksh)
* SULUK pure (clean)
||GIG dark, black, death
||GÜIÜK (KÜIÜK) soot; dark; go re; grief (common Türkic)
KÜK (GÜK) dark blue; blue-gray; blue; green (common Türkic)
||EREN a private, common soldier; worker
||EREN (ÄRÄN, ERÄN) common soldier; follower; adherent;
warrior; man (ancient Türkic, Türksh, Uigur, etc.)
Formation: ER - follow
somebody. EREN - the one who follows (a noun in a past participle form. This is
a really productive form)
||ERE (ER) a slave. Development of the previous word
||ER soldier; man; hero (common Türkic)
||SHUBA (SIPA) shepherd
||SHUPAN (CHUBAN, CHOBAN, CHABAN) (common Türkic) - shepherd
(In the form "ZUPAN/ZOUPAN/ZHUPAN/ZOAPAN" it is known
from European Avar times, 6 c. AD, with meaning of "leader, head", see
- Translator's Note)
||AV (AB, EV, EB, ÜI) house (common Türkic)
(As "house", the lexem "ob" found a wide spread in some of
the European Indo-European languages: "habitare" etc - Translator's Note)
||ESH house. It is rendered with the same hieroglyph, as the previous word
||ESHIK (ESIK) door (common Türkic)
||UGU (UG) clan
||ÜGÜSH clan (ancient Türkic)
UG clan, family, mother (Altaic)
||UG-KEN meeting. Literally it is "Extended clan"
||KEN-EC (KENESH) council;
assembly (common Türkic). Literally it is "broad mind". But recognizing
*ÅÑ (ESH) as a house, then it is "full house"
Dialectal variant KEIT UY (Kazakh,
Kirgiz, etc.) was reflected in Chinese KEI-UI - large assembly, meeting (KEI
big, UI meeting , a heap, a crowd)
||RU to erect; to beat
||URU to erect; to build; to beat (common Türkic)
||URUK fortress; city; community
||URUK erected; *city; *population of city; tribe
||SIG a strike
(SÖK, SHOCK, CHOK) strike (v) (common Türkic)
||GAG to thrust
||KAK (GAK) peg down (common Türkic)
||TAG to attach
||TAK(TAG) (you) attach; (you) pin; (you) join (common Türkic)
||SHU a hand
||USH (US, UUSH, UUS) a fistful (common Türkic)
||SHU-TAG-TI has seized
||USH-TA-DY has seized; has caught; holds (v)
||KAR to abduct
||KARMA (CARPA) robbery
(ancient Türkic) from *KAR
a hand; grasp. In ancient Türkic
KAR, KARY a part of a hand; KARSH a span, the distance between fingers, a
||SIR (SUR) to weave
SERMAK fabric (ancient Türkic).
- weave; compare with
Kazakh SYR (you) sew, stitch; SYR-MAK stitched parka; stitched carpet
||SHAB (CHAP, SABA) (you) split (common Türkic)
CHABAR middle (Uigur)
||SHAG middle. Dialectal variation of previous word
||SHAK (CHAK, SAK)
(you) split; (you) split half-and-half;
equal part; trifle (common Türkic). Dialectal variation of previous word
||JAK (IAK, DJAG, ZAK) side (common Türkic) Variation of previous
||SAKAR dust, sand
||CHAKYR sand, tiny pebbles
CHAKA sand (Chagatai)
* CHAK IAR fine dirt; chipped soil
||TEBIR, (TEBER, TIBIR, DEBR,
DÄBIR, TEMUR, TEMIR, TOMOR,
TÖMUR, TOMUZ) iron. The meaning of the term
is stadial. A literal meaning is "forgeable soil", i.e. a substance suitable for
forging. Originally any forgeable metal could be called that. In some Indian languages
it still means
copper. For example, in Bengalese "TO-MOR" is copper
||ZABAR copper; bronze
|See the previous word
||ED to pass; to exit
||ÜT (ÖT, ID, ED, ET, AT) go, pass, pass (common
forms: KET (GET, KIT) (you) leave (common Türkic)
||GIN to go
||KEL (KIL, GEL) (you) come over, come
||ZAG-GIN to approach
||JAKYN (YAKIN. ZAKIN) near
||GU a voice
||KÜ voice; sound; melody (common Türkic)
||GULSHE joyfully; merrily
laughter; joy (common Türkic). KULU (GULU) to laugh; to voice, a sound
||ESHTUGAN (ESTUGAN, ESTIGEN) listening (common Türkic)
ESH (ES) consciousness
ESHIT (ESIT) listen
ESHTU (ESTU) to listen
||* ESHTUK that which is listening. In modern languages is used a
||* EMEK (EMUK) language
"E" is "is"; EMEK is that with which eat
EMU suck a breast
EMUK is that with which suck
Found in the name of epic hero Bilgamesh (in Akkadian variation Gilgamesh). The
word was translated as "Hero-Ancestor"
|BILGA wise (ancient Türkic).
Derivatives: BIL (you) know; BILIM, BILIK knowledge; wisdom; science; BILGAN
(was) knowing; wise. In ancient Türkic texts this word is frequently found in
the names of epic ancestors or in titles:
BILGA BEK ("wise bek"), BILGA-KAGAN ("wise kagan"), etc.
||MEN (BEN, BIN,
Türkic lexemes differ from The Sumerian by a presence of the nasal endings. In this case, probably, this
is a later phenomenon. In
some Altai languages the "n" in pronouns did not have time to appear. Compare
the Mongolian BI "I"
||SEN (SÄN, SIN) you. In Mongolian SI is "you"
||ANE (ENE) demonstrative pronoun "that (neutral gender), that
(feminine), that (3rd person)"
||ÄNE (ÄNÄ, ANAU) demonstrative pronoun "that (neutral gender),
that (feminine), that (3rd person)"
Plural personal pronouns in the Sumerian were not found. In the Türkic forms,
an artificial way of forming the
plural is implied. About that wrote still S.E.Malov in his footnotes to the translation
of the Orhon text in honor of Kul-Tegin.
He explained the origin of
"SIZ" you as follows.
BI + SI = BIZ (I + thou
SI + SI = SIZ (thou + thou = you
If it is
true, then the forms of plural pronouns "developed" during the epoch before the
appearance of the nasal endings
in singular pronouns. In other words, the pra-forms of the Türkic
first and second person singular personal pronouns can turn out to be very close
to the Sumerian.
||AMAR calf, offspring
||MARA time during which the animal is
considered to be a youngster (Türksh)
MARAA (MARKA) lamb (common Türkic)
PARU calf (Chuvash)
||** AMAR-AN sacred animal. Literally "calf of the sky"
||MARAN (MARAL, BURAN) a spotty deer, a sacred animal
||UDU ram; solar deity; sacred
||UDUK, (YDUK) sacred
||UD bull; horned animal (ancient Türkic)
GUDAA deer bull (Tofalar)
is a fatty tail part of a ram - Translator's Note)
||KONKAL fawn (Tofalar). Northern
Türks could transfer the
terms to deer. Because this term
represents a complex word consisting of KON
kürdük (Kazakh, Uigur,
etc.), and KALN thick, large. Probably, it was a name for a special breed of sheep
(JÜZÜK)natatorial bird (common Türkic). Goes back to
||KUSH (KUS) bird, natatorial
bird (common Türkic). In complex words "GASH" "GAI". For example:
karlygash - swallow ("blackish bird"), torgay - sparrow ("nesting bird"), karga - raven ("black bird"). It is possible to
also compare with KAZ (GAS) goose (common Türkic)
||GISH tree, borrowed by
Akkadian language in the form ISH tree
ÄGÄSH) a cultural plant; a cereal (Kazakh, Uigur).
This noun was formed from
the verb EG to plant, sow, bury. In the epoch wKUR a main cultured
plant became a fruit tree, it
could be reflected by the
meaning of EGISH (AGISH)
fruit tree, fruit
bush (this borrowing into Akkadian run 2 millennia
ahead of its borrowing into Ancient Greek language from their Scythian neighbors
in the form of "Akakia", see
here - Translator's Note)
This form has further coarsened and the semantics was generalized:
1) AGASH, AGACH, YGACH - tree (Western Türkic areal). In
complex words it becomes GASH, GACH, GAI. In the Balkarian and Nogay "AGACH" is forest.
2) YIASH, IYSH, IYS forest (Sibir areal)
3) CHYSH, CHIS forest (Altai)
||EGER humiliation, destruction
(Kazakh). Separately this word is not used any more, only with auxiliary verb in
the phrasal idiom EGER KYLU "to destroy". Literally it
is: "make eger"
||EDEN is a floor in a yurt (Kazakh)
ADAN is a lower part of a
Homonym of the word EREN is a common soldier; a worker
|EREN ash; maple (Uigur)
Homonym of the word EREN is a common soldier, a follower. Forming of the word is:
ER thaw, effuse
EREN (was) following; a follower
Probably, the plants,
pitch or juice, were called
The transition of the meaning from "coniferous
tree" to "deciduous
tree" is proved to be true by the examples from different languages. For
example: an Lat. EBULUS
- fur-tree, EBULUM
- elder. In
" and dialectal "ELKHA
" - alder; "ELENETS
In Kazakh "EREN" has given terms ERMEN - a sort
of wormwood. In the Uigur a fluid
consonant is frequently dropped before other consonants:
a sort of wormwood. The Kazakhs
borrow the reduced term in a new meaning EMEN
Turks have formed the name
cedar from the same root, but another noun suffix:
These forms have received a large
reflection in the Slavic languages, like the previous EREN
in Slavic see here - Translator's Note)
||KUR erect (common Türkic). Variation of the word UR
KYR mountain ridge; mountain plateau (common Türkic)
KUR (KORA) wall; space enclosed by a wall
KUR (KÖR) tomb tumulus (i.e. kurgan - Translator's Note)
||KIR mud; clay (common Türkic)
YIR (YER, PAR, JER, DJER, ZER, DER) earth
||ASH line, unit
||ASH (ESH, ES, ISH) cut, (you) stripe.
(KAS, KES, KIS) cut; draw
PESH (PAS, PISH, PIS) cut, draw
||ISHI ashes, a dust, sand grain.
It was borrowed by Akkadian:
|ISH (ESH) smallest, atom (common Türkic)
KISHI (KICHI) small (common Türkic)
(Alan/As/Yass name Kuchuk, "small", in Rus annals for
1174 AD - Translator's Note)
PISHI (BICHI, BISHI) small (dialect)
||ISH small, smallest, atom
||DILI line, unit
||TILIK (TILI, DILIK, DILI) feature, strip (common Türkic).
Formed from TIL (DIL) to scratch, to stripe
||DESH point, unit
This example testify to close, long interaction of examined languages. In some
cases dependence of the Sumerian lexemes from the Türkic
|TESHIK (DESHIK, TESIK) point, hole (common Trkic)
Formed from TESH (DESH) to pierce, make a point.
||ÜSH (ÜCH, ÜS,
IS) three (common Türkic)
||UN (ON) ten (common Türkic)
||ÜSH-UN 30 (this word has preserved in
the Siberian areal)
First tens of Türkic numerals almost all are borrowed from Indo-European
languages. Only three do not coincide with the Indo-European: numerals PISH (BISH,
BIR) - one, USH (UCH) - three, UN (ON) - ten. They, I believe, survived as a
heritage of the proto-Türkic epoch
||AN sky; star
||AN (AY) moon (common Türkic).
This root is preserved in adjective ANYK clean, light, clear
||EN supreme; bounding; width; circle
||KEN wide (common Türkic)
||KENA (KINA) truth, genuine
In modern languages are represented palatalized forms SHIN (CHIN) truth, genuine
SIN (SEN) (you) trust
||UZUK long, high
||UZUN long (common Türkic)
UZAK long (Kazakh)
||TUSH (SHUSH) to descend, to sit
descend (common Türkic)
||UD sun, day
time (ancient Türkic)
||UT (UD, OT, OD) fire (common Türkic)
(UDUN, OTUN, ODUN, OTYN) fire wood; fuel (common Türkic)
OTDAN lantern (Uigur)
||UDU solar deity, sacred
||UDUK (YDUK) sacred (ancient Türkic)
||DINGIR (DEMER) god, sky
TINGIR, TIGIR name of the river
|TENGIR (TEGRI, DANGIR, TENIR, TÄNIR) god, sky (common Türkic). In Chuvash TENGIR
In other Türkic languages TENGIZ (TENIZ, DENIZ, DANGIZ) sea; large river. Transition
of meanings between sky/sea is possible and supported by examples from other languages.
Rotatizm of Chuvash "r" with common Türkic "z" is systematic
Literally NA-MA what (is) it?
(is) it? (common Türkic)
||DUB clay table; document
||TUP fired brick (Türksh)
The history of this word does not fit in the column of the table. Here are some
The Sumerian word descends from the old Sumerian form **TUP. At
that stage it was borrowed by the Akkadians as TUPP - a clay table, written
material. It also propagates into other languages of the ancient Middle East:
TUPPI (Elamite), TUPPI (Hurritian), etc.
In the European ancient languages this word is reflected in the form "TIPUS"
- imprint, seal (Latin), TIPOS - imprint (Greek). We see alternation of U/I.
Whence it propagates in the West-European languages "TIPE" - seal, imprint,
prototype, type, image (French), "TAIP" (TIPE) - seal; printing machine
This word participates in new formations: typography office, teletype, etc.
In Türkic languages: TUMAR
1) parchment, (book) volume, book (Türksh)
2) A written amulet, talisman, a medallion with inscription (Kazakh and others).
With another voicing are: TAPU document (Türksh), TAP imprint (Chagatai),
TAPLY, TABLY subject with imprint, seal. TAVLA play dice (Türksh). The form of
clay tables was retained in the words TABLA tray, anything flat (Türksh), DABLA
tray (Crimean-Tatar), TABA frying pan, flat clay dish (Kazakh), TOBAK wide
sheet, tray, dish, plane, rolled dough; sheet of paper; plants with wide
leaves like burdock, plantain, tobacco (common Türkic). TABAN shoe sole; basis
(common Türkic). Variations are TOBAN, TUBAN. And, at last, TABAA (TAMBA,
TAMGA, TABGA) written sign; inscription; branding; brand; seal; letter.
Millenia have passed, systems of the script changed, but the first term of
writing persevered. Like the meaning of its initial, pre-Sumerian TUP bottom,
basis, plane (common Türkic).
But, thanks to the Sumers, the word has obtained a new meaning which was borrowed by
Here also are for reflection the other European terms which
are approaching in the form and meaning to this group: TABULA board,
table (Latin). TABLA board, table (folk Latin), TABLA board (Middle Greek). Therefrom
come the West-European: table (Eng), tabel "table" (Holland),
tafel - board, table, tabular array (Germ.). In Slavic: TAVLIYA board
(Serb), TABELA tabular array (Pol.), TAVLINKA bark snuffbox (Russ. dialect), TAVLIYA chess board (Old
In the modern Russian literary
language: TABEL, TABLITSA, TABLO, FABULA, TAVRO, TEMA...
(all with meanings similar to the above - Translator's Note)
The mankind did not forget the lessons of the Sumer. And even the form of the clay tables
(flat "bricks"), and even the material (fired clay), and even the images on them
(the tabular array tables are ruled vertically), it all is reflected in that word.
The ancestors of
the modern European and Türkic peoples saw the Sumerian fired clay books, and used
themselves the ancient great invention of the Sumers.
Later, the Türks tried to rename the clay table,
and created a complex word "KIR-PICHIK" - "clay book"