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The Khazar language

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Chapter Summary

All scholars who have voiced an opinion on the language of the Khazars in terms of assigning it to a language family take them to have been a Turkic nation speaking a Turkic language. It now seems that significant progress can be achieved only if some lengthy bilingual inscription in the Khazar language can be discovered, or perhaps a new Khazar inscription which has enough Eastern Turkic runiform characters to be intelligible. Under these circumstances, we can only sum up and comment what has till now been achieved concerning sources in foreign scripts. Determining what the Khazars spoke might tell us a lot also about their identity and about the history and structure of Turkic settlement in Eastern Europe. The most discussed question concerning the language of the Khazars has been whether it belongs to this aberrant Chuvash-Bolgar branch of Turkic or not.

Keywords: Chuvash-Bolgar branch; foreign scripts; Khazar language; Turkic language; Turkic settlement



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