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Ein Beitrag Zu Zigeuner-Jargons, Geheimsprachen Und Zum Argotischen Wortschatz in Der Türkei

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In his 1951's monograph, Anadolu Illeri Ağizlarmdan Derlemeler; Van, Bitlis, Muš, Karaköse, Eskisehir, Bolu ve Zonguldak Illeri Ağizlan, the well-known turcologist Ahmet Caferoglu published along with the dialectological material two lists of special vocabulary. The first one contains 71 entries, which belong to the Secret Language of a group called Abdallar living in Eskišehir and Düzce (Bolu). The second, containing 68 items, originates from the village Alaçam (also in Bolu province), recorded from the so-called Elekçiler ("sieve makers"). The ethnonyms Abdal and Elekçi indicate a Gypsy background of both groups. Indeed, checking the language material just superficially, the Abdal-list already displays its Gypsy character clearly. This, however, is not the case with the Elekçi-list! The great majority of its entries represent, from the etymological point of view, Armenian lexemes, although the speakers can hardly be Armenians by origin, but are likely a kind of Gypsies too. The local population of Bolu province considers them, together with the above-mentioned Abdallar and an other group, the Demirçiler ("smiths"), as Bolu çingeneleri ("the Bolu Gypsies"). The conclusion hereof is: these Elekçiler must belong to the Armenian Gypsies, the so-called Boşa. The present article deals primarily with the etymological description of the Elekçz-vocabulary. Additionally, several terms are discussed much deeper, particularly within the scope of their semantical counterparts in the idioms of other Boşa, Abdal and Gypsy groups in order to illustrate their lexical correspondences and, respectively, differences. It is interesting to note, that nothing seems to be known about the historical past of the Elekçi-group in Bolu province. Moreover, the phonetical characteristics of the Armenian vocabulary attested in the mentioned list are not homogeneous, showing no connection with any specific Armenian dialect. Possibly, this mixed character of the language may be seen as an indication that this people originated from several ethnical groups decending from places they visited in the course of their wandering life.

Affiliations: 1: Universität Leiden

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