Aralské jezero v etymologické perspektivě

Title in English The Aral See in an Etymological Perspective


Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Propria a apelativa - aktuální otázky
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Toponym; hydronym; etymology; lake; delta; tributary
Description In the contribution there are analyzed five designations of the Aral Sea, including chronology of the first attestation in texts, determination of the language provenance, and finally crowned by etymological attempts. The present geographic term Aral is of Turkic origin. Its Mongolic, exactly Kalmyk, variant is primarily of the same Turkic origin. From two names recorded in Chinese annals before AD 500, Dazewuya represents a purely Chinese descriptive designation "the great marsh without a (further) shore", in Leizhu it is possible, applying the pronunciation of the Western Han Era, to identify Old Iranian *hrautah- "river, stream, canal", i.e. the meaning characteristic for the branched delata of the Amu Darya, the main tributary of the Aral Sea. The ancient sources called the lake according to this main tributary, known as Oxos. This hydronym is also of Iranian origin: in projection into the Iranian protolanguage *waxšu- "stream", it is formed from the Indo-Iranian verb *waxš- "to sprinkle, make wet", which is the sigmatic derivative of the Indo-European verb *wegw- "to make wet". The Younger Avesta, dated to c. 900-700 BCE, recorded the oldest known name of the lake, Čae:časta-. Its Iranian protoform *čai-časta- could designate a lake which was "accumulated thanks to frost", i.e. from frozen rivers, when they melted.
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