Cuman

I’ve been adding tons of forms here and there, with finishing up certain languages and working towards finishing others (Uzbek is on the list right now).

I’ve also begun an interesting foray into Cuman, a medieval language spoken by an early Kipchak people in the steppes of Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Even in the 13th and 14th centuries there’s quite a bit of Persian influence.

Unfortunately, the Codex Cumanicus is written in very confusing medieval Latin, so there are bound to be tons of mistakes on my part. My favorite so far is lupi ceruerij. When I saw the Cuman gloss was silausun I thought “Huh, that looks like the Kipchak word for lynx.” Sure enough, a little searching reveals that lupi cervieri was a term that early Italian traders and costumiers used for lynx fur. The term (which literally just means “wolf-deer”) seems to have had other meanings, but finding those out is a bit beyond me now.

The transcription is very inconsistent, which makes figuring out the original form very difficult. The letter x, for example, seems to represent what I transcribe as z, č, and s. Basically, if I don’t have a modern word to check the Cuman form against, I can’t reconstruct anything.

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