External relations of Scythian
Sergey Kullanda (Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, kullanda@java.msk.ru)
Journal of Language Relationship, № 11, 2014 - p.81-90
The paper is a case study of an ancient language known only from foreign traditions. It is argued that a fairly adequate description of its phonetics and contacts with other languages can still be achieved. The Scythian word stock shows certain exceptions to the regular phonetic correspondences that are probably due to borrowing. It seems likely that in Ciscaucasia and the North Pontic area the Scythians and their ancestors encountered bearers of West Iranian or other Aryan, North Caucasian, and unidentified Indo-European languages and partially embraced their onomasticon, theonyms, and names of some realia. On the other hand, Scythian loanwords can be detected in East Caucasian, Median, Avestan and Thracian.
Keywords: Scythian language, Thracian language, Avestan language, North Caucasian languages, language contacts