Comparing Etymological Characteristics of Plant Naming in Yakut, Even, and Evenk Languages




phytonyms; word-forming system; naming; etymology; Yakut language; Tungusic language; Even language; Evenk language


This article considers issues of language contacts between Yakut, Even, and Evenk people through an analysis of plant vocabulary. We define etymological characteristics of fixed lexical units that denote plant names and present results of a comparative analysis of plant naming in these three languages, with emphasis on lexical parallels and structural types in designating plant names. To our knowledge, this is the first research to undertake a comparative study of plant naming in the Yakut and Tungusic languages (Even and Evenk) with consideration of the methods of their formation. The study is highly relevant because of the unique contribution of plant-world vocabulary in helping to clarify peculiarities of native speakers’ natural environments. Our results show that, based on lexical units with stable semantic meaning, the Evenk language is in the closest position vis-à-vis Yakut. There are 16 names in Yakut of plants and four of common names of herbs that grow on the territory of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and have borrowed names in Evenk and Even. Twenty-eight names have lexical parallels in Evenk (including variations) and two in Even.