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Tatars in the Worldview of the Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language

Danutė Liutkevičienė, Birutė Palovienė
Published: 1 September 2021
 in Verbum

Abstract: The year 2021 was declared the year of the Tatar language and culture in Lithuania. This fact has inspired the authors to take a closer look and examine lexicographic material related to this nation. The image of the Lithuanian Tatars in the eyes of local Lithuanians has been scrutinized by ethnologists, folklorists, historians, linguists. However, their studies in that regard have so far omitted the largest linguistic tract, the Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language, which can be approached as some kind of a chronicle covering different material from our first writings dated 1547 until 2001. This article firstly aims to take a closer look at the image and relationship between those two ethnic groups, living in the close neighborhood for around 700 years, on the basis of available material recorded in the Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language. Illustrations provided in the dictionary cover written texts of different scope and types, various dialects across the country, and a broad variety of historical periods.A semantic analysis of roughly 120 illustrative examples associated with the Tatar has revealed an image of how Lithuanians have looked at Tatars – basically the warriors and mostly enemies. Even in peaceful times with no major battles around the Tartars were looked upon as strangers. People different in appearance, clothing, using the language strange to the locals, practicing different traditions, and religious confession. Sometimes local girls, though not too willingly, would get married to Tartars, fearing life could get worse and family links with their relatives will be lost.It is worth mentioning that a considerable number of plants and two animals are etymologically related to Tartars.
Keywords: Tatars / looked / local / Illustrations / linguistic / Dictionary / Tartars / Lithuanian Language

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