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An Ethnographic Group of Siberian Tatars: Kalmaks and Kalmak Dialects I. - Sociocultural History and Linguistic Situation-

Abstract: Today more than forty languages are spoken in Siberia, which includes the vast territory from Ural Mountains to Bering Strait. Turkic dialects found among these languages, which are both genetically and typologically different from each other, are of great importance in terms of historical and regional context. Siberian Tatars living in Tumen-Omsk, Novosibirsk and Kemerovo regions of West Siberia form three main dialect groups namely Tobol-İrtiş, Baraba and Tom. Kalmaks who form a subgroup of Tom Tatars and quoted frequently as Ak Kalmık in Russian annuals are regarded as the inheritors of Teleuts. The topic of the present study is sociocultural history and linguistic situation of Kalmaks who were examined in general Turkology, but have never a subject of a study in Turkish Turkology. Virtually the study bases on field researches made in the region in July 2013 and February 2015. The total number of Kalmaks today is about 50. Kalmaks, who have a close relationship with Teleüts whose dialect forms a subgroup of Altay Turkish in historical background, are under intense influence of Tom Tatars (Euşta and Çat Tatars) regionally. The linguistic situation, ethnosociological processes and sociocultural history of Kalmaks who have been between the interaction of Tatar and Teleüt have extremely outstanding properties.

Keywords: Siberian Tatars, Kalmaks, Kalmak dialects, linguistic situation, sociocultural history

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