Home    Number 4, 2019

Oikonyms and Ethnonyms in Dagestan

[Oikonimy i etnonimy v Dagestane]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150006198-7

Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 25.09.2018

Accepted: 17.01.2019

About author(s)

Hizri Amirkhanov | https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9904-2539 | amirkhanov@rambler.ru | Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences (19 Dm. Ul’ianova St., Moscow, 117292, Russia)


Dagestan, numerically small peoples, proto-ethnic groups, oikonyms, ethnonyms


Studying the ethnonyms of numerically small peoples of Dagestan testifies to the conclusion that these ethnonyms must have been derived from names of the villages that played an important part in the life of a given ethnic group. Etymologically, names of villages themselves appear to be derivatives of the word denoting “village”. Therefore, ethnonyms, which may bear a meaning unclear to members of the corresponding ethnic group, carry the same denotation of “villagers”. This pattern is evident in some cases and less so in others. Still, this indicates that the origin of early ethnic designations in early ethnic (or proto-ethnic) groups may be related to the process of transformation of oikonyms into ethnonyms. At any rate, this model appears to be applicable to early agricultural sedentary societies, such as those found in Dagestan where the continuity of historical development and traditions con- stituted a case significantly different from those in other regions of the North Caucasus.


Amirkhanov, H.A. 2019. Oikonyms and Ethnonyms in Dagestan [Oikonimy i etnonimy v Dagestane]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 4: 173–183. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150006198-7

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