Color Words as Linguistic and Cultural Markers of Modern Turkish Anthroponyms

© The Editorial Council and Editorial Board of Linguistic Studies

Linguistic Studies
Volume 35, 2018, pp.  12-17

Color Words as Linguistic and Cultural Markers of Modern Turkish Anthroponyms

Logvynenko Iryna

Article first published online: June 06, 2018 


Additional information

 Author Information: 

Logvynenko Iryna, lecturer at the Department of Oriental Languages at H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University. Correspondence: ilogvinenko@ukr.net

Citation: 
Logvynenko, I. Color Words as Linguistic and Cultural Markers of Modern Turkish Anthroponyms [Text] // Linhvistychni Studiyi / Linguistic Studies : collection of scientific papers / Donetsk National University; Ed. by Anatoliy Zahnitko. Vinnytsia : Vasyl' Stus DonNU, 2018. Vol. 35. Pp. 12-17. ISBN 966-7277-88-7

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.31558/1815-3070.2018.35.9

Publication History:

Volume first published online: June 06, 2018
Article received: March 24, 2018, accepted: May 15, 2018 and first published online: June 06, 2018

Annotation.

Незважаючи на великий інтерес, який викликає сьогодні дослідження антропонімічних систем різних народів, багато теоретичних та практичних аспектів турецького особового імені ще не вивчені. У нашій статті ми досліджуємо семантику турецьких особових імен з колоративними компонентами як багате джерело культурної, історичної та лінгвістичної інформації.

Keywords: anthroponyms, Turkish personal names, colour words, mythological worldview.



Abstract.

COLOUR WORDS AS LINGUISTIC AND CULTURAL MARKERS OF MODERN TURKISH ANTHROPONYMS

Iryna Logvynenko

Department of Oriental Languages, H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagocical University, Kharkiv, Ukraine

Abstract

Background: Word is a universal conservator of a nation’s worldview. Being an intermediary between all the sign systems, word includes a large amount of culture-specific information. This is especially true for proper names.

Colour words refer to one of the oldest layers of the language. Giving a symbolic meaning to a colour is a characteristic feature of the mythological worldview. Despite the great interest that anthroponyms evoke today, many of the theoretical and practical aspects of the Turkish personal name, in particular semantic peculiarities of anthroponyms with colour terms, have not yet been studied.

Purpose: The purpose of the analysis is to investigate the semantics of Turkish personal names with colour words as a rich source of cultural, historical and linguistic information. The paper argues, that perception and semantics of colour terms varies not only in different languages, but also in different periods of a nation's development. The meaning and symbolism of colour concept in the period of the mythological worldview differs from a modern person’s perception of colour.

Results: Our analysis showed that colour terms, in addition to designation of colour itself, have certain cultural and historical connotations. It can be clearly seen in personal names, formed in the ancient Türkic period, when each of the base colours had a profound symbolic meaning. Today, as we can see on the example of modern nicknames, colour terms in a personal name mostly have a direct meaning but add some emotional connotations and are used to indicate the features of a person's appearance. Both in ancient times, and in modern Turkish society the following colour terms are actual: ak (white), kara (black), al (red), gök (blue), sarı (yellow), ala (light brown; variegated), boz (gray, grayish brown, colour of soil), kır (light gray, dirty white), çakır (blue-gray eye colour).  Beyaz (white), pembe (pink), mor (purple) and mavi (blue), being borrowed words from other languages, are quite few.  

It should be said that Berlin and Kay’s theory regarding colour universals is not entirely plausible with regard to the Turkish language, as in the early periods of the development of the Turkish language we can see not only the basic 11 colour terms, that they singled out (although, of course, black, white, red and blue are of primary importance in the ancient Turkic culture), but also such colours as boz, kır, ala. The name reflects only the most significant and important realities and events for the people, therefore the presence of such colour terms as boz, kır, ala in personal names indicates their importance and is specific for the culture of the nomadic Turks, that, as we suggest, is related to the earth and animal breeding. However, Berlin and Kay’s hypothesis about the evolution of colour terms related to the historical development of language is confirmed by our research.

By their lexical meaning all the Turkish anthroponyms with colour words can be divided into the following groups: 1) names that represent natural phenomena; 2) names that reflect a person’s high position in society and his nobility; 3) names that reflect the external and internal beauty of a person, his positive qualities. Positive qualities for men are heroism, strength, courage, reflected in such lexemes like demir, taş, alp, batur, er, tunç; positive qualities for women are beauty, tenderness, purity, reflected in the lexems ipek, pınar, başak, nur, gül.

Discussion: when analyzing the semantics of Turkish anthroponyms with colour lexemes, it is necessary to take into account additional connotations which arise from their symbolic meaning and reflect the worldview of the ancient Turks. In two- and three-component personal names all the colour lexemes can be combined with the words er, alp, can, öz, tan, taş, tunç, demir, deniz, sel, su, Tuna, bey, bay, han, indicating their significance for the Turks, that requires more detailed research.

Key words: anthroponyms, Turkish personal names, colour words, mythological worldview

Vitae

Iryna Logvynenko, lecturer at the Department of Oriental Languages at H.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University. Her areas of research interests include functional linguistics, cultural linguistics, pragmatic linguistics, Turkish anthroponymy.

Correspondence: ilogvinenko@ukr.net.


Article.

Ірина Логвиненко

УДК 811.512.161

COLOUR WORDS AS LINGUISTIC AND CULTURAL MARKERS OF MODERN TURKISH ANTHROPONYMS

 

Незважаючи на великий інтерес, який викликає сьогодні дослідження антропонімічних систем різних народів, багато теоретичних та практичних аспектів турецького особового імені ще не вивчені. У нашій статті ми досліджуємо семантику турецьких особових імен з колоративними компонентами як багате джерело культурної, історичної та лінгвістичної інформації.

Ключові слова: антропоніми, турецькі особові імена, колоративи, міфологічне світосприйняття

Introduction

Word is a universal conservator of a nation’s worldview. Being an intermediary between all the sign systems, word includes a large amount of culture-specific information. This is especially true for proper names, which, according to Darzamanova, are the most specific and at the same time the most abstract category, which makes it possible to trace the conversion of a specific nominal value signs into a symbol, an image, into a general concept in language contexts, which captures the history of the people, the history of their worldview, the history of the word” (Darzamanova 110). We can say that every proper name is a word-symbol, a word-image, often metaphorical or metonymic, that is, in names we can see the use of a word in a figurative sense based on similarity in some relation to two objects or phenomena (“Linguistic Encyclopedic Dictionary 296) or “the use the names of one object instead of the name of another object on the basis of external or internal ties” (“Linguistic Encyclopedic Dictionary 310).

Personal names of Turkic origin form the largest group in the Turkish anthroponymic system. Often they are two-component names that contain descriptive or evaluative characteristics. In general, the Turkic anthroponyms – both single-component and multi-component are names of common origin and clear etymology. Colour words refer to one of the oldest layers of the language. Giving a symbolic meaning to colours is a characteristic feature of the mythological worldview. Therefore, when analyzing the semantic meaning of the Turkish anthroponyms with colour components, we take into account that fact, that most of the analyzed names appeared many centuries ago in other social conditions, within the system of other semantic ties.

Brief Survey on the Literaure

Brent Berlin and Paul Kay in their classical study on colours “Basic Colour Terms: Their Universality and Evolution”, published in 1969, suggest the existence of colour universals which “are related to the historical development of all languages in a way that can properly be termed evolutionary” (Berlin, Kay 1). Experimentally they figured out eleven basic colour terms that can be drawn in any language. They are white, black, red, green, yellow, brown, purple, pink, orange and grey. The scholars worked out the following sequence (Berlin, Kay 2-3):

“1. All languages contain terms for white and black.

2.     If a language contains three terms, than it contains a term for red.

3.     If a language contains four terms, than it contains a term to either green o yellow (but not both).

4.     If a language contains five terms, than it contains terms for both green and yellow.

5.     If a language contains six terms, than it contains a term for blue.

6.     If a language contains seven terms, than it contains a term for brown.

7.     If a language contains eight or more terms, than it contains a term for purple, pink, orange, grey, or some combination of these”.

As Berlin and Kay explain, increase in the number of basic colour terms may be seen as part of general increase in vocabulary, a response to an informationally richer cultural environment. So the chronological order may be interpreted as a “sequence of evolutionary stages” (Berlin, Kay 16).

This hypothesis is disputed by Anna Weirzbicka, who considers it anglocentric and untenable (Weirzbicka, “The Semantics of Colour”). To her view, colour itself cannot be a universal human concept because there are many languages in the world (for example, in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Africa) which do not have a word for “colour”. In the Anbarra language there are only two colour terms – for light and dark. The scholar writes: “People who habitually look at the world in terms of colours can find it difficult to believe that those from other cultures may have a profoundly different perspective on the visible world – for example, that they may habitually distinguish between things of high visibility (like sun, fire and blood) and those of low visibility, or between brightness and lack of brightness” (Weirzbicka, “The Semantics of Colour” 17).  Weirzbicka points out, that different colours have close equivalents in many other languages, but “even overlapping  with them, they  are also different from them in meaning’(Weirzbicka, “The Semantics of Colour” 10).

Berlin and Kay’s assumption that colour vocabulary relates to the historical development of a given language, and Weirzbicka’s statement about difference of colour concepts in different languages seem to me quite argumentative. At the same time I agree with Weirzbicka, that we can not speak about colour universals which refer to all the languages of the world without exceptions.

In Turkish linguistics there are a number of articles devoted to the semantics of colour since the ancient Turkic times till nowadays. These are valuable works by Zeki Kaymaz (Kaymaz), Reşat Genç (Genç), Heyet Cevad (Cevad), Metin Ekici (Ekici), Ahmet Akkaya (Akkaya). But they are mostly concerned with the historical and cultural aspects of the colours and do not analyze them from the linguistic point of view. Significant in this respect is the paper of Nesrin Bayraktar “Türkçede Renk Adlarıyla Özel Ad Yapımı” (Coining Proper Names Through Colour Terms In Turkish) (Bayraktar), which, taking as a theoretical basis for her research Berlin and Kay’s theory, suggests 2,178 proper names - among them 523 personal names - that contain colour terms. But the linguistic analysis, made in this paper, is not sufficient either. An interesting research angle is also provided in Kaidi Rätsep’s paper “Preliminary Rresearch on Turkish Basic Colour Terms With an Emphasis on Blue”, where the scholar experimentally distinguishes the most salient colour terms in the modern Turkish language. According to the results of the experiment, they are yeşil (green), sarı (yellow), siyah (siyah), kımızı (red) and mavi (blue). Next in line are beyaz (white), mor (purple), kahverengi (brown), pembe (pink), turuncu (orange) and gri (gray) (Rätsep 142).

Turkish personal names are analyzed in the works of Tuncel Gülensoy, Derya Duman, Laszlo Rasonyi, Aydil Erol, Saim Sakaaoğlu, Ebülfez Kulı Amanoğlu, Oğuz Ergene and others.

Aim and hypothesis

Despite the great interest that anthroponyms evoke today, many of the theoretical and practical aspects of the Turkish personal name have not yet been studied. In this paper I will investigate the semantics of Turkish personal names with colour terms as a rich source of cultural, historical and linguistic information. I will argue, that perception and semantics of colour terms varies not only in different languages, but also in different periods of a nation's development. The meaning and symbolism of colour concept in the period of the mythological worldview differs from a modern person’s perception of colour. In order to prove this hypothesis I will investigate how people use colours in naming from the diachronic perspective of Turkic names, formed in the ancient times, and from the synchronic perspective of nicknames, given by Turkish people to each other nowadays. All these will allows us to gain insight into the cultural and linguistic changes in the Turkish society.

Methods and material

When investigating Turkish personal names and nicknames with a colour words, we used the continuous sampling method, methods of semantic and comparative analysis. The material for analysis was taken from the dictionaries and encyclopedias of modern Turkish personal names, as well as from some works of Turkish scholars, dedicated to Turkish nicknames.

Colour terms in Turkish personal names

Russian researcher Gabysheva expresses an opinion, which correlates with Berlin and Kay’s theory of basic colour terms, and suggests that the most significant for all the nations is the opposition of white and black in the semantic opposition of life/death, day/night, good/evil, social top/social bottom, good deities/evil deities, etc., as well as the triad white/red/black, which forms the main triangle of the designation of colours in all the languages, representing a concentrated designation of large areas of psychological experience that affects both the mind and the senses (Gabysheva 10). Turkish researcher Cevad Heyet points out, that the metaphorical meaning of colours arose from a man’s observation of nature and its metonymic rethinking (Heyet 50). For example, black was associated with the darkness of the night – the time of man’s rest and sleep, that is, his temporary death. Light colours, like white and pink, were colours of the dawn, that is, the revival of life; blue was the symbol of the heaven, high and inaccessible, the colour of the gods, etc.

246 masculine and feminine personal names out of 4,000 under analysis contain colour terms. Among the colours that are a part of the Turkish personal names there are ak (white), kara (black), al (red), gök (blue), mavi (blue), sarı (yellow), ala (light brown; variegated), boz (gray, grayish brown, colour of soil), kır (light gray, dirty white), çakır (blue-gray eye colour), beyaz (white), pembe (pink), mor (purple). The following table shows the ratio and the number of masculine and feminine names with colour terms:

 

 

Colour term

 

Musculine names

 

Feminine names

Names which can be both musculine and feminine

 

Total (%)

Ak

91

25

9

125 (40%)

Gök

42

4

10

56 (18%)

Al

17

4

6

27 (9%)

Kara

45

-

-

45 (14%)

Ala

1

7

-

8 (2,5%)

Sarı

7

4

-

11 (3,5%)

Mavi

-

3

-

3 (1%)

Yeşil

-

1

-

1 (0,3%)

Boz

15

-

-

15 (5%)

Kır

9

-

-

9 (3%)

Çakır

3

-

1

4 (1,3%)

Beyaz

-

2

-

2 (0,6%)

Pembe

-

3

-

3 (1%)

Mor

-

1

1

2 (0,6%)

 

According to the Turkish researcher Cevad Heyet, it is peculiar for the Turks to endow colours with religious, divine, national, geographical and emotional connotations (Heyet 50). Some colours were loved, respected and considered to be lucky by the Turks. Sometimes they endowed the colours with divine meaning (as it was with the blue colour (gök)). Other colours, on the contrary, were considered to be unlucky, and in respect to them the Turks felt hostile. For example, they are such colours as kara (black) and sarı (yellow). For comparison, in modern Turkish the verb sararmak means “to pale, “to wither”, “to fade, “to get old”, “to grow lean”, “to yearn”, “to grieve”. As researchers note, the Turks used colours to denote the sides of the world. White corresponded to the west, red – to the south, blue (from the 11th century – green) – to the east. The colour of the north was black.

As it can be seen from the table above, the most significant for the Turks were white, blue and clear-red.

Symbolic meaning of colours in Turkish history

White (ak) in the Turkic culture symbolized purity, noble origin, greatness, holiness, old age (wisdom). Among the Huns, which are considered to be the ancestors of the Turks, it also meant power and justice. The aristocratic elite during the war wore white clothes and rode horses of the sacred white colour. (A nice example for this is the entry of the conqueror of Constantinople Fatih Sultan Mehmet into the conquered city on a white horse). The hats and flags of the nobility were white. As already mentioned above, white was a symbol of the west. In this regard, Cevad Heyet puts forward a hypothesis that the Turkic name of the Mediterranean Akdeniz (lit. “The White Sea) is not random (Heyet 50).

Since ancient times, white has been considered the colour of good, and black has been the colour of evil. In the mythology of Altaic Turks, Ak Ata (lit. “White Father), like Adam, was the forefather of the mankind. In the Oghuz Turks’ epic stories (Oğuz Destanı), Ak Han (lit. “White Khan) is an alegitimate ruler of noble descent. In contrast, Oghuz’s father Kara Han (lit. “Black Khan) is presented as a cruel man opposed to Islam. The binary opposition white/black is also reflected in the opposition “nobility (ak kemik)/common people (kara kemik). In the myths of  the Altai and Northern Turks White Shamans (Ak Şamanlar) brought iron from the heaven to the earth. In the “Book of Dede Korkut” the white colour of the house and the tent means happiness and good luck.

There is a remarkable hypothesis of the famous leader of the Turkish people Mustafa Kemal Pasha Ataturk as for the word ak” (white). Taking as a basis the theory of an Austrian linguist Herman F. Kvergić, according to which all the languages arose from the exclamations of a person watching the nature, Turkish linguists, inspired by Ataturk, created their “Sun Language Theory. Proceeding from the fact that the main cult of the ancient people was the cult of the Sun, and the sound a” was the simplest sound of human speech, they declared the word ag to be the initial word for all the languages of the world, the derivative of which was the word Aryan (ag + er), and thereby set the connection between the Turks and Aryans.

 Black (kara) in the Turkic culture had a number of opposite meanings. Using the example of phraseological units we can trace some negative connotations that people have inclosed in this colour: kara günler (black days), kara bayram (a mournful day), kara haber (bad news), kara yüzlü (an unscrupulous man), aralarından kara keçi geçti (lit. a black goat crossed between them - their relations have deteriorated). However, in addition to negative connotations, Habysheva distinguishes the following metaphorical meanings ​​of the word “kara in the Turkic anthroponymy: large, major, powerful, strong, formidable, fearsome (Habysheva 7). For example, high, majestic mountains are called often Karadağ (lit. Black Mountain).

Another major colour in the worldview of the Turkish people is red. It was believed to be the colour of the rulers and the colour that brought good luck. The Turks had two words for it: al and kızıl. In the Turkic onomastics al is used more widely. Its material matches are fire and roof. The ancient Turks had a cult of the god of fire, which was called Al Ruhu (Red Spirit) or Al Ateş (Red Fire). Reşat Genç believes that the use of red flags in the ancient Turkic states is also a reflection of this cult (Genç 2). Thus, red was a symbol of strength, aggression and excitement. In the Turkic mythology the eyes of heroes were red. As Ekici states, red was considered sacred in the Turkic culture, proving this by the fact that the ancient Turkmen wore red hats (that is the part of the clothes which is the closest to the sky and to the gods), as well as by the fact that nowadays in some dialects the word al preserves the meaning of  “great, higher, omnipotent (Ekici 104).

Red is also the colour of the Sun – heavenly fire, a source of  power and energy. When the sun rises and sets, it colurs the sky red – «ğöğün kızıllığı». The time of sunset and dawn was a sacred time when the Turks prayed. In the Turkish traditions red for a girl is a colour of happiness and maturity, as well as the colour of a wedding room for newlyweds. In The Book of Dede Korkut the bride and the groom wear a red dress (“Stories of Dede Korkut”).

The word gök stands in the Turkic languages as a determinant of blue, the semantics of which also included the meaning of green (göğermek“to green). As Berlin and Kay note: “To a group whose members have frequent occasion to contrast fine shades of leaf colour and who possess no dyed fabrics, colour-coded electrical wires and so forth, it may not be worhwhite to rote-learn labels for gross perceptual discrimination such as green/blue, despite the phsycophysical salience of such contrasts” (Berlin\ Kay 16).

The ancient Turks worshiped the god of the sky (Gök Tanrı), as a result blue obtained connotations great, “elevated. The researcher of Turkic mythology Bahaeddin Ögel points out that in the myths the face of the saint people had a blue colour, the face of good people – white, and that of bad people – black. Moreover, Gök Boru or Bozkurt (Blue Wolf) which was described in the epic Oghuz Khan” and was believed to have shown the Turks the road to their new homeland, was sent by the god of heaven or was the god itself, embodied in the body of a wolf (Ögel 111-112). Later, the blue colour gained the connotations of maturity and experience.

As we see from the table, the word yeşil, which indicates green, is not a productive component of the Turkish anthroponyms. The only name that contains it is a feminine name Yeşil, which is the name of the colour itself. In the Turkic tradition green colours were a symbol of nature, youth and life. The word yeşil does not occur in The Book of Dede Korkut, the word gök” is used instead of it. However, in later works this word is mentioned quite often. As we know, the green colour during the Islamic era also gained some spiritual significance and became the colour of the Prophet Muhammad’s lineage.

Yellow (sarı) had ambiguous semantic connotations in the Turkic culture. As Reşat Genç points out, the golden hue of the yellow colour (altın sarısı) embodied wealth, reign, scholarship, center of the world (Genç 3). In the time of Gennghis Khan, yellow became a symbol of statehood; the headquarters of Batu Khan was called Sarı Ordu, which later was transformed into Altın Ordu (Golden Horde). The name of the Altai Mountains (Altay), which are considered sacred among shamans, comes from two words altın “golden” and tay (tağ / dağ) – mountain.

 On the other hand, in the Turkic epics yellow was a symbol of illness and misfortune. In the Turkic fairy tales a yellow dragon embodied suspicion and bad feelings (Heyet 5), and fairy-tale heroes, in order to prove their strength and courage, had to fight with this animal. However, yellow was often used in descriptions of nature and spring flowers.

Colour terms like boz (gray, grayish brown, colour of soil) and kır (light gray, dirty white) make up components of 8% of Turkish personal names, and these terms can be found in old Turkic epics (Akkaya 529). The wide use of such “non-basic” colours in the Turkic language can be explained by the fact that for a long period of time the Turks were nomadic people and used these colour terms to denote horses’ coat colour – roan (kır) and bay (boz). The horses with the coat colour of ak-boz were important in the Turkic culture, they were ridden by military commanders and thought to be sacred (Akkaya 531). This once again proves that colour terms can be cultural markers and to some extent disproves the hypothesis of Berlin and Kay about the basic colours, which are similar for all the nations in the world.

Semantics of colour terms in Turkish personal names

Among the Turkish anthroponyms, which include the word ak/ “ağ, the most numerous group is personal names where the second component is a name of a nature object such as rock (kaya, dağ), water (su), stream (sel), stone (taş), fire (alev), moon (ay), iron (demir, timur), cloud (bulut), wind (yel), sea (deniz), branch (dal), sun (güneş), etc. For example, Akay, Akkor, Akpolat, Aksel, Aktaş, Aksu, Ağçelik, Aktimur, Akdağ, Akyel, Akduman, Akdeniz, Akbaşak, Akdal. That is, the word ak here states the white (light) colour of the objects (Akay, Akduman, Akbulut, Akgüneş), or imparts the connotation of purity (Aksel, Aksu, Akkor, Akdal). The second largest group is a group of anthroponyms, which mean an honest, pure-hearted person”. They are also composed names that have a component which denotes a person, his moral qualities or a part of a human body: man (man), hero (alp, batur), warrior (er), can (can), self (öz), maturity (ergin), hand (el), forehead (alın), voice (ses). For example, Akcan, Aköz, Akergin, Akersan, Akalp, Akbatur, Akman, Akmaner, Özakay, Akata, Akel, Akalın. There are also many anthroponyms that reflect a noble lineage, nobility of the family. The components of these names are words denoting different titles (han, bek, giray), as well as words like family (soy), mister (bay), glory (un, san), name (ad). For example, Akbay, Akbek, Akgiray, Aktekin, Aksoy, Akersoy, Akunal, Akad, Akadlı. We can also single out a group of anthroponyms where the word ak means bright, happy: Akgün, Akmut, Akşit, Akgüner. The word "ak" can also denote a light colour of skin: Akdoğan, Akdoğmuş, Akça. It should be noted that in feminine names white is mostly used to emphasize the physical or spiritual beauty and purity of a girl (Akpınar (Pure Source), Akyıldız (White Star), Akgüneş (White Sun), Akipek (White Silk), Akgül (White Rose), Akses (Pure Voice), Akcan (Pure Soul), Akkız (White Girl)) or is used to wish happiness: Akgüngör (lit. see the light day), Akkutlu (white + joyful), Akmutlu (white + happy).

Personal names with the colour term kara are fewer, and they occur only in the names of men and mean big, “fearsome” (Karahan, Karabey, Karatay) or dark-skinned” (Karaalp, Karayağız, Karaca, Karacan, Karacaoğlan).

As already mentioned above, in the ancient Turks’ tradition red was a symbol of fire and blood, that is, aggressiveness, fearlessness and heroism, which is reflected in the names with the lexeme al: Alkan (Red Blood), Alkın (Red Sheath), Alkor (Red Fire), Aldemir (Red (Hot) Iron). Taking into account that red was also a sacred colour and the colour of the rulers, we can distinguish a group of personal names with this meaning: Alhan (Red Khan), Alsan (Red Glory), Altuğ (Red Tug (Banner)), Aldoğan (Born of Red). Another group of anthroponyms with the lexeme “al are names with a component which denotes natural phenomena, that emphasize a person’s beauty (this is especially true for women’s names): Algün (Red Day), Altan (Red Dawn), Özaltan (Red Dawn Itself), Altaner (red dawn + warrior), Algül (Red Rose), Almıla (Red Apple), Özal (Red in its Essence), Altuna (red Danube). The anthroponym Alsaç (Red Hair) is the only one that describes appearance.

The lexeme gök conveys two concepts: it denotes the blue colour and the sky. Among the personla names that contain this component, we can distinguish a group of names, the second component of which is a natural phenomenon: leaf, lightning (berk), branch (dal), sea (deniz), stream (sel), water (su), stone (taş), mountain pass (bel), dawn (tan), etc. In these examples, the word gök denotes the colour of an object or phenomenon (blue or green) or emphasizes its beauty. For example, Göğen, Gökbel, Gökbelen, Gökberk, Gökdal, Gökdeniz, Göksel, Göksu, Göksun, Göktaş, Göktuna, Gökşin, Göktan, Göktunç. When analyzing the semantics of blue in the ancient Turks’ tradition, we found out that it had connotations like higher, great, holy. Proceeding from this, we can distinguish a group of anthroponyms, the second component of which contains the title of a ruling person (bay, bey, han, tekin) or the name of a nation of divine origin (Hun, Türk): Gökbay, Gökbey, Gökşen, Göktekin, Göktuğ, Gökhun, Göktürk.

In combination with the words like man (men), warrior (alp), warrior (er), soul (can), in addition to the meaning hero the name also obtains the connotation “a light-skinned and blue-eyed man: Gökalp, Gökbaran, Göker, Gökmenalp, Gökçer, Gökcan. The same connotation is found in the names which mean tones of blue: Gökçe, Gökçen, Gökçin, Gökşin.

One more group includes the names in which the lexeme gök means sky and which are related to heavenly objects or phenomena: Gökada (Galaxy), Gökhan (Ruler of the Sky), Gökseven, Göksever (one, who loves the sky), Gökben (lit. sky + me), Göksen (lit. sky + you).

Above we found that the yellow in the Turkic culture obtained some negative connotation, but at the same time it had a positive meaning when describing nature and flowers. Therefore, names with the colur term sarı are few, and they are mostly feminine names-descriptions of natural objects: Sarıyıldız (Yellow Star), Sarıgüzel (yellow + beautiful), Sarıgül (Yellow Rose), Sarıçiçek (Yellow Flower).

Another small group includes anthroponyms with the lexeme alalight-chestnut colour”, variegated. They are also mostly feminine names-descriptions of natural phenomena and objects: Alatan (Dawn), Alapınar (Colourful Spring), Alanur (Colourful Beam), Ala (Variegated), Alaca (Colourful), Alagün (Cloudy Day).

The colour term “Kır” can be found in four Turkish masculine names: Kırhan, Kırbay, Kırtay and Kırboğa, where this lexeme indicates the colour of hair – grayish white. Boz is found in 13 masculine names and has a meaning of “garay, grayish brown, colour of soil”: Bozdemir, Bozyel, Bozdağ, Bozyiğit etc. I can suggest that, being at the same time the name for equine coat colour, these colour terms, used in personal names, get an additional connotation of “a warrior”, “a rider”, “a brave man”. This is confirmed by the meaning of the second component of the name: dağ (mountain), yiğit (brave), tay (foal), boğa (bull), demir (iron), etc.

A masculine name Bozkurt needs a special mention. Bozkurt was the main totem of the ancient Turkic tribes and was considered a national symbol since the time of the Huns till the Ottoman Empire.

The first written mention of the colour term çakır occurs in Divan-i Lugat-it Türk (1070) by Mahmut Kashgarli, where it is used in the meaning of “blue-gray, eye colour”, which is relevant today too. Among all the names we have found only three masculine names with this colour term: Çakır (blue-gray eyed), Çakırbey (blue-gray eyed lord), Çakırer (blue-gray eyed worrier).

Lexemes beyaz, pembe, mor and mavi are borrowings from Arabic, Persian and Greek languages ​​in the later period of the Turkish language’s development, and we can see that personal names, containing these colour terms, are quite few. Basically, these are feminine names. The colour here does not have any symbolic meaning, but conveys the connotation of beauty and youth, which is clearly seen in the second components of these names – “gül” (rose) and “ay” (moon): Morgül, Gülbeyaz, Pembegül, Gülpembe, Moray. Also names with these colour terms may reflect some physical characteristics of a woman (blue or light blue eyes): Mavi, Maviş, Mavisel.

Colour terms in modern Turkish nicknames

On the basis of the results of Turkish scholars’ researches on modern nicknames in different regions of Turkey (Özkan), (Oğuz, Oğuz), (Kaya), (Erol) it appeared that about 13% of the nicknames under analysis contain colour terms. The most popular colour words are kara (black), ak (white), sarı (yellow) and gök (mavi). Meanwile, colour terms like yeşil (green), mavi (blue), kır (light gray, canescent, grayish white), çakır (blue-gray), ala (light brown; variegated), kızıl (kırmızı), pembe (pink) are used less. It is remarkable, that even nowadays Turkish people in small towns and villages use the traditional lexemes kara (gara), ak, gök and kızıl, like in old Turkic personal names, instead of modern words siyah, beyaz, mavi and kırmızı to denote black, white, blue and red respectively.

The Turkish investigators in their papers give the explanation why people use this or that colour word when naming each other. And it turns out, that nowadays colour terms have lost their symbolic meaning, reflected in the mythopoetic picture of the world of the ancient Turks, and are mostly used to denote a colour in a person’s appearance – colour of his hair, moustache, beard, eyes, skin etc. Kara states for dark skin or hair, sarı for blond hair and light skin, mavi and gök for blue eyes, kızıl for red hair. Colour terms and their derivatives formed by suffixation can be used by themselves: Mavi, Sarı, Yeşil, Gökçe, Kızılca, Karaca, Akça, Maviş. However, in most cases, colour terms attribute a person’s name: Gara Osman, Gök Ali, Ak Mehmet, Sarı Hayri, Çakır Hüseyin.

Colour terms can also be used in a combination with:

- kinship terms: Gök Kız, Gök Oğlan, Karadayı, Karadayıoğlu, Karaoğlan;

- words denoting a person: Kara Yiğit, Gökmen;

- terms of social status: Yeşil Ağa, Sarı Bey, Akkoca;

- parts of a human body: Garagaşla (Karakaşlar), Garabıyıkla, Ak kaş, Karabacak, Karabaş, Kara göz, Kara kaş, Kızılbaşoğlu, Gara Sakal, Gırbaş, Alabaş;

- names of profession: Gara Öğretmen;

- names of animals and plants: Gara Bakla, Bozkurt, Karaşahin.     

      In this paper I do not take into consideration nicknames formed on the basis of a person’s place of birth, like Akdereli, Aksazlı, Akyalı, Alaağaçlı, Akhisarlı, Akşehirli,or a celebrity’s personal name, like Gara Daşak, Garaböce, Karayel.

Concept of colour in modern Turkish nicknames is also expressed by such lexems like Arap and Kurt for dark skin: Arap Şikilop, Kurt; and kına (gına) for red: Gına Bıyık (red moustache).

Conclusion

Our analysis showed that colour terms, in addition to designation of colour itself, have certain cultural and historical connotations. It can be clearly seen in personal names, formed in the ancient Türkic period, when each of the base colours had a profound symbolic meaning. Today, as we can see on the example of modern nicknames, colour terms in a personal name mostly have a direct meaning but add some emotional connotations and are used to indicate the features of a person's appearance. Both in ancient times, and in modern Turkish society the following colour terms are actual: ak (white), kara (black), al (red), gök (blue), sarı (yellow), ala (light brown; variegated), boz (gray, grayish brown, colour of soil), kır (light gray, dirty white), çakır (blue-gray eye colour).  Beyaz (white), pembe (pink), mor (purple) and mavi (blue), being borrowed words from other languages, are quite few.  

It should be said that Berlin and Kay’s theory regarding colour universals is not entirely plausible with regard to the Turkish language, as in the early periods of the development of the Turkish language we can see not only the basic 11 colour terms, that they singled out (although, of course, black, white, red and blue are of primary importance in the ancient Turkic culture), but also such colours as boz, kır, ala. The name reflects only the most significant and important realities and events for the people, therefore the presence of such colour terms as boz, kır, ala in personal names indicates their importance and is specific for the culture of the nomadic Turks, that, as we suggest, is related to the earth and animal breeding. However, Berlin and Kay’s hypothesis about the evolution of colour terms related to the historical development of language is confirmed by our research.

In modern Turkish, we can see more colours and more words for their reference, including borrowed words, such as kırmızı, beyaz, siyah, mavi, which almost supplanted the Turkic terms in the literary language. However, as we can see on the example of modern Turkish nicknames, the traditions of the use of old Turkic terms are preserved among the people in small towns and villages.

Turkish anthroponyms with colour words are generally two-component words, the first component of which is a colour lexem which has descriptive or evaluative characteristics (sometimes in combination with the words öz, tunç, gün, and tan, the colour lexeme may be placed at the end of the word, for example, Özaltın, Tanaltan, Özal, Tunçal, Günal). Single-component names are words, denoting the colour itself or its hues: Akca, Alaca, Gökçe, Yeşil, Mavi;

All the anthroponyms with colour terms have a positive meaning, although the colours that are included in them, may have some negative connotations (for example, sarı (yellow) and kara (black));

The most important colours in the Turkish culture are ak (white), gök (blue), kara (black) and al (red).

Two personal names contain a combination of two colours: Akal, Aksarı.

By their lexical meaning all the Turkish personal names with colour terms can be divided into the following groups: 1) names that represent natural phenomena; 2) names that reflect a person’s high position in society and his nobility; 3) names that reflect the external and internal beauty of a person, his positive qualities. Positive qualities for men are heroism, strength, courage, reflected in such lexemes like demir, taş, alp, batur, er, tunç; positive qualities for women are beauty, tenderness, purity, reflected in the lexems ipek, pınar, başak, nur, gül. However, in modern nicknames colours are generally used to denote a person’s apperence – colour of hair, eyes, beard etc.: Kızılbaş, Karakaş, Sarı, Maviş.

In two- and three-component personal names all the colour lexemes can be combined with the words er, alp, can, öz, tan, taş, tunç, demir, deniz, sel, su, Tuna, bey, bay, han, indicating their significance for the Turks, that requires more detailed research.

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Надійшла до редакції 24 березня 2018 року.