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  • Author or Editor: Patrick C. Lewis x
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Although the word qazaq is widely agreed to be the common ancestor of both ‘Cossack’ and ‘Kazakh’, there remains uncertainty about qazaq’s etymology. This paper proposes that qazaq originated as a variant of the central Turkic etymon qaç(g)aq and thus derives from the Common Turkic root qaç- (‘flee’). The paper draws on data generated through the traditional methods of historical linguisticsthe comparative method and philological analysisin conversation with recent work in anthropological and sociolinguistics on the concept of linguistic ‘register’ to better theorize qazaq’s historical development and the variation in its forms and meanings.

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