The News of Uzbekistan portal spoke about the cooperation of Altai State University with Uzbek scientists in the field of altaistics

14 January 2021 Department of Information and Media Communications
The Internet media portal News of Uzbekistan published an interview with Yulia Lysenko, Head of the Department of Oriental Studies at the Institute of History and International Relations of Altai State University (AltSU), about the importance of Altaic studies in the study of the peoples of the Turkic-Mongolian world and Russia's cooperation with Uzbekistan in the field of Altaic studies.

The interview took place within the framework of the international presentation of the results of the activities of the Scientific and Educational Center for Altaic Studies and Turkology "The Greater Altai", which took place on December 15 at the Altai State University.

- The 1st International Forum for Altai Studies was held last year. It was attended by scientists from many countries, including Uzbekistan. Tell us, please, about cooperation between Russia and Uzbekistan in the field of Altaic studies.

- In the fall of 2019, Altai State University really hosted the I International Forum for Altaic Studies, which was attended by more than 150 Turkic and Mongolian scholars from Russia, Central Asia, Mongolia, China, and Turkey.

At the Forum, it was decided to create an international scientific collaboration to conduct joint interdisciplinary research in this area.

The platform for the association was the Scientific and Educational Center for Altaic and Turkic Studies "The Greater Altai", created following the results of the Forum.

Uzbeks are a Turkic-speaking people, and its formation is a complex and long-term process of interethnic interaction. The process that took place on the territory of the Central Asian interfluve (the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers), which was characterized by the convergence and partial merging of the settled, Iranian-speaking population with the nomadic, Turkic-speaking population - the Turkic tribes that migrated to the region in the 6th-7th centuries.

Therefore, colleagues from Uzbekistan showed a certain interest in the 1st International Forum for Altaic Studies.

There are not many joint Russian-Uzbek research projects in the field of Altaic studies. Cooperation has been developing more fruitfully in the field of archaeological research related to conducting archaeological excavations of the monuments of the Turkic-Sogdian period on the territory of Uzbekistan.

- What are the prospects for joint work and opportunities for fellow scientists and partner universities from Uzbekistan at AltSU?

- Until recently, the Republic of Uzbekistan remained for us "terra incognita". This was due to the foreign policy of the Uzbek political leadership, aimed at a certain isolationism of the country and aloofness from world integration processes, including humanitarian cooperation.

Recently, we have seen a change of this course. Uzbekistan demonstrates a desire to take part in international scientific cooperation. An example is the International Forum of Rectors of Humanitarian Universities, held at the beginning of December, 2020 at the platform of the Russian State Humanitarian University (RSUH), in which Uzbek universities also took an active part. It should also be noted that today there are 10 branches of Russian universities in Uzbekistan, 6 of those were opened in 2019.

This gives us reason to hope that Turkic studies will eventually become the area that will bring Altai State University closer to universities in Uzbekistan. So, we will be able to implement joint projects and, thus, develop humanitarian cooperation.

- How important is Altaic studies in the study of the peoples of the Turkic-Mongol world?

- Altaic studies as a scientific discipline appeared in the 19th century. Scientists working in this research area have been studying the languages of the peoples of Altai. Actually, this is what the name of the discipline came from. The Russian scientists B. Vladimirtsov, E. Polivanov, V. Kotvich were at the origins of Altaic studies. A significant contribution to the development of Altaic studies was made by German scientists, primarily V. Radlov.

From different scientific perspectives, specialists worked on the problem of the origin of the material and structural-typological community of the Altai languages. For the majority of Türkologists-linguists, the subject of research was the description of the structure of specific Türkic languages, their lexical, grammatical and phonological-phonetic structure.

Today, thanks to their scientific research, we know that the Altaic language family includes Turkic, Mongolian, and Tungus-Manchu languages. There are studies that prove that the Korean and Japanese-Ryukyu languages are also part of the Altai language family. A lot of time has passed since the 19th century. And as our understanding of the Altai language family has expanded, the semantic content of the term "Altaic Studies" has also changed. Gradually, the classical understanding of the term was filled with a new content and meaning. Today, Altaic studies is understood as an interdisciplinary science, which, along with the comparative linguistics of the Altai language family includes the study of history, material and spiritual culture, worldview, and ethnopsychology of the peoples of the Turkic-Mongolian world.

For the study of the peoples of the Turkic-Mongolian world, Altaic studies as a science is extremely important, as it helps to preserve and increase knowledge about this world.

- What are the general research strategies in the field of Altaic and Turkic studies?

- The central research strategy in the study of the peoples of the Turkic-Mongolian world is the theory of the Altai language family with the development of phonetic correspondences between the language subgroups of the Turkic, Mongolian and Tungus-Manchu languages.

The significant factual materials accumulated in Altaic studies on the living Turkic languages, as well as the publication of important and significant monuments of the language and culture of the Turkic peoples, such as the ancient Turkic Orkhon-Yenisei runic monuments and numerous ancient Uigur texts, "Dictionary" by Mahmud Kashgar, "Kutadgu bilig", Polovtsian monuments extensive monuments in the Central Asian space, in-depth research on toponymy and onomastics, etymology and widespread use of the comparative-historical method - all this has made it possible to identify the framework of the Altai family and its internal configuration. We were able to identify phonetic correspondences and find lexical convergences that allow us to speak about the Altai languages as a whole.

Today, this is perhaps the main theory itself, which allows us to talk about the common origin of the peoples of the Turkic-Mongolian world and the powerful processes of interethnic interaction between them at different historical stages.

This theory today is the basis for the study of the historical and cultural heritage of the peoples of the Turkic-Mongolian family. As a rule, these are comparative studies that allow us to find common and special features of the material and spiritual culture of individual Turkic and Mongolian peoples.

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