Эсенмадова А.Д.
Туркменский государственный университет имени Махтумкули
старший преподаватель


Esenmedova A.D.
Turkmen State University named after Magtymguly

Nation’s spiritual revival and developments implemented nowadays are main characteristics that portray Turkmen society. Along with this, our Turkmen language is also undergoing a process of renascence, refreshment and improvement. Science about language is combining more and more firmly with science about society.

Keywords: history, language, turkmen society

Рубрика: Лингвистика

Библиографическая ссылка на статью:
Эсенмадова А.Д. Names of types of “Yel (wind)” in turkmen meteorological lexicon // Гуманитарные научные исследования. 2023. № 1 [Электронный ресурс]. URL: https://human.snauka.ru/2023/01/55289 (дата обращения: 12.11.2023).

The reason for which is that language upgrades in and for the society itself. For instance, without learning the history of Turkic nations and their language peculiarities, it is impossible to explain the background of common and differing words. Some Arabic-Persian words are used as Turkmen (bahar, ajap, dutar, guzer, taze), therefore the more Arabic-Persian words mingle into usage as Turkmen words, the more Turkic words’ meaning used as Turkmen ones lose their relevance (yaňy-taze, gozgi-ayna, bulak-cheshme) and these all events are deeply connected with the history of the language.

Vocabulary of the specific language contains all the social necessary words that people using this language may need. For example, words like yel, shemal, owusgin, sortuk, gara yel, harasat referring to meteorological lexicon are used and clearly understood in all districts of Turkmenistan. In the language of people occupied with fishery and living on the coast of Caspian Sea exists a feature of different naming of wind coming from eight sides. No one, except the people and anglers living in that area of Balkan velayat, can comprehend unique naming of the wind.

In the West yomut (a type of tribe) conversation, especially in the language of people and fishermen living on the coast of the sea, diverse naming of wind is imperative in the sphere of their occupation. According to the direction of the wind, they are able to determine whether there exists a possibility of a storm, strong gale, waves or serene weather so that they could define the hunt beforehand. In the Turkmen river and sea lexicon the wind that blows from the North is called demirgazyk yeli and arka yeli, from the East sortuk yeli, from the North-East gushuk yeli or sortuk deshtivesi, from the South garshy yeli or deshduve, from the South-East deniz deshivesi, from the South-West jylava:z yeli, from the West ashak yeli, from the North-West gileva yeli or kychy:n yeli. Sh.Borjakov’s examinations confirm and implement the information of the linguist K.Shamyradov, who specially learnt yomut dialect’s west conversation. His information claims that the wind blowing from the North is called “arka yeli”. The background of the words deshtive, gileva, kychyn, jylavaz that are used only in Turkmen formal language and in the vocabulary of people living on the coast of the sea has always triggered interest in linguists, ethnographers, teachers and other people connected with this field. M.Saryhanov depicts language parallelism of the word deshduve, used to express the kind of wind blowing from the South in Turkmen profession lexicon, to the word deshdavar, the type in Azerbaijan language, in his work “Balykchylyk leksikasy (Fisherman’s lexicon)” (published in Ashgabat in 1993). During that work, the author noted that the word gileva comes as the word kilavar in Azerbaijan language, then provided more broad information about this word as the following: “The Turkmen word jylavaz may be changed from the Kazakh word jelauyz. In Turkmen language, this variant of specific kind of wind called gileva is the same as the word kilavar in Azerbaijan language. We assume that there may have existed the variant yylavaz of the word gileva(r) or gileva(z). The Kazakh jilauyz-jelauyz derives from that and transfers to Turkmen language”. (Saryhanov M. “Balykchylyk leksikasy (Fisherman’s lexicon)”. Ashgabat, 1993, page 102). In our opinion, these are common Turkic words. It is probable that the word deshduve is connected with the words “desht” – sahra, duz and means “sahra yeli (the wind that blows from steppe)”. The meaning of these words must be affirmed. In the book “Turkmen Language Vocabulary” (1962), it is explained that the word gychyn refers to the sea lexicon and as an example of its usage “denizde kybladan owusyan yel” was included. There exists a contradicting meaning for the usage of the word that is encountered in two versions as gychyn and kychyn. As shown in the abovementioned work of Sh.Borjakov, the expression gayra yel is used to define the wind that blows from the Northeast. It is also called gychyn. Therefore, it is possible to witness that in the book “Turkmen Language Vocabulary” (1962) incorrect meaning was provided to the word gychyn.

The word abaza is used to describe the wind blowing from West to East coast of the Black Sea. [2,pg 7] The expression ashak yeli defines a kind of wind blowing from the underneath, from the North-West. [2,pg 16] In the angler’s lexicon the word briz refers to the wind blowing indirectly, constantly changing its direction during day and night. [2,pg 25] That breeze blows from the warm sea to the coast during daylight and vice versa at night. Gay – the wind, which has the speed of 15 meters per second or the speed of eight levels. The wind that blows from the board of the ship is called gapdal yel. Furthermore, in this professional lexicon such words as bakbort, to the wind blowing from the right board, and shtirbort, to the wind blowing from the left board, are used. Gara yel conveys a kind of a strong wind that stimulates suddenly and reaches up to a speed of 20 meters per second. Garshy yel designates a wind blowing from the opposite of the ship’s direction. Gowshak yel signifies a kind of wind that owns a power of 2 levels and speed of reaching 6 sea miles per one hour. Guychli gay – a gale with the power of 10 levels and the speed of 18 meters per second. Guychli yel – a wind that possesses a power of 7 levels and a speed proceeding 12-15 meters per second or reaching 31 sea miles per hour. Gychyn – a wind that blows from the Northeast, which is also called “gayra yel”. Deniz shemaly – a breeze of seacoast. It changes its direction twice a day. It blows from the warm sea to the coast during daylight and vice versa at night. Although Sh.Borjakov has not highlighted specially, depending on the information he provided, the words briz and deniz shemaly have the same meaning. South wind is called deshtive. A part of the ship where wind blows and front lower part of the sail is referred as yele. An expression yelsiz galmak portrays a situation when a sail is inactive because of absence of the wind. A weather without wind is called yogla and the wave that forms without a wind is yelsiz tolkun. Northwest wind is called jylawaz. Southwest wind is defined as kybla yel.

Sea winds that change their direction each half year are seasonal winds. Words such as musson, passat, antipassat, siklon, antisiklon used in Turkmen meteorological and sea lexicon are international words. These words included in meteorological lexicon differ from common national words and hold out specific scientific meaning. Thus, this professional terminology is hard to comprehend to people who do not possess special knowledge in this aspect.

Mussonlar – a seasonal wind that forms as the result of difference between warming of dry land and the sea. They blow from continent to the ocean in winter and vice versa in summer. It is plausible to come through this type of wind on Northern part of Indian Ocean and on West side of Pacific Ocean, especially in Japanese Sea.

Onay yel – a wind that blows to the direction of the ship, that is to say blowing backwards. A process when the weather comes into action and therefore wind forms is called owusmek. In fishermen lexicon, the word sortuk also means East wind. Exceptionally intense wind is tupan. The word tuweley is used to describe a wind’s actions formed in small area above the sea. There exists a kind of winds, which never change their direction and blow only to one side. They are referred as uytgemeyan yeller [1.].

Harasat – specifies a type of wind that reaches up to 12 levels according to Bofart’s scale in angler’s language. To the word shemal Sh.Borjakov provides a definition as “calm, slow, slight breeze”.

Yk tarap means the side where wind does not blow, more exactly the opposite side of the wind’s blowing direction.

Yklamak depicts an action of the ship without wind, sail or engine, an action that is based only on the power and direction of the breeze. An expression demirgazyk shemaly is used in the same meaning in both formal and angler’s lexicon.

It is crucial to highlight that in the sea lexicon words like gay, harasat, guychli gay and other words used to describe the type of wind are differentiated according to the speed and power. In that case, it is vital to include in the formal language that breeze blows calmly and slowly than wind itself.

In the sea, there exist everlasting kinds of wind that change their direction once in a day, half-year and one year. Deniz shemaly blows from the dry land to the sea at night and vice versa during daylight. It forms because during daylight dry land warms stronger than the sea and at night dry land cools fast than the sea.

Words that describe types of wind according to its direction were formed because of the necessity in the work of fishermen and people employed in the sphere of seas. The possibility of a storm, strong gale, probable hunt, waves or serene weather depends on the direction of the wind. Water waves are created from wind blow. Yel-shemal is horizontal action of the weather according to the imbalance of pressure of atmosphere on Earth.

In the language of meteorologists, if a wind does not blow at all and its speed reaches one meter per second, it is called asuda, yelsiz howa (calm, windless weather). If in anglers language windless weather is called yogla, in turkmen speaking it is called “dymyklyk (silence)” or “chop bashy gymyldamayan howa (a weather in which a stick does not move)”. After this, it is probable to name the wind with speed reaching from one to five meters per second as “owusgin”. In Turkmen language a slight difference in 1-2 levels of the wind does not form a new noun to mean these words, except syntactic units or expressions (for example, adaja owusgin, chalaja owusgin, aram shemal, gowshak shemal, gowsha and so on) are used. Situations like these depend on the practice of usage of these words, because if we compare words connected with wind in meteorological lexicon used in Turkmen literary language and that of in angler’s work, we can see that these words have a broad and exact meaning in the aspect of defining employment and work. In every language in the world, its richness and divergence relates to the society’s necessity as well as its practice. Precisely for that cause, in agricultural, sheep breeding and fishery life of Iceland, it is likely to find about five thousand words meaning types of wind, because capricious and inconstant weather plays the main part. That is why, if the wind in Iceland changes in one level, new word is created (breeze that has 1 level-andvari, 2 levels-kul, 3 levels-gola, 4 levels-kaldi and etc.). Even if Turkmen common language words such as yel, shemal, owusgin sound and are used as synonyms, they vary in the direction and power of blowing.

Owusgin is the name for the type of wind that has the slowest speed and a slight power. This word stems from Turkic words “es”, “esin”, “esdi” used in the same meaning as now and has been saved in 9 Turkic languages as “esmek, shemal bolmak, yelpemek” (For more information about this look at: “Karşilaştirmali türk lehçeleri sözlügü”, 1. Kültür bakanligi, 1991, Ankara, pg 222-223). We assume this word to be 5-6 thousand years old and put in the same line with words as yel, chyg, nur, doly, duman, ayaz, umur, gar, yag(ysh), yagmyr. In modern Turkmen literary language the word owusgin used more actively in poetic style, rather than in middle style. However, this word should be given a dedicated place in the meteorological lexicon. Up to this time, the word “owusgin” has been used in the works of Turkmen writers and poets, at the same time it has not been used in meteorological information provided in Turkmen literary language. The word “owusgin” has the same meaning as Russian words зефир”, “лёгкий ветерок” and “маленькое дуновение ветра”.

In Turkmen language the word shemal (breeze) means a wind that blows 6-9 meters per second. It is a kind of wind that can be felt by its slight blow and sensitive speed. Shemal is an Arabic word for the North. In Turkmen language “the North” meaning of this word was overshadowed by the meaning of the type of wind that blows from the North. In general, despite the fact that demirgazyk shemaly (Northern breeze) is intense, cold and severe, in Turkmen language shemal means a breeze that has middle power of blowing. Here, we would like to underline that semantic integration of this Arabic word into Turkmen occurred after XI century. The reason for this is that in Mahmud al-Kashgari’s “Diwan Lughat al-Turk” dictionary written in Arabic language, we can find two definitions of the word yel (wind) as “shemal (breeze)” and “kesel”, even if we can see the base of the word “owusgin”, the word shemal is not included in this dictionary.

Even if on some occasions words shemal and yel substitute for each other, they still hold out uniqueness upon the middle level of the power of the blowing. In Turkmen language the wind that blows 10 and above meters per second is called yel, because if shemal intensifies, we cannot call it shemal anymore, which is why we replace it with words like yel, harasat, tupan, apy-tupan and gay. We were able to come across the word samemek connected with the breeze in the works of Ata Govshudov. It is plausible to say that this word used by the writer in his creations added color to the language. For instance:

Cool breeze sameyardi. (A. Govshudov. At the edge of Kopetdag, pg 389).

Samemek – not blowing in the same or exact direction, but blowing in chaotic directions forming waves. In the sentence “Kellam semap dur”, this word may be used as comparative with the word “owusgin”.

In Turkic language words samum, sam yeli mean dusty wind that blows from the desert [3, pg 23].

In Turkic dictionary, the word sam yeli is shown as noun that is characterized with the meaning of breeze [5, pg 1253].

Turkic “sam yeli” and Turkmen “shemal samemek” may be historically intertwined. In modern Turkmen language it is possible to find 20 various words referring to this aspect. In Early Turkic history, we cannot find many words connected with the wind. They are words like es, esin, esne, yel, yelin, yellik, ondin yeli, gay, saba, tyntura, tupchil, tupi yel, tupur. Among these, we can find words used and unused nowadays.

Es – 1. дуть: esin esdi-дул ветер. “Togardin esa kelti ondin yeli” – с востока подул весенний ветер (Древнетюркский словарь, Л., 1969, 386 с.). This word is the base of words like improvement and blowing, but it has been over phonetic transformations.

Words connected with wind are named differently in Turkmen tribes’ language. Epgek, a hot and dry wind that blows in summer, harms the agriculture and emaciates vegetation, slows its growth. In arsary(a type of tribe) and olam(a type of tribe), to the word epgek (hot wind), they say tapba:t (Persian tab-hot, bad-wind) (Arazkulyyev S. and others. Short and dialectic Turkmen language dictionary. Ashgabat, 1977, pg 168). Dry summer breeze from the East is called sortuk. It is lucky if sortuk blows during winnowing or hay drying.

In the West yomut (a type of tribe) conversation, to the wind that blows during the first days of spring, they call gara yel. When this kind of wind blows, usually trees germinate, so it is also called agach yaran gara yel. Even if this meaning of this expression is used in literary language, it is not widespread. In yomut conversation, sortuk also means a hot and dry summer wind, which harms the agriculture and emaciates vegetation.

In  North yomut conversation, there is an expression “shemal chashmak”. When wheat is cleansed from husk, wind is needed. Therefore, if wind does not blow and dry hot weather is on, it is called “shemal chasha:ma:ny”. It means “shemal owsayedi” in literary language. Sometimes the Sun’s light is covered by the clouds, and then some time later clouds move and the Sun shares its rays, but again these actions occur one by one, forming a special shadow type. This kind of shadow is called ala kolege or eshek kolege in speaking. Moreover, to the dry wind that blows intensely and in each season, they say hoha shemal. Hoha means an empty shell that is formed when cleansing wheat from husk; it is also called harmanyn hohasy. Hoha shemal and harmanyn hohasy are same in terms of hollow slight formation of the wind. Furthermore, the word dazlawuk is shortened and used as dazlak, it means a very cold weather and to the cold wind that blows from the North, they say “dazlak shemal”. This meaning derives from a simple drop of syllables.

In Turkic language, a strong wind mixed with rain that blows in early spring is called durna gechidi, the wind that blows from the East is called gun dogusy [5. 14953, pg 585]. In Turkmen language similar expressions such as gush gay and dan shemaly are used. Gush gayy – a period when birds that flew to warm countries come back and the weather is very cold, windy and rainy. It is also called ordek gayy in North yomut conversation. In arsary conversation there exist definitions for the change in weather in spring during the period when birds come back such as garlavajyn gayy and gokkerrigin (gokgarganyn) gayy. Dawn breeze is the breeze that blows early at daybreak.

In the myths, which are believed to be memories from childhood, beliefs in the realms of wind, rain and weather have been saved. Among those, the powerful father of the wind is Haydar baba (Mirhaydar) and the rain Burkut baba. Up to these days, when there is an intense wind with heavy storms, Haydar baba is called for help and charities for his name are given. In ancient times, there were no equipment for doing watering actions to the flora, so rain was imperative. When there was a dry weather and the vegetation was hollow of water resources, people used to call Burkut baba for aid and tie one goat under the hot Sun. People believed that this goat will bleat because of thirst and Burkut baba will hear its sound and sympathize, as the result it will rain. Sometimes it was beneficial and other times it was not. It is not out of coincidence, this occurred in the specter of nature’s power. Here is an example for this: “There is an interesting place in Chinese district Yunap. Everyone can make it possible to rain. One thing you have to do is just go out and shout. As the response, you can feel the raindrops falling behind. The more strong and long you shout, the more heavy and longlasting it rains. Scientists explain that the weather is overloaded with moisturize and therefore any shaking or jolting may cause the rain.” (“Watan” newspaper, 2000 year).

In ancient Greek myths, the god of wind is said to be Zefir, while the Sun’s is Gelios. According to the tale, the god of the wind Zefir was the reason for creation of the flower of sadness – giasint. These flower stems from the fluorescent flower Giasint (Giakint). Zefir fell in love with the boy – Giasint, who was beloved by Apollon. While Apollon was teaching Giasint to throw discs, Zefir directs those objects to the head of Giasint out of jealousy. Then Apollon creates another flower from the blood of Giasint. (Wwedenskaya L.A., Kolesnikov N.P. Ot sobstvennyh imyon k narisatelnym. M, 1981). All in all, words and expressions formed from with meteorological occurrences left a great relic. Many words connected with the words wind and breeze are ancient. Some of them are used in different meaning in contemporary Turkmen language. In Turkmen language the condition of the language is portrayed with the word selen. The word selen means a wonderful, healing and cool condition of the weather. That word selen is connected with the the river Selenga’s actual name Selene, which is shown in ancient Orkhon-Yenisey scripts memorials (for more information look at: Hydyrow M.N., Aýdarow G. Orhon-Ýeniseý (ýadygärlikleriň dili) Aşgabat, 1968, 33 s). The river Selene, which flows from Mongolia to the sweet watered Baikal in Southwest, devoted its name to the wind that blows above it. With this word – Selenga the East wind was named and transferred into noun (Wwedenskaya L.A., Kolesnikov N.P. Ot sobstvennyh imyon k narisatelnym. M, 1981, pg 53). Above Baikal blow more than 40 kinds of wind (abovementioned literature, pg 52). One of them was called barguzin. The name was taken from the river Barguzin which flows into the river Baikal in North south.  Another river that flows into Baikal – Angara, also gave its name to the wind that blows above it. Thus, it is possible to witness that names of wind and breezes usually stem from the names of rivers. For example, a hot wind of Southeast Afghanistan blows between the East of Tajikistan and the Southeast of Turkmenistan. It is called afganes. The following definition was given to the word: “afganes means dry south fyon typed wind that blows in summer in South regions of Turkmenistan. Afganes usually blows at the bottom of Kopetdag.” (Lawrow Ýe. L., Lawrowa A.N. Geografiýa terminleriniň rusça-türkmença gysgaça düşündirişli sözlügi. Aşgabat, 1959. 13 s.). If afganes is defined as the wind blowing at the bottom of Kopetdag mountains, there must be Turkmen naming of this type of wind. “Fyon – a dry wind that blows in mountains. When at one side of the mountain the pressure is low and high on the other side, the wind that blows between these sides is fyon” (abovementioned literature, pg 85-86). In our opinion, fyon should be called dag shemaly. Furthermore, the word shabat is used in the meaning of sergin in Ahal conversation, in Geokdepe district. In that conversation shabat shemal is used as shabat howa and means cool wind that blows from mountains. There is an Uzbek word shabada that is used in close meaning and means “wind that blows in spring”.

In Garrygala region, wet wind that blows from the West in spring, summer and autumn is called dolan. The reason of dolan’s being wet is because of the Caspian Sea located in the West of Turkmenistan, above which the wind gains moisture and thus becomes wet. Dolan’s blowing is important when flora is planted, because it is able to keep moisture and provides beneficial weather condition. Farmers and shepherds are able to predict the weather beforehand upon viewing the nature. If clouds pass from West to South in the territory of Turkmenistan, they know that it will rain.

In Turkmen literary language the expression gara yel means frightening, heavy storm. This word holds out the same meaning in Ukrainian language.

In Turkmen meteorological lexicon, words connected with wind, its types and peculiarities, specialty in blowing directions form an individual group. Words such as yel, kowsar, kowsarlamak, owusgin, sortuk, tuweley, gara yel, shemal, epgek refer to this group. The word yele means the direction at which the wind blows, while the word yk stands for the side where the wind does not blow.

Meteorological conditions are of a great importance in terms of people’s everyday life, agriculture, aviation and so on. Wind and words that describe its types are very ancient and understood by everyone. It is crucial to differentiate these words and their characteristics. As we observed before, words connected with wind, rain and each word of the weather lexicon is strongly associated with people’s life.

  1. S.Arazkulyýew, S.Atanyýazow, R.Berdiýew, G.Saparow. Türkmen diliniň gysgaça dialektologik sözlügi. Aşgabat, 1977.
  2. Ş.Borjakow. Türkmen diliniň deňiz we derýa leksikasynyň gysgaça sözlügi. Aşgabat, 1989.
  3. Л.И.Данилова. Метеорологическая лексика тюркских языков (автореферат). Ташкент, 1972.
  4. Древнетюркский словарь, 1969.
  5. Türkçe sözlük 1(A-J); 2(K-Z). Ankara, 1988.
  6. Türkmen diliniň sözlügi. Aşgabat, 1962.
  7. Türkmen diliniň düşündirişlinsözlügi. Aşgabat, 2016.

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