- The 'Ugric-Turkic war' and the origin of the Hungarian language
- International Review of Turkish Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 2 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
In recent years, the traditional classification of the Hungarian language as a Finno-Ugric language has been challenged by internationally respected scholars (see for example Marcantonio, Nummenaho and Salvagni, 2001; Marcantonio, 2002). These studies call the Uralic/Finno-Ugric hypothesis a "myth". In fact, these studies also challenge the outcome of the "Ugric-Turkic War" when Hungarian scholars in the second half of the nineteenth century decided to separate Hungarian and Turkic and to classify them in different language families. However, if the classification of Hungarian is doubtful the question arises what sort of "other", non-linguistic arguments decided on the outcome of the Ugric-Turkic War. This paper focuses on these other, less known arguments of the Ugric-Turkic War. These arguments draw on the history of sciences, nineteenth centuries ideological, geopolitical and political developments in Europe and the Habsburg Empire, Eurocentrism and Orientalism and the personal commitment and loyalties of the key-players in the Ugric-Turkic debate, i.e. Franz Schedel, Paul Hunsdorfer, Josef Budenz, Ármin Vámbéry and Gábor Bálint de Szentkatolnai. The paper concludes that the outcome of the Ugric-Turkic War was decided almost exclusively on the basis of these non-linguistic circumstances, factors and arguments.
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