Tribes and Dialects
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THE TRUKHMENS OR TURKMENS
Habitat. The Trukhmens live mainly in the Stavropol district.
Population. According to S. Tokarev, there were about 15,000 Trukhmens in 1958. No other information exists.
History. The Trukhmens migrated into the Caucasus in the 17th century. In Russian sources of the early 19th century, all Turkmens are called Trukhmens. In their cultural mode of life, the Trukhmens of today differ very little from their neighbouring peoples. They have evolved from nomads into a semi-settled or settled people.
Origin. Most of the Trukhmens belong to the tribes of Chaudorov (Chavodur), Sonchadj or Ikdir.
Language. The Trukhmen language belongs to the Oguz group of Turkic languages. It has maintained its Turkmen linguistic originality but has been strongly influenced mainly by the Nogai language in the Kipchak group. N. Baskakov's opinion is that it is most likely a dialect of the Turkmen language rather than an original Turkic language. The phonetic system, grammatical structure and, to some extent also, the vocabulary, have been somewhat influenced by the Nogai language.
The main reason for any dialectic differences observable in the Trukhmen language is contact with other ethnic groups (adstrates), i.e. the Nogai or Kumyk adstrate.
Literature in the Trukhmen language is non-existent. The Trukhmens use Russian as their literary language.