The Far-East Ancestors of the Magyars : A Historical and Linguistic Excavation
By James Xueyuan Zhu
International Journal of Central Asian Studies, Volume 4 (1999)
Introduction: The Hungarians call themselves Magyar, a word that also designates their language. The origins of the Magyars as a people and language have long baffled historians, anthropologists and linguists. Though Magyars have inhabited central Europe surrounded by Indo-Europeans for over a millennium, the Magyar language curiously resembles languages of northern Asian in its crucial featureswords, syntactic structures, and speech rhythms. It employs a form of address that puts family name first and titles last, a typically Asian word order absent elsewhere in Europe. Thus János, whose family name is Arany, is addressed “Arany János úr (Mr.)” and not “Ur János Arany”. The Magyars are recognized to have migrated from the East, but the location of their ancestral homes, their ethnic makeup, the precise time of, and reasons for their westward movement are all unknown.