The Fascination with Inner Eurasian Languages in the 17th Century

This book contains a number of studies on the language samples in Nicolaas Witsen’s North and East Tartary – glossaries, short texts (translations of the Lord’s Prayer), writing systems and other data. Most of the contributions are new and were written by specialists in the relevant languages, such as the languages of the Caucasus, Samoyed languages, Finno-Ugric languages, Mongolic languages, Turkic and Tungusic languages. 

The book will be an important source of information on the earlier stages of some of the Siberian languages and other languages spoken in the huge Eurasian landmass and, it is hoped, prove useful as a tool for further research by historians, linguists and other scholars interested in Eurasia and its languages and cultures. Many of these languages are to a greater or lesser extent endangered: speakers have ceased to use them, use them in an ever decreasing number of domains, and are no longer passing them to the next generation.