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Survival of Scythian/Sarmatian langauge into the 1890s in Crimea
In the 1880s and 90s, when German philologists were combing through Crimea and the Ukraine, looking for various Germanic people--Goths or otherwise--that may have survived the ages, came across a few settlements in Crimea where the folks were using mysterious language(s) that at a closer examination, proved to be the modern-time survivors of the ancient Scytho-Sarmatian. Their records show that the language(s) were close to those of modern Ossetians (the only related people to Scythians/Sarmatians to survive into the present day). There were much Slavic and Turkic importation, but clearly these/this surviving language(s) was Scytho-Sarmatian Aryan/Iranic. in grammar and structure. Seemingly, that is that last time anyone encountered Scytho-Sarmatians in their ancient Crimean habitat...
The Scythians (/ˈsɪθi.ən/ or /ˈsɪði.ən/; from Ancient Greek: Σκύθαι), also known as Scyths, Saka, Sakae, Sacae, Sai, Iskuzai, or Askuzai, were a large group of Iranian Eurasian nomads...
The relationships between the peoples living in these widely separated regions remains unclear. The term "Scythian" is used by modern scholars in an archaeological context for finds perceived to display attributes of the "Scytho-Siberian" culture, usually without implying an ethnic or linguistic connotation. The term Scythic may also be used in a similar way, "to describe a special phase that followed the widespread diffusion of mounted nomadism, characterized by the presence of special weapons, horse gear, and animal art in the form of metal plaques".
From Origins: The term Scythian, like Cimmerian, was used to refer to a variety of groups from the Black Sea to southern Siberia and central Asia. "They were not a specific people", but rather variety of peoples "referred to at variety of times in history, and in several places, none of which was their original homeland."
So what is your opinion? Is the current revision OK? --Wario-Man (talk) 04:53, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
There have been battles in the past over the unmodified "Iranian" - of course references can be produced for a whole range of statements. I think it has been "mostly Iranian" etc (or similar) in the past, & I'd be happy to see it return there, but it might need permanent defending. I see the last time I edited the article it began "probably mainly Iranian", which I think better. There is tons on this in the archive pages here. At times we have also had "... were Eurasian nomads, probably mostly using Eastern Iranian languages, who were mentioned...". There is a lot of strong nationalist POV feeling, in various directions. At least we have managed to hang on to the later bits you quote. The lead has got bloated, with the big para much too long. Johnbod (talk) 11:08, 4 August 2017 (UTC)
1. maybe [Iranian languages|Iranian-speaking] for those that might confuse the 2 meanings of Iranian. 2. Historical peoples (from documents) do not always match archeological cultures (from what is dug up). Maybe distinguish. 3. Like Hun, Moor and Tartar, Scythian was sometimes used vaguely for distant ill-understood peoples. Maybe distinguish from Scythians proper. I am not sure how to fix. Benjamin Trovato (talk) 22:52, 5 August 2017 (UTC)
@Johnbod and Benjamin Trovato: Sorry for late reply. I forgot this discussion. Let me ping other editors about it. @Kansas Bear and PericlesofAthens: What do you think about the current lead? Should we keep or remove "were a large group of Iranian..."? in the lead section? --Wario-Man (talk) 18:36, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
I think it would be sensible to say they "were a group of predominantly Iranian-speaking steppe nomadic peoples", which would be accurate enough without excluding the non-Iranian speaking tribes and elements among them. The latter were no doubt a small minority among the Scythians, though. Pericles of AthensTalk 19:16, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
Suggest we remove 'Iranian' from the first sentence because, two sentences later, 'Scythian languages..' accurately explains what Iranian means in this case. 2. 'Not a specific people' needs improvement. 3. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but I know of no evidence of non-Iranian languages at this time.Benjamin Trovato (talk) 01:36, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't think it is that simple - there is precious little evidence for what languages any of them spoke, and at the least Chinese and Turkish modern sources claim evidence for use of those language families - how credibly I don't know. There is no reason for them all to speak related languages, and probably they didn't. Johnbod (talk) 03:12, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes - change - basicly it has been better before. Johnbod (talk) 02:27, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
I would agree. Remove Iranian from the first sentence, fix the The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia, Volume 1 source, to A.I. Melyukova(author) not Denis Sinor(editor). What is also needed is removing references from the lead, replace tertiary sources with secondary sources, and placing them in the body of the article. --Kansas Bear (talk) 02:45, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
My suggestion for the lead (intro/first paragraph):
"The Scythians (/ˈsɪθi.ən/ or /ˈsɪði.ən/; from Ancient Greek: Σκύθαι), also known as Scyths, Saka, Sakae, Sacae, Sai, Iskuzai, or Askuzai, were a large group of Eurasian nomads who were mentioned by nearby literate peoples as inhabiting large areas of the western and central Eurasian steppes from about the 9th century BC until about the 1st century BC. The relationships between the peoples living in these widely separated regions remains unclear. The term "Scythian" is used by modern scholars in an archaeological context for finds perceived to display attributes of the "Scytho-Siberian" culture, usually without implying an ethnic or linguistic connotation. The term Scythic may also be used in a similar way, "to describe a special phase that followed the widespread diffusion of mounted nomadism, characterized by the presence of special weapons, horse gear, and animal art in the form of metal plaques". Their westernmost territories during the Iron Age were known to classical Greek sources as Scythia."
A short summary of Iranian background (which Scythian tribes were Iranian according to modern scholars, we could mention Saka, Parni, and etc), language and other info after intro part is helpful but more details should be moved to Origins, Languages, and other sections. --Wario-Man (talk) 06:38, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
Above is complicated for a lead paragraph. I think I can simplify. 'Scythian languages' is probably ok since it neatly ducks the question of unattested non-Iranian languages. Benjamin Trovato (talk) 01:26, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Could you write your simplified lead? I want to compare it with the current lead. The lead section should summarize the content of article. So we can't make it too short and simple. --Wario-Man (talk) 04:19, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
First paragraph very simple and following paragraphs expand on it. The second paragraph and good parts of the third should be moved down to the names section, which I may do.Benjamin Trovato (talk) 21:45, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Begin your edits. Then I compare your revision with the current revision to see the changes. --Wario-Man (talk) 05:20, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
Seems you didn't read my concerns. And about your sources: The Iranica article is about Alans not Scythians. You can use it on Alans. Britannica is WP:TERTIARY. Plus we didn't finalize the lead section yet and if someone restores the old revision, I'm neutral about it. I have opened this section to improve the article. Read our comments. --Wario-Man (talk) 15:46, 15 October 2017 (UTC)
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The Armenian version of the name must be սկյութներ, not սկյութները։ The latter is put in nominative case (ending in -ը), but there is no need for it. To be more precise, it must be written in its authentic Classical Armenian version սկիւթ 'skiwtʰ', and as such, must be moved to another place, since now it is grouped with other names reflecting the form Saka. Thanks! Վազգեն Ղազարյան (talk) 07:46, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
also, the Armenian term is clearly just a loan from (late) Greek and does not show any Armenian sound laws, so there is no reason to cite it in the context of etymology (unless we can cite a source giving an etymological discussion involving Armenian forms). --dab(𒁳) 13:08, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
"Iranian-speaking" would do fine, but the current lead section already conveys as much.
The problem with the dual meaning of "Iranian" is that the to the uninitiated (which is 99.9% of prospective readers) it will sound as if it connected the Scythians to Iran and lead to endless and fruitless debate. "Iranian stock" is of course correct, but only to people who are able to understand the archaic meaning of "stock" (i.e. race). Lead sections need to be written in language accessible to first-graders if at all possible. --dab(𒁳) 11:20, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
I just saw your discussion here (after I edited the main article.) The term 'Iranian people' or 'Iranian' has been mentioned in several scholarly sources that I added to this article as an ethnonym and to refer to Scythian people. We are not arguing to whether 'Iranian languages' implies ethnicity or not, which it does; rather we are using a term for exactly the same usage and significance as mentioned in the references. Any other arguments about the implications of a ethnonym which has been used as an ethnonym is an example of original research. Iranic (talk) 16:39, 22 October 2017 (UTC)