Tracing the origins of the Hungarian language

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Tracing the origins of the Hungarian language

Bernát Munkácsi’s first study trip brought him to the Csangos in Moldova in 1880. In 1885, he was the first non-Russian researcher to visit the Udmurt (Votyak) people. On his next and last trip in 1888–89, he studied  Mansi (Vogul) dialects, a language closely related to Hungarian.

After his last expedition, his sources came to him: during the Great War, he collected linguistic data of the Udmurt and Ossetic languages among Russian POWs.

Munkácsi was not the only researcher of Jewish origin who were among the pioneers researching the Finno-Ugric origins of the Hungarian language. The names of Ignác Halász and Mór Szilasi should be noted in this context. The fact that they had Magyarized their names and were engaged in these researches indicate their conscious choice of a Hungarian identity.