From Ottoman to Turkish


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  • The citizenry at large was invited to suggest alternatives to words and expressions of non-Turkish origin, and many responded. In 1934 lists of new Turkish words began to be published, and in 1935 they began to appear in newspapers.
  • From Ottoman to Turkish

    2. 2. The roots of Turkish language The roots of the language can be traced to the Altay region, with the first known written records dating back nearly 1,300 years in the Northern Siberian Altay Mountain Range
    3. 3. By the beginning of the eleventh century most of them who had reached the Middle East became Muslim, and the literate among them adopted the Arabo-Persian alphabet.
    4. 4.  Their own language was rich in words necessary for nomadic life, but it was deficient in terms for philosophical, theological, and artistic concepts. For these they resorted to Arabic and Persian.
    5. 5.  Nomadic people brought the language with them as they expanded out to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and a number of other countries.  Today, the language is spoken by more than 83million people around the world. In fact, out of all of the Turkic languages, Turkish is the most commonly spoken worldwide.
    6. 6. What kind of language Ottoman was  Ottoman language was a mixture of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish.  At heart it was Turkish; its accidence and syntax were Turkish,  In pre-reform the language was: Bir müsellesin mesaha-i sathiyesi, kaidesinin irtifaına hâsıl-ı zarbinin nısfına müsavidir.  zaviyetan-ı matekabiletan-ı dahiletan (içters açılar)
    7. 7. Why Ottoman language contained so many vocabulary from Arabic and Persian?  Members of the civil, military, and religious elites conversed and conducted their business in Ottoman Turkish. . At an official level, it was used for the administration of the empire  Arabic remained the primary language of religion and religious law .  Persian was the language of art, refined literature, and diplomacy.
    8. 8. Did ottomans borrow only vocabulary from Arabic and Persian?  Some of its grammar was taken from Arabic and Persian  They borrowed Persian and Arabic plurals E.g. Ervah,  Persian interposes an i between noun and qualifier, and both conventions were adopted. Turkish adjectives precede their nouns, but Arabic and Persian adjectives follow them.  E.g. Bâb -i- âlî= gate and high  Ulüm-i tabiiye = Tabi ilimler
    9. 9. Why change the language?  The constituent parts--Turkish, Persian, and Arabic-- belong to three different language families--Ural- Altaic, Indo-European, and Semitic, respectively--and the writing system fits only Semitic.  Phonological, grammatical, and etymological principles are quite different among the three families. For these reasons, modernist intellectuals during the nineteenth century began to call for a reform of the language
    10. 10. After the establishment of Turkish Republic  Atatürk made language reform an important part of the nationalist program.  The goal was to produce a language that was more Turkish and less Arabic, Persian, and Islamic; one that was more modern, practical, and precise, and less difficult to learn.  This process was to be accomplished through two basic strategies--adoption of a new alphabet and purification of the vocabulary.
    11. 11. New era in Turkish language  The language revolution (dil devrimi ) officially began in May 1928, when numbers written in Arabic were replaced with their Western equivalents. In November the Grand National Assembly approved a new Latin alphabet that had been devised by a committee of scholars.  Many members of the assembly favored gradually introducing the new letters over a period lasting up to five years. Atatürk, however, insisted that the transition last only a five months, and his opinion prevailed
    12. 12. With chalk and a portable blackboard, he traveled throughout the country giving writing lessons in the new Latin alphabet in schools, village squares, and other public places to a people whose illiteracy rate was suddenly 100 percent
    13. 13.  On January 1, 1929, it became unlawful to use the Arabic alphabet to write Turkish.  By replacing the Arabic with the Latin alphabet, Turkey turned consciously toward the West and effectively severed a major link with a part of its Islamic heritage. By providing the new generation no need or opportunity to learn Arabic letters, the alphabet reform cut it off from Turkey's Ottoman past, culture, and value system, as well as from religion
    14. 14. Second stage of the language revolution  Atatürk and his language reformers viewed non- Turkish words as symbols of the past.  They encouraged a national campaign, supported by government policies, to purify the language.  Lexicographers began to drop Arabic and Persian words from dictionaries.
    15. 15. "The Turkish Nation, which knows how to protect its territory and its sublime independence, must also liberate its language from the yoke of foreign languages".
    16. 16.  The Turkish Language Society (Türk Dil Kurumu), founded in 1932, supervised the collection and dissemination of Turkish folk vocabulary and folk phrases to be used in place of foreign words.
    17. 17.  In October 1932 the word collecting began. Every provincial Governor presided over a collection committee, with the duty of organizing the collecting of words in use among the people.  Within a year, over 35,000 such words were recorded. Meanwhile, scholars had been combing through dictionaries of Turkic Languages and more than 150 old texts in search of words that had fallen out of use or had never been in use in Turkey - these totalled close on 90,000.
    18. 18.  Later, many officials realized that some of the suggested reforms became ridiculous. E.g. Kalem which was Arabic translated as; yağuş oryazgaç or çizgiç or kavrı or kamış or yuvuş Western word academy to be the Turkish ak adam: - ak - white and adam - man (an Arabic word)  Niagara being explained as from Ne yaygara! - What tumult!  and Amazon as from Ama uzun! - But it's long!
    19. 19. What happened when the equivalent words in Turkish were not found  Atatürk resolved the problem with an ingenious political invention that he suggested Sun-Language Theory which was the "mother of all languages," and that therefore all foreign words originally were Turkish  Thus, if a suitable Turkish equivalent for a foreign word could not be found, the loanword could be retained without violating the "purity" of the Turkish language.
    20. 20.  Some of them made terrible mistakes  millet - nation into Ulus (mongolian) but Uluş was a genuine Turkish word  millî - national so they borrowed the French suffix - el or -al , and they replaced millî national by ulusal.
    21. 21.  By the late 1940s, considerable opposition to the purification movement had emerged.  Teachers, writers, poets, journalists, editors, and others began to complain publicly about the instability of the officially sanctioned vocabulary.  In 1950 the Turkish Language Society lost its semi- official status. Eventually, some Arabic and Persian loanwords began to reappear in government publications.
    22. 22. In Conclusion  The cost of language reform, however, has been a drastic and permanent estrangement from the literary and linguistic heritage of the Ottomans.  Language and language reform continue to be political issues in Turkey  Language reform and modern usage have pushed forward during periods of liberal governments and been deemphasized under conservative governments such as those of the 1980s.
    23. 23.  Ezgoz emisyonu ölçüm istasyonu - exhaust emission measuring station.  Operasyon- Operation  Spekülasyon- Speculation  Akreditasyon- Acreditation