Home WHITE OX 10.12


? uni ai par sair par ? nyair

'white ox year, ten month ten two day'

Continuing yesterday's Turkic theme:

1. Last night I learned the 7th century Chinese transcription of Ötüken: 於都斤 *ʔɨə to kɨn.

2. Today I learned about Ertuğrul ارطغرل‎ <ʔrtˁɣrl> (d. c. 1280 AD), whose name is from er 'brave man' + tuğrul 'a kind of bird of prey'.

The name of the current president of Turkey has a similar etymology: Erdoğan ارطوغان‎‎ <ʔrtˁwɣān> from er 'brave man' + doğan 'hawk'.

Two puzzles:

First, I would expect ط <tˁ> to only be in Arabic words, since Turkic has no /tˁ/. But my impression is that in Ottoman Turkish orthography, ط <tˁ> was used to write /t/ before back vowels, whereas ت <t> was used to write /t/ before front vowels. Did /t/ have an allophone [tˁ] before back vowels?

Second, ط <tˁ> also did double duty for /d/ before back vowels. Why not use ض <dˁ> for /d/ before back vowels: e.g., as in قاضی <qādˁy> qādı 'judge'? Because ض <dˁ> was generally pronounced [z] in Ottoman Turkish, implying that Ottoman Turkish got its alphabet via Persian (which also has [z] for ض <dˁ>)? Was Persian [z] an approximation of [ɮˤ], the earlier value of ض <dˁ> in Arabic? WHITE OX 10.11


? uni ai par sair par ? nyair

'white ox year, ten month ten one day'

I take the inclusion of Old Turkic in Unicode for granted now, so I needed Michael Everson's document to remind me that it's a relatively recent addition (v. 5.2, 2009).

Two lines caught my attention:

There are no more than 6 or 7 of them [Orkhon inscriptions].

But aren't there just two Orkhon inscriptions? The Japanese Wikipedia includes the two Tonyukuk inscriptions among the Orkhon insciptions even though they are 360 km away from the Orkhon inscriptions.

Old Turkic is used to write Iranian text in a few manuscripts.

I would be interested to see how the Old Turkic script was adapted for a language without vowel harmony.

The English Wikipedia doesn't mention Iranic in Old Turkic script, but it does list variants I've never heard of.

I wonder what "Turkic inscriptions in the Greek alphabet" look like.

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