More orthographic miscellanea (was: Chinese Romanization)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Friday, September 10, 2004, 18:29|
On Thursday, September 9, 2004, at 07:38 , Isaac A. Penzev wrote:
> Tamás Racskó jazdy:
>> The real Slav usage is Cyrillic, indeed. Before WWII, nearly
>> almost nations under the Soviet domination were forced to use
>> Cyrillic orthography instead of their previous Latin traditions;
>> even Rumanians living in Soviet Moldova.
> Just a side note: Romanian was written with Cyrillic letters till 1859.
Yep - the earliest Rumanian text date from the 16th cent IIRC. The
language was written solely in Cyrillic until the second half of the 19th
century (the date I have is 1860 - but what's in one year?). The change to
Roman script was the result of a Latinist movement, dating from the late
18th century, which sought to deepen relation with the Romancelang
> Latin orthography was introduced after independent Romanian state came to
> existence, as a symbol of Westernization and being a "Romance" country.
Well, the language is unquestionably a Romance language, and the Romanians
still, in fact, call themselves 'Romans'.
> in 1930s Moldovan Romanians simply returned to their native orthography
> (that I personally find very aesthetic).
I understood that when the Moldavian principality became a Soviet Republic,
it was a modified form of Russian Cyrillic that was introduced, not a
revival of the earlier Romanian Cyrillic which had been based on the Old
Since 1989, Moldavian has adopted the Roman alphabet.
>> Turks has a long connection with Venice.
>> Therefore Turkish system is a balkanized amalgam of various
>> Romance conventions plus German for un-Romance front round vowels.
> Hehe. One more side note: the Turkish alphabet is an adaptation (sic!) of
> Azeri "New Alphabet" ("Yenalif"), that was designed in 1920s by Soviet
> linguists. The lgs are pretty close, you know, so it was not a problem to
> borrow the whole alphabet, throwing away three letters denoting specific
> Azeri sounds!
Yes, I know Azeri & Turkish are closely related, but I really don't see
much resemblance between Turkish Romanization and the Azeri Roman alphabet
of 1922 to 1933, except the Azeri use of |c| and |ç| which corresponds to
the Turkish use (I notice that rom 1933 until the introduction of Cyrillic
in 1940, the values of the two letters were reversed in Azeri). So indeed
we can safely point to Azeri Romanization for the Turkish use of those two
letters. But the rounded front vowels were not denoted by o-umlaut &
u-umlaut in Azeri and |ş| (s with comma or cedilla) was not, according to
my sources, introduced to Azeri until the 1933 reform which was _after_
the adoption of the Roman alphabet by the Turks. The letter was already in
use in Romanian and this must surely have been the source its adoption in
I basically agree with Tamás that the Turkish alphabet was eclectic in its
sources; but I do concede that 1920s Azeri Roman alphabets should be added
to the sources - plus also the odd bit of inventiveness by the Turks
themselves like the use of dotted and undotted i (not a good idea IMO).
Since obtaining independence, the modern Republic of Azerbaijan has
abandoned Cyrillic and reverted to the Roman alphabet.
> -- Yitzik
> (from ex-USSR,
...in which the policy regarding orthographic reform changed. In the 1920s
Romanization was the norm. IIRC Lenin is recorded as saying to comrade
Agamaly-Ogly, president of the Central Pan-Soviet Committee of National
Alphabets: "Romanization, there lies the great revolution of the east."
Wasn't there some talk even of Romanizing Russian?
But, of course, things changed under Stalin and all these new
Romanizations were swept away in 1939-1940 and Cyrillic replaced all
earlier alphabets with the exception of Gerorgian & Armenian.
But I believe the pre-1939 Romanized alphabets have been re-established
But to return to the odd use of |c| = [dZ] (the use of |ç| = [tS] is not
particularly strange). It is all ver well saying that Turkish got this
from the Azeri Romanization. But what was origin of it in Azeri? Was there
someone on the Pan-Soviet Committee of National Alphabets familiar with
the Volapük use, I wonder.
And why did Schleyer actually come up with the unusual |c| = [dZ] and
|j| = [S]? I guess just a bit of inventiveness on his part.
"They are evidently confusing science with technology."
UMBERTO ECO September, 2004