Teacher: Prof Laurent Mignon, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford University
Class Level: Beginners; Judeo-Turkish is a simplified form of Ottoman Turkish written in Hebrew characters. While some knowledge of Ottoman Turkish and/or modern Turkish would be advantageous, it is not a prerequisite as the level and structure of the course will be adapted according to the profile of the students.
Class Schedule 2021-22: Thursdays @ 17:00-18:00 UK Time; one-term course (Trinity Term 2022)
Class Description: Unlike languages such as Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian or Judezmo, Judeo-Turkish was never a spoken language. Its corpus consists of texts in Turkish which were mostly written in the Rashi script (a semi-cursive printed form of the Hebrew alphabet), and did not have a distinctly Jewish linguistic repertoire. After a concise presentation of Turkish grammar, syntax and phonology, and of the intricacies of representing Turkish sounds with Hebrew characters, we will read short texts excerpted from Üstad newspaper (published in Izmir between 1889-1891) and the 16th-century Tevārīh-i Āl-i Osmān (A History of the People of Osman).
Reference Materials: There is no Judeo-Turkish handbook or learning manual. As an introduction, the following article is useful: Laurent Mignon, “Judeo-Turkish” in Handbook of Jewish Languages, edited by L. Kahn and A.D. Rubin (Leiden: Brill, 2015): 634-640. Concerning the Tevārīh-i Āl-i Osmān, students can consult Ugo Marazzi’s Tevārīh-i Āl-i Osmān: Cronaca anonima ottomana in trascrizione ebraica (Naples: Istituto universitario orientale, 1980) and Tülay Çulha’s “İbrani Harfli Anonim Tevârîh-i Âl-i Osman Üzerine”, in Between Religion and Language: Turkish-Speaking Christians, Jews and Greek-Speaking Muslims and Catholics in the Ottoman Empire, edited by Evangelia Balta and Mehmet Ölmez (Istanbul: Eren, 2009: 85-99). As a reference grammar for Turkish, Aslı Göksel and Celia Kerslake’s Turkish: A Comprehensive Grammar (London: Routledge, 2005) is highly recommended. For Ottoman Turkish, Korkut Buğday’s The Routledge Introduction to Literary Ottoman, translated by Jerold C. Frakes (London: Routledge, 2009) is very useful, though the German-language original of the manual (Osmanisch: Einführung in die Grundlagen der Literatursprache [Stuttgart: Harassowitz, 1999) represents a more affordable alternative.