Ottoman Orthography, Conventions, and Style

TURKISH 5160: Ottoman Orthography, Conventions, and Style

Acquiring literacy in Ottoman Turkish through the study of its specific lexical, syntactic and stylistic features.  Prereq: One course at the 5000 level or above, one course at the 600 level or above, or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 610.

Turkish was written in an Arabic script and usually called "Ottoman" after the Ottoman Empire for some 1000 years before the change to a Romanized alphabet, used after the establishment of the Turkish Republic in the 1920's. Since Republican reforms included radical revision of Turkish vocabulary and syntax, Ottoman and Modern Turkish are considered to be two separate languages. Today the script continues to be used for Turkish in some areas of Iran and Afghanistan, and as an alternative to the Cyrillic script in Turkic republics of the Soviet Union. Efforts in Turkey to transliterate pre-Republican literature continue as well. Thus advanced study in literature, linguistics, art or historical research requires a knowledge of the old script and conventions of the pre-Republican literary language. The course will prepare students for such study and research. They will gain fluency primarily in reading and will also learn to write. They will become familiar with the range of calligraphic styles and functional changes which have taken place between the fourteenth and twentieth centuries in the written Ottoman and in the transliteration systems used today. Students will be expected to complete weekly assignments and to participate and attend class regularly. There will be a midterm, a final and weekly quizzes.
Credit Hours