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Rumelian Turkish Features in Pietro Ferraguto’s Grammatica Turchesca (1611)

Cem Keskin

Pages 115 - 143


In this paper, I contribute to the debate on the question of which Turkish variety Pietro Ferraguto’s (1611) transcription text Grammatica Turchesca was written in. I provide additional evidence, mostly phonological in nature, in support of the position that the text was composed in a Balkan variety (cf. Stein 2016). More precisely, I propose that Ferraguto’s language can be referred to as “Early West Rumelian Turkish.” This is based on the following observations: The language of the text shows several properties of modern West Rumelian dialects, but only to a limited extent. These are, at the same time, properties that distinguish Ferraguto’s language from contemporaneous standard Ottoman. Still, these two also show some commonalities. These common traits are, in fact, linguistic properties that were preserved in West Rumelian as archaisms to this day, and are counted among its distinctive features, while being subject to change in what became Modern Standard Turkish. These observations point to a period in which West Rumelian and the varieties to the east had split only recently.


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