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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

A note on transliteration and nomenclature,   pp. xvii-xx PDF (453.9 KB)

Page xix

 Large numbers of names of persons and groups, however, custom arily found
in Arabicized spellings because they were written in Arabic script, have
been restored to their underlying identity when ever this is ascertainable.
For example, Arabic "Saljuq" misrepresents four of the six component phonemes:
s is correct, a replaces Turkish e, for which Arabic script provides no equivalent,
l is correct, j replaces the non-Arabic ch, u substitutes a non-Turkish long
u for the original u, and q as distinguished from k is non-existent in Turkish;
this quadruple rectification yields "Selchuk" as the name of the eponymous
leader, and "Selchukid"—on the model of ' Abbasid and Timurid —-for
the dynasty and the people. 
 It might be thought that as Turkish is now Written in a wellconceived modified
Latin alphabet, there would be no reason to alter this, and this presumption
is substantially valid. For the same reasons as apply to Arabic, ch has been
preferred above ç, sh above s, and gh above g, with kh in a few instances
given as a preferred alternate of h, from which it is not distinguished in
modern Turkish. No long vowels have been indicated, as being functionless
survivals. Two other changes have been made in the interest of the English-speaking
reader, and should be remembered by those using map sheets and standard reference
works: c (pronounced dj) has been changed to j, so that one is not visually
led to imagine that the Turkish name for the Tigris—Dijle/Dicle—rhymes
with "tickle," and what the eminent lexicographer H. C. Hony terms "that
abomination the undotted 1" has, after the model of The Encyclopaedia of
Islam, been written i. 
 Spellings, modified as above indicated, have usually been founded on those
of the Turkish edition, Islam Ansiklopedisi, hampered by occasional inconsistencies
within that work. All names of Turks appear thus emended, and Turkish equivalents
of almost all places within or near modern Turkey appear in the gazetteer.
 In addition to kh, Middle Turkish utilized a few other phonemes not common
in modern Turkish: zh (modern j), dh, ng, and a (modern e); the first three
of these will be used as needed, while the last-mentioned may be assumed
to underlie every medieval Turkish name now spelled with e. Plaintive eyebrows
may be raised at our exclusion of q, but this was in Middle Turkish only
the alternate spelling used when the sound k was combined with back instead
of front vowels, and its elimination by the Turks is commendable. 
 Persian names have been transliterated like Arabic with certain modifications,
chiefly use of the additional vowels e and o and replacing d and dh with
and z, so that Arabic "Adharbaijan" becomes Persian "Azerbaijan," more accurate
as well as more recog 

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