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Wolff, R. L.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume II: The later Crusades, 1189-1311

A note on transliteration and nomenclature,   pp. xix-xxii PDF (772.0 KB)

Page xxii

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
z and z :(<see image>, so that Arabic "Adharbaij√£n"
becomes Persian "Azerbaijan", more accurate as well as more recognizable.
Omission of the definite article from personal names was considered but eventually
 Armenian presented great difficulties: the absence of an authoritative reference
source for spelling names, the lack of agreement on transliteration, and
the sound-shift by which classical and eastern Armenian b, d, g became western
Armenian p, t, k and - incredible as it may seem to the unwary - vice versa;
similar reciprocal interchanges involved ts and dz, and ch and j. The following
alphabet represents western Armenian letters, with eastern variants in parentheses:
a, p (b), k (g), t(d), e, z, e(overbar), i, t, zh, i, l, kh, dz (ts), g (k),
h, ts (dz), gh, j (ch), m, y, n, sh, o, ch, b (p), ch (j), r, s, v, d (t),
r, ts, u or v, p, k, o, f :(<see image>. Many spellings are based on
the Armenian texts in the Recueil des historiens des croisades. 
 In standardizing names of groups, the correct root forms in the respective
languages have been hopefully identified, with the ending "-id"
for dynasties and their peoples but "-ite" for sects, and with
plural either identical with singular (as Kirghiz) or plus "-s"
(Khazars) or "-es" (Uzes). In cases where this sounded hopelessly
awkward, it was abandoned (Muwahhids, not Muwahhidids or Muwahhidites and
certainly not Almohads, which is, however, cross-referenced). 
 The use of place names is explained in the note preceding the gazetteer,
but may be summarized by saying that in general the most familiar correct
form is used in the text and maps, normally an English version of the name
by which the place was known to Europeans during the crusades. Variant forms
are given and identified in the gazetteer. 
 Despite conscientious efforts to perfect the nomenclature, errors will probably
be detected by specialists; they are to be blamed on me and not on individual
contributors or editorial colleagues, for I have been accorded a free hand.
Justifiable suggestions for improvements will be welcomed, and used to bring
succeeding volumes nearer that elusive goal, impeccability in nomenclature.
[Princeton, New Jersey, 1962] 
Reprinted from Volume I, with minor modifications. 

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