Turkish influence on your language

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by robbie_SWE, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Sweden
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Hi!

    Inspired by this thread and francois_auffret, I've decided to open this thread.

    It has struck me that many people in Eastern Europe still hold a grudge against the historic Ottoman domination of the region. They sometimes even refuse to acknowledge the linguistic and cultural influence of the Turkish language and culture.

    I've always thought that the Romanian people (maybe it's just me) have gotten over it and now accept that the Ottoman rule was a part of their history. The most significant example is the abundant presence of Turkish words in everyday vocabulary.

    So my question is; how has the Turkish influence affected your language and do people still hold a grudge?

    :) robbie
     
  2. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    As far as Serbian/Croatian is concerned, there was a strong movement at the times of the civil war for a Bosnian standard language variety where many Turkish loans not accepted neither in Serbian nor Croatian (but still used in dialects) were revitalised.

    However, as far as Bosnian is concerned I am not up to date, unfortunately; I would be interested very much in statements of people living in this region about the course standard languages are taking down there.
    It would be interesting too if there was a new Anti-Turkish loan word 'movement' either in Serbian or Croatian induced by the Bosnian movement towards turcisms: as far as I am aware Turkish loans didn't cause much upset any more in pre-civil-war-times, and one of the most common Turkish loans - sat - certainly still is widely used (although with different connotations for Serbs and Croats, I think).
     
  3. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    A few words from Turkish are common in various languages, such as kiosk (quiosque in Portuguese). I've only just found out about zapato/sapato in the other thread.
     
  4. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    I would recommend this old thread in which some of these issues were discussed in much detail for South Slavic languages.


    [As a side note, some people would dispute the designation of this war as "civil", but let's not get sidetracked. ]

    As far as I know, this movement in Bosnia never took much root. Today's official Bosnian language is pretty much identical to the variant of Serbo-Croatian that was used for formal purposes in Bosnia-Herzegovina during Yugoslavia. In formal Bosnian documents that I've read during the last decade, I don't remember seeing any of the colloquial Turkish words that were considered as substandard when I was a school kid in Bosnia in the 1980s.

    In each of the three variants of the old Serbo-Croatian standard that are now officially considered as separate national languages, one might say that there are three levels of Turkish loanwords:

    (1) Those that are so ancient and well-entrenched that they have become part of the standard language, often without any native synonyms, and people generally don't recognize them as loanwords at all unless they're educated about their etymology.

    (2) Those that are used in informal spoken language, but considered as substandard in the formal standard language. Among these, there are different levels of formal unacceptability: some of them are commonly used in informal contexts even by educated people, while others can be perceived as markers of uneducated rustic speech.

    (3) Those that sound archaic and obscure to modern speakers, or even outright foreign since they've never been used in their particular region. These often have footnoted explanations when used in print.


    The number of Turkish words in each category varies across different BCS variants, although the words in categories (1) tend to be shared between Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian, since they often don't have any surviving native equivalents (sat, boja, čizma, kutija...). The number of words in category (2) and (3) is minimal in most Croatian dialects, much larger in Serbia, and by far the largest in Bosnia, which is understandable given the history of Ottoman conquests in the Balkans and their later withdrawals.

    Generally speaking, the criteria used to classify the Turkish words into categories (1)-(3) are nowadays pretty much the same as those that were used in former Yugoslavia. As far as I know, since 1991 there haven't been any significant attempts at language reforms in Serbia, while the nationalist purism pursued in Croatia and the attempts at Turkish/Arabic word revival in Bosnia in the 1990s have never been taken too seriously by most people, so they didn't end up leaving a very significant mark either.

    In particular, I'm not aware of any recent anti-Turkish word campaigns in either Serbia or Croatia, but these wouldn't make sense anyway, since as I've already noted, those Turkish words that are recognized by the standard are so well-entrenched and domesticated that it requires specialized linguistic knowledge to even recognize them as Turkish.
     
  5. francois_auffret Senior Member

    Lahore, Pakistan
    France, French
    It is difficult to say for languages which never were in direct contact such as French and English... It is possible though that a number of Arabic or Persian loanwords in these languages have come through the Turcs and the Turkish... Remember that in the 17th / 18th century in France the word Turc was used a a generic name for Muslims and that the Ottomans were seen with great respect and with great awe in Western Europe too...

    Thanks Althaulf for your very long, detailed and scholarly posting... We would like to know more...

    Robbie, what about Romanian? Could you be a bit more specific? Could you give examples and how much the Turkish language has affected Romanian???
     
  6. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    In Arabic there are quite a lot of Turkish loanwords, most are colloquial but some have found their way to standard Arabic. I don't think people hold a "grudge", I don't believe they ever did; but they did reject Turkinisation (I think I spelled it right), which was a movement around the end of the Ottoman Empire to replace local languages with Turkish. For Arabs loan words was one thing, wiping out their language was another.

    Examples that come to mind are: basha, agha, takht, haramlak, doulma, some prefixes such as siz (as in adabsiz, meaning "mannerless") and chi (as in qahwachi, meaning "the coffeeshop owner").
     
  7. MarX Senior Member

    Indonesian, Indonesia
    I just found out that the Indonesian word for "shoe", sepatu, originated from Turkish (made its way into Indonesian through Portuguese).
     
  8. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,
    Which means that Portuguese got the word from Turkish... which is not really sure. Dicionário etimológico da Língua portuguesa:
    Groetjes,

    Frank
     
  9. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    I really think that we should not start listing any Turkish loan word in any language. A Turkish word in language X on the other side of the planet doesn't really qualify as 'Turkish influence'. So, let's keep it at 'direct Turkish influence' in this thread. Before we know it, we'll be discussing which of the 6400 languages did or did not borrow the words yoghurt and baklava.


    I hope we can concentrate upon the original question and look at situations where people still hold a grudge against the historic Ottoman or Turkish domination of the region and where people even refuse to acknowledge the linguistic influence of the Turkish language for historical (or political) reasons.

    Groetjes,

    Frank
    Moderator EHL
     
  10. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Interestingly, this is exactly what I thoght would be the case but never expected (as I thought my knowledge is very much out of date) - at first, the distribution of loans (as is well known Croatian standard is more purist than Serbian, and more Turkish loans in Bosnia would be just as well natural if you take in the historical background).

    So my feeling that there was no real (newer) Anti-Turkish movement in Croatian/Serbian is confirmed.


    [Comments snipped, let's not get sidetracked, indeed.
    Frank
    Moderator EHL]
     
  11. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Sweden
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Keeping in mind that Frank06 has asked us not to publish long lists with Turkish words in our languages; I'll keep this post strictly connected to the initial question. :D

    In Romanian it is estimated that only 0,73 % of the Romanian vocabulary can be traced back to the Turkish language. Taking in consideration that Romanian (according to DEX) has over 363 000 words, the Turkish lexis is appr. 2650 (not much, taking in account that the Greek lexis amounts to appr. 6200 words). These words are most often encountered when people talk about food, commerce, clothing and merchandise.

    I have discussed this subject with people I know, who come from South Slavic speaking countries in the Balkans and I have come to the conclusion that there is a difference in mentality depending on history and ethnicity.

    The people I talked to still feel some kind of hatred towards the Turks, blaming them for their own demographic problems (something like "if it wasn't for the Ottoman Empire then we wouldn't have religious problems in Bosnia and Croatia"). I'm not saying this is true for every single person from Bosnia, Croatia, Albania or Serbia. But this type of mentality doesn’t seem to occur in Romania.

    Hope this didn't upset anyone, because it really isn't my intention.

    :) robbie
     
  12. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia

    However, if these two numbers (0.73% and 363,000) are coming from different sources, you can't derive any meaningful conclusion by multiplying them. Both the "size of the lexicon" and the "percentage of vocabulary" satisfying this or that condition are very inexactly defined notions. The numbers for either of them can vary wildly if you change the arbitrary definition of what exactly counts as a single "word".
     
  13. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Sweden
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    I completely agree Athaulf. I just had to publish the official numbers to answer francois_auffret's question.

    :) robbie
     
  14. Alijsh Senior Member

    Tehran
    Persian - Iran
    I'm not sure whether it's off-topic but since it's related to the Ottoman Empire I write it and leave the decision to the moderators.

    I don't think Ottoman lingual (excluding other cultural aspects) influence was confined to vocabulary. There must have been literary influence too and mainly via Persian literature. Persian was, so to speak, the literary language (not to consider court, etc. language that is unrelated to our topic) of the Ottomans and even some Ottoman kings have composed Persian poems. Ottomans brought Persian language and literature to Balkans. I just found a Persian article titled "Persian language in Balkans", which apart from some Persian vocabulary passed to these languages via Ottoman Turkish, mentions several Albanian and Bosnian poets who have composed Persian poets. So Ottomans must have brought some literary influence to the literature of the languages spoken in Balkans. Unfortunately, the name of the poets is in Persian and I can't directly write you their names but if you are interested, I can try to find how their name is written in their native language and write them for you.
     
  15. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Regarding the concrete numbers you cited, even though I don't speak Romanian, I would still bet that with any reasonable measure, Turkish words account for much more than 0.73% of the vocabulary of the everyday spoken language, whereas on the other hand, one could hardly compile a list of over 2,500 separate Turkish words that are still in effective circulation. :D As for the comparison with Greek words, in most European languages, their number is artificially inflated by obscure technical terminology.
     
  16. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    OK, this is a little confusing to me, I thought the Ottomans and Persians (of the time, I think they were Safavids?) were archenemies?
     
  17. vince Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    English
    interesting about sapato / zapato = shoe

    because French chaussure (= shoe) is clearly related to calçado
     
  18. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    I once mentioned to a Bulgarian girl that "yoghurt" is Turkish, and she said with a horrified look that yogurt cannot be Turkish because it is obviously Bulgarian. Perhaps she thought I thought Turkish yogurt was better? I have never tasted anything but American and Western European yogurt, so I don't have an opinion, but isn't "yoghurt" a Turkish word?
     
  19. OldAvatar Senior Member

    Bucharest
    Romanian
    It is interesting that in Romania, recent research says that some of the words known as having Turkish origins could have, in fact, Cuman origin, see Neagu Djuvara.
    It is also good to notice that Turks were not really invaders for Romanians, as presented in history books. They were seen more like partners; Romanian countries, unlike other Balkan regions, were not being Ottoman provinces but vassal states. Apart the local princes which were, sometimes, imposed by „the Gate”, Turks always respected religion and local habits of Romanians and they never liked the idea of raising the domination in these lands. The reason was mainly an economic one, since Romania always provided lots of grains and soldiers for the mighty empire.
     
  20. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    The idea that military conflict between states automatically implies mutual hatred or aversion towards each other's language and culture is an invention of relatively recent times. As recently as during the First World War, the highest German military decoration still had a French name -- Pour le Mérite.

    The Ottoman Empire wasn't a nation-state in the modern sense like the present Republic of Turkey (and neither were any other states before modern times). Unlike most modern wars, the wars at that time were not seen as ethnic conflicts, and nationalism in the modern sense didn't exist. Thus, it was nothing unusual that Persian was the language of high culture in the Ottoman Empire, despite its numerous wars with Iran.
     
  21. francois_auffret Senior Member

    Lahore, Pakistan
    France, French
    I know it is not directly the topic, but let me digress a little bit...

    In French, we have the word savate which is the equivalent of sapato/zapato
    My French dictionary (Le Petit Robert) says:

    Just to tell you....
     
  22. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Sweden
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    This is very interesting OldAvatar, because it supports my initial presumptions that Romanians don't have the same picture of the Ottoman Empire as the other inhabitants of the Balkans.

    This kind of leads me into thinking that this might explain why Romania always felt misplaced in Eastern Europe (hope this doesn't step outside the scope of this thread Frank06 ;)).

    :) robbie
     
  23. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Here, Robbie, and no offense, I think you do stay on topic for one simple reason: the Romanian feeling of 'being misplaced on the Balkans' as a national myth due to the national renaissance of Romanians in the 19th century.
    In this period of their history the Romanians 'cleansed' (to use a now popular word) of 'Balkanic' influence (Turkish included here, of course).
    But this part of the discussion would be better placed in this thread.

    Despite of that Romanian still is very much a language of the Balkans (postponed articles and other signs of the "Balkanbund"), even though the Romance parts of the language are surprisingly close to Italian.
    As for the postponed article in Balkan languages, this obviously is one of the influences in the "Balkansprachenbund" (sorry, guys, this only could be translated to English Balkan sprachbund, no 'proper' English word available for that one) which could be put down to Turkish influence, nevertheless this is a much disputed point.
    (And in fact, a postponed article very well also could have developed from other influences or even autonomously; however, much of the discussion about the Balkan sprachbund seems to be hindered by national attitudes towards Turkish influence.)

    ---> Now, just wait, Robbie: does now Romanian have a postponed article? After a quick google search I'm not so sure anymore ...
     
  24. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Sweden
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Hi Sokol!

    It actually depends. What do you mean with "postponed articles"? The Romanian articles are enclitic and they're added at the end of the noun. Similar tendencies can be seen in many languages including Latin.

    :) robbie
     
  25. modus.irrealis Senior Member

    Toronto
    English, Canada
    As for Greek, Turkish has had a lot of influence on the language, but it's almost entirely on the vocabulary. (This is true of the standard language -- there were dialects in Anatolia for example that had vowel harmony and all sorts of other Turkish-like elements). Even though there are fewer Turkish words in the language now than a hundred years ago (because of efforts to "purify" the language), there are still a lot of them, and a lot of names of places and people also have Turkish roots. And not just loanwords but a number of productive suffixes have been borrowed, like -τζης -dzis which is the same as the -chi Mahaodeh mentioned (Greek has also borrowed that word as καφετζής kafedzis).

    But I'm surprised by how little influence outside of vocabulary there is, though -- at least, how little obvious influence -- there may be some that's more subtle. Even in terms of phonology, I can't think of any sounds that Greek adopted -- in loanwords, for example, Turkish c and ç become τζ dz and τσ ts in standard Greek (I would assume the Greek dialects that had the Turkish sounds borrowed them with the Turkish sound but I couldn't confirm). And grammatically, I can think of only a few things which may be due to Turkish influences: adverbs are doubled σιγά σιγά - yavaş yavaş "slowly", constructions like θέλει δε θέλει - ister istemez "whether he wants to or not".

    I've always wondered how the vocabulary influence could be so great seemingly without any other influence. Perhaps Turkish was different enough that people could not make parallels between it and their language, except in the cases where the Turkish influence was so great that you basically got Turkified versions of the language. Or maybe, only small percentages of the population became fluent in Turkish and so only vocabulary items got passed around.

    Why Turkish influence in this case? I ask because Turkish has no article.
     
  26. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Actually, I think the English term for "Sprachbund" is "linguistic area", although the German one is also used frequently in English literature.
     
  27. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Sweden
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    Exactly! Why would it be a Turkish influence if the Turkish language lacks this grammatical trait?

    Modus.irrealis' post also made me wonder if the Turkish influence on the Romanian language also stayed strictly tied to the vocabulary. I can’t seem to recall any Turkish grammatical traits present in Romanian. Please correct me if I'm wrong!?

    :) robbie
     
  28. Spectre scolaire Senior Member

    Moving around, p.t. Turkey
    Maltese and Russian
    This is probably true. But there may be some productive morphemes in use (if you would call that “a grammatical trait”).


    The main lexicographical tool for turkisms in Romanian is still Lazăr Şăineanu: Influenţa orientală asupră limbei şi culturei române. I-II-III, Bucuresci 1900 – unfortunately a liber rarissimus.

    A notable exception is Pontic Greek which has code-copied several Turkish phonemes, f.ex.
    ü which is historically ironic as this sound existed in Greek some two thousand years ago. Many other Greek dialects which are now extinct exhibit stunning examples of Turkish influence on all levels. Very recently it turned out that Cappadocian Greek was “not as extinct as we thought”, so to say – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cappadocian_Greek_language. For the study of Turkish influence on Greek this discovery is most definitely “gefundenes Fressen”!
    :) :)
     
  29. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Robbie, and modus.irrealis,
    sorry, obviously I am wrong about the enclitic article being an obvious Turkish trait, please excuse my ignorance. ;)

    Nevertheless the enclitic article still is very interesting in regards to the Balkan sprachbund where (it seems) both in Romanian (I read this between your lines, Robbie) and in Slavic languages (I know these theories from other sources) the 'intrinsic' explanation for development of an enclitic article is emphasised - with Romanian, via Latin, with Slavic languages, via Old Church Slavonic.
    But in fact it seems natural for Romanian and Bulgarian and Macedonian (and probably some Greek dialects too?) developing in unison the enclitic article, it would be rather strange for all of them developing this article on 'intrinsic' language change only. (But I'll have to drop this unless I could come up with a good reason for Turkish influence here.)
     
  30. latinsporean New Member

    Multi-lingo
    See Before Turkish influenced anyone, The Mongols influenced Europe, now Turkish is an Altaic language which comes from Altai mountains where the Mongols are from, I mean even Hungarian is an Altaic language, eg
    Hungarian : Cabimda Alma war
    Turkish: Cebimde Elma var.
    This wasn't from the influence of the Turks, it was the Mongols that did this, Without the help of the Mongols the Turks would have never entered Anatolia. I am studying the Linguistic aspect of Altaic Languages, I am first year and I do not have alot of information however minor, we were confirmed that Altaic language family went to Europe by the Mongols, back from the Huns and Genghis khan etc. I may be wrong, Need to research more, I don't like everything lecturers tell us lol.
     
  31. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,

    Triggered by the previous post, I opened a new thread in which the (alleged) 'Altaic' status of Hungarian, and the notions 'Altaic' and 'Uralic' and 'Ural-Altaic' (thanks Spectre scolaire!) can be discussed.

    Groetjes,

    Frank
    Moderator EHL
     
  32. aleCcowaN Senior Member

    Castellano - Argentina
    Everyday words in Spanish, loans from Turkish

    As said, zapato (from zabata) [shoe]
    chaleco (from yelek) [sleeveless jacket, coat or pullover; vest]
    latón (from altln, gold ) [brass]
    yogur (from yoğurt) [yoghurt]
     
  33. cute angel Senior Member

    the universe
    Hello;

    I live in North Africa and you know that this area was a part of the Turkish Kingdom

    It has a great influense in my country till now we still use words of Turkish sources like shatrenj which was a thread had been put here few weeks ago.

    Regards
     
  34. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Isn't shatrenj of Persian origin? I think the "sha" part is the same word as "shah", which, I believe, is from the same Indoeuropean root as in "kshatriya" and "Xerxes".
     
  35. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Recent thread about shatranj.

    Latão in Portuguese. I had no idea it came from Turkish.
     
  36. modus.irrealis Senior Member

    Toronto
    English, Canada
    The strange thing is that if you take a look at the more widespread features of the Balkan languages (for example in the Wikipedia article), it's hard to trace any of them to Turkish influence. I'm still scratching my head over this apparent lack of influence on the grammar of the languages.

    But I don't think having intrinsic reasons and developing in unison are opposed. My guess would be that there were high levels of bi- and even multilingualism and that people used the same linguistic patterns in all the languages they spoke, and so even weak tendencies in one language could be reinforced by stronger tendencies in another one, and there would be pressure for different languages to have the same constructions. And at the same time, if there was nothing to work on, there'd be no change -- I haven't come across anything talking of enclitic article in a Greek dialects, but that makes sense since Greek has had a proclitic definite article for a long time.
     
  37. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Suggesting Turkish influence in case of the Balkan languages would be the first joice for a simple reason - it's the only thing these languages belonging to different language families had in common.
    But I'm not the expert concerning Turkish, and if you can't find any reason here concerning the sprachbund which should be traced back to Turkish
    the logical explanation would be the one you already gave, above: a contact phenomenon.

    All the supposedly 'intrinsic' tendencies (if these theories e. g. for enclitic article never lead to an enclitic article to any of the Slavic or Romance languages outside the Balkans area.
    Therefore it is only logical to conclude that the contact of all these languages lead to certain developments (like enclitic article, and avoiding of infinitives) which manifested themselves in all languages in the region no matter how closely related they were (or if they were related at all).

    In this case it would be interesting too if the Turkish dialects on the Balkans (as there still live significant Turkish minorities there, especially but not only in Bulgaria) share the same traits.
    Probably even Turkish could have played a role in developing the enclitic article - I am not sure if I should write this (as I can't offer any proof), but take it as speculation only: it would be possible that the subjugated Slavic and Rumanian population confronted with Turkish language (where many suffixes determine the meanings of nouns) slowly came to putting their (independently developped) article at the end rather than before the noun.

    Such 'area linguistics' phenomena are very well known for Indian languages; there are communities with mixed Dravidian and Indoaryan languages where the grammar of both languages levelled out against each other (i. e. even though both languages originally had rather different grammar features there were adaptions which made it easier to produce near-1:1-translations from one language into the other one). The british linguist John J Gumperz has done some work on such phenomenons in the 1960ies. (If someone is interested I'll search for the source and will give a quote.)

    But as stated, I am only speculating here.
     
  38. modus.irrealis Senior Member

    Toronto
    English, Canada
    Not the only thing. The Balkans had been ruled by the Roman Empire before that and had had Latin and Greek as prestige languages for a long time. There was a common religion with texts translated from the same source which may have allowed influence to go through. But I suspect there were high levels of bi- and multilingualism that allowed all these convergences to take place -- the various populations were until modern times very intermingled.

    I'm not an expert either but from the little Turkish I know, I have to say that Turkish just doesn't share these convergences.

    But Romanian certainly inherited the circumstances to develop an article (as ille became an article in most of the Romance languages) and the flexibility of Latin certainly means that it coming after its noun is plausibly intrinsic. But often, there's a lack of information - with Albanian for example, we don't seem to know that much of what it looked like earlier. Just to be clear, I do think that the contact played an important role, but I don't see that as conflicting with the idea that they are also intrinsic development, but with the various tendencies in the various languages feeding off of each other, instead of their necessarily being some sort of borrowing going on.

    Ah -- but that shouldn't be too hard to test if the evidence is there. For example, do the earliest Romanian texts have more flexibility in the placement of the article? What about the other languages?

    I would say that Western European languages form a sprachbund, although that doesn't seem to be a popular opinion (although there is the broader concept of Standard Average European). But the level of shared characteristics there seems to be the as in the Balkans and I would suspect that the causes are roughly the same, whatever they may be.
     
  39. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Greek - yes, but Latin - no: when the Slavs came Latin speaking tribes were driven away to deep forests and high mountains (the so-called Valachians), Latin wasn't a prestige language any more but a minority language. But as for Greek you certainly have a point.

    Well yes, certainly - but should it really be coincidence that of all Slavic languages (where too there are reasons to believe in intrinsic development of an enclitic particle - with determined vs. not determined adjective endings) only the Balkan branch (Bulgarian + Macedonian) and of all the Romance languages only the Balkan branch (Rumanian) should develop an enclitic article?

    Way too much coincidence for my money.
    As for Turkish influence, this needn't be the case, of course, even the speculative theory which I posted above (and as stated there), but that the enclitic article developped in Slavic and Romance languages only in the Balkan regions surely could only be explained as a contact phenomenon.

    I don't speak of borrowing here but of the development of new features (of which the enclitic articel is but one, the avoidance of infinitives another one) in a mixed linguistic area where it isn't clear if only some or many or even all of the languages present in the area did contribute to this development.
    The only thing we can be sure of is that these features did develop only there - on the Balkans.

    I'm sorry, but I can't be of help here.
    As for Romanian we can only speculate as to what the article did look like between the Latin period and when Romanian surfaced again, which seems to have been in the 16th century only. There's a gap of well over 1.000 years to bridge. The oldest known text seems to be a commercial letter dated 1521 (Valachia was a tributary of the Osman Empire since 1396/1460; and anyway there's a historical dispute going on since the 19th century even - I believe - as to wether today's Romanians 'always' that is since Roman times lived in Valachia or if they did emigrate from today's Serbian and Bulgarian region to today's Romania).
    I don't know for sure but I'd say that Romanian already had the 'Balkan' features in 1521, otherwise I probably would have found references to the point that this were not the case.

    As for the other languages, especially Slavic languages: I am not familiar at all with Old Church Slavonic texts of the Balkan regions (nor with Old Church Slavonic texts in general, for that matter) but I would think that the older texts still were rather conservative (i. e. non-balkanic) even in the Bulgarian region because this is what usually happens with liturgic languages. So I do not know if there are definite clues as to the time when Bulgarian adopted the Balkan features.
    Old Church Slavonic certainly had no article (but determined/indetermined adjective endings) and did not avoid infinitive constructions.

    I agree with you here in principle; English as a world language is enforcing the ties European languages have nowadays, French did play this role some time ago. Still there are 'sub-regions' if one would suggest such a sprachbund, for example the Nordic region (Skandinavian languages), the Mediterranean, and so on.
     
  40. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Turkish has had a few small, but still interesting influences on the morphology of Bosnian speech. Specifically, the Turkish suffixes -ci/ and -lik have been borrowed in the form -džija and -luk, and are actually productive in this role (or at least were productive for a certain period -- using them with modern nouns and adjectives usually sounds a bit funny :D). Some of the nouns derived this way have entered even the standard language, though they're not productive in it.
     
  41. Spectre scolaire Senior Member

    Moving around, p.t. Turkey
    Maltese and Russian
    As long as you can’t substantiate such a hypothesis, I think I agree with the blue part of your statement. ;) In fact, it would be pretty farfetched to suggest such a thing.
    I think there is a common agreement on Turkish not belonging to the Balkan Sprachbund, and the reason can be read in this thesis, especially p.26 ff., and in p.31 the author makes a 12 item list of morphosyntactic features which could be called “Balkan features”. Turkish is not a member, as it were, of this Sprachbund, and the reason is that it does not share these features.

    One interesting exception is nr. [taken from the mentioned Chase Faucheux thesis] 6. future tense expressed analytically (often using “want” as an auxiliary), but the exception is limited to Turkish in the Balkans – see this thread.The example being admittedly a “Balkan feature in Turkish” – it can also be found in very colloquial Turkish, especially among (recent) refugees from Bulgaria and perhaps in villages near Dörtyol (Hatay prov.) where people still speak Albanian following the Population Exchange – it doesn’t qualify for membership, so to say, in the Balkan Sprachbund.

    Two factors may have excluded Turkish from ever “acquiring membership”:

    1) Turkish is typologically a very different language from Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Greek and Albanian. In fact, it is so different that these Balkan Sprachbund “full members” could easily be considered – typologically! – as “dialects of one language”.

    Don’t misunderstand me, the great linguistic interest in the Balkan Sprachbund is precisely due to the fact that these languages belong to four different branches of Indo-European languages! And yet, they are like languages of another world compared to Turkish – or (indeed) vice versa. :D

    2) Lexical influence counts little when it comes to language typology. And it is in the domain of code-copying Turkish words and idioms that Balkan languages have been heavily influenced by Turkish. (Greek in Anatolia seems to be an exception to this “superficial” lexical influence - see last part of post #28 of this thread).

    The obvious question is then why the code-copying is limited to one way. A plausible answer is that Turkish was the prestige language in the Balkans during several centuries. Again – don’t get me wrong! I am now talking about oral language, not written. There were three liturgical languages reigning supreme in local communities in the Balkans: Latin, Greek and Church Slavonic, catering for everybody including the Albanians whose language did not even exist as a written (standard) language until very late.

    Functionally, one could say the same thing about other languages of the Sprachbund: Vernacular Greek was deeply frowned upon by the Greeks themselves. This non-standard oral reality of our Sprachbund members made them wide open to Turkish lexical influence. The proof is found in the languages themselves, but the reason for this – puristically seen – “dreadful state of affairs” is very much disputed. ;)

    If one should sum up Turkish linguistic influence on Balkan languages, it is basically a lexical influence, not a typological one. On the other side, most Balkan languages were typologically so similar – at least compared to Turkish – that whatever influence they were subjected to throughout Ottoman rule, they all received more or less the same impact. No language was “immune” to Turkish lexical influence. Hence, it is a Greek illusion – when talking about such alleged immunity – to think that Greek language was in any way different from the other Balkan languages.

    Popular culture in the Balkans had a distinctive Turkish stamp, official culture had a theocratic one, one which was regulated by the millet system.
    :) :)
     
  42. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    I think this is actually an understatement. The word Vlach (and its various forms in different languages and dialects) is a slur (of varying offensiveness) in most places in Central and Southeastern Europe. What is especially interesting is that its meaning is totally different in various places and among different ethnic and religious group. The fact that this word root has been a basis for so many offensive terms suggests that the image of Vulgar Latin speakers in the eyes of other ethnicities was pretty bad.

    Of course, Church Latin was the language of highest prestige among Catholics, but I doubt that many people saw any connection between it and the languages descended from Vulgar Latin back then.
     
  43. OldAvatar Senior Member

    Bucharest
    Romanian
    I agree with that idea. The main reason of such an image is the occupation of these people. These guys were shepherds, with male population migrating every year from mountain to mountain with their sheeps (the so-called transhumance), avoiding cities, in general, and coming down to towns only when needed to sale their products. These guys were probably uneducated in comparison with the ones living in cities.
    The word „cioban - shepherd”, for example, still has derogatory conotations in Romanian, meaning a person with bad manners.
    Also, the term Vlach was initially used to name the barbarians living at the border of the Roman empire, but speaking a form of a Latin language. They were probably considered as some sort of outlaws, strangers having their own rules, their own habits etc., different from the ones of Slavic or German populations, for example.
     
  44. Athaulf

    Athaulf Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Croatian/Bosnia, Croatia
    Yes, the exact same word is used as an insult (nowadays somewhat comical) for uncultured people in former Yugoslavia. :D However, I'd say that it's probably due to animosity of settled farmers against nomadic and semi-nomadic shepherds; there wasn't that much townsfolk in medieval Balkans.

    I'm not sure if this explanation for the word origin is reliably correct. I've read several different accounts of its history and its possible connection with "Welsh", but none of these seem to be conclusively proven. Certainly, one of the most interesting wanderworts in existence. :)
     
  45. OldAvatar Senior Member

    Bucharest
    Romanian
    As far as I know, the term Walch > Wlach was first used by German tribes to name some of the Romanized Celtic populations and then by Slavics to name any sort of Romanized population. I assumed that, because Celtic tribes were definitely different than Germanic and Slavic ones. However, Celtics had little to do with actual Romanian people.

    I wasn't reffering to the Medieval ages but to the early middle ages, when Eastern Roman Empire was still under the influence of Latin language, somewhere until 600 AD. There were lots of cities arround.
     
  46. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
  47. goksuc New Member

    Ankara
    Turkish

    I hope I understood your sentence correctly. Kiosk is not used in Turkish at all. It must have German root. And I don't know any word as "zapato". I know ciabatta though, which means slippers in Italian.

    Shoe = ayakkabı (or outdated word "pabuç, must be from Per.)

    In Greece some Turkish words are also used by Greeks of Asia Minor background but not necessarily by Greeks. For example düdüklü (ntountouklou) for pressure cooker whereas in everyday Greek it is hitra tahititas. And some old Turkish words (that we even don't use today) just remained in Rebetika songs. Another example is the word Kahpe, which means prostitute (informal) is used only in some islands like Lesvos.
     
  48. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I have no idea if it's used in modern Turkish, but according to the dictionaries where I've looked it up, it's a word of Turkish origin (via French).
     
  49. goksuc New Member

    Ankara
    Turkish
    Interesting. The word "kiosk" is not used in modern Turkish, we prefer to use the word "büfe" to talk about a newsstand, kiosk.

    I also saw that kiosk apparently derived from the Turkish word (via Persian) "köşk" (kioshk) which means mansion, villa (in today's Turkish). The word "kiosk" with today's meaning (a place with an open window where cigarettes, newspapers, gums are sold) is not used in Turkish, instead we use another French word "buffet" (büfe) :)
     
  50. Maya-the-smile New Member

    Bulgaria, Sofia
    Bulgarian
    Hello from Bulgaria,

    About what Ferrero wrote...I am not sure of the origin of the word YOGHURT but...it is claimed that the yoghurt itself is "discovered" by Bulgars...something with goats' skin...
    We don't use the word "yoghurt" to call the product yogurt - we call it "kiselo mliako". [Bulgarian yoghurt ad snipped, Frank, moderator]

    And now...about the influence of Turkish over Bulgarian - BIG INFLUENCE, really! Of course this has much to do with the fact that Bulgarians have been held in slavery by the Turks for 5 centuries...
    There are may be...if not hundreds, than thousands of word we use and are Turkish...
    - abdal, hayvan, acaba, hava, adaş , örnek, demek, meydan, muhabbet, akıl, kafa, şişe , tersine...and sooo sooo on...If I gotta give more examples I wouldn't feel any difficulty, because a big part of our vocabulary is influenced by Turkish.
    Another interesting thing is that in some local dialects there are really a lot of Turkish words and phrases... :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2008

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