Lowlands-L Anniversary Celebration

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About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...



Istanbul, the center of the Ottoman
Empire, previously Byzantine Constan-
tinople, remains one of Eurasia’s most
magnificent cities.

Language information: The majority of Turkish speakers lives in Turkey and Cyprus. In Turkey, approximately 80% of the inhabitants use it as a their native language, virtually all other citizens being able to use Turkish as a second language. Outside Turkey and Cyprus, there are numerous traditional enclaves of Turkish speakers, most importantly in Bulgaria, Greece, the FYR of Macedonia, and Romania. More recently established Turkish communities are found all over Western and Central Europe, some in the Americas and in Australia, the largest one (2.5 million) being that of “guest workers” (Gastarbeiter) and their descendants (of which less than a half million are naturalized citizens) in Germany, where specific dialects of Turkish have been developing.
      Turkish is one of many Turkic languages. It is currently the best-known one among them, not only because of the relatively large number of speakers but also because in recent history Turkey was the only independent Turkic-speaking nation (and has a history of colonization under the Ottoman emperors), until the end of the Cold War and the regained independence of Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as somewhat increased autonomy of Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, Tyva (Tuvinia), Khakasia, the Altai Republic and Sakha (Yakutia) within the Russian Federation.
      Before the end of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century, Turkish was written with an adaptation of the Arabic script, and great literary works were composed in it. However, literacy was then mostly reserved for elite circles. A Latin-based writing system was introduced and with it literacy vastly increased with the foundation of today’s Turkish Republic under the leadership of the Greek-Macedonian-born Turkish statesman Mustafa Kemal (1881–1938) who later took on the name Kemal Atatürk.
      Like all Turkic languages, Turkish is an agglutinating type of language, a type in which new words are derived and grammatical function is indicated by means of suffixes (i.e., syllables added to the end of a word). This type of system is able to render in a single (augmented) word what in other types of languages requires several words. This is a general feature of the Altaic family (to which the Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic languages belong, possibly also Korean and Japanese) and also to the Uralic family (to which for instance Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian belong). Furthermore, like almost all Turkic and Uralic languages, Turkish has the feature of vowel harmony, whereby the vowel of a suffix must harmonize with the vowel of the preceding syllable in terms of back or front.
      Turkish—sometimes referred to as “Ottoman Turkish”, “Osmanli” (Osmanlı) or “Anatolian Turkish”—is most closely related to ALL languages and dialects are beautiful, precious gifts. So cherish yours and others! Share them with the world!Azeri (Azerbaijani), also rather closely to Crimean Tatar, Turkmen, Gagauz, and Khorazan Turkish (of Uzbekistan). Like that of all Turkic languages, its origin is in Central Asia, the earliest known Turkic inscriptions having been discovered in the Orkhon region of what is now Mongolia as well as in the Yennesei area of Siberia. However, like almost all Turkic languages of communities with Islamic traditions, Turkish is lexically very strongly influenced by Iranic (Persian) language varieties, particularly by Dari, Farsi and Tajik, because Persian literature, especially Persian poetry, has been particularly highly regarded among Turkic speakers for centuries, and proficiency in both Persian and Arabic used to be required of well-educated Turks in the past. This was particularly strongly reflected in the learned literature of the Ottoman era. Unlike most other Turkic languages, Turkish (and to a lesser degree its close relative Azeri) has in addition been influenced by French, in more recent times also by English and German.

Genealogy: Altaic > Turkic > Southwestern (Oghuz) > Anatolian/Ottoman

    Click to open the translation: [Version 1] [Version 2] Click here for different versions. >

Author: Reinhard F. Hahn

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
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