Old Turkic

Old Turkic is a period in the history of Turkic languages, and most often refers to the language of the Kök Türk Empire, and of the ancient Uyghurs. In this class, which has a prerequisite of one year of Turkish or other Turkic language, we will be reading the Orkhon Monuments from the 8th Century, with Latin alphabet transcriptions next to the original runiform Old Turkic letters. The class is also a good way to explore the diplomatic, political and military history of the relations between the Turkic (Türk) Khaganate, Sui & Tang Dynasties China, and neighboring states. As a language study, Old Turkic is a fascinating foray into the roots of Turkish and other Turkic languages, and helps to add depth to one's background in Turkish, which can be helpful for advanced students, as well as those wishing to deepen their understanding of Ottoman, especially in its earlier forms, and of the Chagatai literary language of Central Asia. The emphasis is on in-class reading & discussion. A short (5 pp) paper will be due every quarter, or a longer paper at the end of the year for those who desire it. Courses in Middle Turkic (11th – 13th Centuries) are also offered on demand.

Old Turkic Faculty