Wiktionary:About Ottoman Turkish

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link={{{imglink}}} This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is a policy think tank, working to develop a formal policy.
Policies – Entries: CFI - EL - NORM - NPOV - QUOTE - REDIR - DELETE. Languages: LT - AXX. Others: BLOCK - BOTS - VOTES.
See also Category:Ottoman Turkish language


Scripts make a difference[edit]

Ottoman Turkish entries find their place under page-titles in the Ottoman Turkish alphabet, however the Armenian alphabet was heavily used and printed centuries ahead, since there was no notable printing by the Arabic-writing world until the end of 18th century – they should be created as alternative forms merely.

The end of the Ottoman Turkish language is marked conveniently with the 1929 Turkish alphabet reform, lagging behind for expats and in the French-controlled areas but nonetheless marked by the alphabet.

Whether Turkish of the occasional Latin publications in the twenty years before the reform should count as ==Turkish== or added as quotes under ==Ottoman Turkish== pages – at Arabic script page titles – may remain ambiguous for now.

The reason why Ottoman Turkish is distinguished at all as a language from Turkish and its spellings aren’t just added with {{spelling of}} or {{form of}} like the Azerbaijani entry under سرچه‎ is of course that the Ottoman language is a special field of study and the “Turkish” in the dictionary is keept more tidy so, unlike Azerbaijani in Arabic script which lives on in linguistic unity with Azerbaijani in Latin script, while Turkish had a break.

Encoding of the Ottoman Arabic alphabet[edit]

ه U+0647 ARABIC LETTER HEH is used, with U+200C ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER if this makes a difference – not ە U+06D5 ARABIC LETTER AE though this can be encountered on the web.


ك U+0643 ARABIC LETTER KAF is used, for the dominating practice of writing and printing Ottoman Turkish resembled this shape – not ک U+06A9 ARABIC LETTER KEHEH. This differs from the practice for Azerbaijani, which is unshakably spelled by internet users mostly from Iran with the latter. However the immediate ancestor of Azerbaijani, Old Anatolian Turkish, uses U+0643 ARABIC LETTER KAF again, since it is the ancestor of Ottoman Turkish with an inconspicuous transition.

The current practice is to have گ U+06AF ARABIC LETTER GAF that represents /ɡ/ in page-titles for Ottoman Turkish lemmas, even though the majority of prints does not distinguish the character. Likewise the ڭ U+06AD ARABIC LETTER NG is used in the place of the old /ŋ/.

ه, ی, and ك should be exclusively entered, with no alternative forms just differing by encoding, since the software redirects if a user types in a Unicode variant, likewise if an Ottoman text is transcribed then this encoding should be adhered to. If گ and ڭ is not distinguished in quoted texts, then the distinction should not be introduced by the editor. Editors might later decide that it is not convenient to use گ and ڭ in Ottoman page titles, nor in Old Anatolian Turkish ones, and that they should be given but in |head= in the head parameters of parts of speech, but currently the practice is to lemmatize them, which dovetails with, apart from Persian etyma, other Turkic languages as for example the Tatar alphabet used in the Ottoman Empire’s last half century, 1915 specimen here, and however before the 13th century one hardly ever even distinguished چ for the voiceless postalveolar affricate, so Old Anatolian Turkish might end up having more ambiguous lemmatization.


It’s like Modern Turkish[edit]

Transcribe as though it were Modern Turkish, and according to the pronunciation how ever inferred. No circumflex signs, since these are used in scholarly works for readers to infer the Ottoman spelling but this is not needed since in this dictionary we have the Ottoman Turkish alphabet right next.

Velar nasal[edit]

However the old velar nasal, /ŋ/, should be given as ⟨ñ⟩ U+00F1 LATIN SMALL LETTER N WITH TILDE – to wit, the sign stems from the Common Turkic Alphabet and the sound is still distinguished in some Turkish dialects.


Though /ɛ/ and /e/ were distinguished in Ottoman Turkish this is currently not reflected in transcriptions on Wiktionary. Those moderately common cases however where there is a closed /e/ invite themselves for including a pronunciation section with IPA transcription as in اتمك‎.


While some argue that majuscules should not be employed at all in the romanizations, one can counter that it is convenient to have the romanization written like Modern Turkish, however Turkish is not even consistent here, so at least for the names of feasts one should use only minuscules, so as Ottoman Turkish كوچوك پاسقالیه‎ is written both Küçük Paskalya and küçük paskalya in Turkish one should take the lowercase one, also for Ottoman Turkish فرانسز‎ Turkish has Fransız but Azerbaijani fransız, so one should take the lowercase one – both feasts and gentilics aren’t proper nouns anyway.

See also Wiktionary:Tea room/2019/July § Boundaries of noun vs. proper noun in Latin, and use of capital vs. lowercase initial letters and Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2019 § Capitalization of proper nouns in languages using scripts without a lower/uppercase distinction.