ARCHAIC ELEMENTS FOUND IN TURKIC PROVERBS MENTIONED IN MEGISER?S TURKISH GRAMMAR

Abstract

Author(s): SĆ¼phan Ƈ?ƇEK

The Ottoman Empire expanded its boundaries to Rumelia and then to Europe as of the late 14th century. The European communities in constant interaction with Turkish people for political, social, commercial, and cultural reasons learned the Turkish language and penned down Turkish works to teach this new language to their own communities. Megiser’s Turkish grammar written in 1612 is one of the first examples of such works. His work called “Foundations of Turkish Language in Four Chapters” (Institutionum Linguae Turcicae Libri Quatuor) provides important information on phonics, morphology and vocabulary of the period and includes 226 Turkic Proverbs. Proverbs passed down on from one generation to the other may reveal profound details on the social and cultural structure of the time in which they are formed. These language products can fight against change and they are highly resistant due to their phrasal structures. As a result, they embody some archaic elements. In this study, archaic elements in Megiser’s grammar have been detected, based on the definitions and explanations of the Turcologists. Diachronic analysis methods have been used to point out their historical use by going through the works and dictionaries of the period. Findings have then been analysed under two subtitles as archaic elements found in vocabulary and in affixes. In the result section, archaic elements in Megiser’s grammar are studies in various ways and the linguistic characteristics of the 17th century Ottoman Turkish are clarified in terms of archaic elements. Furthermore, the oral and written uses of these elements in modern Turkish language have also been mentioned.

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