The glossary is searchable by English definition, Arabo-Persian script, and transliteration.
This glossary uses the system for the transliteration of Eastern Turki employed by David Brophy in “The Qumul Rebels’ Appeal to Outer Mongolia” 1 and adapted by Eric Schluessel in The World As Seen from Yarkand 2 :
We indicate vowel length in Arabic and Persian words where appropriate: ā, ū, ī.
و is written u, o, ü, ö, or w depending on context. ي is y when a consonant and i when a vowel – there is no apparent distinction between front i and back ï in Eastern Turki, so this is not marked.
Vowels are indicated overall in the transliteration wherever appropriate, though I would note that there was and is significant variation in vowel quality between local varieties, and scribes tended to write words out as they heard them. As such, it would behoove the reader to search mainly for combinations of consonants, which are much less variable.
Eric Schluessel and Niko Kontovas
after Gustav Raquette
Welcome to the first digital glossary of Eastern Turki! This is a beta version and work in progress.
This glossary first appeared as Part Three of Gustav Raquette, Eastern Turki Grammar: Practical and Theoretical with Vocabulary (Berlin: Reichsdrückerei, 1912-1914). Eric Schluessel typed it out over the course of several weeks in 2014, and Niko Kontovas converted it into this searchable online form. The PDF form of this glossary is available here.
The glossary retains almost all of Raquette’s material. However, its main purpose is to provide a handy tool for those learning the language. Therefore, where the English of the original work is archaic or obscure, we have clarified meanings, and where an obvious and important usage has been omitted, we have included it. Many derived forms included in the original are not in this version, as where a noun is followed by verb phrase consisting simply of “to do Noun,” or where a normal suffix has created an obvious form, as in ʿājiz “Adj. weak” and ʿājizliq “N. weakness.”
Some entries where Raquette’s specific phrasing or an unusual definition may interest the student or researcher have been marked (Raquette), as in ṭāyfa “a single china-man.” I have further included etymologies where appropriate: Russian and Chinese loanwords are marked with their sources in those languages. Words from Arabic and Persian are marked, but not consistently.
This glossary is a living document – it needs to be updated and improved. The ultimate goal is for this to act as an aid to studying Eastern Turki and translating it into English without using other intermediate languages. Further additions should come from resources where Eastern Turki glosses are given by reputable scholars in other languages, for example in Pavet de Courteille’s Dictionnaire Turc-Orientale, and from ongoing research in Eastern Turki texts.
“Eastern Turki” is a convenient shorthand for the varieties of Southeastern Turkic spoken and written in Xinjiang and Central Asia through the mid-twentieth century.
This term comes directly from the lexicographers and linguists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For Robert Shaw, Eastern Turki indicates “the Turkish of Kashgar and Yarkand (which some European linguists have called Uïghur, a name unknown to the inhabitants of these towns, who know their tongue simply as Túrki). 1 He presents Eastern Turki as the chief representative of the Eastern Turkic (Karluk) languages in contrast to Ottoman as that of the Western (Oghuz) varieties. Harold Whitaker simply referred to “Kashgari or Eastern Turki.” (Eastern Turki [as Spoken in Turkestan]) Gustav Raquette defines Eastern Turki simply as “The Dialect of Eastern Turkestan spoken now-a-days.” 2 While this definition is nearly tautological, it says a great deal both about the state of research on Turkic languages circa 1910 and the methodological priorities of Turkologists like Raquette. Raquette and his student Gunnar Jarring prioritized the living spoken language over what they saw as the ossified literary tradition. In order to get at the structure of the living language, they made painstakingly narrow transcriptions of people’s speech, usually as those people read out a text written on the page.*
I think this practice came from a belief, not entirely unfounded, that the manuscript culture of Kashgaria represented a kind of vernacular writing that had become separated from a more formal Persianate tradition. (For more on the “nativization” of manuscript culture, see Rian Thum, The Sacred Routes of Uyghur History.) This nativization or Turkification manifested in writing as: greater inconsistency in spelling, indicating that the scribe wrote words sometimes as they sounded, sometimes not; the orthographic nativization of Arabic and Persian words; a converse tendency to hypercorrect Turkic words to match Persianate forms (ex. bol- بول “to be” > bwāl- بوال to match Persian-derived ḫwāhla- خواهلا “to desire”; general hypercorrection of <p> to <f>, as in payǧambar پیغمبر “prophet” > fayǧambar/ṗayǧambar فیغمبر, or even dep دیب “to say (perf. converb) > def/deṗ دیف); and the hypercorrection of other foreign words and names using letters that indicated Arabic origin (ex. tīṭay تیطی < Ch. 提臺).
In this sense, “Eastern Turki” indicates a variety of Southeastern Turkic spoken around the area of Kashgar and Yarkand, but mutually intelligible with varieties spoken across Xinjiang and much of Central Asia, from around the eighteenth century through the early twentieth century. (It is not quite Chaghatay, the literary language of Central Asia: while they are very close, and Eastern Turki makes an excellent introduction to Chaghatay, their phonologies differ. Nor is it Modern Uyghur, as it was codified and institutionalized from the 1930s onward: its orthography, the semantic range of much of its Arabo-Persian vocabulary, and its morphology are significantly different.) This is a weak definition, but I do not believe a stronger one is in order. Anyone who works with manuscripts from Central Asia, especially those not made for the aristocracy, will know that vocabulary and morphology do not obey strict boundaries. A “Kipchak” word will show up in a contract from Yarkand, or a writer in Ili will adopt a few Tatar suffixes. I believe that, for someone working with primary materials, “reading Chaghatay” is not a separate skill from “reading (Eastern) Turkic.”
As such, going forward, this glossary will include lexicon from other long-since-out-of-print manuals. For example, Pavet de Courteille’s dictionary draws the same basic contrast between East and West, but he includes the great literary figures of an earlier period, ʿAlī Shīr Nawā’ī (1441-1501), Bābur (1483-1530), and Abū ‘l-Ghāzī (1603-1663).*Most specialists would reasonably characterize all of them as writing in Chaghatay. Given that 1. we should expect more than a little overlap between people studying literary Chaghatay and vernacular Eastern Turki, 2. Nawā’ī never left the consciousness of writers of Eastern Turkic, and 3. the distinction is fairly artificial anyway, it seems both reasonable and useful to include both.