Talk:Azerbaijani alphabet

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Untitled[edit]

This page was created as an orphan and needs synch up with the alphabets section of Azerbaijani language. The latter article refers to several alphabets - this article shows only two. I do not speak Azerbaijani so I can't work out how the two articles can be reconciled. --Cje 08:53, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Needs a little more[edit]

I cleaned up the alphabets and the table and removed the redundancy. I think it needs to be explained why the switch to the Latin alphabet was made.--Tim 07:32, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Because Cyrillic was associated with the Soviet Union, and because Turkey uses Latin. The latter had done much to associate itself with the Cyrillic alphabet by introducing it for almost all languages spoken in it.
While I am at it, though, I slapped the "dubious" tag on the idea that the Stalinist invention ə was reintroduced "chiefly due to national pride". As the second of the external links says:

Actually, I wasn't aware that any problem existed with the Azeri alphabet until I walked into one of Baku's highest educational institutions this past June. One of the top administrators confided, "We really have a problem with our new alphabet - it's that upside-down 'e' (the schwa). Do us a favor: in your next issue of Azerbaijan International, replace it with a combination "ae" or some such letter, and put a footnote at the bottom of the page explaining what you've done. The Latin alphabet is capable of handling every sound in our language. We shouldn't have created a letter that was outside the standard Latin alphabet."

I listened. This wasn't just some academic who happened to be disgruntled about a pedantic, esoteric matter. A respected linguist, he had been a member of the government's advisory board that had helped make the decision to adopt the new Latin alphabet when Azerbaijan gained its independence in 1991 and to rid themselves of Cyrillic which had been imposed on them by Stalin's regime.

"We were mostly linguists on that committee who made the decision to adopt the new Latin alphabet," he said. "We knew all about language, but we didn't have the technological computer expertise to anticipate all the complications we were getting into when we created a few letters of our own."

That troublesome upside-down "e" represents the /æ/ sound in the Azeri language. (In English, it's like the vowel sound in the words "fat cat.") The difficulty is that Azeri is the only language in the world that uses this letter. Curiously enough, this symbol was not included in the original alphabet that was adopted on December 25, 1991. At that time, the schwa sound was represented by an "a" with two dots (umlaut-ä). But since this sound is the most frequent in the entire language, the dotted "a" became very cumbersome. Not only was it awkward to write all those dots; it was slow and tedious and didn't appeal aesthetically, no matter whether the letter was written by hand or typed.

"We were mostly linguists on that committee who made the decision to adopt the new Latin alphabet," he said. "We knew all about language, but we didn't have the technological computer expertise to anticipate all the complications we were getting into when we created a few letters of our own."

That troublesome upside-down "e" represents the /æ/ sound in the Azeri language. (In English, it's like the vowel sound in the words "fat cat.") The difficulty is that Azeri is the only language in the world that uses this letter. Curiously enough, this symbol was not included in the original alphabet that was adopted on December 25, 1991. At that time, the schwa sound was represented by an "a" with two dots (umlaut-ä). But since this sound is the most frequent in the entire language, the dotted "a" became very cumbersome. Not only was it awkward to write all those dots; it was slow and tedious and didn't appeal aesthetically, no matter whether the letter was written by hand or typed.

[...] "And," I continued, "if the 'e' weren't such a big problem, how is it possible that you can walk into any bookstore in Baku and count on one hand (no exaggeration) the books that have been published in the new Latin alphabet? Nearly two years have passed since the alphabet was officially adopted, and Azerbaijanis are a highly literate society. But where are the books in the new Latin alphabet? There's a real problem here.

"If you take a very close look at the Ministry of Education's first primer (K[ə]rimov, 1992), it seems they had to customize every single upside-down 'e' by first printing an 'o,' then drawing a line through the center and cutting out a little wedge-an incredibly painstaking process."

There we have it: slapping on average 6 dots on every word was deemed too troublesome in handwriting and too ugly in print. I can't see any national pride here. David Marjanović 19:15, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

U as in what[edit]

U as in "Put" something down. U as in "Put" a golf ball.

"Put" is ambiguous!

Try U as in "Up"? Try U as in "Foot"?

Tabletop 10:17, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I copied it right off of the source, so blame the source. Anyway, you putt in golf, not put. It's not ambiguous at all.--Tim 04:45, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Confusion on dates[edit]

This article variously gives the date of origin of the Latin Azerbaijani alphabet as 1918, 1922, and 1929. So which is it really?

I have not found any shred of evidence that it actually began in 1918. Perhaps someone assumed that the date of Azerbaijan's independence must have coincided with the introduction of the new alphabet. I think this date can be tossed away.

The date I'd always heard for latinized Azerbaijani was 1922. I'd need to look in more sources for a cite, but I'm pretty sure that's when it was officially introduced (in the no-longer independent Soviet republic).

Although 1929 saw the birth of the Unified Turkic Alphabet, clearly the latinized Azerbaijani alphabet predated both it and the Turkish alphabet introduced in 1928. In fact, according to histories I seem to remember reading, Azerbaijanis were the main force driving the latinization of Turkic alphabets. I started looking into this just now because I found an assertion in the dotless ı article that the Azerbaijani alphabet was derived from the Turkish one, when it was the other way around. Azerbaijani came first; Atatürk and the Türk Dil Kurumu would have had to study it and its implementation by their neighbor as a model for Turkey. The Unified Turkic Alphabet, although finally developed by 1929, was proposed by a conference in Baku in 1926, predating the latinization of Turkish in 1928 and all the rest circa 1930.

This article would do well to give more historical background on the Turkic latinization movement which began in the late 19th century and was mainly driven by Azerbaijanis. I don't have the sources at hand to look this up right now. Someone with a sound knowledge of the history of the subject is needed to edit this article. Thank you. Johanna-Hypatia (talk) 16:45, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Yugoslav letter J in Azerbaijani Cyrillic[edit]

Why did they choose to use the Yugoslav letter Ј instead of the letters Й/ЕЁЮЯ and Э? FokkerTISM 07:46, 18 October 2011 (UTC) ј

Probably for simplicity of letterform. Ё was never in, and using letters Е, Ю and Я was causing confusion with similar syllables written as Йо, Йə, Йи, Йө, Йү and Йы. Letter Э had become redundant when E vanished from beginning of words. 178.49.18.203 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 06:11, 22 March 2012 (UTC).