Gagauz language

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Gagauz
Gagauz dili, Gagauzça
Pronunciation[ɡaɡaˈuzt͡ʃa]
Native toMoldova, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey
RegionGagauzia
Native speakers
140,000 (2009)[1]
Turkic
Latin (current)
Cyrillic (historical)
Official status
Official language in
 Moldova
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3gag
Glottologgaga1249[2]
Linguaspherepart of 44-AAB-a
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The Gagauz language (Gagauz dili, Gagauzça) is a Turkic language spoken by the Gagauz people of Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey, and it is the official language of the Autonomous Region of Gagauzia in Moldova. Gagauz belongs to the Oghuz branch of Turkic languages, alongside Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Crimean Tatar (considered Kipchak in some cases), and Turkish. Gagauz has two dialects, Bulgar Gagauzi and Maritime Gagauzi. Gagauz is a distinct language from Balkan Gagauz Turkish.[3]

Though it was established as a written language in 1957, Gagauz was not used in curriculum until 1959.[4] Gagauz is a language coming from Balkan Gagauz Turkish; Balkan linguistics was the first to view the consequences of language contact as normal rather than corrupt.[5] The term "Gagauz language" and identification of one's language as "Gagauz" were established concurrently with or even after the creation of national self-awareness.[6] About 150,000 Gagauzes resided in Moldova in 1986, where they lived in settlements within the Komratskii, Chadyr-Lungskii and Vulkaneshtskii Rayons.[7] Along with the majority of Gagauzes living in Moldova, there are four other cities in Bulgaria in which the Gagauz reside.[8]

History[edit]

Between 1750 and 1846, ancestors of the Gagauz today immigrated to Russia and settled in the region that is now the current-day Republic of Moldova, allowed to do so on the condition that they converted to Orthodox Christianity by Empress Catherine.[9] In the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the 1994 law on Special Legal Status of Gagauzia was passed in Moldova, which was put into effect in 1995, granting the Gagauz territorial autonomy.[10][11]

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Consonant phonemes of Gagauz
Labial Dental Alveolar Post-
alveolar
Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive p b t d k ɡ
Affricate t͡s t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Fricative f v s z ʃ ʒ h
Rhotic ɾ~r
Approximant l j

Vowels[edit]

Vowel phonemes of Gagauz
Front Central Back
Close i y ɯ u
Mid e ø ə o
Open æ ɑ

Orthography[edit]

It appears that the first alphabet to be used for the language was the Greek alphabet[12] in the late 19th century. For example, orientalist Otto Blau claims that plays of Euripides had been translated into the Gagauz language and had been written with Greek letters.[13]

Beginning in 1957, Cyrillic was used up until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1993, the parliament of the Republic of Moldova passed a decision providing for the official adoption of the Latin-based alphabet for the Gagauz language.[14] This was subsequently amended in 1996.[15] The Gagauz alphabet adopted is modelled on the modern Turkish alphabet, with the addition of three letters: ⟨ä⟩ to represent the sound of [æ] (as ⟨ə⟩ in Azeri), ⟨ê⟩ to represent the [ə] (schwa) sound, which does not exist in Turkish, and ⟨ț⟩ or ⟨ţ⟩ to represent the sound [ts] as in Romanian. On the other hand, unlike Crimean Tatar, Turkish, and some other Turkic languages, Gagauz does not have the letter ⟨ğ⟩, which had become completely silent in the Gagauz language.

Note that dotted and dotless I are separate letters, each with its own uppercase and lowercase form. I is the capital form of ı, and İ is the capital form of i. The Gagauz alphabet has no q, w or x. Instead, those characters are transliterated into Gagauz as k, v and ks.

Current situation[edit]

A study in 2012 was conducted on the Gagauz community to assess the current situation and sociocultural context. The findings show that within Gagauzia, official documents, printed publications, and official web sites are only in Russian. The National Passport System in Moldova does not allow the spelling of names in Gagauz. Signposts in Gagauzia are mostly in Romanian, and the names of squares and streets have not changed since the time of the Soviet Union.[16]

Education[edit]

Despite various laws that support the rights of citizens to education in their native language, almost all instruction in Gagauzian schools is in Russian. Gagauz, while the native language of all students, is only taught as a "native language" class for a few hours per week.[17] Research has also shown that there are not serious desires or attempts to institute Gagauz as a language of instruction. In a study, 80.6% of respondents preferred Russian as the medium of instructions at schools.[17] There are, however, some notable efforts to increase Gagauz language education. Todur Zanet, editor-in-chief of the Ana Sözü local newspaper, has played an active role in encouraging readers and local authorities to promote instruction in their mother tongue. Zanet has also contributed significantly to efforts to standardize the language, and increase its accessibility through print and other mediums.

Media[edit]

Ana Sözü is the largest local newspaper in Gagauzia. It is also the only local newspaper still written entirely in Gagauz, and was the first newspaper of any kind published in the Gagauz language. Apart from Ana Sözü, there are various newspapers published in the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia, including Açık Göz, Gagauz Yeri, Gagauz Sesi, Halk Birliği, Novıy Vzgled, Vesti, Gagauzii, and Znamea.

In addition to printed materials, the company Gagauz Radio Televisionu (GRT) produces radio and television broadcasts in Gagauz.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gagauz at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Gagauz". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Lewis, M. Paul, ed. (2009). "Language Family Trees: Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Turkish". Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Dallas, TX: SIL International. Retrieved 2011-04-29.
  4. ^ Menz, Astrid (2000). "Indirectivity in Gagauz". In Johanson, Lars; Utas, Bo (eds.). Evidentials: Turkic, Iranian and Neighbouring Languages. Walter de Gruyter. p. 103. ISBN 978-3-11-080528-4.
  5. ^ Friedman, Victor A. (2011). "The Balkan Languages and Balkan Linguistics". Annual Review of Anthropology. 40: 275–291. doi:10.1146/annurev-anthro-081309-145932. JSTOR 41287733.
  6. ^ Kvilinkova, E. N. (2013). "The Gagauz Language Through the Prism of Gagauz Ethnic Identity". Anthropology & Archeology of Eurasia. 52: 74–94. doi:10.2753/AAE1061-1959520105.
  7. ^ Varsahr, A. M.; Spitsyn, V. A.; Bychcovscaya, L. S.; Kravchuk, O. I. (2001). "To the research of the gene pool of the Gagauz population of Moldavia". Anthropologischer Anzeiger. 59 (1): 11–17. JSTOR 29540987.
  8. ^ Chinn, Jeff; Roper, Steven D. (1998). "Territorial Autonomy in Gagauzia". Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity. 26 (1): 87–101. doi:10.1080/00905999808408552.
  9. ^ Nasidze, I.; Quinque, D.; Udina, I.; Kunizheva, S.; Stoneking, M. (2007). "The Gagauz, a Linguistic Enclave, are not a genetic isolate". Annals of Human Genetics. 71: 379–389. doi:10.1111/j.1469-1809.2006.00330.x.
  10. ^ Protsyk, Oleh (2010). "Gagauz Autonomy in Moldova: The Real and the Virtual in Post-Soviet State Design". In Weller, Marc; Nobbs, Katherine (eds.). Asymmetric Autonomy and the Settlement of Ethnic Conflicts. University of Pennsylvania Press. JSTOR j.ctt3fhcx2.13.
  11. ^ Neukirch, Claus (2002), Autonomy and Conflict Transformation: The Case of the Gagauz Territorial Autonomy In the Republic of Moldova
  12. ^ M. Ciachir. Basarabialâ gagauzlarân istoriassi / Chișinău: 1933, p. 133
  13. ^ Măcriș, Anatol. Găgăuzii / Bucharest: Editura PACO, 2008, p. 71.
  14. ^ Parliament Decision No. 1421 of 13 May 1993 "for the passage of the writing of the Gagauz language in the Latin spelling", retrieved 2019-11-03 – via lex.justice.md
  15. ^ Parliament Decision No. 816 of 24 April 1996 "on amending and supplementing the Parliament's Decision on the transfer of the Gagauzian writing to the Latin spelling", retrieved 2019-11-03 – via lex.justice.md
  16. ^ Sirkeli, M. & Lisenco, S. (2012). "Policy Brief: Implementation of linguistic rights of the Gagauz of Moldova. Integration of the Gagauz Community into the Society of Moldova."
  17. ^ a b Dağdeviren Kırmızı, Gülin. "Emotional and Functional Attitudes of Native Speakers Towards Gagauz as an Endangered Language." (2015).

Further reading[edit]

  • Ulutaş, İsmail. 2004. Relative clauses in Gagauz syntax. Istanbul: Isis Press. ISBN 975-428-283-8
  • Shabashov A.V., 2002, Odessa, Astroprint, "Gagauzes: terms of kinship system and origin of the people", (Шабашов А.В., "Гагаузы: система терминов родства и происхождение народа")
  • Kortmann, Bernd; Van der Auwera, Johan. 2011. The Languages and Linguistics of Europe: A Comprehensive Guide. Walter de Gruyter.
  • Pokrovskaja, Ljudmila A. 1997. Gagauzskij jazyk. Jazyki mira: Tjurkskie jazyki, 224-235. Moscow: Indrik.

External links[edit]