Chaghatay Language

This Turkic language is a multilayered, lexically rich, and grammatically complex literary idiom. It belongs to the Altaic group of the Uralo-Altaic language family. It is an agglutinative language that creates grammatical and lexical derivatives by suffixes attached to base forms: e.g., qayt- “to return” (intransitive), qaytur- “to return” (transitive), qayturma- “not to return,” and qayturmayım “I don’t feel like returning;” or at “horse,” atlar “horses,” atlarım “my horses,” and atlarımγa “”to my horses.” Chaghatay has distinct remnants of palatal and labial harmony in the phonemic system because base words contain either back vowels (e.g., qara “black”) or front vowels (e.g., tevä “camel”). Bases with back vowels are followed by suffixes with back vowels (e.g., qaralamaq “to blacken”), and those with front vowels are followed by suffixes with front vowels (e.g., tevälärdän “from the camels”). However, Persian and Arabic loans do not follow this pattern.

Chaghatay has been strongly influenced by Islamic prestige languages, especially Persian and Arabic, in all segments: phonetics, morphology, syntax, vocabulary, and cultural content. In the hands of the educated elite it became a tool wielded impressively to create exquisite literary works that won the admiration of contemporary Iranian and Arab men of letters. Chaghatay is the most advanced, the richest, and the best-documented form of Eastern Middle Turkic. It distinguished itself by substantial structural and lexical departures from Old Turkic (the language of the Orkhon inscriptions), Old Uighur, and Khākāni or Qarakhanid (the language of the eleventh-century mirror-for-princes Qutaḏgū bilig (The knowledge of achieving happiness) by Yusof Ḵāṣṣ-Ḥājeb Balāsaḡuni). The departures were brought about by the influx of Persian and Arabic elements. Direct loans and loan translations played a decisive role in the formation of Middle Turkic dialects, such as Chorasmian Turkic in Chorasmia, Kipchak Turkic among the members of the Golden Horde, Mamluk-Kipchak in Egypt, and Chaghatay in Central Asia.

Chaghatay occurs in two qualitative variants: vulgar and classical. Vulgar Chaghatay was used mostly in works of prose (naṯr) and in didactic works versified (naẓm) for easy memorization. It was a comparatively simple idiom close to the spoken language. Classical Chaghatay was used, above all, in poetry to produce high-level literary works (šiʿr), composed in the Persian-Arabic style with strict observance of the rules of Persian-Arabic prosody (ʿaruż) and the cultural standards of the Timurid courts. It was a sophisticated form of Middle Turkic in grammatical expression as well as in cultural dimensions. It was also used in the elaborate rhyming prose style employed sometimes in court documents. The neo-Chingizid ruler Moḥammad Šaybāni Khan (1451-1510), for example, included, on the request of his friends, a sample of this style into his Divān.

The writing system of Chaghatay was built on that of Arabic and Persian, and loan elements from these languages mostly retained their original orthography. Long vowels are clearly distinguished from short ones, and multiple characters are used for some of the consonants that in Chaghatay had no phonemic distinctions. Vowels occurred mostly in plene form indicated by corresponding matres lectionis, resp. karāsin, (alif, wāw, yāʾ) that made Chaghatay documents easier to read. Diacritics such as fatḥa, żamma, and kasra were used to suggest the nature of vowels (open, round, narrow), or simply to mark or count characters as in the manuscript of the Nahj al-farādis (The high road to the stations of paradise), a fourteenth-century treatise in Chorasmian Turkic.

The phonemic system was enriched by long vowels from Arabic (ā, u, i) and Persian (ā, u, i, ō, ē). The rules of labial and palatal vowel harmony are characteristic of Turkic languages, as mentioned above, and were often disregarded by loan words from Arabic and Persian, which are languages without vowel harmony. This created an uncertainty in the quality of vowels of Turkic suffixes joined with loan elements: e.g. -lik in dunyālik “earthly goods” and dōstluq “friendship”. In a few words, mostly numerals or emphatic adverbs, long consonants, restricted to positions between vowels, developed for the most part in Turkic: e.g., -kk- in ikki “two,” sekkiz “eight;” -tt- in yetti “seven,” ottuz “thirty,” katta “big;” and -qq- in toqqız “nine.” They survived in modern dialects, such as Uzbek.

Nominal inflection was significantly expanded. While most of the traditional Turkic case forms were preserved, a few new ones were developed. Postpositions, which are unattached particles indicating the grammatical function of preceding nouns or pronouns, increased significantly in both their number and their semantic role. The so-called secondary postpositions, which are possessed and inflected forms of nouns, were especially affected by this development thanks to loan translations from Persian where secondary prepositions play a similar role: e.g., the role of el (Turk.) and dast (Pers.) “hand” in nafs elindin and az dast-e nafs “because of the Carnal Soul.” A large number of present stems of Persian verbs broadened word formation by suffixal derivation: e.g., pālā- the present stem of pāludan (Pers.) “to strain” in durpālā közlär “teary eyes.” Word formation by composition, a rare feature of Turkic languages, was enriched by Indo-Iranian type compounds, such as bahuvrihi (e.g., rozi “provision” and tang “narrow” in tangrozi “pauper”) and tatpuruṣa (e.g., gol “rose” and barg “leaf” in golbarg “rose leaf”) and by predicative compounds with Turkic words or Persian and Arabic loans (e.g., sačı uzun (Turk.) and mohāyaš daroz (Taj.) “long-haired”).

Verbal inflection developed a great variety of finite forms in the indicative mood as well as the conditional, temporal, optative, and necessitative moods. The basic word stock of this category has been enriched by the introduction of phrasal verbs, mostly loan translations from Person (e.g., āḡāz kardan (Pers.) and āḡāz qıl- “to begin, start”), and the preference for descriptive verbs derived from verbal adverbs resp. gerunds, especially continuous verbal adverbs on -a or -ya (e.g., ača ber- “to disclose”) and terminative verbal adverbs on -p (e.g., alıp ket- “to take away”). Formants of verbal stems created not only derivative verbs but forms with new functions either to express aspect, status, and number, or to indicate potential, necessitative, desiderative, reciprocal, adjutative, and cooperative stems. The great variety of 13 verbal adverbs resp. gerunds, 8 verbal adjectives resp. participles, and 13 verbal nouns makes the verbal system complex, subtle, and expressive.

The area ofsyntactic structures (syntagma) was broadened by Persian eżāfa phrases to indicate possession (e.g. jām-e Jamšid “the cup of Jamshid”) or quality (e.g., yār-e ḥaqiqi “atrue friend”), by coordinated words (e.g., goft o goy “conversation,” nāmos o nank “good name and honor”), and by Arabic genitive constructions for possession (e.g., ṭarfat al-ʿayn “twinkling of an eye”) and qualification (e.g., sariʿ al-sayr “quick in passing”). Persian is responsible for the extensive use of the above mentioned bahuvrihi compounds, which are directly borrowed, and predicative phrases, which are reproductions of Persian structures with Turkic lexical and grammatical means. That verbs and adjectives require their complements to be inflected (government) is a peculiar feature of Chaghatay and has to be carefully considered in text analysis: e.g., ınan- “to believe in” and küy- “to suffer because of someone” govern an object in the dative case, while the adjectives fāreḡ “free from,” monazzah “independent of,” or öngin “other than” govern an object in the ablative case. This phenomenon continues in Modern Literary Uzbek.

Sentence structures (syntax) came closer to the Indo-European system, thanks to the influence of Persian. Compound and complex sentences became regular elements of Chaghatay grammar. Their constituent clauses, coordinate and subordinate, are joined either by conjunctions, which are in the majority of cases Persian or Arabic, or without connecting words (asyndetism): e.g., Ketür aqča kemägä kir / yoq ersä tašqarı oltur “Bring money, step into the boat, / or sit outside!” or, with different subjects: Közüm dur bāğ könglüm bir arığ ev / sözüm bir dur bu ikki yerdä yoq rēvmy eyes are a garden, my heart a hallowed house. / My word is [still] one: in these two places there is no deceit.” (Amiri, fol. 246a l. 8). The use of tenses in subordinate clauses does mostly not depend on their function in the main clause. The construction of complex sentences does also not require a strict sequence of tenses (consecutio temporum). Versatility of the verbal adverbs on -p is often the reason for intricate sentence structures: e.g., tiläp tur ot ısınıp gol čirāğın / öpüp tur su tüzälip sarv ayağın “the fire [sun] desired the rose, so the rose burst into bloom. / The water [spring rain] kissed the foot of the cypress, so the cypress grew tall and sraight” (Amiri, fol. 246a l. 8). To achieve a more precise expression adverbs, which represent a rich and diversified category, took on a substantial role in sentence structures. Their use often leads to the overlap of grammatical and lexical expressions: e.g., maʿrifatsız faqir qarār tutmasḥattā faqrı kufrgä yetmäyinčä “A poor man without knowledge does not rest until his poverty turns into blasphemy;” the meaning “until” of the conjunction ḥattā is also suggested by the verbal adverb yetmäyincä “until [it] turns into.”

In prose word order does not differ much from common Turkic norms. The subject follows the inflected verb, while the other parts of the sentence are more freely gathered around them according to stress and logic. In poetry, however, the word order is as free as in Latin, though with much less grammatical indicators: e.g., “your mind bestowed speed upon the pen” (Amiri, fol. 271a l. 3; TABLE 1).

Chaghatay has numerous interjections and particles, mostly of Persian or Arabic origin. Most interjections are vocative words or phrases that are liberally used as integral parts of the didactic or panegyric style, e.g., to urge students to a specific goal in didactic works, to achieve affinity with the object of respect, or affection in the Baborian sense, in panegyric and love poems, or to produce magic effects in incantations. Particles modify single words, phrases, or entire sentences, increasing the potentials of grammatical expression. Many of them survived in modern Uzbek.

The lexicon is mixed and unusually rich, as was already pointed out by Mir ʿAli Šir Navāʾi (1441-1501) in his Moḥākamat al-loḡatayn (The trial of two languages). The Turkic word-stock itself was extensive, with productive derivative elements securing further expansion. The loan elements from Persian and Arabic, direct borrowings as well as loan translations, entered the vocabulary, on the one side, from the Tajik vernacular spoken in the region and, on the other side, from classical Persian literature. Arabic elements came either directly from the Qurʾan and other works of Islamic literature or indirectly from Persian. Loan elements were not introduced to replace Turkic words, but to expand their semantic fields in both cultural content and lexical coverage. Cultural elements that were beyond the boundaries of orthodox Islam, such as astrology, folk medicine, or magic, widened the secular segment of the lexicon.

Of the modern Turkic languages Uzbek, the language of the Uzbek Republic (ca. 21 million speakers), is the closest to Chaghatay in lexicon, cultural content, and grammar. In Soviet scholarship, it is often referred to as Old Uzbek projecting its existence deeper into history than the Uzbeks’ actual presence in Central Asia. Ármin Vámbéry (1832-1913) initiated the systematic study and instruction of Chaghatay in the West, und was the first to hold the chair of Chaghatay studies in Budapest. The lion’s share of Chaghatay studies was accomplished by scholars in Hungary, France, Turkey, and the Soviet Union.

Chaghatay Literature.

Its works represent, in essence, an Islamic literature that has been strongly influenced by classical Persian in both form and content. Many authors of Chaghatay works, especially with regard to court literature, were Iranians who also wrote Persian poetry, e.g., Ḥāfeẓ Ḵᵛārezmi (14th century), Ḥasan Oḡlı who signed his Persian poems as Pur Ḥasan (14th century), or Yusof Amiri (d. 1433). For some Chaghatay was Torkāna del “a Turkic-like language,” while others saw a tempered form (moʿtadel) of Persian, which, in turn, was referred to as doḵtar-e raz “the virgin of the vineyard.”

In its broadest sense, Chaghatay literature comprises works that originated in Central Asia and its culturally dependent regions between the 14th and the end of the 19th centuries. Conversely, Chaghatay has no living literature. Although 20th-century Uzbek poets, e.g., Ghafur Ghulom (1903-66) and Erkin Vohidov (b. 1936), sometimes compose poems in a classical style, their contributions are not treated as works of Chaghatay literature. The epoch most often recognized as the Golden Age of Chaghatay, measured by its linguistic complexity and literary achievements, and documented by a greater variety of works, began in the 15th century when Central Asian arts and letters flourished under the patronage of the Timurids. About 60% of the extant works in Chaghatay are available in critical editions, but only about one third of the edited texts has been translated into a European language.

With regard to style, Chaghatay literature is divided into three classes: (a) the low Chaghatay of prose narratives, such as religious legends, and most Sufi poetry; (b) the rhymed prose and the meters of didactic works (naẓm); and (c) the erudite Chaghatay of court literature. The style of a work follows very often its literary genre which, in turn, frequently indicates the socio-economic milieu in which the work originated.

Compositions in the first two categories constitute no great challenge for the average reader due to their transparent grammar and simple prosody. Thorough training may be required to understand the enigmatic and cabbalistic content of poems by Sufi authors, such as Aḥmad Yasavi (d. 1166) and Ḥāleṣ, and the concise and economic style that resulted from the expressive and versatile nominal forms of verbs, as employed by Eslām in 1313 in his Moʿin al-morid (Aid to the disciple).

In erudite Chaghatay, especially poetry, the author was to show his grasp of all fields of contemporary learning, such as knowledge of the Qurʾan, hadith, astronomy, history, geography, literature, music, and folklore. Also, he had to satisfy the complex intrinsic and external rules of Arabic-Persian versification, as summarized in treatises on ʿaruż and literary terminology (eṣṭelāḥāt-e adabiya). The full appreciation of works produced with these requirements in mind, such as Yusof Amiri’s Dah-nāma (Ten letters), could be a challenge even for advanced readers.

The tone of Chaghatay literature is mostly devotional (Šāh Bābā Raḥim Mašrab, 1657-1711), didactic (Eslām), panegyric (Ḵᵛārezmi), entertaining (Yusof Amiri), satirical (Aḥmadi, 17th century) and, rarely, militant (Moḥammad Šaybāni Khan) or personal (Moḥammad Ẓahir-al-Din Bābor, 1483-1530). The message, content, or point, often referred to as secrets (rāz), pearls (durr, durar), or gems (javhar) is frequently wrapped in countless devices of figurative language. These poems are meant for the elite (ḵāṣṣān), and every reader needs a high degree of literary education to understand them. The hidden nature of the message has made many western scholars think that this literature is a mere exercise in the use of prosodic rules, rhetorical devices, and ornate language, calling it obscure or impersonal. For the most part, however, this is just a semblance. The essence of the poems can be found a little deeper: e.g., bu kün tuttum ʿUtārid teg alamdın / dam urğaylar barı lavḥ uqalamdın “today I understood a bit of Mercury’s plight: / All people are talking about the Tablet and the Pen” (Amiri, fol. 271b l. 2). In this distich the poet shares Mercury’s dismay that greater attention is paid to religion than to the art of poetry. True political message applies to the poet’s age. (Mercury is the planet to whom the tools of writing—the Tablet and the Pen—were entrusted). Or, in labım nuqlın alur bolsangağızğa /čıqarğıl baštın ol maynıng ˙umārīn “if you taste the sweet-meat of my lips, clear from your head the frenzy of wine” (Amiri, fol. 254b l. 3) the author expressed a basic Sufi tenet: “Clear from your heart the darkness of all that which is not God (mā siwā’llāh), and fill it with the light of God!” (Eslām, fol. 199a l. 15).

The number of Chaghatay poets is impressive. In his Majālis al-nafaʾis (Sessions of the refined souls), Navā’i listed more than four-hundred, the majority of which, about 90%, composed poems in Persian. But most Turkish poets also produced works in Persian (Ḥasan Oḡlı, Navāʾi).

Sayf-e Sarāyi (1321-96) described the talents and aspirations of the early Chaghatay poets in his poem Fi awṣāf al-šuʿarāʾ (On the qualities of poets): “The poets of the world are a flower bed in the garden. Some sing like nightingales, some like crows. Some chew candy, like parrots, some cover pearls with words. The verses of some are measured and sweet. Those of others deserve respect and recognition. Some call others’ poems their own. Some, again, munch on turnip peelings as if they were sweetmeat. Some leave behind the meaning but arrange the phrases. Others polish the meter and show off their art.” (Sayf-e Sarāyi, fol. 285 ls. 3-10).

Chaghatay literature is divided into three periods: Early Chaghatay (13th-15th centuries), classical Chaghatay (14th-18th centuries), and late Chaghatay (18th-19th centuries).

Early Chaghatay comprises Chorasmian Turkic (Ḵᵛārezmi, Eslām), Kipchak Turkic (Qoṭb), and Mamluk-Kipchak (Sayf-e Sarāyi). The texts are mostly religious works in prose and verse.

Classical Chaghatay was written by three groups of poets. The first are the representatives of the Central-Asian Renaissance of the 15th century: Sakkāki (end of the 14th or beginning of the 15th century), Luṭfi (1366-1462), ʿAṭāʾi (second half of the 14th century, b. in Balkh), Ḵᵛārezmi (second half of the 14th century), Yusof Amiri, Navāʾi, Yaqini, Gadāʾi (b. 1405), and Ḥāmedi (first half of the 15th century). To the second group belong the poets of the Šibānid era of the 16th century: Moḥammad Šaybāni Khan, Moḥammad Ṣāleḥ (d. 1534), ʿObayd-Allāh Khan (r. 1533-40), Ẓahir-al-Din Bābor, and Ḥaydar Mirzā (1499-1566). And the third comprises Sufi authors in 17th- and 18th-century Bukhara: Qul Šarif (1618-92), Šāh Mašrab, Ṣayqali (18th century), Ṣufi Allāh Yār (d. 1723), and Turdi (d. 1699).

Late Chaghatay is represented by two groups of poets. The first is the Khiva group (18th–19th centuries): Abu’l-Ḡāzi Bahādor Khan (1603-63), Moʾnis Ḵᵛārezmi (b. 1778), and Moḥammad Reżā Āgāhi (1809-74). The other group consists of the members of the Kokand circle (19th century): Moḥammad ʿOmar Khan Ming (r. ca. 1810-22), Nādera (1792-1842), Moḥammad Amin Mirzā Ḵᵛāja Moqimi (1850 or 51-1903), Jahān Ḥatun Oveysi (18th-19th centuries), and Forqat (1858-1909).

Most of the literary genres of classical Persian and Ottoman divan literature are also extant in Chaghatay. Turkic contributions are ḥekmat (aphorism), mostazād (verse form also called increment poem), qošuq (verse form), türki (verse form), and tuyuḡ (pun rhyme quatrain). A typically Turkic (Torkāna) feature of prosody concerns the flexible scanning of short and long syllables: the requirements of the meter determine whether long syllables count as long or over-long, and short syllables as short or long. The inner structure of the verses is not as diversified and sophisticated as in classical Persian. Figurative language uses metaphors, metonyms, and similes. Hyperboles, personifications, and zabān-e ḥāl (silent language of states of experience)are quite frequent. Colors and fragrances are recalled with the help of flowers, cosmetic articles, and paintings to embellish the poems. Play with the Arabic alphabet, a stunning use of folk etymology, and references to astrology can lead from the magic or mysterious to the demonic. The following examples illustrate the range of figurative language: Hyperbole: Özüngni tā yıraq saldıng naẓar teg / közüm dur su ičindä nilufer teg “You suddenly set out far away. / My eyes float in water like water lilies.” (Amiri, fol. 262b l. 1). Personification: Sačıngda šāna ḥayrān muškilidin / balālarğa ilinip öz tilidin “The comb in your hair is bewildered by the difficulties / so that he is entangled in troubles because of his own tongue.” (Amiri, fol. 241a l. 1). Zabān-i ḥāl: Körüp nār ičgüčilärning išini / külüp andaq ki körgüzdi tišini “The pomegranate saw what the revelers were doing / and burst into laughter so that its teeth showed.” (Amiri, fol. 234a l. 8). In Zabān-i ḥāl the laughing revelers to the violation of devotion through loud laughter. Puns are derived from the orthography of Arabic words: Közüng dur ʿayn ʿālamdın qačurma /maḥabbat nuqṭasın yuqarıurma “Your eye is ʿayn [in Arabic]. Do not drop [the letter ʿayn] from the word ʿālam! / Do not put the dot of the word maḥabbat!” (Amiri, fol. 260a l. 10). In the first hemistich, the pun concerns the homophony of the name of the letter ʿ (ʿayn) and the word eye (ʿayn), as well as the pronunciation problems of non-Arabs with this letter, causing difficulties to distinguish between ʿalam (world) and alam (pain). In the second hemistich, the pun concerns the correct reading of Arabic orthography because the difference between the letters n and b, represented by different positions of the dot, transforms the word maḥḥabat (love) into the word miḥnat (affliction).

Didactic works to teach the basic tenets of Islam are plenty. The early examples are the Moqaddemat al-ṣalāt (Introduction to the prayer) by Šayḵ Šaraf (13th century) and the Moʾin al-morid by Eslām Kᵛāja. The former is a concise summary of the rules for praying that is still circulating in manuscript form. The latter is a manual for Sufi novices that combined a discussion of the devotional and social obligations of the believer with a concise description of the Sufi path (ṭariqa).

Legends belong to the devotional literature but play also a vital role in teaching moralistic issues (adab) of Islam. The best Chaghatay representatives are Ḵāleṣ’s dscription of the passing of Ebrāhim, the Prophet’s only son, Aḥmad’s Baraq-nāma about a sainted fool, and Ḵeyāli Beg’s narrative about the assassination of ʿAli.

Sufi literature was very popular. Aḥmad Yasavi (late 13th and early 14th century) compiled the Divān-e ḥekmat (Collection of wisdom), which marked the dramatic start of Chaghatay Sufi literature. Sayf-e Sarāyi collected mystical poetry of eight predecessors, composed a parody (naẓira) of each poem, and added some of his own verses. This collection contains the finest examples of Sufi poetry.

Court literature comprisespanegyric(madḥ), contest compositions (monāẓara), love poetry (ḡazal), sequels of letters (dah nāma), and epic (maṯnawi). Panegyric is represented in the 14th century by Ḵᵛārezmi’s ode (qaṣida) to the sunrise with Sayf-e Sarāyi’s naẓira,in the 15th century by Yusof Amiri’s praise of the Timurid prince Bāysonḡor (1397-1433), and in the 16th century by Moḥammad Šaybāni Khan’s mystical treatise (monājāt) Baḥr al-huda (Ocean of guidance). Contest compositions are written in verseor in prose interspersed with verses, and include works for entertainment, such as Yusof Amiri’s at places vulgar Bang o čağır (Opium and wine), Aḥmadi’sremarkable satire about a contest between string instruments, and Yaqini’s simple but rich Oq yaynıng munāẓarası (Contest between arrow and bow). Love poetry of mystical inspirationwas collected inthe divāns of Gadāʾi, Navāʾi, Ḥosayn Bayqarā (1438-1506), and Ẓahir-al-Din Bābor. Sequels of letters, which were interspersed with qaṣidas and fards (single lines), formed an independent lyrical genre following the Persian model of the ten letters that Faḵr al-Din Gorgāni (fl. ca. 1050) included into his epic Vis o Ramin. The best examples are Ḵᵛārezmi’s innovative Maḥabbat-nāma (The book of love),Yusof Amiri’s erudite Dah-nāma, Ḵojandi’s sophisticated Laṭāfat-nāma (The book of elegance),and Aḥmad Mirzā’s rather simple Taʿaššoq-nāma (The book of passion). Epics were inspired by the five Persian maṯnawis, the Ḵamsa, composed by Niẓāmi (1141-1209). The most important are Navāʾi’s five epics—Ḥayrat al-abrār (Amazement of the pious), Farhad o Širin, Laylā o Majnun, Ṣaʿb-e Sayyāra (The seven planets), and Sadd-e Eskandar (The Wall of Alexander)—as well as Ḥāmedi’s Yusof o Zolayḵā, and Ḵᵛārezmi’s Maḵzan al-asrār (Treasury of mysteries).

Treatises in verse and prose, on religious, literary, and social topics, are numerous. Moḥammad Šaybāni Khan’s Resāla-ye maʿāref (Treatise on religious knowledge) presents a simplified introduction to Islamic piety. Ẓahir-al-Din Bābor’s Resāla-ye wālediya (Treatise for the father) explains how the repetition of the name creates affinity with the named. In Maḥbub al-qolub (The beloved of the hearts) Navāʾi reflects on the objectives and pattern of Yusof Ḵāṣṣ-Ḥājeb’s Qutaḏgū bilig. Navāʾi’s Moḥākamat al-loḡatayn contains interesting observations on the difference between Persian and the Turkic languages while arguing for the superiority of the latter.

The best chronicles regarding format and content are Ẓahir-al-Din Bābor’s memoirs (Bābor-nāma), Abu’l-Ḡāzi Bahādor Khan’s genealogies of Turkmen and Turkish tribes (Šajara-ye Terākema and Šajara-ye Tork), and Moḥammad Ṣāleh’s description of the campaigns of Moḥammad Šaybāni Khan (Šaybāni-nāma).

Biographical dictionaries of poets (taḏkera).Navāʾi’s Majāles al-nafāʾes (Meetings of excellent men) is the first taḏkera in a Turkic language. Navāʾi’s Nasāʾem al-maḥabba men šamāʾem al-fotuwa (Breezes of love from the perfumes of generosity) is an expanded translation of the Persian Nafaḥat al-uns min ḥażarāt al-quds (Scents of companionship from the masters of holiness) by Jāmi (1414-92), and contains the biographies of 616 Sufis. Both works are invaluable sources for cultural-historical research.

Lexicons. In the classical period, the level of language mastery was measured by the mastery of the vocabulary.Lexicons were organized as glossary (loḡat, farhang), presenting the lexical materials with or without a concise grammatical introduction. In the 14th century, Badr-al-Din Ebrāhim compiled the Farhang-e zafāngoya o jahānpoyā (Glossary of the eloquent and the globetrotter), a multi-language glossary. Abušqa, named after the first entry word, is a l6th-century Chaghatay-Ottoman dictionary. In the Badāʾeʿ al-loḡat (The language’s novel marvels) Ṭāleʿ Emāni provided a Persian explanation of difficult words in the works, which Navāʿi composed in the second half of the 15th century. The Neṣāb-e torki dar loḡat (Rhymed/Turkish foundation in the language) is a versified Turkic-Persian vocabulary from l627. Also from the 17th century is Moḥammad Yaʿqub Čengi’s Kelür-nāma (Vademecum), aChaghatay-Tajik-Persian glossary. Interlinear glosses of the Qurʾan and the Arabic manual Moqaddemat al-adab (Introduction to literary culture) are extant in early Chaghatay, and provide significant lexical data, which A. K. Borovkov (1963) and János Eckmann (1976) made the basis of their Chaghatay-Russian and Chaghatay-English glossaries. In 1759, Mirzā Mahdi Ḵān compiled a detailed grammar and lexicon of classical Chaghatay, which he called Sanglāk (Stony place) to hint at the difficulty of the work.

Bibliography :

Moḥammad Mahdi Ḵān Astarābādi, The Mabâni’l-lughat: Being a Grammar of the Turki Language in Persian, ed. E. Denison Ross, Bibliotheca Indica N. S. 1225, Calcutta, 1910.

Idem, Sanglaḵ: A Persian Guide to the Turkish Language, ed. Gerard Clauson, GMS N. S. 20, London, 1960.

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February 20, 2009

(Andras J. E. Bodrogligeti)

Originally Published: February 20, 2009

Last Updated: February 20, 2009