Khorasani Turkic

This language (group of languages? cluster of relatively unrelated dialects?) is causing me headaches. Doerfer and Hesche (1993) collects word lists from 20-something locations in Khorasan, and in this 1993 work they group the varieties spoken in these locations into 5 dialects (NW, NE, N, SE, SW). This seems like a straightforward matter of gathering the data from all of these points, then dividing it into 5 different varieties – tedious, but doable.

The problems arise when you start to find the other ways that Doerfer classifies Khorasani. Are there actually only two dialects (north and south)? Are there three, based on which branch of Oghuz Doerfer assigns the varieties to — Central Oghuz (Southwest), Southern Oghuz (Northwest, Southwest), and East Oghuz (North, Northeast)? What about the places where he claims that varieties in Turkmenistan and even Uzbekistan can be considered varieties of Khorasani? This is a historically reasonable proposition, but ignores the fact that Turkmen and Oghuz Uzbek have had a good century of independent development thanks to Soviet language policy.

Doerfer’s works are based on the speech varieties found in different towns. He (justifiably) makes no attempt to unify his data into an aggregate average that can be treated as a unique language or dialect. This means that there is a ton of data that I could potentially use, but the question is how do I use it?

10000 Entries

I’ve hit 10000 entries in the lexical database. It would have been nice to have reached this at a nice stopping point, but I’m in the middle of entering Soyot terms. The 10000 entry is the Soyot word for ant: һымысқа. I estimate that I’ll be able to add about 5000 more entries, but more data may surface, so who knows.

Having reached this point I think it’s about time to reorganize the site. I have a better idea of what I want to do and need to make it more accessible.

For now, enjoy this map I’ve begun to mock up. Ideally, it will have overlays corresponding to different features. Once I’ve done a little cleanup this will need a home on the front page. Now on to finishing entering all the available data, figuring out what to do with Khorasani Turkic, working on a grammar template…

9000 Entries

I’m continuing to re-tool the side menu. I’ve got some nifty drop-downs I would like to implement.
I’ve reached 9000 entries. Lately I’ve been working on some unfinished business with the Northern Altay varieties and have started work on the Oghuz varieties in Iran. The 9000 entry, however, is from Ös. It’s the word for “to open”: ač-.

List of Languages etc. enhanced

I’ve added a count of entries to the list of languages. I’m getting better with PHP – to do this I had to embed an if statement inside of a foreach statement and it actually worked! I’m still having trouble getting variables to bind, which is frustrating. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, sometimes I have to refer to row cell, sometimes I have to use a variable. I’m sure there’s a good reason for all of this…

Update…I’ve done a similar thing to the list of glosses. This was more straightforward because there’s nothing in the glosses table with 0 entries. (I’ve removed at from the list, even though it’s in the Swadesh list. We can assume it’s cognate across most languages.)

Compare Enhanced

I’ve added checkboxes to the compare page when the Swadesh option is checked. When these checkboxes are checked, the top of the page runs a tally of all checkboxes and also gives a percentage based on the check count divided by the number of forms returned. This is pretty basic stuff, but it’s my first real experience with Javascript and JQuery, so I’m excited.

I hope this is useful. It will be great to be able to more easily do lexicostatistic glottochronology.

8000 Entries!

We’ve hit 8000 entries. The latest is Altay for ‘which’ – кажы / kažï. There are still 196 glosses without Altay entries, so there’s a lot of work to do still.

Two new glosses

I’ve added two new glosses – shoulder and crow. I dislike adding new glosses to the database because it means I have to go back over all of my sources. In this case, I’d thought a long time about adding these two, and I’ve got my source data in some kind of order.

I’ve also set up this blog to track changes. The about page was getting cluttered, and setting this up is the first step in re-doing the entire site architecture. We’re approaching 8000 entries, which is exciting. I’ve located a pdf Russian-Altay dictionary that I can actually cut and paste from (!!!), so entry 8000 will likely be Altay. At some point I’ll actually finish adding Turkish, which really should be the easiest of all languages, since it’s the best documented.

Past Updates

20 Mar 2018
Set up ability to compare languages. You can also opt to compare only items on the Swadesh list, if that’s your thing. I don’t know if I’ll attempt to make it possible to compare more than two languages – that might be tricky. I’ve been thinking of overhauling the site template (ugh…), especially now that this is up and because I’d like to set up a test of grammar comparison. Up to 7850 entries. Azerbaijani is complete (although I have to enter notes for its language page). The most recent entry is пӧрӱ, which is Mrass Shor for ‘wolf’.
8 Mar 2018
Surpassed 7000 entries! I wanted to finish entering everything for Tòfa, and wanted a round number, so I added some missing Kazakh entries. Since today is International Women’s Day, I thought I’d end with äyel, which is Kazakh for women. This brings the total number of entries to 7050.
All glosses should now have Russian, German, and French equivalents, as well as Doerfer numbers where available.
27 Feb 2018
Fixed error that prevents display of English forms and other data when searching a numeral’s name; this also corrected an error where you couldn’t search for ‘he’ ‘she’ or ‘it’. I ended up using regular expressions to match whole words within several values in the tables. I had hoped to bind the results of the initial query to a later query, but I couldn’t make this work.
I’ve added support for German and French glosses, but so far have only added a couple.
23 Feb 2018
Converted the References page to PHP so I don’t have to enter each reference manually in multiple locations. Instead, the page pulls all references from the database underlying this website. The sort order is less than desirable, but PHP does save a lot of work.
22 Feb 2018
6500 entry added to database – Kuu-Kizhi for far – узак, ыраак. Workaround for issues with Orkhon runes implemented. MySQL does not like Turkic runes!
11 Feb 2018
CSS has been applied to all pages, main site navigation complete
9 Feb 2018
Site template complete. Turkic database is fully functional, with only a few known groups of broken links.
3 Feb 2018
6000th entry added to database – Kondoma Shor for rain – čaŋmur.