New job, future unknown!

I’ll be starting up at a new institution soon, so I will likely have significantly fewer resources available. I’m pleased with amount of data I have made available, and will likely be adding more as I have the time, but at a much slower pace.

News item no.1: Tehlikedeki Dil Dergisi, a journal that was an excellent source for several varieties, seems to have disappeared. It’s now become the website Son Sesler. With any luck the journal will be re-uploaded and added to.

New item no.2: I am working on adding search suggestions to the search box. Sometimes it works, sometimes it crashes the entire site. Once I’ve made this work, it will likely be the last update for some time.
Edit: It works! I’m still shaky on PHP, and I think I was trying to re-use an array without resetting it or something…

More on site updates…

I’ve gotten sorting and sticky headers to work on all of my tables. What needs to be done now is figure out how to sort each column individually. On the Doerfer page, for example, we need to sort by English, German, Persian, and Doerfer’s Persian transliteration. Also, Azerbaijani (for example) sorts differently from English, with <x> following <h> and <q> following <k>. And, of course, the various Cyrillic alphabets have their own idiosyncrasies.

I’ll further have to figure out how to sort my transcribed forms. I think I’ll base it on character shape and try to be as consistent as possible. Whatever I figure out will be available on the Transcription page.

After that, I’ll look into introducing filters on the Language Forms page and maybe on the Compare page to enable filtering by lexical class and things like numerals, colors, animals, etc.

16000 Forms

I realized that I never entered all of the Mrass Shor data I have access to, which means that the count is growing rapidly. The 16000th form is Mrass Shor for cold – sooq.

I’ve been slowly adding entries for the new glosses (honey, navel, dream, etc.) which has been slow, but productive. Now that my gloss count is up to 350, I have a mind to just keep adding glosses that I find interesting. I have about 50 more that I’ve considered adding – hammer, jump, needle, axe, birch… I’ve tried to be systematic in entering data, just because it’s annoying to have to revisit a lot of my data sources. I’ll think about it a bit more before deciding how to approach this.

I’ve also made a few adjustments to the website itself. The Missing Page is a bit more functional. I had originally set it up for my own personal use, but figured I may as well share it. Another update on my agenda is to combine the two pages that I use for the Compare feature. This is pretty trivial and I should have thought of it long ago.

Site updates

I’ve completely overhauled the website’s architecture. This shouldn’t result in any visible changes, but should ensure that there are no more broken links. Please let me know if you encounter any.

Done with Urum, on to Afghan Uzbek

I’ve finally finished with Urum. What a pain in the neck. This brings the count of total entries up to 14608. I know it’s not a nice round number, but I couldn’t bear to leave off the last 8 Urum entries.

I have some Afghan Uzbek materials on the way. There’s not much written about Afghan Uzbek, but from what I can tell from past research, there is a ton of variation. At least one variety (hopefully the one in the next book I’m getting) is pretty clearly Kipchak.

I re-did the main site using some PHP tricks to get everything into a single document. I would love to do this with the Turkic site, but I’m worried that it might get messy… Maybe if I just shove the entire contents of a single page into a database or set them up as variables in separate PHP files… We will see.

Happy New Year

I’m still here!

I’ve got about 50 entries to add for Urum (what a slog!), and then I can move on. I have been considering condensing everything on this site into a single page that is navigable by PHP. Not sure if that’s wise, but I would like to make some further changes to the basic architecture, and it would be nice not to have to edit 10-15 pages every time I do that.

One big change I’m considering is introducing a Library page. There’s a lot of good material out there in the public domain, and I think visitors would find it useful to be able to access some of it. A little related side project I have going is creating a guide to Radlov’s Опыт словаря тюркских нарѣчій / Versuch eines Wörterbuches der Türk-Dialecte. It isn’t completely done yet, but I’m happy with my progress.

I previously mentioned that I wanted to add some new glosses to the site. I haven’t done so yet, but one reason I would like to is because I have been inspired by a series of posts by Victor Mair over at Language Log. The one on honey is particularly interesting, as Turkic *bal? could easily be related. There are a number of very old Wanderwörter that suggest connections between Sinitic and Indo-European, with various Central Asian languages playing intermediary roles. Words for things like apple, honey, deer, tea, silk, etc. have all traveled throughout Eurasia. Finding Turkic connections would be especially interesting.

I’ve also begun adding etymologies where possible. It’s been interesting reading more about these, especially as I have comparatively little experience with older Turkic languages and even less with the languages early Turkic was in contact with.

Unrelated to all of this, I’ve begun a second blog where I discuss multilingual issues in the library catalog. I have a lot to say, but so little time to say it. So far I’ve just posted a quick hello. I hope to have some posts about the history of character encoding soon.

Expect further changes, likely sometime in February!


Well, I’ve been on a roll. I’ve just added entry no. 14,000. This latest is the Krymchak word for ‘flower’ – čiček.

I’ve got a lot more Krymchak to add, too. Every time I think I’m running out of languages or sources I find more and more. Krymchak is an interesting case because the dictionary my library holds was shelved under PJ; the Library of Congress classification scheme arbitrarily classes ‘Other languages used by Jews’ at the end of the Hebrew range. Our Karaim materials, however, were classed under PL with the rest of the Turkic language material. Weird.

I’m still considering what to do with the glosses I proposed in the previous post – still no decision.

Also, I’d like to set up a page devoted to Crimean Turkic, maybe even incorporating a fancy interactive map. We’ll see…

A brief history, new glosses?

This project started as something I began many years ago. When I lived in Turkey, my host mother had a comparative dictionary of the Turkic languages, and I would marvel at how similar yet different they could be. Later, I began my own database of sorts on a series of notecards. I eventually tossed the notecards and moved on, in part because I hadn’t been consistent in my transcription and because they were cumbersome to transport and use.

More recently, I took a class on SQL, and once my instructor recommended I look into PHP, I realized I could publish data to the web. It was then that I began putting this all together – at first on my hard drive, and later on this website.

Thinking back to those original cards, I have come remember that I once had a number of glosses that do not exist in this database. And looking through the many, many dictionaries, grammars, and field reports in my references, I have come to realize that other authors found some of these glosses to be important as well. Adding new glosses is no small task as it can be annoying to have to revisit old sources. In some cases, I may have to wait weeks, as I obtained them through interlibrary loan.

For now, here is a preliminary list of the new glosses I have considered adding:

  • butterfly
  • fly
  • walnut
  • hammer
  • ax
  • bee
  • honey
  • wool
  • thread
  • footprint
  • penis
  • vulva
  • urine
  • feces

I was on the fence about the last four, given their taboo nature. However, they do show up in sources with surprising frequency. Even the Codex Cumanicus has them. If it’s good enough for Late Medieval Italians, it’s good enough for me.

Because I’m a bit obsessive (as the existence of this site shows), I might try to add a few more to achieve a nice, round number. However, adding these 14 will bring the total to 365, which is certainly nice.

Site Template Updated

I’ve added the new site template to every page. It should make it easier to navigate. The old design required clicking around to find certain potentially useful pages. They are now available via the expanding menu.

Site Template Updates

I’ve finalized the new site template. Now I just need to update every site with the new template (it’s really just a new side menu). The references page already has it, so you can see what everything will look like.

Because of the reorganization, I’m going to have to create a few new pages and fix a few others. I plan on spitting up the classification page from the tree contained within, and the about page needs some serious cleanup.

I wish there was an easier way to work with site templates, but I can’t find one…