The linguistic landscape of Istanbul in the seventeenth century
2010 (English)In: The Urban Mind: Cultural and Environmental Dynamics / [ed] Paul Sinclair & Gullög Nordquist & Frands Herschend & Christian Isendahl, Uppsala: African and Comparative Archaeology Department of Archaeology and Ancient History Uppsala University , 2010, 415-439 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
This chapter studies the urban linguistic environments of Istanbul after the historicalshift brought about by the Ottoman conquest in 1453. The focus is on the seventeenthcentury, when the population doubled – assumedly because of climate changes inAnatolia – and Turkic-speaking groups became dominant. Nevertheless, the townaccommodated a multitude of interacting linguistic codes, that is, languages and dialects,both social and functional varieties. This multilayered linguistic ecological system wasmapped out on the topography of one of the largest urban centres of the time. Distinctivefeatures ensuring sustainability of the linguistic codes in this prenational urban setting areoutlined. For instance, the absence of normative measures implies that codes were usedin complementary functions and no single code was offered or claimed to be used in alldomains of communication.Urban settings call for encounters between speakers of different codes and therebytrigger cross-linguistic communicative habits, such as code copying, that is, copying ofelements or features of a model code into the speaker’s native variety. As a result ofcopying, new, levelled varieties arose. An urban variety of spoken Turkish emerged andserved as a lingua franca. This linguistic landscape of Istanbul ultimately became thebedrock from which modern standard Turkish evolved.Foreigners in urban settings may act as linguistic mediators. Our knowledge of thelinguistic landscape of seventeenth-century Istanbul is based to a high degree on dataprovided by travellers, interpreters (dragomans), and European Orientalists who wroteso-called transcription texts, texts documenting the spoken codes of Istanbul in non-Arabic scripts, mostly Latin. Some of these mediators and their contributions to thedocumentation of the linguistic landscape are presented in this chapter.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: African and Comparative Archaeology Department of Archaeology and Ancient History Uppsala University , 2010. 415-439 p.
Studies in Global Archaeology, ISSN 1651-1255 ; 15
Turkic languages, Ottoman Turkish
Languages and Literature
Research subject Turkic languages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-121290ISBN: 978-91-506-2175-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-121290DiVA: diva2:304875