[Azeri] Dialect Or Language ?

Moderator: eskandar

Mongol
Posts: 119
Joined: 2008-11-21, 23:18
Real Name: Robert Berger
Gender: male
Location: New Rochelle
Country: US United States (United States)

[Azeri] Dialect Or Language ?

Postby Mongol » 2009-01-31, 16:37

Is Azerbaijani a Turkish dialect or a disctinct language ? What do people think ?

Rémy LeBeau

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby Rémy LeBeau » 2009-01-31, 18:18

I think that you need to define 'language' a bit better first. Are you talking in purely linguistic terms? Or are you also looking from a social perspective? What I mean by that is, are we also looking at if it has a body of literature behind it? Are we also looking at if it has it's own independent standardized form? Are we looking at if it is used as a language in academia for scientific research? Are we looking at if magazines, newspapers, or localizations or offered in it? Are we also looking at how the international world (not linguistics scholars) sees and considers it?

For example, if after Algerian independence, the Algerian government standardized Algerian Darija, made it the official language (calling it Darija, or something else that didn't include "Arabic"), and from independence until today a literary tradition had built up around this standardized form of Algerian Darija, then I don't think anyone would seriously object to calling it a language descended from Arabic (as opposed to a dialect of Arabic) any more than someone would object to French being called a language, despite coming into existence as a standardized regional dialect of Vulgar Latin.

I am of the school of thought that thinks what defines a 'language' is more than just nuts and bolts, so to speak.

User avatar
kalemiye
Posts: 4227
Joined: 2007-01-12, 19:24
Gender: female
Country: ES Spain (España)

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby kalemiye » 2009-01-31, 19:35

IMHO, I find that although Azeri is really close to Turkey's Turkish, it is by itself a clearly different language. The distance between one another seems to be the same as between Spanish and Italian.

Eastern Turkey's dialects are closer in phonology and vocabulary to Azeri, but by no means they are a form of Azeri (this Eastern Turkish dialects are usually not so well considered, being the dialect of Istanbul the one educated people speak. Istanbuli Turkish is much more far apart from Azeri).

Grammar and vocabulary don't seem to be really apart (but apart enough for me not to understand anything when Azeri is spoken, while I can understand a high percentage of Turkey's Turkish), but their historical background makes them very different. Not even the same alphabet is used for both languages, since Azerbaijan's latin script, although it is based in Turkey's alphabet, has letters that represent sounds that are not used in Turkey's Turkish.

Plus, Modern Turkish reform made the differences between Azeri and Turkish grow, since it removed a great part of the Arabic and Persian, replacing them by Turkish neologism. Sometimes, even when Turkey's Turkish keeps a word from Persian/Arabic, Azeris might use the Turkish one, or the other way around [For instance, for "black", "qara" is used in Azeri, while Turkish you can used "Kara" (Turkish word) or more commonly "Siyah" which is Persian; also while Azeri uses the word "Republika" for Republic, "Cumhuriyet" (a loanword from Arabic I think) is prefered in Turkish].
Not available

User avatar
eskandar
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2909
Joined: 2006-12-15, 8:27
Real Name: Eskandar
Gender: male

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby eskandar » 2009-01-31, 19:46

Regardless of what criteria you use to distinguish between a dialect and a language, I think Azeri would be considered a separate language and not merely a dialect of Turkish. (For that matter, why doesn't anyone argue that Istanbuli Turkish is a dialect of Azeri? :twisted:)

-Azeri and Turkish are not mutually intelligible enough to be considered one language
-Azeri has had its own distinct literature throughout history
-it has its own country (the Republic of Azerbaijan), although most Azeris live in other places such as Iranian Azerbaijan
-it is written in a different script than Turkish (either the Perso-Arabic script, Cyrillic, or the modified Azeri Latin alphabet which differs from the Turkish Latin alphabet)
-it has historically developed separately from Turkish
-Azeri and Turkish differ phonologically, have largely different vocabulary, and slight differences in other aspects such as grammar

I think a good example would be to compare Azeri and Turkish to Portuguese and Spanish. Portuguese (Azeri) speakers can understand a lot of Spanish (Turkish), but not necessarily everything. Spanish (Turkish) speakers can understand written Portuguese (Azeri) decently, but less so, and have a hard time understanding spoken Portuguese (Azeri). The two are separate, but closely related, languages.

Edit: Renata made a lot of the points I was going to make. :blush:

Rémy LeBeau wrote:For example, if after Algerian independence, the Algerian government standardized Algerian Darija, made it the official language (calling it Darija, or something else that didn't include "Arabic"), and from independence until today a literary tradition had built up around this standardized form of Algerian Darija, then I don't think anyone would seriously object to calling it a language descended from Arabic (as opposed to a dialect of Arabic)

I don't think this is an ideal example - Algerian Arabic has its own unique features, as New Zealand English does, but its level of mutual intelligibility with other Maghrebi dialects (Moroccan and Tunisian especially) is comparable to intelligibility between English dialects (New Zealand, Australia, UK, etc). I get your point, but I do think that people (including linguists) would seriously contest calling Algeria Darija a separate language from Arabic in the situation you proposed. Maltese is even more divergent, and still you could make an argument that it's just a dialect of Tunisian Arabic.
Currently away from Unilang.

User avatar
coyote_k13
Posts: 10
Joined: 2009-01-22, 21:48
Gender: male
Country: TR Turkey (Türkiye)

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby coyote_k13 » 2009-01-31, 20:07

I agree with Renata as a native Azeri from Iran who lives in Turkey and knows both languages enough to consider differences between these two. The main difference between Turkish and Azeri is in pronunciation not gramer or words.

For instance for an Azeri who has not been in Turkey it is not too easy to understand Turkish completely or to communicate well, but even with using just Azeri and paying attention there won't be any problem.
This doesn't mean that languages are same or there are not differences between words or even usage of words, but the point is that by knowing one of these two languages it won't take more than a month learning the other one. So, example of Italian and Spanish fits differences of these two languages better.

Renata! in Azerbaijan of Iran "jumhuri" or "cumhuri, with Turkish script" ,which is Arabic and is used in Persian too, is used for Republic not "Repablika" nor "cumhuriyet" :yep: .
Last edited by coyote_k13 on 2009-01-31, 20:25, edited 1 time in total.
دلتنگی های آدمی را باد به ترانه ای می خواند

User avatar
kalemiye
Posts: 4227
Joined: 2007-01-12, 19:24
Gender: female
Country: ES Spain (España)

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby kalemiye » 2009-01-31, 20:08

eskandar wrote:Azeri and Turkish are not mutually intelligible enough to be considered one language


But the rate of mutual intelligibility is really high. Yesterday some Turks were singing Azeri songs in a party I attended :). It is not so high for people that do not know Turkish well enough, like me :oops: .

Regardless of what criteria you use to distinguish between a dialect and a language, I think Azeri would be considered a separate language and not merely a dialect of Turkish. (For that matter, why doesn't anyone argue that Istanbuli Turkish is a dialect of Azeri? :twisted:)


I agree with the first part.

it has its own country (the Republic of Azerbaijan), although most Azeris live in other places such as Iranian Azerbaijan


Having a country of their own is not enough of a proof for that. Cubans have a country for themselves, but they don't speak "Cuban".

-Azeri and Turkish differ phonologically, have largely different vocabulary, and slight differences in other aspects such as grammar


I think before the reform of Modern Turkish they were not so different. I am no expert, though.

I think a good example would be to compare Azeri and Turkish to Portuguese and Spanish. Portuguese (Azeri) speakers can understand a lot of Spanish (Turkish), but not necessarily everything. Spanish (Turkish) speakers can understand written Portuguese (Azeri) decently, but less so, and have a hard time understanding spoken Portuguese (Azeri). The two are separate, but closely related, languages.


I think Turks don't have a major problem to understand Azeri, if they pay enough attention, that is why I prefer comparing them to Italian and Spanish. Anyways, let's see if Coyote has something to say.

Rémy LeBeau wrote:For example, if after Algerian independence, the Algerian government standardized Algerian Darija, made it the official language (calling it Darija, or something else that didn't include "Arabic"), and from independence until today a literary tradition had built up around this standardized form of Algerian Darija, then I don't think anyone would seriously object to calling it a language descended from Arabic (as opposed to a dialect of Arabic)

I don't think this is an ideal example - Algerian Arabic has its own unique features, as New Zealand English does, but its level of mutual intelligibility with other Maghrebi dialects (Moroccan and Tunisian especially) is comparable to intelligibility between English dialects (New Zealand, Australia, UK, etc). I get your point, but I do think that people (including linguists) would seriously contest calling Algeria Darija a separate language from Arabic in the situation you proposed. Maltese is even more divergent, and still you could make an argument that it's just a dialect of Tunisian Arabic.


I totally agree with Eskandar.
Not available

Rémy LeBeau

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby Rémy LeBeau » 2009-01-31, 20:30

Perhaps my example was not the best, but my point is that it is these kinds of social conditions that go a long way when distinguishing a dialect from a language, and it is more due to them that we don't refer to the modern romance languages as dialects of Vulgar Latin than it is to grammatical, vocabulary or pronunciation differences.

More specifically related to Azeri and Turkish, after doing a bit of googling, it seems that Azeri and Turkish have developed independently of each other, with an Azeri literary canon going back to the 14th century. How can Azeri be a dialect of Turkish if it developed independently of Turkish?

User avatar
kalemiye
Posts: 4227
Joined: 2007-01-12, 19:24
Gender: female
Country: ES Spain (España)

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby kalemiye » 2009-01-31, 21:34

Rémy LeBeau wrote:Perhaps my example was not the best, but my point is that it is these kinds of social conditions that go a long way when distinguishing a dialect from a language, and it is more due to them that we don't refer to the modern romance languages as dialects of Vulgar Latin than it is to grammatical, vocabulary or pronunciation differences.


Although Latin languages resemble a lot to each other, it doesn't mean there are only "social" reasons for them to be considered different, there is much more behind them to be considered so. Even small romance languages like Asturian which is highly influenced by Spanish are clearly different, although it is mutually intelligible with Spanish, at least to some extent.

The so-called Italian dialects are not dialects, and many of them cannot be understood by speakers of Standard Italian, but obviously politics are behind this, nothing related to society. If Spanish politicians would have been able to create a true Spanish nationalism, we would consider the other Spanish languages as dialects of Castilian, or simply as what we call "fablas"; but our perception would not have a say when it comes to truly see if they are different languages or not.

More specifically related to Azeri and Turkish, after doing a bit of googling, it seems that Azeri and Turkish have developed independently of each other, with an Azeri literary canon going back to the 14th century. How can Azeri be a dialect of Turkish if it developed independently of Turkish?


They belong to the same branch of Turkish languages, so probably they are just two dialects of a same Turkic language.
Not available

User avatar
eskandar
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2909
Joined: 2006-12-15, 8:27
Real Name: Eskandar
Gender: male

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby eskandar » 2009-01-31, 21:52

renata wrote:They belong to the same branch of Turkish languages, so probably they are just two dialects of a same Turkic language.

Spanish and Portuguese belong to the same branch of Romance languages (Ibero-Romance), so they are just two dialects of the same Romance language. English, Dutch, and German belong to the same branch of Germanic languages (West Germanic), so they are just three dialects of the same Germanic language. :roll: Just because languages are closely related doesn't make them dialects of each other.
Currently away from Unilang.

Rémy LeBeau

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby Rémy LeBeau » 2009-01-31, 21:53

Even in the case of these smaller languages, their claim to recognition as languages is underpinned by the social awareness of the speakers of their language, which itself, just like in the larger languages, has been developed by standardization and regulation of the languages, teaching of the languages, official and semi-official usage of the languages, and in some cases the forming of literary canons. You can even use this as a contrasting point for the so-called Italian dialects; how many of them have an equivalent to Asturian's ALLA? How many of them have a written standard? Definition as a language owes just as much to social awareness and institutions as it does to linguistic differences from related languages, in some cases, more.

User avatar
kalemiye
Posts: 4227
Joined: 2007-01-12, 19:24
Gender: female
Country: ES Spain (España)

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby kalemiye » 2009-01-31, 22:03

Rémy LeBeau wrote:Even in the case of these smaller languages, their claim to recognition as languages is underpinned by the social awareness of the speakers of their language, which itself, just like in the larger languages, has been developed by standardization and regulation of the languages, teaching of the languages, official and semi-official usage of the languages, and in some cases the forming of literary canons. You can even use this as a contrasting point for the so-called Italian dialects; how many of them have an equivalent to Asturian's ALLA? How many of them have a written standard? Definition as a language owes just as much to social awareness and institutions as it does to linguistic differences from related languages, in some cases, more.


The standard created does not really fit the normal spoken language, which is really residual among population. It is the effort of some people that want to preserve the language, but it does not really answer to a social awareness of the language, since most people do not actually speak Asturian, specially in cities (although their Spanish is influenced by Asturian).

Aragonese is going through the same process of "standarization" by a few scholars, but you will see most people in Aragón that do not live in villages have no idea of Aragonese and they do not feel any particular need of learning it.

Yet, they are not considered as "dialects" in our textbook, although they are not even official languages in their regions.
Not available

User avatar
kalemiye
Posts: 4227
Joined: 2007-01-12, 19:24
Gender: female
Country: ES Spain (España)

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby kalemiye » 2009-01-31, 22:08

eskandar wrote:
renata wrote:They belong to the same branch of Turkish languages, so probably they are just two dialects of a same Turkic language.

Spanish and Portuguese belong to the same branch of Romance languages (Ibero-Romance), so they are just two dialects of the same Romance language. English, Dutch, and German belong to the same branch of Germanic languages (West Germanic), so they are just three dialects of the same Germanic language. :roll: Just because languages are closely related doesn't make them dialects of each other.


I know, what I meant is that although Turkish and Azeri are two distinct languages they belong to the same branch of Turkic languages, which explains why they are really close languages, like Spanish compared to any other of the Iberian Romance languages. In a sense they are "dialects", but not one from the other, but from a common root.
Not available

Rémy LeBeau

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby Rémy LeBeau » 2009-01-31, 22:31

Well, I've yet to see a standard for any language that fits the normal spoken language, English itself is a glaring example of that. The same shoe obviously doesn't fit perfectly in every case, but the fact that there are institutions like the ALLA for Asturian, IEC for Catalan, RAG for Gallego is a testament to the native awareness of the languages. Sure, it might not be the broadest in some cases, but it is still there. This native awareness then goes on to impact regional awareness, and then goes on to impact international awareness. This awareness and recognition is essentially what defines a language as a language, much in the same way as it does for countries. That awareness and recognition, is ultimately received by acting as a language.

A historical example of this is Punjabi: At first it was not recognized in independent India, because it's grammar did not "significantly differ from Hindi", (which is pretty much true). Now, nobody today would actually say that Punjabi is a dialect of Hindi, and this is because Punjabi speakers in India starting treating Punjabi as a language; they standardized it, they started up newspapers, they formed a literary canon, ect. Now, Punjabi is an official language of India. Most of the city-dwellers and the educated in the Indian Punjab definitely have a tendency to speak in English and Hindi rather than Punjabi, but that still in no way undercuts the claim of Punjabi to the status of language, because it continues to fulfill the functions that a language is generally considered to fulfill. The same process can even be seen when people didn't recognize Hindi as anything other than a dialect of Urdu.

Admittedly, this way of thinking is a bit more suited to languages outside of Europe, and even more so to regions that were subject to colonialism. When applying it to Europe it isn't always as clean cut as in other cases, but I still think that it definitely can be applied, even if only to a limited extent.

edit:

To keep my post a bit on topic: Azeri has a slight parallel with Punjabi. It is split between 2 countries, and the process of establishing Azeri as a language has been a result of the efforts of the people of mainly 1 of them, in the case of Punjabi it is India and in the case of Azeri it is Azerbaijan (there is of course, the Soviet anomaly to consider in the latter case). Also in both cases, this has also been done against the backdrop of possibly being considered a dialect of a more dominant regional language (Hindi/Turkish). It would seem that Azerbaijan is still quite far off from getting it perfect, but it is pretty clear that in Azerbaijan, Azeri assumes the role of a language, not a dialect. It is because of this that it is recognized around the world as a language, foreign newspapers offer versions in Azeri, people study Azeri as an independent language ect.
Last edited by Rémy LeBeau on 2009-01-31, 22:59, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
coyote_k13
Posts: 10
Joined: 2009-01-22, 21:48
Gender: male
Country: TR Turkey (Türkiye)

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby coyote_k13 » 2009-01-31, 22:41

This is a place to discuss Azeri, please, let's keep it clean from off-topic discussions! :D
دلتنگی های آدمی را باد به ترانه ای می خواند

yunus
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-08-12, 9:21
Real Name: Yunus Erdem
Gender: male
Location: Istanbul
Contact:

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby yunus » 2009-09-03, 13:36

I think Azeri Friends have right to claim that their native language has nothing to do with Turkey's Turkish and they are right. If we look for it, we can find lots of differences between the two. But nothing changes the fact that when i watch Azeri TV channels or come upon an Azeri tourist i understand everything they speak, ( and like the way they speak ) even if i have not studied Azeri for ever. And i am happy for this. Let the Turkey's Turkish be a sub language of Azeri, no problem. I just ask to keep a good eye on the similarities not the differences.

User avatar
kalemiye
Posts: 4227
Joined: 2007-01-12, 19:24
Gender: female
Country: ES Spain (España)

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby kalemiye » 2009-09-03, 15:14

yunus wrote:I think Azeri Friends have right to claim that their native language has nothing to do with Turkey's Turkish and they are right. If we look for it, we can find lots of differences between the two. But nothing changes the fact that when i watch Azeri TV channels or come upon an Azeri tourist i understand everything they speak, ( and like the way they speak ) even if i have not studied Azeri for ever. And i am happy for this. Let the Turkey's Turkish be a sub language of Azeri, no problem. I just ask to keep a good eye on the similarities not the differences.


I don't think any Azeri says that their Turkish has nothing to do with Turkey's Turkish, but definitely they think Azeri and Turkish are different enough to be considered different languages. When they watch Turkey's channels or overhear people speaking Turkey's Turkish, they can understand it perfectly too, but you never come across any Azeri stating that Turkey's Turkish is adialect of theirs, or a "funny" version of it, which something that can be heard from many Turks of Turkey when talking about Azeri.

I think they are clearly different languages coming from the same root, and before the reform of the language took place in Turkey, they were even closer. Also, the dialects of Turkish spoken in Eastern Anatolia are very close to Azeri.

But for Pan-Turks of Turkey, Turkey is "ana vatan" and other Turkic countries are "yavru vatan", thus seeing Azeri as a dialect of Turkey's Turkish.

The main problem is the ideology of Turkish pan-Turks in which Turkey is the motherland, and the other Turkish countries are
Not available

yunus
Posts: 18
Joined: 2009-08-12, 9:21
Real Name: Yunus Erdem
Gender: male
Location: Istanbul
Contact:

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby yunus » 2009-09-04, 13:48

Never thought we start to discuss Pan-Turkism here. If it is the case we need to mention Ziya Gokalp and Enver Pasha, right? Explaining the "Turan" ideology might also be helpfull.
But i will not do, because i think all we are familiar with the historical background, what i want to say is the Pan-Turkism is an ideology not emerged to overlook the Turkish Nations in the outside of Ottoman Empire but, a change in the direction maybe, not toward the Europe anymore, the place Ottomans had to move back but towards the Asia, where the brothers live, the place where we came, the place they feel it as "Vatan" the fatherland.
I accept later the ideology -like all ideologies- had some followers who have not the capacity enough to reflect over the issue but an amorphous crowd instead, the losers of world wars, then the globalism, low educated new generations who have the nostalgia of the glorious days of the Ottoman Empire, the fascist and militarist education system's production of the after coup d'état era all made the ideology a self-centered illusion of all Turkish Countries United against all those "enemies" of Turkey. It is a little bit complicated and i think it is not the place to discuss the issue.
( By the way did you know it is forbidden to use the word TURAN in Xinjiang province of China ?"

Selda
Posts: 10
Joined: 2010-05-19, 7:15
Gender: female
Location: istanbul
Country: TR Turkey (Türkiye)

Postby Selda » 2010-06-07, 10:19

You can decide yourself by comparing them:

Ayrılıq Ayrılık

Bu gün, yenə hər sabah olduğu kimi, Bugün yine her sabah olduğu gibi,
Oyanmaq istədim öpüşünlə. Uyanmak istedim öpüşünle.
Amma, yoxsan. Ama, yoksun.
Ah çəkib yandım, həsrətinlə. Ah çekip yandım, hasretinle.

Bu gün, dərdə çarə olan dərman kimi, Bugün, derde çare olan derman gibi,
Aldım rəsmini əlimə. Aldım resmini elime.
Baxdım, baxdım. Baktım, baktım.
Ah çəkib yandım, sənsizliyimə. Ah çekip yandım, sensizliğime.

Hanı o bir cüt bəla dediyim qara gözlərin, Hani o bir çift bela dediğim kara gözlerin,
Könlümü oxşayan şirin-şirin gülüşlərin. Gönlümü okşayan şirin şirin gülüşlerin.
Hanı, o əllərimi tutan əllərin, Hani, o ellerimi tutan ellerin,
Mənə ümid verən o xoş sözlərin. Bana ümit veren o hoş sözlerin.

Ayrılıq, yenə dərdli başıma gəlib tac oldu, Ayrılık, yine dertli başıma gelip taç oldu,
Ayrılıq, səni məndən alıb, gözümü yaşlı qoydu. Ayrılık, seni benden alıp, gözümü yaşlı koydu.
Ayrılıq, yenə dərdli başıma gəlib tac oldu, Ayrılık, yine dertli başıma gelip taç oldu,
Ayrılıq, səni məndən alıb ümidsiz qoydu. Ayrılık, seni benden alıp ümitsiz koydu.

Anladım, artıq geri dönməyəcəksən. Anladım, artık geri dönmeyeceksin.
Amma, bir tək təsəlli var. Ama, bir tek teselli var.
Səndən mənə, Senden bana,
Yadigar qalan xatirələr var. Yadigar kalan hatıralar var.

Hanı o bir cüt bəla dediyim qara gözlərin, Hani o bir çift bela dediğim kara gözlerin,
Könlümü oxşayan şirin-şirin gülüşlərin. Gönlümü okşayan şirin şirin gülüşlerin.
Hanı, o əllərimi tutan əllərin, Hani, o ellerimi tutan ellerin,
Mənə ümid verən o xoş sözlərin. Bana ümit veren o hoş sözlerin.

Ayrılıq, yenə dərdli başıma gəlib tac oldu, Ayrılık, yine dertli başıma gelip taç oldu,
Ayrılıq, səni məndən alıb, gözümü yaşlı qoydu. Ayrılık, seni benden alıp, gözümü yaşlı koydu.
Ayrılıq, yenə dərdli başıma gəlib tac oldu, Ayrılık, yine dertli başıma gelip taç oldu,
Ayrılıq, səni məndən alıb ümidsiz qoydu. Ayrılık, seni benden alıp ümitsiz koydu.

User avatar
kalemiye
Posts: 4227
Joined: 2007-01-12, 19:24
Gender: female
Country: ES Spain (España)

Re: Dialect Or Language ?

Postby kalemiye » 2010-06-07, 14:39

I think the difference between dialect vs language is given by the speakers. If speakers of Azeri think their Turkish is a language by itself, so be it. Maybe it is Istanbul's Turkish the one that is a dialect of Azeri :P.
Not available

Selda
Posts: 10
Joined: 2010-05-19, 7:15
Gender: female
Location: istanbul
Country: TR Turkey (Türkiye)

Postby Selda » 2010-06-07, 18:47

Azerbaijani and Turkish are dialects of Turkic language. They are not dialects of each other.


Return to “Turkic Languages”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron