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Developments in the use of Latin Character for the Writing of Kurdish


Éditeur : Royal Asiatic Society Date & Lieu : 1933, London
Préface : Pages : 22
Traduction : ISBN :
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 140x215mm
Code FIKP : Liv. Eng. Edm. Dev. N° 1719Thème : Linguistique

Présentation
Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
Developments in the use of Latin Character for the Writing of Kurdish

Developments in the use of Latin Character for the Writing of Kurdish

C. J. Edmonds


Royal Asiatic Society


In the Jras. of January, 1931, 1 offered some “Suggestions for the Use of Latin Character in the Writing of Kurdish”, A certain number of changes in these first proposals subsequently appeared desirable in the light of criticism and of further experiment and experience. In the meantime, Tewfiq Wehbi Beg, on whose modified Arabic alphabet my suggestions had been based, finding that his new system made little appeal to his compatriots, decided to abandon it, for the purposes of his future work, in favour of Latin. European students of Iranian philology will welcome the appearance in Latin character of the work of an accomplished native Kurdish scholar; how far the books now in the press and under preparation will appeal to other Kurds remains to be seen.
The following modifications of the first system have recommended themselves :—
(1) The distinction between d and dh, t and th, described ...



Some Developments in the use of Latin Character for the Writing of Kurdish

By C. J. Edmonds

In the Jras. of January, 1931, 1 offered some “Suggestions for the Use of Latin Character in the Writing of Kurdish”, A certain number of changes in these first proposals subsequently appeared desirable in the light of criticism and of further experiment and experience. In the meantime, Tewfiq Wehbi Beg, on whose modified Arabic alphabet my suggestions had been based, finding that his new system made little appeal to his compatriots, decided to abandon it, for the purposes of his future work, in favour of Latin. European students of Iranian philology will welcome the appearance in Latin character of the work of an accomplished native Kurdish scholar; how far the books now in the press and under preparation will appeal to other Kurds remains to be seen.

The following modifications of the first system have recommended themselves :—

(1) The distinction between d and dh, t and th, described as being restricted to part of the Sulaimani liwa only, has been abandoned, with a view to making the system as widely acceptable as possible.

(2) The preservation of the distinction between the two 7i’s for the sake of three or four native Kurdish words (only the sophisticated mark the distinction in Arabic borrowings) appeared hardly justified, and has been abandoned.

(3) The letter x is thus released to replace kh.

(4) The adoption of the letter j with the German value proved most unpopular not only with English but also with Kurdish critics ; the difficulty has been met by using y both with its English consonantal value and also for pure short i, a comparatively rare sound in Kurdish.

(5) The letter i now represents the neutral vowel (except as provided by rules (8) and (13) below); to use a letter with a diacritical mark would have been out of the question owing to the high frequency of this sound.

(6) The letter j is thus released for use with its Turkish, i.e. the French, value ; this may be distasteful to English readers but is liked by Kurds.

(7) The sound for which the rather clumsy digraph uy was first suggested is now represented by o', and since the sound is rare little violence is done to the principle of avoiding diacritical marks ; it is not spoken alike by all Kurds ; the majority seem to pronounce it like French uê, but with the two vowel sounds run more together ; it is not wê.

(8) Long i is now written iy (instead of ii) except after a vowel when it is written yi; since the combination of the neutral vowel and pure short i must form long i (see rule (e) at p. 34 of the “ Suggestions ’) no difficulty arises ; thus : bi-xo “ eat! ” makes bi-y xo, i.e. biy xo “ eat it! ”

(9) Similarly long u is now written uw instead of uu ; after a vowel it is wu.

(10) Hemze is no longer represented since it appears, except as the initial soft breathing, in no native Kurdish words, and in Arabic borrowings merely has the effect of lengthening the adjacent vowel. Vowels found in juxtaposition are pronounced separately.

(11) Similarly ‘for ‘ain is no longer considered as a letter of the alphabet; it is detected as an initial sound in a very few native Kurdish words; in Arabic borrowings it generally, like hemze, lengthens the adjacent vowel, and sometimes, at the beginning of a word, aspirates it: thus عباس. makes Hebbas, … makes Homer; in his recent work “…" (Dar-ul-Islam Press, Baghdad, 1931) Amin Zaki Bey, recently Minister of Economics and Communications in the Iraqi Cabinet, who seldom spells Arabic words otherwise than in the correct Arabic way, writes on p. 2 موتالا for مطالعة.; where it is desired to represent the in a borrowed word the symbol ‘can nevertheless be used unobjectionably.

(12)  In consequence of (10) the apostrophe becomes available for its natural function of representing an elided vowel: l’êrewe for k êrewe “from here”.

(13)  Since a syllable cannot begin with the neutral vowel, initial pure short i is written i and not y.

These modifications, which all arise out of the abandonment of the superfluous symbols dh, th, x (for ح), ‘ and ’ (for hemze), and the adoption of i for the neutral vowel, have been achieved without violence to the fundamental principles (1) that diacritical marks must be reduced to a minimum, and (2) that the system must be adequate to reproduce the nicest subtleties of Kurdish grammar.

A restatement of the five rules given in the “ Suggestions ” (p. 34 of the Journal, January, 1931) now becomes necessary.

(а) This rule must be worded as follows : “ The vowel w, if brought into juxtaposition with another vowel, is changed into w, e.g. kewti-bu “he had fallen”, makes the subjunctive kewti-bw-aye; other vowels in juxtaposition are pronounced separately.¹

(б) This rule holds mutatis mutandis and might read : The combination iyy is not possible and is shortened to iy, the suppressed letter being represented by apostrophe ; thus, tanciy “gazelle-hound” makes tanci'yan “their gazelle-hound ”, not tanciyyan, and tanciy' Puu-sho “Pûsho’s hound”, not tanciy y Puwsho.

(c) The rule holds mutatis mutandis, but further experience has suggested that the fall of the accent in some measure limits freedom in the dropping of the neutral vowel; e.g. leshkir “army” makes leshkreke “the army” …

¹ Such juxtaposition occurs as a result of dropping the symbol for hemze in pure Kurdish words only when the present tense particle de-is prefixed to a verb beginning with a vowel.




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