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Romanisation in Uzbekistan Past and Present

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 November 2009

Abstract

The aim of this article is to describe and explain multiple processes of alphabet reform and romanisation with which Uzbekistan has experimented since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. These reforms, which were debated and implemented in different socio-political and cultural contexts, illustrate essentially different stages of political development and experiences. While in the past reformers tended toward more complicated and rapid reforms, today the scope of change is much more modest and we meet with changes which are simpler and extended over the long term.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal Asiatic Society 2009

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References

1 A. Kamchinbek, Elenge, No: 9, 1928, p. 18.

2 Twine, N., Language and the Modern State: the Reform of Written Japanese (Basingstoke, 1991), p. 1Google Scholar.

3 For a brief summary about the debates in different countries in the first half of the last century, see Fierman, W. Language Planning and National Development: The Uzbek Experience (Berlin-New York, 1991), pp. 535CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 The Second Congress of Education and Civilization Workers, held in Tashkent.

5 The Orthography Congress of Central Asian Turks, held in Bukhara.

6 Esaslari, İmla, The Charter published by Ministry of Education (Bukhara, 1922), p. 8Google Scholar.

7 Ibid., p. 7.

8 The Orthography Congress of Central Asian Turks.

9 Maarif ve Okutguci, No: 9–10, 1925, p. 121.

10 A. K. Borovkov, ‘Izmenenia v Oblasti Uzbekskoy Leksiki i Noviy Alfavit’ (Na Osnove Ruskoy Grafiki), Izvestiya Uzbekskogo Filiala, 1940, No: 7, p. 33.

11 In three months many things must have changed because none of these delegates were sent to Baku except for A. Zahiri. For two different delegate lists see, Maarif ve Okutguci, No: 9–10, 1925, p. 122; Perviy Vsesoyuzniy Turkologicheskiy Syezd, Stenograficheskiy Otchet (Baku, 1926), pp. 423–426.

12 Perviy Vsesoyuzniy Turkologicheskiy Syezd, p. 320.

13 Fierman, Language Planning, pp. 74–75.

14 B. Rahmanogli, Ozbekistanda Latincilik Hareketi, Elenge No: 1, 1928. p. 9.

15 Alimcanov, A., et al. , Ozbekistan Yengi Elifba Tarihi Uchun Matiryallar, (Samakand, 1929), p. 20Google Scholar.

16 Gazi Alim, ‘Orta Asya Turklerining Yengi Elifbasi’, Maarif ve Okutguci, No: 6, 1927, p. 39.

17 M. Bogdanova, ‘Latin Esasinda Tuzilgan Ozbek Layihalarıning Tarihiga Bir Karash’, Elenge, No: 4, 1930, p. 34.

18 Maarif ve Okutguci, No: 6, 1927, p. 40.

19 Baldauf, I., Schriftreform und Schriftwechsel bei den muslimischen Russland-und Sowjettürken (1850–1937): ein Symptom ideengeschichtlicher und kulturpolitischer Entwicklungen (Budapest, 1993), p. 665Google Scholar.

20 Elenge, No: 2, 1928, p. 20.

21 Revolutsia i Natsional'nosti, No. 8–9, 1928, p. 110.

22 A. Alimcanov, ibid., p. 44.

23 Vsesoyuzniy tsentralniy komitet novogo alfavita: Stenograficheskiy otchet pyatogo plenuma, proisxodivshego v g. Tashkente 2–9 iyunia (Moscow, 1932), p. 161.

24 Amirov, A., Oktyabr Elifbesini Ammeleshtiruv Yolida (Tashkent, 1932), p. 4Google Scholar.

25 Vsesoyuzniy, ibid., p. 161.

26 M. Uzman, ‘Türkistan'da Dil Tartışmaları, Özbekçe'nin İcat Edilişi (1917–1940)’, Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Gazi University, (Ankara, 2005), pp. 68–105.

27 Kizil Ozbekistan, 30.3.1933.

28 Til-İmla Konferensiyesi Materiallari (Tashkent, 1931), p. 126.

29 A. Haşimov, ‘O Novom Uzbekskom Literaturnom Yazıke i Ego Orfografii’, Sotsialisticheskaya Nauka i Tehnika, No: 2–3, 1933, pp. 35–36.

30 Marxist linguists and intellectuals suggested, parallel to Marxist theory, that languages, like societies, proceed by passing through evolutional stages. According to them, the languages of developed societies are also developed. They thought that copying some features of these languages, and adapting them to their languages would give positive influence in the way of development.

31 A. Haşimov, ibid, p. 35. They were showing such words as “front”, “flot” and “trest” in European languages as proof.

32 M. Uzman, ibid., pp. 192–198.

33 This law was abolished in 1937, Ф. Абдурахманов & С. Мамажанов, Ўзбек Тили ва Адабиёти (Tashkent, 1995), p. 25.

34 S. Seegmiller − Ç. Balim, ‘Alphabets for the Turkic languages: Past, Present, and Future,’ in The Mainz Meeting. Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Turkish Linguistics August 3–6, 1994. (Wiesbaden, 1998), p. 627.

35 J. Landau & B. Kellner-Heinkele, Politics of Language in the Ex-Soviet Muslim States (London, 2001), p. 129.

36 B. N. Schlyter, ‘Language Policy in Independent Uzbekistan’, Stockholm FoCAS Working Paper 1, Forum for Central Asian Studies (eds. Per-Arne Berglie and Birgit N. Schlyter), (Stockholm, 1997), p. 33; Ўзбекистон Республикаси Конуни, (Tashkent, 1993), p. 7.

37 Ўзбекистон Республикаси Конуни, p. 6.

38 Ўзбекистон Республикаси Олий Мажлисининг Карори, No: 72–1.

39 Ўзбекистон Республикаси Вазирлар Маxкамасининг Карори, No: 339 (Tashkent, 1995).

40 M. Kozlova, Uzbekistan: Language Politics, IntelliBriefs, 2007: http://intellibriefs.blogspot.com/2007/07/uzbekistan-language-politics.html

41 See, Landau and Kellner-Heinkele, ibid., p. 138; T. Kocaoğlu, ‘Türk Ülkelerinde Latin Alfabesine Geçme Sürecindeki Başlıca Meseleler’, 3 Uluslar Arası Türk Dil Kurultayı, 1999 (Ankara, 1999), pp. 675–678.

41a Maarif ve okutguci, No: 6, 1927, p. 40.

42 According to one estimating, the overall cost of switching is US$300 million; see P. Bartlett, ‘Kazakhstan: Moving forward with Plan to Replace Cyrillic with Latin Alphabet’, 2007: http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav090407.shtml

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