Re: Looking for transcription or transliteration standards latin- >arabic

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Wed Jul 07 2004 - 03:52:53 CDT

  • Next message: Philipp Reichmuth: "[OT] Istanbul [was: Re: Looking for transcription or transliteration standards latin- >arabic]"

    On 07/07/2004 07:08, Raymond Mercier wrote:

    > ...
    >I was only trying to grasp the sense of Gerd's throw-away remark (which I
    >hope he will explain), but I appreciate the difficulties you raise,
    >especially the point about the Greek beta as the phoneme /v/ . That
    >particular difficulty at least doesn't apply to the Ottoman b, if we look
    >for a Turkish -bul < πολις.
    The last part is uncontroversial, I think. The uncertainty is over the
    first part of the word.

    Google gives only three hits for "istimboli", one of which
    ( says:

    >An interesting historical case is Istanbul, whose name comes from
    >the Greek phrase "eis ten poli" ("to the city" -- first "e" is epsilon,
    >and second "e" is eta). That phrase tended to be pronounced "istimboli"
    >and with dissimilation "istamboli". So when the Turks changed the name
    >from Constantinople to Istanbul, they simply changed from a name with
    >an obvious Greek derivation to one with a nonobvious Greek derivation.

    This is a possible derivation. If this is Gerd's source, he failed to
    make the point that "istimboli" was not a Greek name of the city but a
    colloquial pronunciation of a phrase. And the source of that may be the
    following old German text, from

    > Constantinopel hayssen die Chrichen Istimboli und die Thürcken
    > hayssends Stambol;

    And according to (in Turkish) this
    information comes the from 14th-15th century German traveller Johan
    Schildtberger. But I have my suspicions about this information. The
    Greeks had no problem with initial consonant clusters but the Turks did,
    so it is much more likely that the Turks added the initial I to a Greek
    word starting with ST, just as Spanish and French add initial E before
    such clusters.

    Peter Kirk (personal) (work)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 07 2004 - 03:54:20 CDT