The article provides a short historical overview on some attempts to write down Ossetic sounds by means of different alphabets (§ 1-3). Most often than not, the use of Greek or Latin letters reflects Christian traditions before the Mongol invasion of the North Caucasus or is the product of the curiosity of writers and travellers, who were impressed by the linguistic variety of the region and registered some words and/or sentences. Further, the major phases in the development of a more or less coherent writing system is briefly described. The primary reason for the development of an Ossetic alphabet, based on the Church Slavonic cyrillic script (§ 4) or Georgian xucuri (§ 5), was the goal of the missionaries, coming from Russian and Georgia during the last decades of the 18th and the first half of the following century, to convert Ossetic people to Christianity. Parallel to the process of spreading the Christian faith, a new graphic system, based on Russian cyrillic, was introduced in 1844 (§ 6) and further developed and improved (§ 8). After the October Revolution, the latinization campaign carried out by the bolsheviks involved a shift to a Latin-based alphabet (§ 9), which was again replaced by a new system adapted from the reformed Russian cyrillic orthography in 1938 (§ 10). The transcription system adopted by a German linguist in the 19th century (§ 7), as well as the short experience of using the Georgian civil alphabet (mxedruli) in South Ossetia from 1938 to 1954 (§ 10), clearly reveal an almost perfect coincidence between Ossetic and Georgian with regard to the number and nature of phonemes. The choise of an alphabet, however, depends on cultural, political and ideological orientation more than on purely linguistic considerations, and Ossetic does not represent an exception to this rule.

Alfabeti per l’Osseto. Brevi cenni

V. Tomelleri
;
2011

Abstract

The article provides a short historical overview on some attempts to write down Ossetic sounds by means of different alphabets (§ 1-3). Most often than not, the use of Greek or Latin letters reflects Christian traditions before the Mongol invasion of the North Caucasus or is the product of the curiosity of writers and travellers, who were impressed by the linguistic variety of the region and registered some words and/or sentences. Further, the major phases in the development of a more or less coherent writing system is briefly described. The primary reason for the development of an Ossetic alphabet, based on the Church Slavonic cyrillic script (§ 4) or Georgian xucuri (§ 5), was the goal of the missionaries, coming from Russian and Georgia during the last decades of the 18th and the first half of the following century, to convert Ossetic people to Christianity. Parallel to the process of spreading the Christian faith, a new graphic system, based on Russian cyrillic, was introduced in 1844 (§ 6) and further developed and improved (§ 8). After the October Revolution, the latinization campaign carried out by the bolsheviks involved a shift to a Latin-based alphabet (§ 9), which was again replaced by a new system adapted from the reformed Russian cyrillic orthography in 1938 (§ 10). The transcription system adopted by a German linguist in the 19th century (§ 7), as well as the short experience of using the Georgian civil alphabet (mxedruli) in South Ossetia from 1938 to 1954 (§ 10), clearly reveal an almost perfect coincidence between Ossetic and Georgian with regard to the number and nature of phonemes. The choise of an alphabet, however, depends on cultural, political and ideological orientation more than on purely linguistic considerations, and Ossetic does not represent an exception to this rule.
Atti del Sodalizio Glottologico Milanese
Dell’Orso
n. s., vol. 6
138
146
9788862743600
R. Arena; V. Tomelleri; M. Salvatori
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1789976
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