Reshat Sabiq's requests for two Tatar orthographic variants

Michael Everson everson at
Mon Nov 13 15:34:54 CET 2006

At 06:00 -0800 2006-11-13, Doug Ewell wrote:

>>The request talks about about population numbers being "a tad 
>>confusing" and the proposer's "vague remembrances". And it is a 
>>request for a "variant of a Latin-based alphabet". Is this an 
>>orthography? Or an alphabet?
>I believe it's an alphabet that imposes a particular orthography, if 
>that makes any sense.  The set of available letters helps to 
>determine the possible spellings.

But a given set of characters may yield many orthographies.

>>The source cited is a Wikipedia article, which includes the 
>>following reference: IQTElif is further justified here: 
>> -- on a 
>>"Learn Turkish-Tatar-English Easily" site. "Justified"? [...] As 
>>far as I can see, this "alphabet" is just samizdat.
>Whether IQTElif is illegal is irrelevant to whether it exists.

But anyone can create an orthography... the Wikipedia and ultranet 
evidence is not, I believe sufficient to permit this to be approved. 
Please discuss.

>As for Janalif, it may have been created for political purposes, but 
>its existence (or not) is an independent fact.
>>This is even more rambling, going on about the proposer's train of 
>>thought. What is it about? Is it pan-Turkic? Is it Tatar-specific? 
>>Where are any real references? What is the relation of this to, for 
>>instance, Nughajbik, mirxan, Qorban, & Fajzullin's 1938 
>>Rusca-tatarca syzlek (see Kazan Tatar at 
>> What about the numerous 
>>alphabets for Turkic languages in Allworth's Nationalities of the 
>>Soviet East?
>Perhaps Reshat can be persuaded to answer these specific questions.

I need clarification.

>>I think I have to reject both of these requests. They are 
>>underspecified. I believe I had already rejected the first on 22 
>>October, though that wasn't very final, I admit.
>You wrote:  "until two of the three important and) relevant books in 
>my OWN library are mentioned in a bibliography regarding this, I am 
>disinclined to consider approval."  That's not final enough.  "I 
>reject this request on the grounds of XYZ" would have been.

So far, I am tending to reject both of these because of lack of 
compelling evidence and clarity. I invite further discussion now, 

>>They're entirely unrelated to that. I know there are orthographies 
>>for Tatar. I just don't know what is being requested here, and 
>>there are no adequate references.
>Two particular orthographies for Tatar, it seems to me.

The first is based on a Wikipedia article and somebody's web site. Is 
that good enough?

The second is more tempting, but what is its relation to the 1938 
dictionary I mention above? (That's a very big dictionary.)

>>Sorry, but I don't believe we are approving these as they stand. 
>>Please discuss if you feel otherwise. I certainly did not detect 
>>consensus about these on the list.
>You're the Reviewer; you can use list consensus as a guide if you 
>choose, but are not bound by it.

Well, there has not been much discussion.

>My main point is that if you wish to reject them, you have to reject 
>them; ignoring them and expecting them to go away on their own is 
>not a valid option.

I was not doing that, Doug. We're all busy, I was in Cornwall, then I 
had a cold.... Thank you for the reminder.
Michael Everson *

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