The Spread of Turkish Language and the Black Sea Dialects

with Bernt Brendemoen

Dialects are formed by complex historical processes that involve cultural exchange, migration, and organic transformation. Thus, the study of dialects can provide information about the history of a particular language as well as the communities that have historically spoken that given language. In this episode, Bernt Brendemoen discusses the emergence of the Turkish dialect of the Black Sea region, its relationship with early Anatolian and Ottoman Turkish as well as Pontic Greek, and what it can tell us about the evolution of the modern Turkish language.

Bernt Brendemoen is a Professor of Turkology at the University of Oslo in Norway (see faculty page)
Chris Gratien is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University researching the social and environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. (see

Episode No. 79
Release Date: 16 November 2012
Location: Beyoğlu, Istanbul
Editing and Production: Chris Gratien

This episode is part of our Historicized Identities series

Citation: "The Spread of Turkish Language and the Black Sea Dialects," Bernt Brendemoen and Chris Gratien, Ottoman History Podcast, No. 79 (November 16, 2012)

Select Bibliography

Brendemoen, Bernt (1999). Greek and Turkish Language Encounters in Anatolia, In Bernt Brendemoen; Elizabeth Lanza & Else Ryen (ed.),  Language Encounters across time and space. Studies in language contact.  Novus, Oslo.  ISBN 82-7099-308-5.  s 353 - 378

Brendemoen, Bernt (2006). Aspects of Greek-Turkish language contact in Trabzon, In Hendrik Boeschoten & Lars Johanson (ed.),  Turkic Languages in Contact.  Harrassowitz Verlag.  ISBN 3-447-05212-0.  Kapittel.  s 63 - 73

Brendemoen, Bernt (2003). A note on vowel rounding in the Trabzon dialects, In  Studies in Turkish linguistics. Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference in Turkish Linguistics.  Bogazici University Press.  ISBN 975-518-210-1.  Artikkel.  s 313 - 320

Brendemoen, Bernt (2005). Some remarks on the phonological status of Greek loanwords in Anatolian Turkish dialects, In  Linguistic Convergence and Areal Diffusion. Case studies from Iranian, Samitic and Turkic.  Routledge Mental Health.  ISBN 0-415-30804-6.  Part 3: Turkic Languages.  s 335 - 345

Brendemoen, Bernt (1998). Some Remarks on the -mIs past in the Eastern Black Sea Coast Dialects. In: Turkic Languages (Wiesbaden) 1/2, 1997, 161-183.. Turkic languages.  ISSN 1431-4983.  1(2), s 161- 183

Brendemoen, Bernt (2006). Ottoman or Iranian? An example of Turkic-Iranian language contact in East Anatolian dialects, In Lars Johanson & Christiane Bulut (ed.),  Turkic-Iranian Contact Areas. Historical and Linguistic Aspects.  Harrassowitz Verlag.  ISBN 3-447-05276-7.  Kapittel.  s 226 - 238

Brendemoen, Bernt (1998). The Turkish Language Reform, In Lars Johanson & Eva A. Csato (ed.),  The Turkic Languages.  Routledge Mental Health.  ISBN 0-415-08200-5.  s 242 - 247

Brendemoen, Bernt (1998). Turkish Dialects, In Lars Johanson & Eva A. Csato (ed.),  The Turkic Languages.  Routledge Mental Health.  ISBN 0-415-08200-5.  s 236 - 241


obucan said…
I'd like to contribute with the information that in Hopa region Hemşin language is still spoken by an unexpectedly large population, considering Mr Brendemoen doesnot think that language is still alive
Jaine said…
I have a question about the word thanks I hear on Behzat Ç. It sounds like "eh voila", like a french closing or filler to leaving a conversation. Also, "n'inquiet me" sounds french for don't worry. I can't find either the "eh voila" nor can I find "n'inquiet me" in the choices for those translations of thanks and don't worry, so is it slang from Ankara? Tusen Takk. My brother was named Bernt, so that is how I found an interest in your work.
Chris Gratien said…
Hi Jaine, the "eh voila" you are hearing is the word eyvallah and yes it is a bit of a filler word meaning things like "yes," "ok," "if you say so," and "alright bye." I could not be sure of the other phrase you are referring to, but it probably ends in the word "etme" meaning don't.
Jaine said…
yes, thank you sağolun!! and the etme is right, I hear it but when I look up " don't worry" the word is Endişelenme with no /t/ in that is not what they are saying.. thanks for such a quick reply! I Love Turkish language and customs. I am a French teacher and hear a lot of French in the Turkish but of course in turk phonetics..(I can't think of examples right now. Tusen Takk and thanks!
Jaine said…
I forgot to add another thing I love about Turkish! They say ouf!! and I think I heard them say uffda in Turkish too, like we say in Minnesota those of us with Norsk in our history! (I am a Flåm form the Flåm farm in Norge).
Unknown said…
eyvallah is a deformed "iyi vallahi"

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