A Halich Karaim Bible Translation

University dissertation from Uppsala : Department of Linguistics and Philology

Abstract: This dissertation is a corpus-based analysis of a translation of the Hebrew Bible into Halich Karaim, a Kipchak Turkic variety previously spoken in the present-day Ukraine. The corpus analysed in the thesis comprises sixty selected pages of a 596 page manuscript written in the Hebrew alphabet. A detailed transliteration system renders the information encoded in the Hebrew script. Furthermore, on the basis of the transliteration, a Simplified Interpretative Transliteration (SIT) system is applied to make the Karaim text more easily readable. Motivations for employing different graphic forms in the Hebrew script are interpreted in SIT.The main focus of the dissertation is the analysis of the linguistic characteristics copied from Biblical Hebrew onto Halich Karaim. The theoretical framework applied is the Code-Copying Model (Johanson 2002).The introductory section gives a brief presentation of the Halich Karaims and previous studies on their language and Bible translations. This is followed by a detailed account of the transliteration system and the Simplified Interpretative Transliteration.One of the aims of the dissertation is to characterize the type of Bible translation that the studied Halich Karaim texts represent. To this end, a typological framework proposed by Floor (2007) is employed.The main part of the dissertation provides a systematic description of Biblical Hebrew properties copied onto the language of the Halich Karaim Bible. First, copied features of nominals and verbs are treated, followed by a description of copied syntactic and lexical characteristics.The in-depth analysis of the language of the translation leads to the conclusion that it represents a 'close resemblant translation type' in Floor’s typology. This is further supported by a comparison with other Karaim (Trakai and Crimean) and Turkish Bible translations.The Appendix contains the first Halich Karaim Bible texts published in transliteration.

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