cover of book

An Introduction to Chaghatay: A Graded Textbook for Reading Central Asian Sources
by Eric Schluessel
Michigan Publishing Services, 2018
eISBN: 978-1-60785-496-8 | Paper: 978-1-60785-495-1

The Chaghatay language was used across Central Asia from the 1400s through the 1950s. Chroniclers, clerks, and poets in modern-day Afghanistan, Xinjiang, Uzbekistan, and beyond wrote countless volumes of text in Chaghatay, from the famed Baburnama to the documents of everyday life. However, even more and more material in Chaghatay is becoming available to scholars, few are able to read the language with ease.

An Introduction to Chaghatay is the first textbook in over a century to introduce this language to English-speaking students. This book is designed to build a foundation in reading Chaghatay without assuming any background knowledge on the part of the reader. These graded, cumulative lessons include common vocabulary, accessible grammar explanations, and examples of Chaghatay manuscripts. Authentic texts introduce the student to different genres, including hagiographies, documents, “stories of the prophets,” and newspapers while introducing critical skills in paleography.

Eric Schluessel is Assistant Professor of Chinese History and Politics at the University of Montana. He holds a PhD in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University, an MA in Linguistics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and an MA in Central Eurasian Studies from Indiana University. He is the author of several articles on the history of Chinese Central Asia and is currently preparing a critical edition and translation of Mullah Musa Sayrami’s Tarikh-i Hamidi, a chronicle of Xinjiang in the nineteenth century.
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