Vásáry, I. (2020). AN OVERVIEW OF THE FORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF TURKISH STUDIES FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE FOUNDATION OF THE ORIENTAL ACADEMY IN VIENNA IN 1754. Gerundium, 11(3-4), 61–77. https://doi.org/10.29116/gerundium/2020/3-4/4
Turkish studies started in Europe later than Arabic and Persian studies. While research into Arabic was mainly justified by the underlying theological context, and Persian was attractive for its rich literary heritage, studying Turks and the Turkish language was motivated by two factors. One was the ever- growing political and commercial significance of the Ottoman Empire in Europe, the other being the Christian mission. This article gives a short survey of the theme and treats only the major Turkish grammars and dictionaries that appeared in print. Having reviewed the first rudimentary attempts at describing Turkish in the 16th century, the first European Turkish grammar written by Megiser (1612) is treated, then Jakab Harsányi Nagy’s conversation book (1642) is the subject of the next analysis. Afterwards, a scrutiny of 17th-century French, Italian, and English dictionaries and grammars are analysed (du Ryer, Molino, Maggio, Bernardo de Parigi, Pietro d’Albavilla, Mascisci, Seaman, Vaughan). In the following, Turkish studies in Vienna in the 17th century are dwelt on, with a special emphasis on the works of Meninski and Podestà, two major figures of Turkish research at that time. After a short listing of a few dictionaries and grammars published in Leipzig, the foundation of the Oriental Academy in Vienna is the next topic of the paper. Finally, Turkish Bible translations are listed and a few conclusions close the article.