March 16, 2016, 5:30pm
The Quest for a Common Alphabet for Turkic Languages
Presenter: Dr. Erika Gilson, American Association of Teachers of Turkic Languages
Location: Fisher - Bennett Hall Room 244, 3340 Walnut Street

About the Lecture:
After briefly talking about alphabets and writing systems, Dr. Erika Gilson, will present the Turkic languages in history, their geographic spread, and principal linguistic markers, as well as the alphabets used for Turkic languages in history. Focusing next on the quest for a Common Alphabet, Dr. Gilson will discuss some of its historic background, namely the 1926 Baku Conference, and the 1991 International Symposium on Contemporary Turkic alphabets, and summarize the current state and discussions relating to alphabet matters amongst the Turkic peoples. 

About the Speaker:
Erika Gilson taught Turkish and Ottoman Turkish for the Near Eastern Studies department at Princeton University for 26 years before retiring in 2014. Committed to teaching Middle Eastern languages, she was a founding member of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) and the American Association of Teachers of Turkic Languages. She received the A. Ronald Walton Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Less Commonly Taught Languages in 2008 and the Jere L. Bacharach Service Award from the Middle East Studies Association in 2012. Gilson is currently working on a database to study the effectiveness of writing as an enabling activity for language learning and on the Turkic Notations in Afanasii Nikitin's Voyage Beyond the Three Seas. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

This Event is Co-Sponsored By: The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations