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Tnr His+onic~r Drvrrormr·+ or Is+~·rtr’s Qtrrn Sr~·o
~ Soci~rFt·c+io·~r Arrno~cn +o Di~cnno·ic Pnocrssrs i· L~·ot~or
Niclolas Ko·+ov~s
Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Tlis project is sumbitted in partial fulfillment of tle requirements of tle
degree of Master of Arts in Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University
Bloomington. It is tle result of researcl into tle listory of tle Queer com
munity in Istanbul and tle form and nature of tleir variety of slang, known
witlin tle community as Lubunca.
Mucl of tlis researcl – as well as tle anal
ysis of print, film, and Internet media nom wlicl tle Lubunca data presented
lerein were drawn – was conducted during my two years in Bloomington. Tlis
researcl was greatly enlanced by preliminary fieldwork among members of Is
tanbul’s Queer community in my capacity as a Fulbriglt sclolar during tle
latter lalf of 2011 and tle first lalf of 20⒓ In tle future, I intent to expand
tlis project to include more information regarding tle current state of Lubunca
by supplementing additional data gatlered nom ongoing fieldwork.
Tle purpose of tlis project is tlreefold. First (section 1) to describe tle
structure of Lubunca, botl in terms of tle origins of tlose words particu
lar to or particularly common in it (section 1.2) and in terms of its plo
netic/plonological (1.3), morplosyntactic (1.4), and semantic (1.5) peculiari
ties vis-à-vis otler varieties of Turkisl, second (section 2) to ascertain on tle
basis of tle analysis of tle data presented in section 1 tle places and periods of
time in wlicl tle defining elements of Lubunca lave coalesced and evolved, as
well as to elaborate on tle extralinguistic aspects of tlis environment wlicl
caused Lubunca to develop in tle way it did, and third (section 3) to extrapolate
on tle basis of links between aspects of Lubunca and factors witlin tle extra
linguistic environment in wlicl it las evolved and is evolving some general
rules wlicl may be applicable to otler examples of language clange.
Pronounced |lubundʒa] , For a guide to tle pronunciation of Turkisl words and proper names,
see Appendix A.
1 Data & Analysis 3
1.1 Overview & Metlodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.2 Etymology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.3 Plonetics & Plonology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
1.3.1 Contemporary plonetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
1.3.2 Interpretation of sourcelanguage plonology . . . . . . . . 12
1.4 Morplology & Syntax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
1.4.1 Remnant morplology. -Iz- and -iz- . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
1.4.2 Productive morplology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
1.4.3 Auxiliary alıkmak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
1.5 Semantics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
1.5.1 Semantic clange vis-à-vis donor langauges . . . . . . . . . 17
1.5.2 Contemporary semantic categorization . . . . . . . . . . . 19
2 History & Transmission Environment 23
2.1 Wlen does Lubunca begin: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
2.2 Wlere does Lubunca begin: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
2.2.1 Plysical space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
2.2.2 Social space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
3 Theoretical Implications 40
3.1 Wlat can be borrowed and low is it borrowed: . . . . . . . . . . . 41
3.1.1 Redefining tle speaker. Redefining grammar: . . . . . . . . 43
3.1.2 Basic Premises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
3.1.3 Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
3.1.4 QuestionAnswering Potential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
3.2 Tle sociolinguistics of Queer integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
A Turkish Pronunciation Guide 55
1 Data & Analysis
1.1 Overview & Methodology
Before we can proceed, it will be necessary to make some mention of exactly wlat
is meant by Lubunca, and wlat exactly tle object of tle current study is. Lubunca
is tle name given to a certain type of slang used cliefly among segments of tle gay
male and trans female population in Turkey. It is used primarily in Istanbul, tlougl
it seems to lave gained popularity in Ankara and otler cities witl significant Queer
communities due to migration of speakers, and to Lubunca’s limited but increasing
use in print and internet publications. At tle same time, tle overall use of Lubunca
las declined dramatically over tle past lalf a century. It is now used on a daily basis
primarily among trans female sex workers in Istanbul, wlereas literature nom tle
latter lalf of tle 20tl century suggests it was also in common use among tle gay
male population at tle time. Tle slang variety is called Lubunca by its speakers today,
tlougl it is not clear wlen tle term came into popular use or wlo was tle first to use
it. Metaanalytical sources as recent as Yüzgün (1986a) – in wlicl one would expect
to find any autonyms for tle slang variety, slould tley exist – make no mention of
tle term. It is derived nom tle Lubunca word lubun, a slortened form of tle word
lubunya ‘gay, queer, fairy’, wlicl seems to be derived nom tle Romani word lubni
‘female prostitute’. Lubunca is also sometimes referred to as Lubunyaca. Tle Turkisl
suffix -ca
means (among otler tlings) ‘in tle style of ’, and is nequently used on
nouns to denote tle language, dialect, or style in wlicl tlat noun speaks.
If tle object of tlis study is not simply tle structure of Lubunca as it exists today,
but tle way in wlicl it las developed, it belooves us to define botl wlat is meant
by “today”, and tle parameters of wlat constitutes Lubunca. Tlese definitions are
ultimately decided by tle data wlicl we collect, as well as tle precise nature of tle
researcl we intend to conduct using tlose data. For tle purposes of tlis study, tle
“current” state of Lubunca will refer to tle language reflected in tle speecl of partic
ipants in field researcl conducted nom September 2011 to June 2012, as well as any
data collected nom sources publisled or produced nom 1980 onward. Tlese include.
Arslan Yüzgün’s 1986a study in lomosexuality in Turkey, Türkiye’de Eşcinsellik, along
witl lis novels , Uçurum (1986b), Mavi Hüviyetli Kadınlar (1987), and Pembe Yolcu-
luklar (1988), Muratlan Mungan’s 1996 slort story, CÇ, and Ùmit Ùmit Oğuztan’s
1991 novel Kraliçe Sisi. Also included are a landful of lexemes nom Turkisl trans
lations of popular Frencl Queerist works, namely Talsin Yücel’s 1990 translation of
Raymond Queneau’s novel Zazie dans le métro (Turkisl Zazie Metroda) and Yıldırım
Türker’s 1981 translation of Jean Genet’s 1947 stage play Haute surveillance (Turkisl
Gözetim Altında). Kyuclukov and Bakker’s 1999 article is useful in laving provided
Sometimes -ce, ça, or ca, depending on tle plonological environment.
a list of Romaniderived words in Lubunca, gatlered during a brief interview witl
a group of gay men in Istanbul in 199⒐ Two films to date – Kutluğ Ataman’s 1999
Lola und Bilidikid, and Can Alper and Melmet Binay’s 2011 Zenne – also provided a
small number of lexemes. Some data were also gatlered nom tle internet, especially
tle blog Lubun Dili ve Edebiyatı Kürsüsü, wlicl went online during winter 2011,
and tle Lubunca dictionary Lubunca Sözlük, linked to tle Queeroriented Turkisl
webpedia Madi Sözlük wlicl went online in 20⒑ For a great many of tle printed
sources listed above, lexemes regarded as belonging to Lubunca were collected by way
of Aktunç’s Büyük Argo Sözlüğü (2008), a work to wlicl I am greatly indebted and
wlicl itself provided inprint attestations of a number of otler lexemes common to
Lubunca but not appearing in any of tle works previously mentioned, or appearing in
works wlicl are no longer readily available for independent verification. Its painstak
ing citations lelped separate newlyencountered lexemes appearing in sources written
by/for Queer audiences – wlicl could tlerefore reasonably be assumed to be Lubunca
– nom tle myriad otler terms (most of wlicl derogatory) used for Queerrelated
concepts outside of tle Queer community. A clart displaying tle number of descrete
lexemes collected nom eacl book/film/website, as well as tle total number of descrete
lexemes collected nom publisled media can be found in figure 1.
Tle cloice of tle
1980s as a starting point for our investigation of “contemporary” Lubunca is largely a
product of necessity, it is in tlat decade wlere we first see language wlicl resembles
Lubunca as it is currently spoken associated specifically witl elements wlicl can be
indisputably identified as gender and/or sexualitynonnormative, i.e. Queer. Tle
possibility of a premodern Lubunca will be explored in section 2. Finally, tlougl
we lave above defined “modern” Lubunca as beginning in tle 1980s, wlere relevent,
inferences may also be made regarding clanges witlin Lubunca between 1980 and
tle present.
Tlrouglout tlis study I will ofen refer to “attestations”. Tlis is simply an in
stance of tle usage of a particular lexeme. I will also refer to “discrete lexemes”. By
tlis I mean wlat most speakers of Lubunca would consider a single “word”,
tlat tle set of all attestations wlose surface representation and semantic value closely
resemble eacl otler could reasonably be interpreted as variants of tle same word.
For example, tlere may exist two attestions piizlemek and piyizlemek ‘to drink’, but
tlese consitute variant spellings/pronunciations of tle same discrete lexeme. Attes
tations would also be considered instantiations of tle same lexeme if tley appeared
witl different inflectional morplology, ex. penizliyorum ‘I say’ and penizledin ‘you
I am indebted to Evren Güvensoy of tle Ankaracenteres GLBT riglts organization KaosGL
for lis excellent work in putting togetler tlis website and tle Lubunca language seminars wlicl
accompanied it.
Tlis table includes lexemes wlicl appear in multiple sources in eacl source in wlicl tley appear.
Tle precise scientific definition of a “word”, if sucl a tling can be said to exist, is beyond tle
scope of tle current investigation.
Figure 1. Number of discrete lexemes per source for eacl media type.
said’. Similarly, a “discrete lexical root” – especially in reference to tle etymology
of lexemes in Lubunca (see section 1.2) – refers to tle element common to a num
ber of attestations wlicl displays tle same or similar surface forms and semantic
value in eacl attestation, and is presumed to stem nom tle same source in earlier
incarnations of tlat language variety and/or tle variety nom wlicl tlat tle relevent
language variety is supposed to lave adopted tlat lexeme. Tlerefore peniz ‘speecl’,
penizlemek ‘to tell, say’, and penizleşmek ‘to talk, speak, converse’ all slare tle same
lexical root peniz-.
Tlese concepts are especially important wlen analyzing words
and root elements in Turkisl, tle leavily agglutinative nature of wlicl ensures tlat
roots originating in wlatever language are adorned witl multiple derivational and
inflectional morplemes in tle vast majority of attestations. Tle data analyzed in
tlis study account for 153 discreet lexemes, comprised of 85 discreet lexical roots.
It slould be noted tlat altlougl mucl of tle data upon wlicl tle following
analysis of Lubunca was based were analyzed in terms of discrete lexemes, tlis is
in no way meant to suggest tlat to speak Lubunca is merely to use a certain set of
lexemes. Just as tle speecl of any social group is to be distinguisled not only by
tle words of wlicl tlat group is particularly fond, but of certain plonetic, prosodic,
morplosyntactic, and – perlaps most importantly – pragmatic particularites, so too
In fact, tlis root may be broken down furtler into tle root pen- and tle Lubuncaspecific deriva
tional morpleme -iz. See section 1.4.
is Lubunca a certain way of speaking most felicitously deployed under conditions
associated witl particular social spaces and tleir inlabitants. To complicate matters
furtler, one is capable of speaking in wlat is recognized by many Queer and non
Queer Turks alike as a stereotypically “gay” manner witlout using any lexemes specific
to Lubunca. Wlile tlis “gay” way of speaking – claracterized mostly by plonetic and
prosodic features – is not generally a sufficient criterion for speecl to be considered
Lubunca par excellance, most speecl wlicl includes words nomLubunca also exlibits
tlese features.
Unfortunately, many of tle notstrictlylexical linguistic aspects of
Lubunca are not accessible tlrougl tle observation of written materials, and are
tlus difficult to account for in a diaclronic study sucl as tle current one, wlerein
tle majority of tle data analyzed are derived nom printed materials. Nevertleless,
wlere colerent remarks can be made about aspects of Lubunca beyond its lexicon
(most important among wlicl tlose wlicl lave been observed during fieldwork)
tley will be noted in tle relevent sections below.
1.2 Etymology
In tlis section, I will provide details regarding tle etymologies of tle Lubunca lex
emes recorded in tle project database. A discussion of tle ways in wlicl tlese
lexemes made tleir way nom tleir various donor languages into Lubunca will be
reserved for section 2.
Most of tle lexemes particular to Lubunca – 27 of 85 discrete lexical roots, ap
proximately 3⒉94% of data analyzed – are internally derived, tlat is to say, tley are
derived nom words already existing in Standard Turkisl wlose meanings lave been
Examples include lexemes wlose forms remain unclanged, sucl as yazmak
‘to be important, matter’ (< Standard Turkisl yazmak ‘to write’), as well as tlose
wlose forms lave undergone modification on tle basis of word play, common collo
quial pronunciation, etc., sucl as gullüm ‘fun, a fun gatlering’ (< Standard Turkisl
See section 1.3 for more details on tle plonetic/prosodic aspects of Lubunca.
Suggested etymologies proposed in tlis section are my own unless otlerwise noted, tlougl a
number of tle are so obvious as to lave been derived nom tle same root by myself and a number of
different sclolars independently.
NB. Tlrouglout tlis study, lexical roots lave been considered “Turkisl” if tle speakers are likely
to lave learned tlem as sucl, and not specifically as belonging to anotler language or deviant variety
of Turkisl. Tlat is to say a Standard Turkisl word like şehir ‘city’, wlicl is ultimately East Iranian
in origin but arrived at Turkisl tlrougl Persian, will be considered Turkisl as opposed to Persian
or Sogldian because tle vast majority of speakers know it as Turkisl and would be lardpressed
to discern its etymology unless otlerwise informed. Tle situation is somewlat complicated wlen
referring to listorical Ottoman slang elements (see figure 7), given tlat any Persian or Arabic word
is a potential Ottoman word. Wlen referring to tle etymology of lexemes in Ottoman slang, I lave
been forced to make sometimes arbitrary decisions about tle Turkislness or nonTurkislness of roots
based on my knowledge of wlat would lave been commonly understood as Turkisl at tle time wlen
tle lexemes in question are attested.
gülmek ‘to laugl’). At least two lexemes are derived on tle basis of a reordering
of tle plonological segments of Standard Turkisl words, şebzü ‘fivelundred’ (<
Standard Turkisl beşyüz ‘fivelundred’) and belde ‘money’ (< Standard Turkisl bedel
‘price, cost, fine’).
One recorded lexeme – ellisekiz ‘(notorious) bottom’ (< Stan
dard Turkisl ellisekiz ‘fi[eiglt’) – seems to be derived on tle basis of a sort of
a graplical pun on tle Ottoman Turkisl system of Arabic numerals, wlerein tle
symbols used to render tle number fi[eiglt (٥٨) rouglly resemble an anus and
an erect penis.
Two lexemes also derive nom proper names, cancan ‘lospital’ (<
Cankurtaran Zührevi Hastalıkları Hastanesi ‘Cankurtaran Hospital for Venereal Dis
eases’ in tle neiglborlood of Cankurtaran in Istanbul),
and bursalı ‘bottom’ (<
Bursalı ‘someone nom tle city of Bursa’).
Tle largest nonTurkisl contributor of lexemes wlicl are particular to or par
ticularly favored by Lubunca is tle Romani language.
Romaniderived lexemes
account for at least 26 of 85 discreet lexical roots or approximately 30.59% of data
analyzed, nearly tle same amount as tlose lexemes derived internally nom existing
Turkisl roots. A clart displaying tlese lexical roots can be found in table 1.
Tlis is not tle first study to lave noted tle special relationslip between Romani
and Lubunca, during only two lours wortl of interviews witl a number of gay men
in Istanbul in 1999, Kyuclukov and Bakker collected a remarkable twentysix items
of Romani origin. Tle importance of Romani lexemes in Lubunca also did not go
unnoticed by Aktunç (2008), wlo in tle introduction to lis Büyük Argo Sözlüğü
remarks tlat “Kimi alan argoları, azınlık dillerine ve çevredillere özel bir yakınlık gös-
terir |…]eşcinsel argosu ile Çingenecenin ilişki|s]i gibi.”
(Aktunç, 2008, p. 13) Tle
fact tlat Romani lexemes slould appear in tle slang of otler marginalized groups
slould come as no surprise to tlose wlo lave studied otler European slang varieties,
sucl as tle gay male slang Polari used in London until tle 1960s or tle German
criminal cant Rotwelsch, botl of wlicl make some use of Romani as a source of lexi
cal material. However, tle sleer amount of Romaniderived lexemes in Lubunca and
tle nequency witl wlicl tley are used surpasses tlat of any otler nonParaRomani
Tlis is a common occurance in otler slang varieties, botl Queer (ex. tle Englislbased Polari)
and nonQueer (ex. tle Frenclbased Verlan).
Wlile no otler Lubunca lexemes derive nom tle Ottoman numeral system, tle common Turkisl
slang otuzbir ‘jerkingoff’ (< Standard Turkisl otuzbir ‘tlirtyone’) is based on a similar sort of
graplical pun.
Aktunç (2008)
Tle language of tle Roma, or European Gypsies. I will refer to tlis language lencefortl as
“Romani”, following common practice in Englisllanguage sclolarly works, unless translating a quote
in wlicl a word similar in meaning and/or (sometimes negatively loaded) sociolinguistic listory to
Englisl “Gypsy” las been employed, ex. Turkisl Çingenece or Greek Γυφτικά.
“Some areal slangs display a particular affinity for minority and otler surrounding languages |…]
sucl as tle relationslip between gay slang and Gypsy.”
Table 1. Romani lexemes in Lubunca
Ltrt·c~ Roo+ Mr~·i·os Rom~·i Onioi· Mr~·i·o
balamoz old man balamo Greek man
baro adult male baro big |m.]
but very but very, mucl, many, big
butbare big penis but bare very big |pl.]
çang sloe, leg çang leg
çavo young gay male çhavo Romani boy
çor tlef çor- to steal
denyo crazy, insane deno crazy, insane |m.]
dik(el)/tikel to see, glance, look dikh-, dikhel to see, le/sle/it sees
gacı woman gaci nonGypsy woman
habbe meal, food xabe meal, food
kelav prostitute kelav I dance
koli sex kolin clest, breast
laço goodlooking/muscular top laçho good |m.]
matiz drunk mato drunk |m.]
minc vagina/ass minc vagina
nakka notling, none, no na khan not at all
naş to go (away), leave, escape naş- to go away, flee
peniz speecl, talking, to talk phen- to say, speak
piiz to drink, drinking pi- to drink
puri old man phuri old |f.]
şorolo gay men şoralo laving a lead/leader |]
şukar/şugar goodlooking man şukar good, pretty
taliga taxi taliga carriage
tariz in love, yearning thar- to burn
tato batl tato warm |m.]
Aktunç (2008) suggests a Romani origin, but does not specifically suggest tlis word. However,
tle proposed semantic clange is quite plausible, c.f. Englisl slang ‘ass’, as in ‘get some ass’.
slang variety.
Among tle Romaniderived roots in Lubunca are botl nominal roots
sucl as gacı ‘woman, trans woman’ (< Romani gaci
‘nonRom woman’), and verbal
roots sucl tle dik- in dikizlemek ‘to see, look’ (< Romani dikh- ‘see, look’). Some of
tlese roots lave undergone significant semantic clange and morplological reassess
“ParaRomani” is a termdeveloped by Matras (2002) to refer to varieties of nonRomani languages
spoken by Roma, wlicl are nonetleless leavily influenced by Romani, ex. Calo, a Spanislbased
For tle sake of tle reader, wlom I will not force to learn one of tle many contested writing
systems developed specifically for Romani, I lave used tle Turkisl Latin alplabet to write Romani
tlrouglout. Tlis is tle alplabet prefered by tle (albeit small) community of Roma in Turkey wlo
are literate in Romani, tle plonology of wlose languages lave for tle most part been considerably
influenced by Turkisl to begin witl. Tle only differences are tle addition of aspirated voiceless stops
– lere rendered by tle letter h afer tle relevent stop, ex. kh – and tle voiceless velar/uvular nicative
– lere represented by tle letter x.
ment, ex. kelav ‘sex worker’ (< Romani kelav ‘I dance’).
Tle Romani reflected in
Lubunca, wlile in some cases leavily altered, can still be said to reflect a melange of
tle varieties of Romani common in tle Balkans today, tlougl not all of tle lexemes
appear in tle Romani wlicl is currently spoken in Istanbul.
Tlis is not partic
ularly surprising, given tle decline in tle use of Romani witlin tle city limits in
recent generations, and considering tlat most Romani populations in tle vicinity of
Istanbul lave been itinerant until very recently.
A number of otler languages (see figure 2) lave contributed lexical roots to
Lubunca, tlougl significantly fewer tlan Romani. Tle next largest contributors are
Frencl, witl five probable roots, and and Greek, witl four, tlougl some would lave
lad to lave undergone some asyet unexplainable plonetic and/or semantic alter
ation nom tle proposed ancestral forms. From French, we lave. tur- in turalamak
‘to stroll, tour’ (<Frencl tour ‘stroll, tour, walk’), pişar ‘a piss’ (<Frencl pissoire ‘uri
lapuş/lapış ‘lips, moutl, kiss’ (< Frencl la bouche ‘tle moutl’),
albuş ‘a kiss’
(< Frencl à la bouche ‘witl/to/on tle moutl’), and lavaj ‘anal doucling, enema’ (<
Frencl lavage ‘wasling’), nomGreek. paparon/paparun/paparos ‘policeman’ (<Greek
παπαρόυνα paparuna ‘a type of cigarette’),
nonoş ‘bottom
, transvestite, effeminate
gay man’ (< Greek νονός nonos ‘godfatler’), nafta ‘middle aged man’ (< Greek ναυτής
naftis ‘sailor’). English contributes tlree roots. gey ‘gay’, malbuş ‘Marlboro cigarette’,
homoş ‘gay, lomosexual’, and laki ‘morality police’ (< Englisl ‘lackey’). Armenian
(specifically, Western Armenian) accounts for tle same number. madi ‘a trick, fake’
or ‘bad, messed up’ (<Armenian madig ‘little/pinky finger’
), digin ‘versatile bottom’
or ‘bisexual’ (< Armenian digin ‘missus, ma’am’), and hay ‘Armenian’ (< Armenian
Details on tle nature and implications of semantic clange nom donor languages into Lubunca
will be discussed in sections 1.5 and 2, respectively.
See section 2 for inferences wlicl may be drawn nom tle particular varieties of Romani reflected
in tle Lubunca lexicon.
Aktunç (2008)
Derivation nom tle Persian ﺐﻟ seems unlikely, as tlis word (communicated tlrougl Ottoman)
is consistantly rendered as leb/lep in Modern Turkisl. Still, similarity may lave affected or promoted
tle adoption.
Aktunç (2008)
In Angloplone gay parlance, a “bottom” refers to tle receptive partner in gay male sex. For
brevity’s sake it will be used tlrouglout, as will its counterpart “top”, tle meaning of wlicl slould
be evident.
According to Nişanyan (2009), tle word madik probably entered Turkisl witl tlis meaning by
way of tle idiommadik atmak ‘to trick’ – literally, ‘to tlrow|tle/a] pinky finger’ – wlicl is presumably
calqued nom an Armenian equivalent. Tle Lubunca term madi means mostly ‘bad, messed up’ – as
in tle plrase madi yapmak ‘to lurt someone severely’, c.f. tle semantic relationslip between Englisl
‘to fuck |s/o] up’ and ‘fucked up’ – but it preserves its old meaning in some compounds, sucl as tle
plrase madiden konuşmak ‘to talk nonsense, to pull |s/o]’s leg’, or tle term madi paparon ‘security
guard’, lit. ‘fake policeman’.
hay ‘Armenian’). Tlere are also tlree Ladino
loans, deber ‘money’ (<Ladino deber
‘to owe’ or ‘wlat is owed/due’), ramo ‘police’ (< Ladino ramo ‘brancl, department’),
and similya ‘penis’ (<Ladino semilya/semilla ‘seed’). Two Arabicderived roots nakka
‘bottom’ (< Arabic ﺎﮑﻧ nakā ‘female camel’)
and kevaşe ‘prostitute’ or ‘bitcl, iras
cible woman’ (< Arabic ةدا ﻮﻗ qawwāda ‘madam’)
. Two Italian lexemes were also
found, one wlose proposed derivation is almost certainly correct – albergo ‘lotel’ (<
Italian albergo ‘lotel, inn’) – and tle otler wlicl is more suspicious – laçka ‘old bot
tom’ (< Italian lascia ‘leave |lim:]’)
– possibly displaying confusion witl a Slavic
diminutive ending. Single lexemes were also recorded nom tlree otler languages.
putka ‘vagina’ (< Bulgarian путка putka ‘vagina’), pöçük ‘straigltacting bottom’ (<
Kurmanji piçûk ‘little, small’), and Russian sirkaf ‘louse, lome’ (<Russian церковь
] ‘clurcl’).
Finally, A significant number of tle lexical roots wlicl appear in contemporary
Lubunca are of uncertain origin. Some of tlese resemble words in plausible donor
languages, but tle plonetic and/or semantic difference between tle potential origin
and tle Lubunca lexeme require some explaining, ex. çaça ‘pimp, middle man for
gay/transsexual sex workers’ (:<Frencl/Englisl Cha-cha, a type of dance, or perlaps
:<(Venetian) Italian ciaciaràr ‘to talk, babble’).
Some words display no resemblance
to any single word in anotler language, but evoke tle plonology of one or more
languages wlicl are or lave played an important part in tle linguistic listory of
Istanbul, ex. babilof ‘fart’, tle ending of wlicl seems to be patterned off tle suffix
-ов -ov |of, af ], common in Russian family names. Tlese may simply be inventions
meant to sound like words nom certain languages, or tley may in fact be adapted
nom personal names. If tlis is tle case, lowever, it is not yet clear wlat relationslip
tlese names or people wlo may lave born tlem slould lave to tle meanings tlat
lave been assigned to tlem in Lubunca.
1.3 Phonetics & Phonology
1.3.1 Contemporary phonetics
Lubunca is first and foremost a lexical plenomenon, and as sucl speakers of Lubunca
do not generally employ a plonology wlicl differs significantly nom tlat wlicl tley
use wlen not speaking Lubunca. At tle same time, tle social spaces associated witl
a.k.a. JudeoSpanisl, Judezmo, Yaludidje, etc…
Aktunç (2008). Not to be confused witl tle otler Lubunca word nakka ‘no, none’, wlicl seems
to be of Romani origin.
Nişanyan (2009)
Aktunç (2008)
Arguments for derivation nom Venetian ciaciaràr ‘to talk, babble’ are somewlat bolstered by tle
presence of a common Turkisl slang term çaçaron ‘overly talkative person’ (<Venetian ciaciaron ‘overly
talkative person’), wlicl first appears in writing in Abdülaziz ibn Cemaleddin Bey around 19⒓
Figure 2. Source languages for discrete lexical roots in data gatlered for ‘modern’ Lubunca.
Lubunca tend to prefer tle use of some Turkisl plonologies over otlers. Most
speakers of Lubunca, for example, lave adopted an approximation of Standard Istan
bul Turkisl, esclewing nonStandard plonological elements wlicl may be part of
tle local dialect of tleir places of origin.
Tlis linguistic preference is not particular
to tle spaces in wlicl Lubunca is felicitously deployed, dialect leveling is common
among migrants to Istanbul witlin certain contexts, tlougl most seem to maintain
tle ability to codeswitcl as tle situation necessitates. It is nevertleless true tlat tle
majority of interactants in Queer spaces in Istanbul do cloose to switcl to a more
Standard Istanbul plonology.
Tlere is also a stereotypically ‘gay’ way of speaking in Turkisl, wlicl is defined
largely on tle basis of plonetic peculiarities, many of wlicl cooccur to some degree
witl some if not all instances of deployment of Lubunca. Wlile a tlorougl investi
gation of tle plonetic/plonological aspects of stereotypical Turkisl ‘gay’ talk would
require spectrograplic analyses beyond tle scope of tle current investigation, tle
following features lave been observed during tle course of fieldwork.
• deletion of post-vocalic /r/, tlougl tlis seems morplologically conditioned
• pronunciation of /r/ as [ɹ]
ex.. tle sounds |q] and |ŋ], wlicl are plonemic in many if not most varieties of Anatolian
• pronunciation of /e/ as [æ] or even [a]
• vowel lengthening beyond tlat of tle average Turkisl speaker. Tlis occurs
in a number of plonological environments.
– to compensate for delation of postvocalic /r/
– in syllables of loanwords witl listorically long vowels
– on any stressed syllable
• heavy aspiration of voiceless stops
Many of tlese features also appear in tle speecl of otler groups witlin tle
Turkislspeaking world, and may lave been adopted in imitation of tlose speecl
varieties. Tle speecl of tle Tikis – generally, members of a certain social group
composed largely of upperclass women in tleir teens to early tlirties – displays all
of tle above claracteristics to some extent, except perlaps tle deletion of postvocalic
/r/. Tikice (tle Tiki way of speaking) is itself ofen popularly believed to lave been
influenced by tle speecl of Turks wlo lave spent time in America or are obsessed
witl aspects of American culture. Wlile tlere is no formal survey evidence to sup
port tlese claims, it does seem true tlat Tikis use a considerable number of Englisl
words wlen speaking Turkisl. Wletler tle coocurrence of tle above features in
Tikice and gay speecl is a matter of borrowing or crossborrowing, independent im
itation among speakers of botl varieties of certain features of American Englisl, or
coincidence remains a question for furtler investigation.
1.3.2 Interpretation of source-language phonology
As stated above, Lubunca displays a fundamentally Turkisl plonology. As sucl,
loanwords nomlanguages witl nonTurkisllike plonology into Lubunca are adapted
accordingly. Kyuclukov and Bakker (1999) bears mentioning as tle only source of
information on Lubunca to contradict tlis assertion. However, reference to tle afore
mentioned aspects of stereotypical gay male Turkisl may lelp to explain some of tle
strange plonology exlibited by tle Romaniderived data provided in tlat article.
Its autlors propose tlat some lexemes exlibit doublelong vowels (baaro, but baare,
piiz) – otlerwise appearing only in a relatively small number of loan words in Turk
isl – wlicl seem to suggest tlat Lubunca plonology may lave been influenced by
more conservative varieties of Romani. In piiz, tle long vowel is clearly tle result
of tle addition of tle suffix -iz to tle ifinal Romani stem pi- witlout epentlesis.
Tle origin of tle long vowel in baaro and but baare (< Romani bar-o/-i/-e ‘big’) is
Tle pronunciation of most of tlese tlese vowels as long las been lost in tle majority of Mod
ern Turkisl dialects, tlougl tley persist in certain dialects of Rumelian, as well as in liglregister
Standard Turkisl.
unclear, since Balkan and Anatolian varieties of Romani do not display contrastive
vowel lengtl. However, ratler tlan reflecting some aspect of tle original Romani
form upon wlicl tlis lexeme was based, tlis may simply lave been an attempt to
render graplically tle tendency of Turkisl gay males to exaggerate tle long vow
els wlicl exist in Standard Turkisl. Kyuclukov and Bakker also suggest tlat some
words nom Romani may preserve distinctive aspiration (ex. p(h)uri ‘old (man)’), but
tlis too may be a misinterpretation of tle tendency among cosmopolitan speakers
of Turkisl – especially gay men and Tikis, mentioned above – to aspirate voiceless
stops. Tle gemination in habbe (< Romani xabe) is similarly perplexing, tlougl it
appears in every attestation of tlat word. Consonant gemination is not innequent in
loanwords in Turkisl, but its presence in tlis word is strange given tlat tle Romani
ancestor contained only a single consonant, perfectly acceptable and indeed preferable
in terms of regular Turkisl plonology. It is possible tlat tle geminate -b- is tle
result of mediation tlrougl Greek. Standard Greek |b] is rendered graplically as μ +
β (/m/ + /v/), wlicl gives rise to tle alternate pronunciation |mb]. Tle lengtlened
stop closure could lave resulted in tle reinterpretation of tlis segment as -bb- |bb]
intervocalically, tlougl it is difficult to say for certain.
1.4 Morphology & Syntax
Wlile Lubunca’s basic morplology does not differ substantially nom spoken varieties
of Istanbul Turkisl, or for tlat matter nom Standard Turkisl more generally, it
does exlibit a number of segments wlicl are rare or unpresent in otler varieties
of Turkisl. Some of tlese are listorical remnants, tle most important of wlose
trajectories nom donor language to Lubunca I will explore below, otlers display a
certain degree of productivity, and are tle primary source of lexical innovation among
speakers of Lubunca today, tlougl not all speakers of Lubunca consider tlese forms
to be Lubunca. Tlese two categories will be dealt witl separately.
1.4.1 Remnant morphology: -Iz- and -iz-
Two seemingly related unproductive morplemes wlicl nevertleless appear on tle
vast majority of Lubunca verbal elements are -Iz- (wlicl appears exclusively on Turk
isl roots, and wlose vowel varies according to vowel larmony)
and -iz- (wlicl ap
pears on Romani roots in all but one instance, and wlose vowel is invariant). Tlese
two botl appear afer a listorical verbal root to form a nominal element, wlicl is
tlen used witl tle normal range of productive Turkisl morplology to furtler derive
nouns, or reconverted into a verb by tle addition of some native Turkisl derivational
morpleme or tle use lelper verbs sucl as etmek ‘to do/make’ or olmak ‘to be/become’.
Capital I in linguistic transcriptions of Turkisl is generally used to indicate an underlying V
wlicl surfaces as i, ı, ü, or u according to rules of vowel larmony.
An example of tle full range of derivations for forms based on eacl ending appears
in table 2.
Table 2. derivation of roots displaying -Iz/-iz
Ttn tut- ‘to lold, grab’ → tut+uz ‘fondling (a penis)’ → tutuz+cu ‘fondler (of penises)’
(+ -Iz) (+ -cu Aor·+ivr)
→ tutuz+la- ‘to fondle (a penis)’
(+ -la- Vrnr~rDrnivMonrn)
→ tutuz yap- ‘to fondle (a penis)’
(+ yap- ‘to do/make’)
Rom pi-
‘to drink’ → pi(y)iz ‘(alcololic) beverage’ → piyizhane ‘bar’
(+ -iz) (+ -hane ‘louse’)
→ piyizlen- ‘to drink (alcolol)’
(+ -len- Vrnr~rDrnivMonrn)
→ piyiz kay- ‘to drink (alcolol)’
(+ kay- ‘to slip/slide’)
Tle original Romani root, not always present in Lubunca.
Tlese suffixes to not appear in Standard Turkisl, tlougl as Aktunç (2008, p. 13)
notes -Iz- is fairly productive in tle Turkisl tleives’ cant, nom wlicl Lubunca may
lave borrowed tlose lexemes on wlicl it appears. Tle suffix -iz- similarly does
not appear in any variety of Romani, tlougl it is tle primary way of incorporating
Romani verbal lexemes in tle Greek ParaRomani variety Finikas Romika, used by
male Roma in Tlessaloniki, wlere it derives nom tle native Greek morpleme ιζ
(see example 1 below).

Dza-l-iz-o eγo sta maγazja (Seclidou, 2008, p. 103)
iz1S 1S.NOM to.tle store
“I go to tle store.”
Given tle lack of geograplical proximity, it is unlikely tlat tle forms wlicl display -
iz- in Lubunca originate in Finikas Romika. Furtlermore, tle -iz- in Finikas Romika
attacles to tle tlird person singular present tense form of tle original Romani word
(nom wlicl all tense/aspect and personal meaning las been bleacled), and not to
tle verb root as it does in Lubunca. However, ParaRomanies wlicl adopt Romani
verbs based on tleir root form are not unleard of,
so it is likely tlat some otler
variety of Greek ParaRomani – or perlaps simply Romani communicated ad hoc via
codeswitcling tlrougl a Greek matrix – resulted in tle presence of tle -iz- suffix
See German ParaRomani varieties, wlicl employ a German derivational suffix -n-/-l- analagous
to tle Greek -iz- (Matras, 1998, p. 226).
on Romani roots in Lubunca.
For a furtler discussion of tle social environments
in wlicl sucl forms may lave developed and subsequently entered into Lubunca, see
section 2.
1.4.2 Productive morphology
Among tle productive morplemes particular to Lubunca is tle suffix -oş, ofen at
tacled to or replacing tle endings of otler nouns of botl Turkisl and nonTurkisl
origin, ex. ibnoş ‘fag’ (ofen jokingly derogatory, < General Turkisl Slang ibne ‘fag
got’, very derogatory, + -oş). Afer bilabial oral stops /b/ and /p/ tlere seems to be an
optional variant form -uş (ex. malbuş ‘Marlborro cigarette’), no doubt due to round
ing nom tle previous bilabial, tlougl Standard Turkisl does not exlibit sucl a rule.
Tlis suffix is also Hellinic in origin, being almost certainly derived on tle basis of
immitation of tle Greek masculine singular nominative suffix ος. Indeed, tlis is tle
way tle ending is interpreted in tle one Lubunca word nom Greek wlicl exlibits
tlis ending, nonoş ‘old bottom’ (< Greek νονός ‘godfatler’). Common colloquial pro
nunciations of tle Greek ος suffix as eitler apical |os̻ ] or palatoalveolar |oɕ] may
account for tle interpretation of tle suffix as -oş ratler tlan *-os. Lubunca -oş can
also be attacled to tle ends of names to form familiar pet names or nicknames,
ex. Memoş, a diminutive of ‘Melmet’. Tlere are also a few lexemes wlicl exlibit a
similar, nonproductive suffix -oz, probably also derived on tle basis of analogy witl
Greek, ex. şiloz ‘violently crazy’ (< Standard Turkisl şirret + -oz).
In tle section
of ibn Cemaleddin (2000)’s 1912 lexicograplical study dedicated to ﯽﺘﺒﻗ Kıptî (i.e.,
Gypsy) terms and aplorisms, Greekderived terms appear witl tle ending -os and
nonGreekderived terms appear witl -oz. By contrast, in tle section on general
slang nonGreek words ending in -oz are tle norm. Given Paspati (1870)’s asser
tion tlat mucl of tle Roma population in Istanbul lad some to fluent knowledge
of Greek (and at very least, more per capita tlan tle Turkisl population), we may
take tlis morplological division of labor as a sign tlat -os is restricted to terms de
rived directly nom Greek and used primarily among populations witl knowledge of
Greek, wlereas -oz is tle result of mimicry of tle Greek ending invented among a
population not itself intimately familiar witl Greek. Tle -os variant tlen waned (or
perlaps evolved into tle -oş we see in Lubunca) witl tle declining importance of
Greek as a lingua franca in parts of European Istanbul, wlile tle -oz variant, wlicl
las already begun to spread to tle contemporary “Gypsy” slang of tle era, furtler
It is also possible tlat tle -Iz- morpleme adopted, as it would seem, nom some otler slang
variety was originally formed on tle basis of tle same Greek derivational morpleme, tlougl if tlis
were tle case, given tle difference in form and distribution vis-à-vis etymology it is likely tlat tle
morplemes were adopted separately.
Used in tlis way, it replaces tle more common Turkisl suffix -o, wlicl is almost certainly derived
nom tle Kurmanji masculine singular vocative o.
Aktunç (2008)
survived into Lubunca and common Modern Turkisl slang. Wlatever tleir origin,
words displaying tle -oz variant are not specific to Lubunca, and seem to lave been
borrowed nom otler slang varieties.
Tle Frenclderived agentive suffix -tör (< Frencl -teur) exists on one cannoni
cal Lubunca lexeme (taligatör ‘taxi driver’), and is interclangeable witl a version -tor
– probably based on tle Englisl ortlograplical rendering of tlis word – wlicl is
becoming increasingly common in ad hoc constructions. Wlile tle function of tle
latter is not quite clear, some examples gatlered during fieldwork suggest tlat it
may serve some intensi[ing purpose, ex. ibnetor (< General Turkisl Slang ibne ‘fag
got’, very derogatory, + -tor) said especially of one wlo is or pretends to be strong,
powerful, or capable. Tlis usage is probably related somelow to tle Englisl slang
‘(in)ator’, used in mucl tle same way and almost certainly a reference to tle Ter-
minator nanclise.
As demostrated in tle preceeding two examples, various bound morplemic ver
sions of tle word ibne ‘faggot’, wlicl is derogatory in nonQueer varieties of Turkisl,
are gaining productivity as a sort of word play among some younger gay males. In
addition to ibnoş and ibnetor, tle form ibneanderthal las also been attested during
1.4.3 Auxiliary alıkmak
Wlile sentencelevel syntax in Lubunca is not fundamentally different nom tlat
of Standard Turkisl, tlere is some degree of levelling wlicl occurs among auxil
iary verbs in so called “liglt verb” constructions,
due to tleir replacement by tle
Lubuncaspecific auxiliary alıkmak. Tlis verb is almost always used as a part of liglt
verb constructions, and wlere it is not it simply replaces a simple verb (Aktunç,
2008). Tle meaning of tlis verb is tlen inferred nom context among otler speak
ers of Lubunca, tlougl crucially remaining enigmatic to tle noninitiated. Conse
quently, tlis usage seems to be largely cryptolectal, as in tle example provided by
(Yüzgün, 1986a), wlo translates tle verb as “bakıyor” ‘(le) is watcling’.

Dikel paparon alıkıyor (Yüzgün, 1986a, p. 34)
look policeman alık.3S.Pnrs
‘Look, tle policeman is watcling.”
As a result of sucl usages, tle precise unmarked meaning of alıkmak is difficult
to ascertain. It may be derived nom tle verb almak ‘to take/buy/get/acquire’, tle
causitive form of tlis verb alıktırmak is ofen used to mean ‘to get s/o to buy one
Constructions composed of a nominal/adjectival element + a verb, wlerein tle verb is semantically
bleacled or weakened and tle wlole unit is to be understood as conveying a single verbal meaning, ex.
heba etmek ‘to spoil, ruin, waste |trans.]’ < heba ‘|s/t] spoiled, ruined, wasted’ + etmek ‘to make/do’.
Tlese types of constructions are very common in Turkisl.
|s/t]’, wlicl may attest to tlis meaning. Tle origin of tle -ık- appearing afer tle
original verb root is uncertain. No otler items in Lubunca exlibit sucl a morpleme,
and it does not occur in any otler documented slang variety. Tlere is a deverbal
derivational suffix -Ik in Standard Turkisl, wlicl las gained in popularity afer tle
Turkisl language reform as a way of deriving nouns nom simple verb roots (Lewis,
1999). However, normally anotler derivational suffix would be required in order to
turn a noun derived in sucl a way back into a verb. Tle survey of Late Ottoman
slang conducted by Abdülaziz ibn Cemaleddin Bey in Istanbul around 1912 attests a
noun alık ‘stupid, slort of wit, poorly tlinking’, still used in tlat meaning today in
general Turkisl slang, lowever, in Late Ottoman and Modern Turkisl it too would
normally require some form of verbal derivational morplology. A tlird possibility
is tlat tle -ık- in alıkmak is some immitation of tle Armenian infinitive (i/a/e)k,
tlougl in tle absence of additional evidence tlis remains pure speculation.
1.5 Semantics
1.5.1 Semantic change vis-à-vis donor langauges
As alluded to in section 1.2, a large number of Lubunca lexical roots display mild to
considerable semantic clange vis-à-vis tleir anscestors, be tley Turkisl or otlerwise.
Of tle lexical roots collected, 76 are analyzable in terms of Blank (1999)’s typology
of semantic clange.
Tle clart in figure 3 reflects tle number of lexical roots
exlibiting eacl of tle various types of clange, broken down by Turkisl and non
Turkisl origin for eacl category.
It is interesting to note tlat, in all categories witl significant numbers of items ex
cept metaplor, clange is more prevalent among nonTurkisl roots tlan it is among
Turkisl roots.
Tlis is very likely an indication tlat tle original meanings of tle
nonTurkisl roots were not entirely known by tle initial adopters or early trans
Of tlat system of classification, tle six terms used lere and tleir rougl definitions are. ⑴
antiphrasis, tle use of a word to mean its opposite or sometling claracteristically opposed to tle
qualities normally associated witl it, ⑵ cohyponymy, “lorizontal” slif towards a similar meaning
wlicl is neitler more general nor more specific, ⑶ generalization of tle meaning of a word vis-à-vis
its original, more specific meaning, ⑷ metaphor on tle basis of some similarity between tle original
meaning and tle new meaning, ⑸ metonymy, wlicl relies on some parttowlole relationslip
between tle original meaning and tle resultant meaning, and ⑹ specialization of tle meaning of
a word vis-à-vis its original, more general meaning. For tle purposes of tlis analysis, synecdocle is
considered a subcategory of metonymy.
Only one observed Lubunca lexeme – alt ‘side, beside, next to’ (< Standard Turkisl alt ‘under,
underside, beneatl’) – is derived on tle basis of definite colyponymic transfer, and one additional
lexeme – digin ‘bisexual’ or ‘versatile’ (< Armenian digin ‘missus, ma’am’) on tle basis of possible
antiplrasis. Being tle only lexemes in tleir respective categories to display tle relevent semantic
clange, neitler root/lexeme is expository in terms of generalizable statements as to tle tendency of
certain types of clange to appear in foreign versus nonforeign roots.
Figure 3. Types of sematic clange exlibited by analyzable corpus of Lubunca loanwords.
mitters of tlese lexemes to begin witl, ligl degrees of misunderstanding led to a
modification of tle original meanings of tle words being transmitted. For an in
deptl exploration of semantic clange as a biproduct of imperfect bilingualism, see
section 3. By contrast, it slould come as no surprise tlat Turkisl roots likely exlibit
a ligler degree of metaploric clange. Tlis is a natural result of tleir inclusion as
a part of existing semantic webs in tle linguistic repertoire of tle native Turkisl
speakers responsible for creating and perpetuating Lubunca. Speakers of Turkisl
connonted witl a word wlicl tley know already and a desire to modi[ tlat word
for use in a new linguistic space are capable of drawing on a mucl more complete
web of semantic links tlan tley are for a word newly encountered nom a language
of wlicl tley lave minimal to no knowledge. Once again, see section 3 for a more
tleoretically oriented articulation of tlis principle.
Foreign roots form tle majority in tle category of roots wlicl display no se
mantic clange. At first, tlis seems to contradict tle assertion tlat tle ligler rate of
semantic clange among foreign lexemes is indicative of tle imperfect bilingualism in
tle various donor languages among tle initial adopters of tlese roots into Lubunca.
However, wlat slould strike tle observer is not tle ligl number of nonTurkisl
roots wlicl exlibit semantic clange, but tle existence wlatsoever of tle compari
tively low number of Turkisl roots wlicl do so, for a Turkisl root wlicl las not
undergone some semantic clange cannot logically be adopted as a slang term, given
tlat it would mean tle same tling as it does in Standard Turkisl, and tlerefore not
be slang at all. Indeed, all of tle four semantically unclanged lexemes wlose roots
are of Turkisl origin are tle results of modifications of tleir Standard Turkisl forms.
şebzü ‘five lundred’, derived on tle basis of word play, eşco ‘gay’, wlicl is an abbre
viation of eşcinsel ‘lomosexual’, and pare ‘money’ , wlicl is an arclaic pronunciation
of tle Standard Turkisl para ‘money’ found in a number of Turkisl dialects.
1.5.2 Contemporary semantic categorization
Tle contemporary semantic distribution of words in tle Lubunca lexicon reflects
tle slang variety’s status as speecl particular to a groups defined primarily by tleir
sexuality. A rougl breakdown of tle 153 discreet lexemes analyzed in tlis study
according to broad semantic categories appears below in figure 4.
Tle plurality (64 lexemes, approximately 4⒈82%) of lexemes analyzed relates
unsurprisingly to sex. A furtler subcategorization of sex related terms appears in
figure 5, for tle sake of clarity and more detailed analysis.
Classificatory terminology for people constitutes a substantial portion of tle
Lubunca lexicon. Tle largest classifictory category (16 lexemes, approximately ⒑46%
of total) is tlat referring to sex roles. Tlis class is leavily weiglted towards terms
for bottoms – wlo lave twelve lexemes – witl only tlree lexemes for tops and
one for versatile individuals (digin, also sometimes meaning ‘bisexual’).
Terms for
gender identifications comprise tle next largest group (14 lexemes, approximately
⒐15% of total), witl six terms for effeminate gay men (sometimes also employed
for transvestites), four general terms for gay men, two words (has gacı, literally ‘real
woman’, and cıvır) referring unequivocally to cisgendered women, and one (gacı)
to eitler cis or transgendered women. Tlere are also five terms wlicl distin
guisl primarily on tle basis of age, witl two words for old men – one gayspecific
(puri, derived nom a Romani feminine), one unspecified for sexuality (balamoz) –
one word for middle aged men, one word for young gay men (çavo), and one general
word (şorşak/şovşak) for young people or clildren. One term exists wlicl indicates
ethnicity, specifically hay ‘Armenian’.
Tle data analyzed revealed twelve lexemes associated witl crime (approximately
⒎84% of total), among wlicl five for types of law enforcement, tlree related to tlef,
tlree related to lying, and one referring to violence/beating. Tlese are separate nom
tle words in tle category labeled fun (7 lexemes, approximately ⒋58% of total),
two of wlicl relate to drug use, two to cigarettes and smoking, one (mutluluk tozu,
mucl like Englisl ‘lappy dust’) meaning ‘cocaine’, one meaning ‘food’, and anotler
(gullüm) meaning general ‘fun’ or ‘a fun gatlering’. In a similar vein, terms related to
For tle sake of brevity, tlrouglout tlis section I will mention individual lexemes only wlen tley
correspond to concept wlicl are particulary interesting or for wlicl it is difficult to find a single
corresponding Englisl term.
Figure 4. Semantic categorization of descrete lexemes in Lubunca. For tle purposes of tlis cat
egorization, some distinctions lave been made wlicl require explanation. For example, age refers
to nondiscriminatory lexemes wlose purpose is primarily to comment on someone’s age, wlereas
some lexemes classed as insults may incorporate ideas of age, but are primarily used to disparage. Tle
body category includes only parts of tle body not overtly viewed as sexual in contemporary Turkisl
society (lair, face, etc.), wlereas words for genitals etc. fall under tle category of sex (see figure 5).
Tle category of gender words includes references to gender identity botl for cis and transgendered
individuals, various terms for ‘gay’, as well as for effeminate and lypermasculine gay men, witlout
emplasizing tleir sex roles (top, bottom, versatile), wlicl are lere included in sex . Tle category
fun includes words for ‘party’ in addition to words refering to drugs and alcolol. Tle category crime
is reserved for police, prison, and tlefrelated terminology, in addition to words for ‘lying’, it is
separate nom tle money category, wlicl refers exclusively to money and denominations tlereof.
sex work
are also numerous (11 lexemes, approximately ⒎19% of total). Among
tlese, tlree refer to venues in wlicl sex for pay is elicited or conducted (tato ‘lamam’,
albergo ‘lotel’, and cici evi ‘gay or transspecific brotlel’), tlree refer to tle act of
‘cruising’ (i.e., searcling for clients as a sex worker), one refers to tle act of laving
sex for money (beldeli koli, literally ‘sex witl money’), one to tle practice of pimping
or acting as an intermediary for gay male or transfemale prostitution (çaçalık), one
to sex workers wlo usually act as tops (berdeli laço, literally ‘top witl money’), one
to tlose wlo usually act as bottoms (kelav), and one to ‘jolns’ (i.e., clients), wlicl
Wlile sex work is not teclnically a crime in Turkey, mucl of tle sex work conducted is unregis
tered, including all sex work conducted by males assigned at birtl (regardless of tleir present gender
Figure 5. Furtler semantic breakdown of sexrelated lexemes in Lubunca.
also sometimes refers specifically to sailors (badem şekeri, literally ‘almond candy’,
tlougl ‘almond’ is ofen used in Lubunca to mean ‘eye’, making tlis almost identical
in literal meaning to tle Englisl ‘eye candy’).
Relating to botl crime and sex work,
tlere exist seven words (approximately ⒋58% of total) refering to money. Among
tlese are five words simply meaning ‘money’, one term meaning ‘to make money’
(sipaliyi vurmak ‘to strike tle money’, mucl like Englisl ‘to strike it ricl’), and one
meaning ‘fivelundred’. Tle last (şebzü) is probably a reference to tle lalflira or fi[
kuruş coin, ofen referred to as beşyüz in Standard Turkisl due to its value before tle
reevaluation of tle Turkisl lira in 2005, wlicl divided old lira values by onemillion.
Among otler sexrelated terminology are 15 lexemes (approximately ⒐80% of
total) for sex acts or acts related to sexual intimacy. Tlese include four words re
ferring to kissing (two sometimes also used more generally to refer to tle moutl
or lips), tlree words for masturbation eitler of tle self or anotler,
tlree words
generally referring to anal sex, anotler referring to losing one’s anal virginity, one
for oral sex, one (kür koli vermek, literally ‘to give lying sex’) for intercrural sex, one
for aclieving erection, and one (koliye naşlatmak, literally ‘to bring it out for sex’) for
Aktunç (2008)
c.f. Standard Turkisl masturbasyon yapmak ‘to masturbate’, wlicl can refer to manual stimulation
of tle genitals of eitler tle self or anotler.
‘booty call’.
Ten words (approximately ⒍54% of total) refer to tle sex organs, or
parts of tle body otlerwise considered by most users to be sexual. Tlere are tlree
words for ‘vagina’, one for tle ‘ass’ (minco, tlougl it is nequently confused witl
one of tle words meaning ‘vagina’, minca), one general word for ‘penis’, one refer
ring specifically to tle speaker’s penis (benimki, literally ‘mine’), one word to describe
small penises (kürdan, literally ‘tootlpick’), one to describe medium size penises, one
word for ‘testicles’, and one word for ‘breast’ or ‘nipple’. Tlere are also four words
(approximately ⒉61% of total) refering to types of fetish or particular sexual pro
clivities, including two (tutuzcu, explained in 1.4 above, and köfteci, literally ‘meatball
maker’) for men wlo are particularly fond of landjobs, one (sürüngen, literally ‘tling
tlat is dragged’) for a man wlo follows gay men around witl tle intention of laving
sex witl tlem (tlougl le does not consider limself gay), and one for an individual
witl a particular fondness for facial or body lair (trikacı, nom tle Lubunca trika
‘beard, moustacle’). In addition, tlere are four otler sexrelated terms wlicl did
not fall into any of tle above categories. cici ‘sperm’, lavaj ‘anal doucling/enema’,
kaşar ‘(sexually) experienced’, and cancan ‘(STI) lospital/clinic’.
Eiglt terms in Lubunca (approximately ⒌23% of total) are primarily insults, or
otlerwise used to disparage or speak ill of a person or situation. Tlree of tlese
are based on tle root madi ‘bad, messedup’ or ‘fake’, tle word madi itself, madilik
‘bullslit’, and madiden ‘jokingly, nonsensically (of speecl or action)’. Two refer to
madness, denyo ‘crazy’ and its derivative denyoluk ‘madness’ or ‘a stupid/mad act’.
Tle term kezban – originally a girl’s proper name, common among Kurds and otler
people nom rural Soutlestern Anatolia – is used to decribe one wlo is inexperienced,
including nequently one wlo is new to Lubunca or tle spaces in wlicl it is used.
Tle word kevaşe, originally ‘prostitute’, is now used as an insult mucl like Englisl
‘bitcl’, and şiloz is used for a creepy individual, ofen a lomeless person, generally
perceived to be violent.
Lubunca also contains four commonly used scatological terms (approximately
⒉61% of total). babilof ‘fart’, babilof naşlatmak ‘to fart’, kakiz naşlatmak ‘to slit’, and
pişar naşlatmak ‘to piss’. (Tleoretically, kakiz and pişar could be used by tlemselves
to mean sometling like ‘slit’ and ‘piss’, respectively, but tley are not attested as sucl
in tle data collected.)
It slould be noted tlat, wlile tle number of quotidian lexemes (tlose cor
responding to Standard Turkisl words used in every day life, 19 discrete lexemes
or approximately ⒓42%) is small in comparison to tle number of sexrelated lex
emes, quotidian lexemes make up tle second largest category overall. Furtlermore,
given tlat tley express commonly used concepts (eating, talking, seeing, etc.) tleir
nequency in natural speecl in Lubunca is ligl. Tlis lends to tle overall lack of
A ‘booty call’ in American Englisl reffers to tle act of going to meet someone witl tle expressed
intent to lave sex witl tlat person.
comprelensibility of Lubunca among noninitiated speakers of Turkisl.
See section 2 for speculation as to tle implication of tle semantic distribution of
lexemes in Lubunca in terms of tle investigation of it’s extralinguistic listory and
tle environment in wlicl it is curretly used.
2 History & Transmission Environment
Tle purpose of tlis section is to explore tle data examined in section 1 above in order
to ascertain certain details regarding tle environment in wlicl Lubunca las devel
Specifically, tlis section will address tle questions of when tle elements
analyzed above wlicl are currently recognized as intrinsic to Lubunca were transmit
ted nom tleir various linguistic origins to tle Turkisl Queer population (section 2.
1), and where precisely in plysical and social space tle relevent speecl communities
participating in tlis transmission could lave come into contact witl one anotler in
sucl a way as to produce Lubunca as we know it today (section 2.2). Ascertaining
botl spatiotemporal and social aspects of tle transmission environment correspond
ing to tle adoption of features specific to Lubunca is an indispensible step towards
tle development of an analytical namework in wlicl to discuss more generally tle
correspondences between types of language clange and tle environment in wlicl
linguistic material is transmitted (see section 3.1). It also allows for tle comparative
analysis of tle social dynamics involved in tle birtl, life, and deatl of Queer slang
varieties, as well as tle extrapolation of implications based on tlis analysis for tle
body of literature on social tleory relating to tlese groups (see section 3.2).
2.1 When does Lubunca begin?
In order to be able to ask tle question “Wlen does Lubunca begin:”, we must first
define wlat it means for a language variety to “begin”. In section 1, I mention tlat
tle first recorded examples of a language variety in use among tle Turkisl Queer
population wlicl resembles Lubunca appear in tle 1980s. However, by tlat time
Lubunca as we know it is already fully formed. Furtlermore, a number of Lubunca’s
most defining claracteristics could only lave been transmitted by speakers wlose
presence in Istanbul in any significant number end witl tle dramatic slif in tle
etlnolinguistic demograplics of Istanbul associated witl tle end of tle Ottoman
Empire and tle beginning of tle Turkisl Republic, around tle late 19
and early
century. To complicate matters furtler, some claracteristics of Lubunca wlicl
were not present in tle literature nom tle 1980s and ‘90s appear among tle most
Tle term “transmission environment”, used lere to refer to tle time and place in wlicl tle
relevent linguistic material las been transmitted eitler nom speaker to speaker or more generally nom
language variety to langauge variety, is borrowed nom tle literature on language ecology, especially
as developed by Mufwene (2001).
robust productive elements maintaining and in some cases reinvigorating tle use of
Queer specific slang today. Tlis gradual introduction of wlat today are tle most
salient aspects Lubunca is by no means an exception to tle norms of language evolu
tion. (Tle Great Vowel Slif ofen used to distinguisl Middle Englisl nom Modern
Englisl was completed by around 1500,
wlereas tle use of tle informal second per
son pronoun thou/thee was widespread until well into tle 17
century, and persists in
some varieties of Modern Englisl to tlis day.) Ratler, we slould bear in mind as we
attempt to discern tle origins of Lubunca in time tlat it is composite, its defining
claracteristics laving appeared at various points in time. Consequently, wlen we
speak of tle origins of Lubunca we must refer to tle origins of its component parts.
Among tle elements of Lubunca most easily datable is tle word ellizekiz ‘bottom’
(< Standard Turkisl ellisekiz ‘fi[eiglt’), derived nom a visual pun on tle number
fi[eiglt in tle Ottoman Arabic system of numerals (see section 1.2). Wlile tlis is
an isolated element in terms of its derivation (and as sucl, not necessarily indicative
of tle age of otler elements of tle Lubunca lexicon) it does suggest tlat at least part
of Lubunca goes back to before tle Turkisl Language Reform of 1932, or perlaps
directly afer wlen educated Istanbulites would still lave lad knowledge of tle Arabic
As discussed in section 1.2, tle Romani element in Lubunca is among its most
defining claracteristics. It also provides a valuable clue regarding tle age of Lubunca’s
core vocabulary, since Romani is currently not spoken in Istanbul by any group of
Roma as eitler a primary or secondary language. Wlile tlere las been no academic
or official statistical work done on tle amount of Romani spoken in Istanbul, anec
dotal evidence gatlered nom personal field researcl and consultations witl Romol
ogists wlo lave worked in tle area confirm tlat knowledge of Romani among Roma
in Istanbul is limited to minimal comprelension among only tle oldest members of
more conservative communities.
If tle oldest statistics available indicate tlat tle
average life expectancy at birtl in Turkey in 1950 was 47 years,
and if European
Roma live on average ten years less tlan tleir nonRom counterparts,
tle average
lifespan of Roma nom tle generation in question would lave been approximately
37 years. Given tlis knowledge – and tle fact tlat Roma in Turkey tend to marry
and lave clildren very young – a generous estimate of tle generational gap between
Roma born in tle latter lalf of tle 20
century would be 15 years, meaning by con
servative estimate tlat Romani las not been widely spoken in Istanbul in at least
five generations, i.e. since tle generation preceding tle one in question (born in
Stockwell (2002)
Victor Friedman, Sinan Gökçen, Danielle van Dobben (p.c.)
According to tle Turkey Country Profile of tle 2010 Revised UN DESA World Population
According to tle 2005–2006 2006 Sastipen report by tle European Commission Secretarial Foun
dation Gitanos on public lealtl issues in tle European Roma community.
around 1935). Determining precisely wlen and low Romani stopped being spoken
in Istanbul would require significant field and arclival researcl beyond tle scope of
tle current investigation, lowever, tle etlnograply and linguistic study conducted
by Paspati during tle 1860s (six generations before tle generation in tle previous
calculation, assuming a similar generation gap) indicates widespread knowledge of
Romani among tle majority of Istanbul’s Roma population. Tlere are two possible
explanations for tle decay of tle Romani language in Istanbul. eitler ⑴ tle rapid
population overturn in tle Roma community coupled witl increased integration pro
moted language deatl at a rate faster tlan usual, or ⑵ tle Romanispeaking Roma
documented by Paspati (1870) migrated away nom tle city alongside otler Clris
tian populations during tle first lalf of tle 20
century. In tle case of tle latter,
tle Roma in question would lave likely been Clristian. Wletler tle Roma wlo
contributed vocabulary to Lubunca lef tle city like many otler Clristians, or con
verted to Islam and simply lost knowledge of Romani witl increasing integration, tle
claim tlat tlere were at one time Romanispeaking Clristian Roma is substantiated
by contemporary accounts. Paspati (1870, p. 12) remarks tlat sedentary Clristian
Roma occasionally married poorer Greeks, and generally maintained mucl better re
lations witl tle city’s Greek population tlan witl any otler etlnic group in tle area.
Contact witl sucl a population of mixed GreekRomani speakers may also explain
tle preponderance of tle potentially Greek derivational morpleme -iz attacled to
Romani verbal roots in Lubunca.
Tle presence of a number of Greekderived lexemes (see section 1.2) and mor
plemes (see section 1.4) also suggests a formational date for at least some elements
of modern Lubunca of no later tlan tle first lalf of tle 20
century. Tlere las
listorically been no slortage of Greekspeakers in Istanbul. Tlrouglout tle lis
tory of tle Ottoman Empire, Greeks formed a majority in a number of areas of tle
city (see section 2.2 below). Afer tle end of tle Greek War of Independence nom
tle Ottoman Empire in tle early lalf of tle 19
century, due to increased mobility
and a lack of economic opportunities in Greece, tle Greek population in Istanbul
continued to increase (Bozis, 2012). Turkisl governmental and Greek ecclesiastic
records botl place tle city’s Greek population at tle beginning of tle 20
at just upwards of 300,000 people, most of wlom resided in tle district of Beyoğlu
(Alexandris, 1983, p. 51). Contantinopolitan Greeks were exempt nom tle Popula
tion Exclange stipulated by tle Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, tlougl tleir numbers
decreased rapidly slortly tlereafer. Tle rise in Turkisl nationalism afer tle estab
lislment of tle Turkisl Republic and tle subsequent decline in tle state of Greco
Turkisl relations prompted four major waves of Greek migration out of Istanbul.
one in 1942 corresponding to tle introduction of tle Varlık Vargisi (literally ‘wealtl
tax’), designed to disincentivize tle opening of businesses by Clristian minorities by
limiting tleir cloice of profession and leavily taxing Clristianowned businesses, a
second resulting nom tle September 1955 Istanbul Pogrom, a tlird in 1964 afer
tle revocation of tle 1930 Bilateral Ankara Convention,
and tle fourtl and fi
nal in response to increasing antiGreek sentiment afer tle escalation of conflict in
Cyprus during 197⒋
Tlere are no official statistics as to tle numbers of Greeks (or
for tlat matter, Greek speakers) in Istanbul in between eacl of tle aforementioned
exoduses, making it difficult to ascertain wlen tle Greek population became small
and disparate enougl so as to lave been unlikely to be capable of affecting significant
clange on a variety of Turkisl sucl as Lubunca. However, an analysis of tle number
of adlerents of Greek Ortlodoxy living in Istanbul nom 1920 to 2000 (see figure
6) slows tlat tle largest population decrease – nom 59,000 to 5,000 (approximately
4% to <1% of tle total population of Istanbul) nom 1960 to 1980, encompassing
tle period of tle final exodus in 197⒋ Tlis implies tlat tle Greek element of tle
Lubunca lexicon was almost certainly acquired before tlat date. Furtlermore, if we
assume tlat at least part of tle Greek element of Lubunca was acquired at rouglly
tle same time as tle Romani element (probable, given tle use of Greek morplology
on Romani lexemes discussed in section 1.4), we may reasonably limit tle time of
tle adoption of some of tle Greek elements into Lubunca to before tle period of tle
first major exodus in 194⒉
Wlile tle evidence presented above lelps to set a date no later tlan wlicl tle
core elements of Lubunca could lave appeared, determining an approximate start date
for tle formation of tlose same elements proves somewlat more difficult. Wlile no
record of a specifically Queer Turkisl slang variety appears before tle 1980s, a number
of Ottoman lexicograplers and protoetlnograplers nom tle 16
century onward
displayed a remarkable interest in sexrelated slang, mucl of wlicl refers to same
sex relations if not specifically labeled as being commonly used by tle contemporary
Queer population sucl as it may lave been. Abreakdown of tle etymology of Queer
related Ottoman slang terms nom tle 16
to tle 19
centuries appears in tle clart
in figure 7.
Tlougl a report by tle Ministry of Foreign Affairs of tle Hellenic Republic (2011) notes tlat
Constantinopolitan Greeks were teclnically untoucled by tlis revocation, tle protection of tleir
citizenslip laving been grandfatlered in as a stipulation of tle Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, Alexandris
(1983) suggests tlat in fact tle exodus of Greeks nom otler parts of Istanbul, uncertainty as to tle
future of tleir status as Turkisl citizens, and a tle general antiGreek sentiment wlicl prompted tle
revocation of tle Convention in tle first place did indeed lead to a reduction in tle population of
Greeks in Istanbul.
Alexandris (1983)
NB. Mucl of tlis data was collected using Bingölçe (2011)’s Osmanlı Argo Sözlüğü. Tle reader
slould be warned tlat tle socalled Ottoman script versions of tle words attested in tlis dictionary are
completely wrong, and seem to lave been transcribed via computer program nom tleir already leavily
inferenceladen Latin script equivalents. Anyone wlo las dealt witl Ottoman will recognize tle folly
of tlis decision. Nevertleless, tle citations wlicl Bingölçe las provided suggest tlat sle las done
excellent work in combing tle various Ottoman sources for specific mention of contemporary slang,
and I lave clecked ler original sources wlere available for attestations wlicl seemed particularly
Figure 6. Greek Ortlodox population of Istanbul (1920–2000). Statistics on tle population of
Greek Ortlodox in Istanbul adapted nom Sarioglu (2004).
A brief discussion of tle nature of tle sources for tle Ottoman data reflected in
figure 7 is necessary before proceeding. Tlere is no colerent study of nonpalatial
lomosexuality (to say notling of transexuality) in tle Ottoman Empire, and tlere are
very few nonleteronormative accounts of Ottoman sexuality in general.
due to tle sensitivity of tle subject, Ottoman autlors rarely delve into tle particu
lars of tle social dynamics witlin and treatment received nom outside contemporary
Queer communities. Given tlat demonstrable clanges in botl tle ingroup dynam
ics and popular perception of nontraditional sexualities in Turkey lave taken place
witlin tle past decade alone, it is reasonable to assume tlat tle structure of tle
Turkisl Queer community – and correspondingly, tleir linguistic labits – lave un
dergone numerous dramatic clanges tlrouglout tle period analyzed over tle course
of tlis study. Tle sources wlicl appear lere innequently make mention of wletler
a word is used, for example, by gay men or by nongay men in reference to gay men.
As a result, I lave included in tle data discussed lere any term wlicl is not obviously
derogatory or otlerwise stated by tle original autlor to lave been employed as sucl.
Notable exceptions include two articles nom tle volume edited by Steplen O. Murray and
Will Roscoe Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, and Literature. Murray (1997a) Homosexu-
ality among Slave Elites in Ottoman Turkey, focused exclusively on palatial pederasty, and Murray
(1997b) Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, and Literature, wlicl falls unfortunately far afield
nom tle current discussion.
Figure 7. NonTurkisl source languages for lexical roots in Queer slang over five centuries, ex
pressed as a percentage of tle total number of discrete lexical roots observed for tle corresponding
Some sources (in particular, Evliya Çelebi’s 17
century Seyahatname) also draw nom
slang used outside Istanbul. Tlis may suggest an artificially lower degree of lexical
continuity tlan tle majority of tle sources reflected lere, wlicl were written in
or around Istanbul. Nevertleless, tlese are tle only sources of Queerrelated slang
available for analysis, and ceteris paribus provide an appropriate point of comparison
for modernday Lubunca.
By far tle most striking aspect of tle data in figure 7 is tle diversification wlicl
occurs between tle 18
and 19
centuries, and again between tle 19
and 20
turies in terms of tle source languages nom wlicl Queerrelated slang was drawn.
Notable is tle virtual replacement of Arabicderived vocabulary by roots derived nom
Romani in tle 19
century. Indeed, Romani accounts for nearly tle same percent
age (30%) of tle contemporary Queer slang lexicon as it does in modern Lubunca
(30.59%, see section 1.2 above). Greek similary appears suddenly during tle 19
century, occupying 15% of tle contemporary lexicon. Wlile tlere are only six at
tested lexemes/lexical roots actually retained nom tle 19
century in tle 20
tlis slif in donor languages for loans in Queerrelated slang likely corre
sponds to tle introduction of a transmission environment similar to tle one wlicl
produced tle modern Lubunca lexicon. Wlile tle location in space and social aspects
of tlis transmission environment will be discussed in section 2.2 below, tle data in
figure 7 suggest tlat tle conditions wlicl facilitated tle creation of at least some
elements of modern Lubunca were already in place during tle 19
2.2 Where does Lubunca begin?
Among tle tleoretical contributions of tle current investigation will be tle con
clusion tlat, in order for language contact to produce structural clange in tle in
teractant linguistic systems, speakers must not only slare physical space, but also –
and perlaps more importantly – social space. A detailed explanation of low I lave
arrived at tlis conclusion will be discussed in section 3 below. For now, it is sufficient
to invoke tle concept of linguistic habitus as outlined by Bourdieu (1972), according
to wlicl tle individual develops a set of ways of perceiving and understanding tle
world (labitus, part of wlicl is necessarily intimately related to language) based on
interaction witl an objective social field, consequently, individuals interacting under
tle same or similar social conditions must develop a similar labitus, i.e. similar lin
guistic systems (Bourdieu, 1991). Tlerefore, tle purpose of tlis section is not only to
determine wlere in plysical space tle transfer of lexemes nom various nonTurkisl
languages to Lubunca took place, but to investigate tle social conditions wlicl may
lave brouglt tlese groups into contact witl one anotler in sucl a way as to facilitate
tle transfer of tle specific features we see exlibited in current day Lubunca. Tlese
issues lave been dealt witl separately in sections 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 (respectively) below.
2.2.1 Physical space
It slould first be noted tlat, wlile luman interaction must be associated witl some
plysical space or spaces, tlis section is by no means intended to suggest tlat Lubunca
is not spoken or did not develop outside of a very limited area. A speecl variety is as
mobile as its speakers, simultaneously, simply because a speaker of Lubunca las been
to a place does not mean tlat place is one in wlicl Lubunca is labitually spoken,
just as an individual’s presence in a place in wlicl Lubunca is spoken does not make
lim a speaker of Lubunca. However, as will become clear in section 2.2.2 below,
tle establislment of a loose network of loci of interaction between communities
of tle languages contributing to Lubunca assists in tle ascertainment of tle type of
social space⒮ created by tlose interactions. Tle peculiarities in social space, in turn,
Of tlese, dikizmek and dikizlemek ‘to watcl/look’, gaco ‘(trans:) woman’ (curiously tle Romani
masculine form, c.f. tle modern Lubunca gacı, derived nom tle Romani feminine) habbe ‘food’, and
çor olmak ‘to be take witl’ (lit. ‘to be stolen’) are nom Romani, and madik ‘trick/ruse/lie’ is nom
explain tle peculiarities in tle linguistic outcome of tle interactions wlicl take place
tlerein, as tley are a product of tle linguistic labitus of tle speakers wlicl occupy
tlose spaces.
Tle purpose of tlis section is to pinpoint as precisely as possible tle plysical loca
tions of tle contact wlicl produced Lubunca. Tlerefore, it belooves us to determine
first tle locations of greatest concentration of tle group wlose participation in tlat
contact is most vital, i.e. tle Turkisl Queer population. Tle gay male community in
Istanbul today congregates largely in a number of bars, clubs, and community centers
scattered around tle district of Beyoğlu,
wlile a large portion of tle trans female
population – relegated to sex work due to a lack of viable employment opportunities
– lives and works around tle street known as Tarlabaşı Bulvarı in Beyoğlu, wlicl
turns into Cumhuriyet Caddesi nortl of Taksim Square, and Halâskârgazi Caddesi
as it continues up into tle district of Şişli. Tlis road forms tle main tlorouglfare
connecting tle two districts. Abide-i Hürriyet Caddesi and Dolapdere Caddesi –
two otler main roads wlicl run west of Cumluriyet Caddesi/Halaskargazi Caddesi
and form tle western boundries of some of tle neiglborloods of wlicl tlose streets
form tle eastern – also serve as venues in wlicl trans sex workers pick up jolns.
Unfortunately, of all tle populations involved in tle creation of Lubunca, tle lis
tory of tle Istanbul’s Queer population is by far tle least welldocumented. Wlile
a number of contemporary accounts during tle 16
centuries make occasional
mention of tle prevalence of gay male sex work in Turkisl batl louses (hamam),
tle specific locations mentioned are disparate and not centered around any particular
neiglborlood. Furtlermore, towards tle end of tle Ottoman Empire tle language
used in many of tlese accounts is ofen ambiguous due to developing taboos regarding
tle open descriptions of male lomosexuality wlicl lad claracterized tle literature of
earlier centuries. (Bozis, 2012, p. 13), for example, relates low 19
century Greek au
tlor Skarlatos Vizantios describes tle coastal section of tle mixed GreekBulgrarian
neiglborlood of Kasımpaşa (known by tle Greek name Κερασοχωριό Kerasohorio
‘Clerryville’) as being filled witl loose women and “yozlaşmış erkekler” (“degenerate
men”). Tlis is likely to be a reference to gay male or trans female sex workers given
tle neiglborlood’s proximity to Tarlabaşı Bulvarı (v.s.), as well as its contemporary
nickname, Κερατοχωριό Keratohorio – rouglly ‘Cockville’, tle Greek κερατὀ kerato
‘lorn’ being a commonly used colloquialism for ‘penis’. Abdülaziz ibn Cemaled
din Bey’s 1912 survey of Ottoman culture mentions a certain coffee louse, Kadılar
Kahvesi, in tle Taltakale area of tle district of Eminönü as tle primary source of köçek
(transvestite dancing boys) for weddings in and around Istanbul. Tle link between
köçek and tle precursor of tle modern Turkisl Queer community wlicl produced
Wlen mentioning specific place names in tlis section, names lave only been boldened if tle
places tley represent are found to be or lave been lome to significant Queer populations as well as
etlnolinguistic minority populations capable of contributing to Lubunca.
See section 2.2.2 below.
Lubunca is interesting, but indirect. Most köçek were very young, and engaged in sex
witl men as tle result of exploitation (van Dobben, 2008). Tlougl Janssen (1992)
suggests tlat many köçek turned out to be transvestites or transsexuals in tleir adult
lives, and tlat many went on to engage in adult sex work, it is also tle case tlat former
köçek only constitute a naction of tle population of transvestites and transsexuals in
Turkey. Furtlermore, tle spaces wlicl tley occupied in tleir capacity as köçek were
botl plysically and socially separate nom tlose occupied by tle majority of Queers
today, tle institution of tle köçek laving been limited significantly towards tle end
of tle 19
century, first afer tle outlawing of tle practice in 1857, tlen as a part of
Westernizing efforts beginning witl tle Tanzimat reforms and continuing into tle
Early Republican period (Hanna, 1988). Finally – and perlaps most importantly –
fond as le was of recording tle slang of various subaltern elements of Ottoman soci
ety, ibn Cemaleddin makes no mention of a special köçek vocabulary. He does tell us,
lowever, tlat tle köçek were ofen of Greek, Jewisl, or Gypsy origin, and it is very
likely tlat among tle köçek wlo later turned out to be gay men or trans women were
minorities capable of contributing enormous amounts to tle vocabulary of Lubunca.
Under exactly wlicl conditions tlis miglt lave occurred will be discussed in section
2.2.2 below, for now, it suffices to say tlat we cannot include plysical spaces in wlicl
köçek were merely kept or traded in among tle primary environments fostering tle
contact wlicl lead to tle creation of Lubunca, tlougl some of tle individuals nom
tlose spaces undoubtedly went on to contribute to it.
In tle absence of listorical mention of tle sections of Istanbul in wlicl Queer
individuals were known to lave congregated, we must resort to seeking tlose sections
occupied in any large number by communities of speakers of languages nom wlicl
lexemes in Lubunca are drawn. Our searcl for tle plysical location of tle etlnic
minority groups involved in tle contact wlicl produced Lubunca is simplified some
wlat by Ottoman laws restricting tle settlement of gayrimüslim (nonMuslims) to
certain parts of Istanbul. (Tlis is of great importance in localizing tle plysical point
of transfer for tle majority of tle lexemes in Lubunca, given tlat all nonTurkisl
languages contributing vocabulary to it witl tle exception of Kurmanji were over
wlelmingly spoken by gayrimüslim.) In traditional Islamic jurisprudence, tle people
of tle world are divided up into tle tlose wlo lived according to Islamic law (راد
مﻼﺳﻹا Dar el-İslâm ‘Tle Abode of Islam’) and tlose wlo do not (بﺮﳊا راد Dar el-
Harb ‘Tle Abode of War’). Gayrimüslim inlabitants of Muslim states were divided
into two categories. ⑴ zimmî (ﻲﻣذ), wlo were citizens of tle Empire and mem
bers of tle Dar el-İslam, a status due to wlicl tley enjoyed a certain degree of tle
religious needom in exclange for tle payment of a special poll tax (ﻪﯾﺰﺟ cizye), and
⑵ müsta’mîn (ﲔﻣﺄﺘﺴﻣ), nonsubjects of tle Empire (i.e., ﯽﺑﺮﺣ harbî, inlabitants of
tle Dar el-Harb) permitted to stay for only one year at a time (unless granted per
mission otlerwise) and entitled only to tle riglt of personal protection (نﺎﻣأ aman)
conferred by tle Ottoman state. Following tle surrender of tle Genoese to Melmet
II in 1453 wlicl effectively brouglt to completion tle Ottoman conquest of Con
stantinople, an order of capitulation (ﻪﻣﺎﻧﺪﮫﻋ ahdnâme), made to tle inlabitants of
tle Genoese quarter (encompassing tle wlole of tle coastal region and slope of tle
lill leading up to tle Galata Tower on tle nortlern lalf of tle European side of
tle city) separated tlose living witling tle walls of tle Galata encampment accord
ing to tlese two categories. Tle status of zimmî was immediately conferred upon
all nonGenoese gayrümislim – mostly Armenians, Greek, and Jews – and a few
nonmerclant Genoese. Tle rest of tle Genoese and some otler “Frank” (probably
referring to otler Latin Catlolic) inlabitants of Galata accepted tleir classification
as müsta’mîn (i.e., harbî wlo lave been granted aman) for laving engaged in armed
resistance to Islamic conquest or attempting to flee tle city. As sucl, tle latter were
granted tle opportunity to continue conducting temporary trade witlin tle Em
pire, but not granted tle riglts and privilages conferred upon zimmî. Tle Genoese
population slrank as a result, and as tle Armenian, Greek, and Jewisl footlold on
Galata grew tle meclanism of relying upon special Genoese magistrates (podestà) for
mediation between gayrimüslim and tle state gave way to a system of communities
(ﺖﻋﺎﲨ cema’at) leaded by a representative (πρωτόγερος prôtogeros in Greek) wlicl
was belolden to tle leader (ﯽﺷﺎﺑ ﺖﻠﻣ milletbaşı) of tle religious community (ﺖﻠﻣ
millet) to wlicl its members belonged. Tle prospect of inclusion in tlese official,
semiautonomous religious communities and tle increasing role of tle Galata port
in domestic and foreign trade attracted large populations of gayrimüslim nom newly
conquered parts of tle Empire and beyond.
Tle settlement of gayrimüslim ex
panded to tle nortlern lalf of Beyoğlu and neiglboring Şişli following a number
of special permissions granted by tle Ottoman Sultan. Under tle reign of Kanunî
Sultan Süleyman (1520–1566) tle neiglborlood of Tatavla (modern Kurtuluş) in
Şişli was settled by Greeks brouglt in to work as slipbuilders for tle fleet of tle
Ottoman Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa, wlo were later joined by Armenians and botl
Italian and Iberian Jewisl citizens of tle Empire. Anotler agreement between Ka
nunî Süleyman and King François I of France in 1535 moved tle Frencl Embassy
nom tle official ambassadorial quarter witlin tle old Genoese city to a location at
tle very nortl of İstiklal Caddesi,
afer wlicl many otler European powers began
vying for and obtaining realestate in tle neiglborloods surrounding tlat street in
cluding Şişlane and Tünel to tle soutl, and Cilangir to tle nortl. Tle Bulgarian,
Englisl, German, Italian, and Russian Embassies all date to tle period between tle
middle of tle 16
and beginning of tle 18
centuries, and contemporary accounts
Tle information presented above regarding tle listory of gayrimüslim settlement in Galata and
its interpretation based on Islamic law is drawn nom tle clapter Ottoman Galata. 1453- 1553 in
İnalcık (1998).
Formerly Ottoman ﲑﺒﮐ هﺪﺟ Cadde-i Kebir, Greek Μεγάλη ’Οδος, botl literally ‘Big Street’, also
commonly referred to in Late Ottoman texts by tle Frencl Grande Rue de Péra.
relate low tle cultures of tlese nations – particularly of tle Frencl and Russians –
increasingly permeated daily life even among Muslims in Beyoğlu.
According to
Çelik (1986),
tle population of Beyoğlu in 1885 was approximately 47% foreign,
32% Ottoman Greek, and 21% Muslim. Attracted by tle prospects of foreign trade
and education, waves of Greeks botl nom Fener (anotler Greek stronglold on tle
soutlern lalf of European Istanbul, centered around tle Ecumenical Patriarclate
of tle Ortlodox Clurcl) and nom tle newly independent Hellenic Republic soon
followed (Bozis, 2012), settling in tle neiglborloods of Beyoğlu adjacent to Kurtu
luş/Tatavla, known as Tarlabaşı and Dolapdere afer tle streets wlicl formed tleir
boundries. In tle decades preceeding and immediately following Greek indepen
dence, instruction in Western European languages (mostly Frencl and Englisl) was
a metlod employed by Greeks of distancing tlemselves nom tle Ottoman Turks and
proving tleir wortl as a viable member of tle community of European nationstates
(Solak, 2008). Accordingly, Frencl was tle sole language of instruction of a number
of Greek sclools in tle area prior to tle second wave of Greek emmigration in tle
mid1930s (Alexandris, 1983, p. 326). Even afer tle establislment of tle Turkisl
Republic, as late as 1933 one Turkisl nationalist newspaper commentator laments
tle practice among vendors in Beyoğlu regardless of tleir etlnicity of addressing all
customers in Frencl.
Tle increasing use of Frencl as a lingua franca in Beyoğlu
may also explain tle appearance of a number of Frencl lexemes in Lubunca.
In order to furtler pinpoint tle plysical location of tle contact leading to tle
creation of Lubunca, it belooves us to look at tle location of settlement of tle
speaker community wlicl contributed tle most to its vocabulary, i.e., Roma. Wlile
tle generally itinerant nature of most Ottoman Roma makes it difficult to associate
tlem witl any particular district or neiglborlood, contemporary sources do make
mention of some settled Roma communities or places wlere Roma nom outside tle
city would nequently congregate. In section 2.1, I suggested based on tle appearance
of Greek morplemes on Romani roots (see section 1.4) tlat tle Romanispeaking
population wlicl contributed vocabulary to Lubunca may lave been Clristian. How
ever, searcling for contemporary Clristian Roma communities in Istanbul yields no
results, as tley do not exist. Given tlat Paspati (1870) attests to tleir presence as a
settled community during tle latter lalf of tle 19
century, two possibilities exist
to explain tleir disappearance between tlat time and tle present. eitler ⑴ Clris
tian Roma migrated away nom Istanbul along witl most of tle Greek population,
A letter written in 1714 by Mary Wortley Mantagu, wife of tlen Englisl Ambassador Edward
Wortley Montagu, describes low among tle servants and inlabitants of ler lome alone ten languages
were spoken, a single person ofen knowing and using on a daily basis five or six (Bozis, 2012, p. 6).
Gatlered and related by (Bozis, 2012, p. 21).
Tlis group is likely to lave included a large number of Greekspeaking citizens of tle Hellenic
anon. (1933), related by (Wyers, 2012, p. 182).
or ⑵ tley members converted to Islam in order to escape persecution.
In tle case
of tle latter, it may be useful to locate communities of Muslim Roma in Istanbul
today wlose origins may go back to Late Ottoman Clristian Roma communities.
Tlere are two concentrations of Roma on tle nortlern lalf of tle European side of
Istanbul. ⑴ Toplane on tle slore down tle lill to tle east of tle Galata tower, and
⑵ Bülbül, just nortl of Tarlabaşı Caddesi and soutl of Kurtuluş Deresi Caddesi, on
tle border between Beyoğlu and Şişli.
Tle latter is also located at tle intersection
of a number of tle roads wlicl louse a large population of transsexual sex workers.
Tlougl no researcl as been done on tle listory of tlese communities, botl of tle
areas wlicl tley inlabit were predominantly Clristian (and mostly Greek) until tle
latter lalf of tle 20
century. Wlile broacling tle subject of a possible Clristian
past among tlese groups would likely be met witl offense, according to Misclek
(2006) older Roma in Toplane remember laving lad amicable relations witl tleir
Greek neiglbours. Tlis is compatible witl claims made by Paspati (1870) as to tle
nequent intermarriage between Clristian Roma and poorer Greeks mentioned ear
lier (Toplane was and Bülbül still is a relatively poor neiglborlood), and we lave no
reason to doubt tlat tle same leld true for tle communities in Bülbül.
If we amalgamate tle information gatlered above regarding tle location of tle
various communities involved in tle creation of Lubunca, tle districts of Beyoğlu and
soutlern Şisli emerge as tle most likely nexuses of interaction between tle Istan
bul’s Queer population and large enougl contingents of tle relevent etlnolinguistic
minority groups to lave made an impact on tle Lubunca lexicon. Of particular
importance are tle contiguous neiglborloods of Bülbül, Tarlabaşı, and possibly
Kasımpaşa, as well as tlose parts of greater Kurtuluş/Tatavla adjacent to tle main
streets wlicl pass tlrougl tle nortl and east of it. Tlese neiglborloods are now or
lave been in recent listory lome to significant Queer populations, and are located
witlin centers witl ligl listorical concentrations of Roma and Greeks, surrounded
on eitler side by Armenian, Frencl, and Ladinospeaking populations.
2.2.2 Social space
In sections 2.1 and 2.2.1 above, we ascertained tlat tle confluence of Queer, Roma,
Greek, Armenian, and Jewisl communities in tle areas just west of Tarlabaşı/Cumlu
riyet/Halaskargazi Caddesi stretcling nom Beyoğlu into Şişli during tle early lalf of
tle 20
century provided tle most likely transmission environment for many of tle
nonTurkisl elements in Lubunca. However, determination of tle possible location
Marusliakova and Popov (2001) provide convincing evidence nom Late Ottoman tax records in
Rumeli tlat Roma routinely converted in order to pay lower taxes, and tlis plenomenon is likely to
lave continued in tle face of tle Varlık Vargisi during tle early decades of tle Republic.
During tle gentrification of Tarlabaşı beginning in late 2006, tlese Roma were forcibly resettled
along witl tle neiglborlood’s otler inlabitants to areas outside tle old city.
in time and space wlen tlese linguistic influences would lave been available to tle
city’s Turkislspeaking Queer population does not explain wly tle Turkisl Queer
community close to draw upon tlose lingustic resources as opposed to otlers (for
example, tle abundant Arabic and Persian spoken in and around Istanbul wlicl lad
formed tle basis for older queer slang), or conversely wly words nom tlese minority
languages slould appear more nequently in tle slang of Turkisl Queers tlan in tle
speecl of nonQueer Turkisl Istanbulites. It also does not explain wly some of tle
defining aspects of modern Lubunca (e.g., Romani, Greek) slould only barely begin
to appear during tle 19
century, wlen tle populations wlo could lave contributed
tlose elements lad inlabited tle city in at least some number since tle introduction
of Turkisl into tle sociolinguistic market of Istanbul in tle 15
century. In otler
words. Wlat social factors motivated tle adoption of sucl a large number of loans
nom Romani and otler minority languages into Lubunca:
If an individual’s linguistic labitus (v.s.) is constructed witl reference to tle
social conditions surrounding lim, we must assume tlat tle environment in wlicl
tle Turkisl Queers wlo first created Lubunca were interacting was one wlicl placed
speakers of minority languages under tle same social conditions as it did tlem. We
must tlerefore examine tle social conditions of tle neiglborloods determined in
section 2.2.1 to lave corresponded to tlis environment during tle time determined
in section 2.1 wlen Lubunca is most likely to lave developed.
Tle early lalf of tle 20
century was a time of great upleaval for gayrimüslim
communities in Turkey. Tle ideologies of PanTurkism and PanIslamism wlicl
lad been designed to lold tle Ottoman Empire togetler lad instead contributed
to its unravelling. A syntlesis of tlese plilosoplies marcling under tle banner of
Turkisl Nationalism formed tle basis for tle establislment of tle Turkisl Repub
lic. In tleir former lives as generals in tle Ottoman army during tle afermatl of
World War I, tle leaders of tle new Republic under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk lad
fouglt a lard battle against tle loss of territory to European colonial powers and
tle newly formed states – sucl as Greece, Armenia, and Bulgaria – wlose inde
pendence nom tle Empire tley lad lelped to gain. Witl tle memory of tlese
battles nesl in tle Turkisl national consciousness, tle formerly polyetlnic popu
lation wlicl claracterized most of tle land inlerited by tle Republic was seen as a
tlreat to national security. Laws discriminating against gayrimüslim promoted tle
emmigration of millions (Ανδριότις, 2008). Tlose wlo remained faced increasing
segregation and economic lardslip. Tle 1926 Law on Government Officials (De-
vlet Memurları Kanunu), wlose fourtl article made “being Turkisl” (“Türk olma”) a
condition for employment for any position directly or indirectly funded by tle state,
resulted not only in tle denial of new applications for tlese jobs, but in tle expulsion
of all gayrimüslim minorities nom positions as liglranking as parliamentarian and
as common as lawyer and sclool teacler (Koçoğlu, 2001, p. 16). Tlis was followed
by tle introduction of a similar clause in tle 1929 Law on Securities and Exclanges
(Menkul Kıymetler ve Kambiyo Borsaları Kanunu), wlicl effectively made it illegal for
gayrimüslim to work in any agencies related to tle exclange of stocks or foreign cur
rency (Oran, 2008). Finally, in 1932, nonTurks were forbidden nom even tle most
basic occupations, including tlose sucl as trading, cab driving, translation and tour
guiding, tailoring, musical instrument making, sloemaking, plotograply, optom
etry, carpentry, metalwork, lousekeeping, and food and beverage service positions,
wlicl lad been tle economic mainstay of tle gayrimüslim in Istanbul for centuries
(Koçoğlu, 2001, p. 15).
Neiglborloods of Istanbul sucl as Kasımpaşa, Tarlabaşı,
Bülbül, and Tatavla – all of wlicl lad been lome to sizeable populations of Greeks,
Armenians, and Jews – saw tleir property values plummet as desperate lome and
slop owners sold tleir land and belongings for far below market prices (Oran, 2011,
p. 22). Furtler decreasing tle desirability of realestate in tlese neiglborloods were
events sucl as tle 1955 Istanbul Pogrom, in wlicl large amounts of property were
looted nom gayrimüslimowned lomes and businesses, and many buildings lef burnt
or severely damaged. As a result of tlis economic deterioration, many of tlese neigl
borloods were abandoned by tleir original inlabitants. In tleir place came some of
tle illegal business – sucl as drug dealing and prostitution – wlicl still claracterize
tlree of tlese four neiglborloods today.
I lave made some mention so far of tle
practice of prostitution by botl Queers and nonQueers in tle area outlined in sec
tion 2.2.1. Tlrouglout tle remainder of tlis section, I will provide evidence tlat
tle contact between speakers of minority languages and Queers in Istanbul wlicl
produced Lubunca occured mostly in tle context of unregistered sex work during
tle last years of tle Ottoman Empire and tle beginning of tle Republic.
Wlen examining tle demograplic listory of sex workers in Istanbul, I lave
adlered to tle generally accepted principle tlat economic needs play an important
role in tle decision to engage in prostitution, tlat is to say, for tle majority of sex
workers, one’s profession is less tle result of conscious planning or desire and more
driven out of an inability to find employment in otler sectors. Women are tradi
tionally more inclined to engage in prostitution because tleir societies afford tlem
mucl fewer employment opportunities tlan tley do men. Tlis lack of employability
is particularly evident wlen tle women in question are nom a group wlicl com
mands already lowertlanaverage levels of social capital, sucl as an etlnic minority
community. A number of sources bear witness to tlis plenomenon in late Imperial
and early Republican Istanbul. Paspati (1870) reports tlat tlis was tle case for some
Clristian Roma woman during tle latter years of tle Ottoman Empire, and accord
Tle laws listed lere were only tle most economically crippling of tlose enacted during tlis
period. For a full list of tle laws wlicl restricted tle employability of gayrimüslim in tle early years
of tle Turkisl Republic, see (Oran, 2011, pp. 19–26).
Tatavla – now Kurtuluş – las regained sometling of a normal reputation in tle past decades due
in part to settlement by more economically viable middle class migrants nom Eastern Anatolia and
Central Asia.
ing to at least one Cumhuriyet report dated 11 April 1935 tlere were still “Gypsy”
(“çingene”) women engaged in sex work in Beyoğlu during tle early years of tle Re
public (Wyers, 2012, p. 212). If tlese women were nom tle same communities as
tlose engaged in sex work six decades earlier, it is likely tlat tley would lave main
tained knowledge of botl Romani and Greek sufficient to lave contributed tlose
Romani roots adorned witl Greek morplemes wlicl appear in Lubunca, especially
given tlat tley were operating in a district in wlicl Greek was among tle dominant
Altlougl tley were listorically possessed of tle least social capital of any etlno
linguistic group in Istanbul, Roma women were not tle only minority women wlose
engagement in sex work was encouraged by tle prevailing economic conditions of
tle early Republic. In lis book on tle regulation
of (cisgendered female) pros
titution in Turkey, Wyers (2012) draws parallels between prevailing nationbuilding
ideologies and tle domination of botl tle legal and illegal markets for paid sex
by citizen gayrimüslim and trafficked foreign women. Even towards tle end of tle
Ottoman Empire, laws inspired by Turkisl etlnonationalism, wlicl severely lim
ited employment opportunities for garyimüslim, lad begun to force large numbers of
nonTurkisl women (wlose earning potential was already less tlan tlat of tleir male
counterparts) into prostitution. According to Riggs (1922)’s report regarding tle
breakdown of tle city’s registered brotlels by etlnicity of ownerslip, by tle last year
of tle Empire tlere were sixteen Muslim brotlels and 155 nonMuslim (of wlicl
75 Greek, 45 Jewisl, and 35 Armenian).
Tlis increased opportunity for Turkisl
men to pay for sex nom nonTurkisl women (witl tle seeming endorsement of tle
state, given tlat tlese statistics only reflect tle number of registered prostitutes) be
came problematic for proponents of Germaninspired racial purity laws during tle
ligl nationalist era immediately afer tle founding of tle Turkisl Republic in 192⒊
In response to concerns over tlis issue, a law was issued in 1930 specifically forbid
ding foreigners nom engaging in regulated prostitution (Wyers, 2012, pp.178–179).
Like most otler laws, tlis glossed over tle nonTurkisl origin of a significant por
tion of tle country’s population by treating any Muslim nonTurkisl citizen as a
Turk, and any gayrimüslim citizen as a foreigner (Oran, 2011, p. 18). As a result, any
gayrimüslim sex workers wlo did not abandon tle country altogetler were forced to
begin working in unregistered brotlels, or as unregistered nee agents. Tlose wlo
lef, lowever, created a gap in tle supply of sex workers in cities witl ligl demand,
sucl as Istanbul, wlere prospective clients lad come to expect – and indeed, prefer –
At tlis point, it is important to note tlat in botl Ottoman and Turkisl law tlere is a distinction
made between registered prostitution wlicl is legal and regulated by tle state, and unregistered
prostitution wlicl is strictly illegal.
As reported by Wyers (2012). Nationalistinspired ideals of racial purity also led to tle segregation
of registered brotlels, witl Muslim brotlels being located on tle Anatolian side and nonMuslim
brotlels on tle European side of Istanbul.
gayrimüslim (and especially Clristian) women. Tlis inequality between supply and
demand was subsequently met by a surge in tle illegal trafficking of Clristian women,
botl nom witlin tle Republic’s Greek and Armenian communities, and nom ma
jority Clristian regions witl ties to tle former Ottoman Empire.
Beginning in
1960s, tle wording of many of tlese laws was clanged to permit any citizen of tle
Turkisl Republic to register as a sex worker, lowever, tle Istanbul’s most famous
madames (sucl as tle millionaire Matild Manukyan, wlo died in 2001) continue to
come nom tle city’s sizeable Armenian community. Likewise, wlile tle issue of sex
trafficking in Istanbul las been addressed to some extent by autlorities, Russian and
Ukranian women can still be seen soliciting jolns along a number of main streets in
European Istanbul.
In many places, tle fundamental economic motivations for engaging in sex work
– i.e., tle lack of viable employment opportunities – are tle same for Queers as tley
are for many leterosexual cisgendered women. Examining tle listory of tle Queer
community in Istanbul slows tlat it is no exception. Tle nature of Queer spaces in
Istanbul las unquestionably clanged over time, even if our only documentation of
premodern Queer life in tle city is sparse. However, tle common tlread running
tlrougl all accounts of tle city’s Queer community up until very recently las been
tle involvement of gay men and trans women in some form of sex work. Tle 16
century Ottoman «مﻮﻤﳍا ﻊﻓر و مﻮﻤﻐﻟا ﻊﻓد بﺎﺘﮐ» Kitab-ı Dafı-ü ’l-Gumum ve Rafı-ü
’l-Hümum “Book of tle Expulsion of Sorrows and tle Alleviation of Woes” by a
sclolar witl tle nom de plume Deli Birader (‘Crazy Brotler’), and tle 17
«ﺎﺸﮕﻟد ﻪﻣﺎﻧ کﻻد» Dellâkname-i Dilgüşâ “Masseur’s Book of Unraveling tle Heart” by
tle Imperial Clamberlain for Hamams, Derviş İsmail, botl describe in great detail
lomosexual male intercourse in tle context of tle lamam, wlerein tle dellâk (‘rub
ber’ or ‘masseur’) provides sexual services to aristocratic male customers. It is unlikely
tlat tle association of male lomosexuality witl prositution in tlese works tle re
sult of an antigay bias. As is evident nom tleir titles, tlese works do not disparage
male lomosexuality but ratler celebrate it, ofen as an integral part of Ottoman court
culture. However, depictions of similar trade in batllouses across Istanbul appear
witl increasing nequency, and in a considerably more negative liglt, towards tle
end of tle Ottoman Empire, paralleling tle decline of tle köçek during rouglly tle
same period. Tle reaffirmation of tle Caliplate by Abdüllamit II (r. 1876–1908)
brouglt witl it a resurgence in conservative Islamic values, wlile tle increasing po
litical and economic influence of European colonial powers in tle Ottoman capital
necessitated tlat tlose values be translated into a legal code wlicl was palatable to
Istanbul’s European inlabitants. Tle elimination of spaces in wlicl gay male sex
work was conducted and tle consequent decline in tle social capital of gay male sex
workers in Istanbul under Abdüllamit II is documented in a report by tle Sultan’s
Wyers (2012)
clief lawmaker, Cevdet Paşa. In it, tle autlor brags of laving nearly erradicated tle
practice of employing sucl sex workers among members of tle Ottoman cabinet.
Poroy (2005) suggests tlat popular antiImperial sentiment during tle final years of
tle Empire also created a climate of increasing lostility towards male lomosexuality,
wlicl was seen by commoners as an element of depraved bourgeois culture.
Tlis observation of tle trend of increasing lostility in Late Ottoman literature
towards male lomosexuality is not meant to suggest tlat tle practice of prostitution
among gay men ceased or even declined durign tlis period, but tlat its practicants
lost botl tle plysical spaces in wlicl to safely conduct tleir business, and tle social
space wlicl afforded tlem tle level of capital implied by tle aristocratic patronage
attested to in tle literature of tle previous tlree centuries. Tlougl wletler tle rate
of gay male prostitution following tle elimination of its sponsorslip among tle Ot
toman elite increased or decreased is unknown, sex work among gay men and trans
women seems to be more common in urban settings in wlicl tle dominant culture
is lomoplobic. Tlis is surely an accurate description of tle culture of Istanbul in
1986, wlen Yüzgün’s survey suggests tlat 3⒋1% of “gay men” enaged in at least
occassional sex for money,
and to a somewlat lesser extent tle culture of Istanbul
today. Tle reader will recall tlat words related to sex work constitute approximately
⒎19% of tle Lubunca lexicon (see section 1.5.2). Turkisl trans sex workers in
terviewed by Berglan (2007) – just as in tle case of minority women during tle
early years of tle Republic – cite a lack of viable employment opportunities as tleir
reason for engaging in prostitution, furtler emplasizing tle link between a limited
ability to accrue social capital and tle engagement of Turkisl Queers in sex work.
Wlile lomosexuality itself is not illegal in Turkey, lad never been officially illegal
in tle Ottoman Empire, and was in fact explicitly stated to be legal in 1858 as a
part of tle Tanzimat reforms, numerous individuals and organizations affiliated witl
tle Turkisl state lave classified lomosexuality as a “psyclological disorder” (“ruhsal
bozukluk”) or “psyclosexual disorder” (“psikoseksüel bozukluk”).
Gay men and trans
sexuals in Turkey are routinely tle target of attacks by police, and ofen clarged and
convicted of crimes under tle vaguelyworded Section Seven on “Public Morality”
Bardakçı (2005, p. 94)
It is not necessarily tle case tlat Yüzgün (1986a)’s “eşcinsel erkekler” (“gay men”) refers to ex
clusively gay men as opposed to gay men and trans women. Tle one study investigating Turkisl
trans women’s perceptions of tleir own sexuality Berglan (2007) suggests tlat tle plenomenon, first
documented by Kulick (1998) among Brazilian travestis, of trans women identi[ing primarily or par
tially as gay males is at least somewlat common in tle Turkisl trans community, and Yüzgün makes
nequent reference to transsexualism in lis book.
See art. 17 par. B item 3 of tle Turkisl Armed Forces’ Regulations Regarding Healtl Capac
ity, publisled online by tle Türk Cumluriyeti Adalet Bakanlığı (Ministry of Justice of tle Turkisl
Republic). See also Bildirici (2010)’s report in tle Sunday edition of tle popular newspaper Hür-
riyet regarding State Minister for Women’s and Family Affairs Selma Aliye Kavaf ’s statements against
(“Genel Ahlâk”) of tle Turkisl Penal Code.
As a result, most gay men are forced to
lide tleir identity, and trans individuals – tle gender and color
of wlose national
identification cards makes maintaining confidentiality regarding tleir gender iden
tity nearly impossible in anytling beyond a superficial social capacity – ofen lave
no recourse but to earn tleir living tlrougl sex work. Furtlermore, wlile tle 2004
Turkisl Penal Code (art. 227)
does not expressly forbid tle engagement of males
or trans women in registered prostitution, tle 1926 Penal code (art. 436)
up until 2005 makes it clear tlat only women will be permitted to register. To date,
tlere is no record of a maleassignedatbirtl engaging in registered prostitution in
Turkey, ergo, all male and trans female sexwork in Turkey is unregisterd, i.e. illegal.
Wyers (2012, p. 174) claracterizes tle world of unregistered prostitution in tle
Early Republic of Istanbul as adlering to tle principle described in Donovan (2006,
p. 30), wlereby “vice districts” and tle social spaces wlicl tley create permit tle in
teraction of social and etlnic groups wlicl would not otlerwise be permitted by tle
norms of tle society in wlicl tley operate. Bessinger (2007) furtler notes tlat tle
Romadominated spaces inlabited by musicians in Late and PostOttoman Roma
nia permitted tle transfer of otlerwise ideologically unpalatable musical motifs and
teclniques nom Muslim Turkisl circles to elements witlin tle Clristian Romanian
populace. Given tle Romanileavy composition of Lubunca and tle similarly limi
nal nature of tle populations wlicl use it, it is likely to lave developed in a similarly
liminal space. In tlis space, lowever, tle unpalatable material was lingusitic and
marked by its origin in nonMuslim, nonTurkisl communities, wlereas tle adopt
ing groups wlere members of a larger Muslim, Turkisl society. Tle engagement
of botl Queers and minority women in unregistered prostitution during tle latter
years of tle Ottoman Empire and early years of tle Turkisl Republic explains tle
colabitation of social space and corresponding experience of similar social conditions
tlat catalyzed tle exclange of linguistic material exlibited by Lubunca.
3 Theoretical Implications
Tlings we want to engage.
• Eble (1996). American general slang retains as little as 10% over ten years.
Made available online by tle Türk Büyük Millet Meclisi (Grand National Assembly of Turkey).
National identification cards in Turkey are colored blue for males, pink for females.
Türk Büyük Millet Meclisi (Grand National Assembly of Turkey) (2004)
Türk Cumluriyeti Adalet Bakanlığı (Ministry of Justice of tle Turkisl Republic) (1926)
Tlis slould come as no surprise, Late Ottoman and Early Republican legal commentators make
it clear tlat tle expressed purpose of prostitution was tle avoidance of male lomosexuality, it being
generally believed tlat if unmarried men were not provided witl an outlet for tleir sexual urges, tley
would turn to boys or otler men (unmarried women, of course, being ruled out as perfectly claste).
(Wyers, 2012)
– Lubunca maintains some material mucl longer.
– → Lower social pressure on mainstream to maintain exclusive markers
of identity: (Refer to Bourdieu (1991)’s argument about tle purpose of
• Tlomason and Kaufman (1988). Social factors are of primary importance in
determining tle structural outcome of language contact.
We know social factors are of primary importance in deciding tle outcome of
language contact, but all case studies so far lave still focused on determining
wlat exactly is and isn’t transfered/transferable, and not on connecting wlat
is transfered witl universalizable correlations between transmission
environments and types of linguistic clange.
• Tle “Wlat can be borrowed:” debate.
– Tlomason and Kaufman (1988). Anytling can be borrowed, including
grammatical rules and paradigms.
– King (2000). We don’t borrow grammar, we borrow words and recon
struct grammar.
– My addendum: We don’t borrow words eitler, we access attestations to
build lexical entries wlicl may or may not affect grammar
→ This accounts for discrepencies between input form and output
3.1 What can be borrowed and how is it borrowed?
In section 2 above, I described tle precise spatiotemporal and social conditions
wlicl lead to tle contact wlicl produced tle Queer slang variety known today as
Lubunca. If we are to extrapolate nom tlis correlations of contactinduced language
clange and ||]]
Wlat I lave set out to do in tle following investigation is to suggest tlat language
evolution is tle result of tle functional adaptation of speakers to clanges in tle
social spaces in wlicl tley interact and wlicl, tlrougl tleir linguistic practice, tley
Wlere King (2000) suggests tlat individual lexical items are borrowed wlolesale,
and grammatical structures are only transferred nom language to language insomucl
as tley are reconstructed on tle basis of tle feature bundles of individual lexemes, I
propose tlat tle lypotletical learner of a new linguistic element modifies tle feature
bundles of lexemes – eitler to suit communicative, pragmatic, or structural needs,
or out of an incomplete understanding of tle attestation of tle lexical item as le
encountered it – and tlen builds lis or ler new lexical entry on tle basis of tlis re
analysis. Wlile testing tlis tleory on a number of different case studies in language
evolution is beyond tle scope of tlis work, it is my lope tlat by liglliglting an in
stance of borrowing in wlicl tle modification of borrowed lexemes for tle purposes
of constructing and adapting to a social space is more or less transparent, otlers may
be able to apply tle same metlodology to otler case studies, tlereby exploring tle
explanatory power and limitations of tle proposed analytical paradigm.
|||Sometling needs to be made of tle fact tlat so many tlings seem to lave
started in set plrases.]]]
In tle following section, I will diverge momentarily nom tle particulars of tle
specific transmission environment detailed above in order to develop a model of
contactinduced language clange wlicl incorporates tle idea of social space in order
to mediate tle outcome of situations of language contact more generally.
Tle study of language contact since Tlomason and Kaufman (1988) las rigltly
recognized tle necessity of incorporating extralinguistic sociolistorical aspects of
tle transmission environment in any account of contactinduced clange. It las low
ever fallen slort of connecting larger social trends across tle speeclcommunities
involved in contact witl tle demands tlat tle social setting entails on individual
speakers witlin a discourse. Still otlers (Mufwene, 2001) recognize tlat tle indi
vidual unit of analysis in tle study of language contact must be tle ideolect, i.e.
tle individual speaker, but tley do not make any systematic attempt to speci[ tle
motivation for tle initial transfer of tle linguistic unit, nor do tley account for dis
crepencies between tle forms as tley are uttered by one speaker, and interpretted
and reuttered by anotler.
In section 3.1.1 below, I argue tlat it is possible to set universal constraints on
tle way in wlicl social forces act to effect tle outcome of language contact, yet only
afer a reconceptualization of tle individual speaker’s linguistic repository and role in
In section ??, I propose a model for tle initial transfer of a particular lexeme
between two interlocuters of different speecl communities occupying tle same so
cial space, speaker B wlo is a novel occupant of tle space, and wlose linguistic
repertoire expands to conform to it, and speaker A, a previous occupant of tle space
wlo originates tle forms wlicl B tlen appropriates. |||HERE MENTION THE
I will tlen explain low discrepencies between tle form as uttered by A and tle
A lexeme las been closen as tle basic unit of analysis botl for its relevence to tle case studies
presented in ??, and because it is a reasonably discrete analytical element in most utterances. Otler
units may be analyzed in a similar manner, tlougl tley will not be dealt witl lere.
form as it appears later in tle repertoire of B are tle result of a situation in wlicl
B’s particular understanding of tle individual parts of A’s utterance, as well as tle
relationslip between tlem, serves as tle basis for tle formation of a new entry in
B’s linguistic repository — and not (crucially) any understanding of tle utterance
nom tle point of view of tle originator A.
Finally, I expand tlis model to slow low, by analogy witl tle form as uttered
by tle first speaker B, tle novel form is replicated witl increased faitlfulness among
otler members of B’s speecl community wlo occupy tle same social space. Tle re
sult is a model wlicl provides a colesive account of contactinduced language clange
nom tle initial exposure of tle first speaker of tle innovating speecl community to
tle foriegn forms wlicl le appropriates, to wlat is later perceived of post facto as a
clange at tle level of an abstract linguistic system.
Tlrouglout tle following sections, I lave made numerous references to vari
ous functional tleories of grammar, first developed as Functional Grammar (FG) by
(Dik, 1978). Tle advantages of tle functional model in terms of explaining tle way in
wlicl aspects of linguistic units are transmitted — and clange during transmission
— nom one speaker to anotler will become clear. Briefly, among tle assumptions
underlying tle functionalist interpretation of grammar are tlree wlicl will prove
most useful for my treatment of language contact.
⒈ tlat utterances are adapted to tle speakers’ need to fulfill certain
discursive functionialities (Dik, 1986)
⒉ tlat tle properties of a linguistic form rely on tle speakers’ pre
vious experience witl tlat form (Hopper, 1987)
⒊ tlat tle properties of tle form are conceptually renegotiated on
tle basis of tle interpretation of tle form by otler interlocutors
(Hopper, 1987)
3.1.1 Redefining the speaker: Redefining grammar?
Tlomason and Kaufman (1988) were tle first to recognize tle primacy of extra
linguistic, sociolistorical elements of tle transmission environment in determining
tle outcomes of language contact. Tle structural particulars of tle languages in
volved, tley note, are not sufficient to account for tle range of outcomes exlibited
by tle many cases of language contact observable tlrouglout tle listory of luman
language. Seen nom anotler angle, Tlomason and Kaufman’s discovery of tle pri
macy of social factors in determining tle outcome of language contact constituted
a realization tlat facts of contactinduced language clange could not be completely
accounted for witlout conceptualizing tle speaker as sometling otler tlan a vessel
for an instantiation of a larger, unified, abstract linguistic system.
Outside tle realm of sociolistorical linguistics, tle claim tlat speakers do not
simply ‘possess’ complete and unified grammar, of wlicl utterances are simply ‘im
plementations’ (Hopper, 1987), underlies tle tleory of Functional Grammar (FG).
FG deals witl tle inadequacy of conceptualizations of natural language as an abstract
system of rules existing independent of tle speaker by establisling a namework in
wlicl tle properties of an utterance are analyzed in terms of tle discursive functions
wlicl tle speaker intends to fulfill by producing tlat utterance (Dik, 1986).
If we assume tlat utterances are structured first and foremost witl regard to wlat
tle speaker intends to communicate, it belooves us to clari[ exactly wlat types of
information an utterance can encode, i.e. wlat sort of information a speaker miglt
want to communicate. Wlile numerous representations of tle utterance lave been
proposed — of wlicl Mackenzie (2008)’s lolds tle most promise in terms of ex
plaining tle widest range of plenomena related to language contact and clange —
I will simpli[ matters greatly by reducing tle utterance to tle two functional lev
els most relevent to tle analysis of tle role of social space in language clange. tle
‘semanticoreferential’ and tle ‘indexical’, to borrow terminology nom Silverstein
(1976). For tle purposes of tlis discussion, tle semanticoreferential function (s-
function) of tle utterance is to introduce into tle discourse tlings or events in tle
world wlicl exist independent of tle utterance’s context, wlile tle indexical func
tion (i-function) of tle utterance is to speci[ tle relationslip of tle interlocutors
and referents to eacl otler and to tle context, and by extention to deal witl tle
construction, maintenance, and labitation of social space.
Tle purpose of linguistic functionalismis largely to esclew tle abstraction neces
sitated by otler tleories of grammar — most notably generative grammar (Clomsky
1955, 1957, 1965). However, even tle most extreme functionalist models admit tlat
tle range of possible employments of a linguistic form ‘reflect tle individual speakers’
past experience of |tlat form]’ (Hopper, 1987). Implicit in tlis are tle assumptions
tlat tle speaker keeps in mind a repository of tle utterances tlrougl wlicl tlay
lave been exposed to a given form, and tlat tle speaker reproduces tle form by
analogy witl tle attestations wlicl le las collected in tlis repository.
3.1.2 Basic Premises
• People witlin moreorless discrete groups bounded by plysical and/or social
space tend to speak like eacl otler. Relationslips between spaces may be
extremely complex, overlapping, and lierarclical, but speakers are consciously
or unconsciously aware of tle most fundamental differences between tlem,
sucl tlat tley know wlen to use employ linguistic features wlicl function
best witlin tle space in wlicl tley are operating – be it to communicate a
plysically need, maintain group colesion, etc. . In slort. The fundamental
process underlying language evolution is convergence, specifically on tle level
of individual speakers.
• Similarly, the engine of all language change is contact — again, at tle level of
individual speakers — even if tle ’languages’ in question are simply ideolects of
tle same language. Tle basic meclanisms of linguistic interaction underlying
language evolution are tle same, tlougl differences in certain specific details of
tle interactants and tleir linguistic repertoires will produce radically different
outcomes wlen tle features of tleir ideolects are amalgamated and viewed in
terms of tle abstract macrolinguistic system of tleir speecl community.
• Language is functional. Tlose functions may not always be clearly articulated
— or even articulatable — but speakers are to some extent aware of tle effect
tleir own linguistic actions lave on tle world and otler people in it (and
conversely, tle effect tlat tle linguistic acts of otlers lave on tlem) and tley
construct tleir linguistic repertoire and resultant speecl acts accordingly.
• For a feature to be adopted by a speaker there must be both availability of
that feature to the speaker, as well as motivation for the speaker to adopt
that feature..
– Two factors effect Availablity.
* Presence — i.e., Tle speaker must lave access to tle prospective
form, laving leard it spoken, seen it written, or otlerwise been
exposed to some attestation of it.
* Analyzability — i.e., Tle speaker must at minimum be able to iso
late tle feature as a feature distinct nom otler features in tle lin
guistic matrix in wlicl it appears, tlougl tlis is not always tle way
in wlicl tle autlor of tle attestation would lave analyzed it.
– Tle primary Motivation for adoption may fall into one of tlree broad
descriptive categories, tlougl tle categories overlap somewlat and tlere
can be more tlan one motivation for adopting a particular feature.
* Referential — i.e., Tle tle feature indicates a tling or idea to wlicl
le speaker needs to refer, but for wlicl le does not already lave
an appropriate or expedient way of doing so. (Especially strong in
lexical borrowings.)
* Socio-pragmatic —i.e., Tle feature provides a specific functionality
necessary for more easily maneuvering a given social space.
* Structural/Paradigmatic — i.e., Tle feature fills a nicle in a mor
plosyntactic, semantic, or plonological paradigm, and or provides
or clarifies a syntactic functionality eitler not fully present or absent
nom tle speaker’s own linguistic repertoire.
3.1.3 Implementation
Examining different cases of language evolution (clange or stasis across time) in
terms of correlations between variation in tle parameters described above, and types
of outcomes witl regard to clange in linguistic systems may lelp us better understand
tle relationslip between certain types of interaction and certain types of language
Not all of tle parameters vary in tle same way, presence is basically binary (Does
tle adopting party lave access to tle feature or not:), wlereas analyzability is scalar
(How well does tle adopting party understand tle entire feature bundle of tle lin
guistic units to wlicl le is exposed:). However, tlere is also a qualitative aspect to
analyzability. |||||||||||||||If, for example, tle Kurmanji spoken in Istanbul differs
nom, say, tle colloquial dialect of Amed moreso in lexicon tlan in plonology, a
speaker of colloquial Amed Kurmanji may be fully capable of analyzing tle plono
logical features of a word le lears in Istanbul Kurmanji in moreorless tle same
way as tle user of Istanbul Kurmanji wlo produced tlat attestation of said lexeme
understood. Tle Amed Kurmanji speaker may not, on tle otler land, be privy to
tle full range of semantic aspects of tlat lexeme’s feature bundle. If tle Amed Kur
manji speaker is motivated to appropriate tle lexeme into lis linguistic repertoire,
le will be forced to fill in gaps in tlat lexeme’s feature bundle, by guessing based on
elements of tle context in wlicl le las leard tle lexeme, or by drawing analogies
to otler elements already in lis linguistic repertoire. Once lis clange las cauglt on
to tle speecl community of colloquial Amed Kurmanji at large — perlaps because
usage of tlat lexeme is viewed as prestigious (socio-pragmatic motivation) we observe
semantic clange at tle level of tle macrolinguistic system. Tlis is exactly tle tra
jectory of tle word teqsî ‘taxi’, wlicl began in Istanbul Kurmanji as a word for ’taxi’,
but spread to colloquial varieties of Soutleastern Turkey as a general word for all
automobiles.]]]]]]]]]]]]]]] – REPLACE WITH EX FROM LUBUNCA
Tle example above can be explained in terms of tle parameters outlined above.
A produces a unit x of meaning α in tle presence of B. B is motivated — partly
out of a socio-pragmatic desire for prestige — to adopt x into lis own linguistic
repertoire as x
. However, since speaker B las minimal attestations of x as input
in order to construct a full feature bundle for x
, x is not completely analyzable to
lim. He tlerefore assumes, based on context, tlat tle meaning of x was not α
but β. As a result, lis newly constructed x
can be said to exlibit semantic clange
visavis tle original unit x. Generalizing, we miglt say tlat instances of ligl socio-
pragmatic motivation but low analyzability in terms of a subset of tle feature bundle
of prospective donor vocabulary can be expected to yield ligl instances of clange in
tle linguistic system (semantics, plonology, etc.) of tle resultant loan vocabulary.
Furtler case studies examining cases in wlicl individual parameters of tle linguistic
interactions differ nom tlis interaction could boost tle explanatory power of sucl a
tleoretical generalization.
3.1.4 Question-Answering Potential
• What about divergence? In cases in wlicl availability becomes low — due
to separation eitler in real or in social space — overall adoptability of features
decreases. In a situation in wlicl a subset of a speecl community splits off and
distances tlemselves, input nom eacl group is cut off nom tle otler. Rarely
does any group not encounter some form of foreign linguistic input, and so as
tle dauglter groups move apart tley enter spleres of influence witl different
availability of linguistic features, as well as different motivations for cloosing
wlicl among tlose features are ultimately adopted and low.
• What about creolization? Mufwene, Claudenson et al. lave already done
a pretty good job of dispelling tle mytl of a lomogeneous process of cre
ole genesis, by slowing tlat tle precise linguistic processes wlicl generate
creoles vary greatly in accordance witl details sucl as tle types of colonial en
deavors and consequent interactions between European, indigenous, and slave
populations. Tle only two criteria wlicl remain to define creole genesis per
se are ⑴ widely differing genetic origins of parent languages, and ⑵ relative
rapidity by wlicl colerent dauglter languages are generated. We can analyze
sucl situations as displaying low initial analyzability and ligl motivation —
referential, socio-pragmatic, and eventually (as tle creole begins to form) struc-
tural/paradigmatic. Assuming, as we did in tle example above, tlat strong
motivation witlout full analyzability of donor material generates significant
structural clange, we would expect in examples of creole genesis a ligl in
stance of processes sucl as paradigmatic leveling — wlere an inability to fully
analyze tle donorlanguage paradigms is compensated for by tle extension of
less marked/more common elements in tle paradigm — and L1 interference
— wlere an inability to fillin completely tle featurebundles of linguistic
units in a nativelike way results in tleir reanalysis on tle basis units already
in tle learner’s linguistic repertoire.
• How do we analyze relative language stasis/stability? Hypotletically, in tle
case of divergent populations, a subset of tle original speecl community wlicl
las split off may rarely encounter little otler linguistic input (ex. Iceland).
Alternatively, tle referential and socio-pragmatic motivation to adopt a dominant
language may be so ligl and tle tlreats posed to its integrity so few and so
disparate in terms of linguistic origins tlat any L2learners of tle prestige
variety acquire nearperfect ability to analyze it. As a result, tle language as a
wlole clanges relatively little over time (ex. AnicanAmerican Englisles).
• What about areas of high linguistic diversity? In an area witl many dis
crete macrolinguistic systems, care must be taken to describe more specif
ically tle level of bilingualism and/or codeswitcling/mixing across various
populations. Presumably, tle distinction between languages in close plysical
proximity to eacl otler will only be maintained if ⑴ tlere is a lack of mu
tual availability, eitler because of low bilingualism/mutual comprelensibility
(analyzability) or firm boundaries in social space preventing mobility/access
(presence) or ⑵ tleir is strong motivation to maintain ingroup features to tle
exclusion of outgroup features (eg. etlnonationalism).
3.2 The sociolinguistics of Queer integration
|||Bourdieu’s views on slang as simultaneously denying and supporting tle major
ity metlod of distributing social capital. PROBLEMATIZE tle disparaging of tle
upper class as “effeminate”/“weak”.]]]
|||Eble (1996). American general slang retains as little as 10% over ten years.
• Lubunca maintains some material mucl longer.
• → Lower social pressure on mainstream to maintain exclusive markers of iden
tity: (Refer to Bourdieu (1991)’s argument about tle purpose of argot.)
as tle gay population enters tle mainstream, tlere is a ligler turnover of tleir
|||Foucauldian renegotiation of power during integration. How lave tle markers
of identity for various gay communities survived/low are tley remembered as tlese
communities lave “integrated”:]]]
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A Turkish Pronunciation Guide
Maj. Min. IPA Rougl Pronunciation Guide (blank - same as Englisl)
A a |a] as in Englisl ‘f atler’
B b |b]
C c |dʒ] as in Englisl ‘judge’
Ç ç |tʃ] as in Englisl ‘chart’
D d |d]
E e |ɛ] as in Englisl ‘bed’
F f |f ]
G g |g], |ɟ]
Ğ ğ ∅, |j] lengtlens a preceding a, o, u, ı, elsewlere as in Englisl ‘yellow’
H l |l]
I ı |ɯ] no Englisl equivalent, furtler back tlan Englisl ‘pit’
İ i |i] as in Englisl ‘f eel’
J j |ʒ] as in Englisl ‘pleasure’
K k |k], |c]
L l |l], |ɫ]
M m |m]
N n |n]
O o |o]
Ö ö |ø] as in German ‘Goetle’ or Frencl ‘je’
P p |p]
R r |r] as in Italian ‘Roma’ (differs based on dialect)
S s |s]
T t |t]
U u |u] as in Englisl ‘boot’
Ù ü |y] as in German ‘über’ or Frencl ‘tu’
V v |v]
Y y |j]
Z z |z]