Muhammed Mustafa BAKIR

Kırgızistan-Türkiye Manas Üniversitesi

Keywords: Old Turkic language, Kokturk letters, epigraphy, “a/e” character


An important part of the oldest texts that have survived from the Turks, who built a deep civilization in a wide geography in the historical process, were written in runic letters. The texts created with Old Turkic/Kokturk letters, also known as runic script, are engraved on many objects. After being deciphered by Thomsen for the first time, the identity of the engravings and the messagesthey carry came to light. The texts obtained thanks to the processing of the relevant writing system in a wide geography not only provide information about that period, but also provide important information about the writing systems and use of writing of the Kokturks. One of this information is the punctuation marks used in inscriptions. Since the deciphering and introduction of runic letters, the generally accepted punctuation marks in texts with runic letters are colons and ellipsis. It is seen that these signs are used in the function ofseparating words and/or phrases. However, in addition to these signs, the ʃ “a/e” character, which is frequently seen especially in rock inscriptions, has been used beyond being a phoneme. Sometimes it is considered as a vocative suffix or preposition, and sometimes it is accepted as a punctuation mark that serves as a separation. In this study, the character ʃ “a/e” was examined on the published inscriptions and classified according to its usage characteristics. When there are obvious differences in the readings in the current publications, the relevant readings are evaluated by comparing them with the estampage images or drawings of the inscriptions. It has been studied on generally accepted and persuasive text readings.