In 1766, Thomas von Chabert was born in Pera into a family of dragomans and diplomats of French origin, who had settled in Constantinople a century before. As a young boy, Chabert was sent to Vienna to study at the K.K. Akademie Orientalischer Sprachen, where he subsequently became a professor and continued teaching until 1817. He authored a number of works, the earliest of which being Kurze Anleitung zur Erlernung der türkischen Sprache für Militär Personen, Vienna 1789. It was a practical guide for soldiers serving in the Austro-Russian war against the Ottoman Empire (1787–1791/1792). The grammar is based on Kollár’s 1756 re-edition of Meninski’s grammar of 1680. Chabert adapted it by omitting the Arabic and Persian elements and the Arabic script. He partly included texts from the Meninski-Kollár reading section and added his own phrasebook. Besides giving an overview of Chabert’s activities within Viennese Oriental Studies of the period, this present publication analyses his Anleitung and compares it to Kollár’s re-edition of Meninski’s grammar.
Claudia Römer is Associate Professor at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the University of Vienna, where she got her PhD in 1980 in Turkish Studies (major) and Arabic Studies (minor). Her PhD thesis on the influence of translations from Persian on the development of the Ottoman language was supervised by Andreas Tietze. Her main fields of research are Ottoman documents, in the edition of which she has been involved since 1979, first in a series of projects run by Anton C. Schaendlinger, Ottoman Social and Economic History, and Ottoman linguistics, especially stylistics of prose texts of the Middle Ottoman period. She is General Secretary of the Comité international d’études pré-ottomanes et ottomanes (CIÉPO), and member of the Executive Committee and Executive Board (treasurer) of the International Association of Ottoman Social and Economic History (IAOSEH), member of the Wiener Archäographisches Forum (WAF) and the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft.