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The Turkic languages are a
language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed of glyphs to inscribe the original sou ...
of at least 35 documented languages, spoken by the
Turkic peoples The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe and North Africa, who speak Turkic languages.. "Turkic peoples, any of various peoples who ...
of
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, t ...
from
Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern subregion of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are ...
,
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Western Europe and Asia. There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, ethnic, cultural, and s ...
, the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Grea ...
,
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north. The region consists of the former Russian Empire, Russian-rul ...

Central Asia
,
Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the Greater Middle East. It includes Anatolia, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Mesopotamia, the Levant region, the island of Cyprus, the Sinai Peninsula, and ...
, North Asia (particularly in
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region spanning much of Northern Asia. Siberia has been Russian conquest of Siberia, part of modern Russia since the latter half of th ...
), and
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the ...
. The Turkic languages originated in a region of East Asia spanning Western China to Mongolia, where Proto-Turkic is thought to have been spoken, from where they expanded to Central Asia and farther west during the first millennium. They are characterized as a
dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a spread of language variety, language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties differ only slightly, but the differences accumulate over distance so that widely separ ...
. Turkic languages are spoken as a
native language A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1), is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), ...
by some 170 million people, and the total number of Turkic speakers, including
second language A person's second language, or L2, is a language that is not the native language (first language or L1) of the speaker, but is learned later (usually as a foreign language, but it can be another language used in the speaker's home country). A speak ...
speakers, is over 200 million. The Turkic language with the greatest number of speakers is Turkish, spoken mainly in Anatolia and the Balkans; its native speakers account for about 40% of all Turkic speakers. Characteristic features such as vowel harmony, agglutination, and lack of grammatical gender, are almost universal within the Turkic family. There is a high degree of mutual intelligibility among the various Oghuz languages, which include Turkish, Azerbaijani language, Azerbaijani, Turkmen language, Turkmen, Qashqai language, Qashqai, Gagauz language, Gagauz, Balkan Gagauz Turkish and Oghuz-influenced Crimean Tatar language, Crimean Tatar. Although methods of classification vary, the Turkic languages are usually considered to be divided equally into two branches: Oghur languages, Oghur, the only surviving member of which is Chuvash language, Chuvash, and Common Turkic languages, Common Turkic, which includes all other Turkic languages including the Oghuz sub-branch. Languages belonging to the Kipchak languages, Kipchak subbranch also share a high degree of mutual intelligibility among themselves. Kazakh language, Kazakh and Kyrgyz language, Kyrgyz may be better seen as mutually intelligible dialects of a single tongue which are regarded as separate languages for sociopolitical reasons. They differ mainly phonetically while the lexicon and grammar are much the same, although both have standardized written forms that may differ in some ways. Until the 20th century, both languages used a common written form of Chagatai language, Chaghatay Turki. Turkic languages show many similarities with the Mongolic languages, Mongolic, Tungusic languages, Tungusic, Koreanic languages, Koreanic, and Japonic languages, Japonic languages. These similarities led some linguists to propose an Altaic languages, Altaic language family, though this proposal is widely rejected by Western historical linguists. Similarities with the Uralic languages even caused these families to be regarded as one for a long time under the Ural-Altaic hypothesis.George van DRIEM: Handbuch der Orientalistik. Volume 1 Part 10. BRILL 2001. Page 336 However, there has not been sufficient evidence to conclude the existence of either of these macrofamilies, the shared characteristics between the languages being attributed presently to extensive prehistoric language contact.


Characteristics

Turkic languages are null-subject languages, have vowel harmony (with the notable exception of Uzbek language, Uzbek), extensive Agglutinative language, agglutination by means of suffixes and Preposition and postposition, postpositions, and lack of grammatical articles, noun classes, and grammatical gender. Subject–object–verb word order is universal within the family. The Root (linguistics), root of a word is usually only a few Consonant, consonants.


History


Pre-history

The homeland of the
Turkic peoples The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe and North Africa, who speak Turkic languages.. "Turkic peoples, any of various peoples who ...
and their language is suggested to be somewhere between the Trans-Caspia, Transcaspian steppe and Northeastern Asia (Manchuria), with genetic evidence pointing to the region near South Central Siberia, South Siberia and Mongolia as the "Inner Asian Homeland" of the Turkic ethnicity. Similarly several linguists, including Juha Janhunen, Roger Blench and Matthew Spriggs, suggest that modern-day Mongolia is the homeland of the early Turkic language. Extensive contact took place between Proto-Turkic language, Proto-Turks and Proto-Mongols approximately during the first millennium BC; the shared cultural tradition between the two Eurasian nomads, Eurasian nomadic groups is called the "Turco-Mongol" tradition. The two groups shared a similar religion system, Tengrism, and there exists a multitude of evident loanwords between Turkic languages and Mongolic languages. Although the loans were bidirectional, today Turkic loanwords constitute the largest foreign component in Mongolian vocabulary. Some lexical and extensive typological similarities between Turkic and the nearby Tungusic languages, Tungusic and Mongolic languages, Mongolic families, as well as the Korean language, Korean and Japonic languages, Japonic families (all formerly widely considered to be part of the so-called Altaic languages, Altaic language family) has in more recent years been instead attributed to prehistoric contact amongst the group, sometimes referred to as the Sprachbund#Northeast Asia, Northeast Asian sprachbund. A more recent (circa first millennium BC) contact between "core Altaic" (Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic) is distinguished from this, due to the existence of definitive common words that appear to have been mostly borrowed from Turkic into Mongolic, and later from Mongolic into Tungusic, as Turkic borrowings into Mongolic significantly outnumber Mongolic borrowings into Turkic, and Turkic and Tungusic do not share any words that do not also exist in Mongolic. Turkic languages also show some Chinese language, Chinese loanwords that point to early contact during the time of Proto-Turkic language, proto-Turkic. Robbeets (et al. 2015 and et al. 2017) suggest that the homeland of the Turkic languages was somewhere in Manchuria, close to the Mongolic languages, Mongolic, Tungusic languages, Tungusic and Koreanic languages, Koreanic homeland (including the ancestor of Japonic languages, Japonic), and that these languages share a common "Transeurasian languages, Transeurasian" origin. More evidence for the proposed ancestral "Transeurasian" origin was presented by Nelson et al. 2020 and Li et al. 2020.


Early written records

The first established records of the Turkic languages are the eighth century AD Orkhon inscriptions by the Göktürks, recording the Old Turkic language, which were discovered in 1889 in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia. The ''Compendium of the Turkic Dialects'' (''Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk, Divânü Lügati't-Türk''), written during the 11th century AD by Mahmud al-Kashgari, Kaşgarlı Mahmud of the Kara-Khanid Khanate, constitutes an early linguistic treatment of the family. The ''Compendium'' is the first comprehensive dictionary of the Turkic languages and also includes the first known map of the Turkic speakers' geographical distribution. It mainly pertains to the Oghuz languages, Southwestern branch of the family. The Codex Cumanicus (12th–13th centuries AD) concerning the Kipchak languages, Northwestern branch is another early linguistic manual, between the Kipchak language and Latin, used by the Roman Catholic Church, Catholic Missionary, missionaries sent to the Western Cumans inhabiting a region corresponding to present-day Hungary and Romania. The earliest records of the language spoken by Volga Bulgaria, Volga Bulgars, the parent to today's Chuvash language, are dated to the 13th–14th centuries AD.


Geographical expansion and development

With the Turkic expansion during the Early Middle Ages (c. 6th–11th centuries AD), Turkic languages, in the course of just a few centuries, spread across
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north. The region consists of the former Russian Empire, Russian-rul ...

Central Asia
, from
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region spanning much of Northern Asia. Siberia has been Russian conquest of Siberia, part of modern Russia since the latter half of th ...
to the Mediterranean. Various terminologies from the Turkic languages have passed into Persian language, Persian, Hindustani language, Hindustani, Russian language, Russian, Chinese language, Chinese, and to a lesser extent, Arabic language, Arabic. The geographical distribution of Turkic-speaking peoples across
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, t ...
since the Ottoman era ranges from the North-East of
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region spanning much of Northern Asia. Siberia has been Russian conquest of Siberia, part of modern Russia since the latter half of th ...
to Turkey in the West. (See picture in the box on the right above.) For centuries, the Turkic-speaking peoples have migrated extensively and intermingled continuously, and their languages have been influenced mutually and through language contact, contact with the surrounding languages, especially the Iranian languages, Iranian, Slavic languages, Slavic, and Mongolic languages. This has obscured the historical developments within each language and/or language group, and as a result, there exist several systems to classify the Turkic languages. The modern genetic classification schemes for Turkic are still largely indebted to Samoilovich (1922). The Turkic languages may be divided into six branches:Lars Johanson, The History of Turkic. In Lars Johanson & Éva Ágnes Csató (eds), The Turkic Languages, London, New York: Routledge, 81–125, 199
Classification of Turkic languages
/ref> * Common Turkic languages, Common Turkic ** Southwestern (Oghuz languages, Oghuz Turkic) ** Southeastern (Karluk languages, Karluk Turkic) ** Northwestern (Kipchak languages, Kipchak Turkic) ** Northeastern (Siberian Turkic languages, Siberian Turkic) ** Khalaj language, Arghu Turkic * Oghur languages, Oghur Turkic In this classification, Oghur languages, Oghur Turkic is also referred to as Lir-Turkic, and the other branches are subsumed under the title of Shaz-Turkic or Common Turkic. It is not clear when these two major types of Turkic can be assumed to have diverged. With less certainty, the Southwestern, Northwestern, Southeastern and Oghur groups may further be summarized as West Turkic, the Northeastern, Kyrgyz-Kipchak, and Arghu (Khalaj) groups as East Turkic. The reliability of ''Ethnologue'' lies mainly in its statistics whereas its framework for the internal classification of Turkic is still based largely on Baskakov (1962) and the collective work in Deny et al. (1959–1964). A more up-to-date alternative to classifying these languages on internal comparative grounds is to be found in the work of Johanson and his co-workers. Geographically and linguistically, the languages of the Northwestern and Southeastern subgroups belong to the central Turkic languages, while the Northeastern and Khalaj languages are the so-called peripheral languages. Hruschka, et al. (2014) use computational phylogenetic methods to calculate a tree of Turkic based on phonological sound changes.


Schema

The following isoglosses are traditionally used in the classification of the Turkic languages: * Rhotacism (sound change), Rhotacism (or in some views, zetacism), e.g. in the last consonant of the word for "nine" *tokkuz. This separates the Oghur branch, which exhibits /r/, from the rest of Turkic, which exhibits /z/. In this case, rhotacism refers to the development of *-/r/, *-/z/, and *-/d/ to /r/,*-/k/,*-/kh/ in this branch. See Antonov and Jacques (2012) on the debate concerning rhotacism and lambdacism in Turkic. * Intervocalic *d, e.g. the second consonant in the word for "foot" *hadaq * Suffix-final -G, e.g. in the suffix *lIG, in e.g. *tāglïg Additional isoglosses include: * Preservation of word initial *h, e.g. in the word for "foot" *hadaq. This separates Khalaj as a peripheral language. * Denasalisation of palatal *ń, e.g. in the word for "moon", *āń
*In the standard Istanbul dialect of Turkish, the ''ğ'' in ''dağ'' and ''dağlı'' is not realized as a consonant, but as a slight lengthening of the preceding vowel.


Members

The following table is based upon the classification scheme presented by Lars Johanson (1998)


Vocabulary comparison

The following is a brief comparison of cognates among the basic vocabulary across the Turkic language family (about 60 words). Empty cells do not necessarily imply that a particular language is lacking a word to describe the concept, but rather that the word for the concept in that language may be formed from another stem and is not cognate with the other words in the row or that a loanword is used in its place. Also, there may be shifts in the meaning from one language to another, and so the "Common meaning" given is only approximate. In some cases, the form given is found only in some dialects of the language, or a loanword is much more common (e.g. in Turkish, the preferred word for "fire" is the Persian-derived ''ateş'', whereas the native ''od'' is dead). Forms are given in native Latin orthographies unless otherwise noted. Azerbaijani "ǝ" and "ä": IPA /æ/ Turkish and Azerbaijani "ı", Karakhanid "ɨ", Turkmen "y", and Sakha "ï": IPA /ɯ/ Turkmen "ň", Karakhanid "ŋ": IPA /ŋ/ Turkish and Azerbaijani "y",Turkmen "ý" and "j" in other languages: IPA /j/ All "ş" and "š" letters: IPA /ʃ/ All "ç" and "č" letters: IPA /ʧ/ Kazakh "ž": IPA /ʒ/ Kyrgyz "ǰ": IPA /ʤ/


Other possible relations

The Turkic language family is currently regarded as one of the world's primary Language family, language families. Turkic is one of the main members of the controversial Altaic languages, Altaic language family. There are some other theories about an external relationship but none of them are generally accepted.


Korean

The possibility of a genetic relation between Turkic and Koreanic languages, Korean, independently from Altaic, is suggested by some linguists.SOME STAR NAMES IN MODERN TURKIC LANGUAGES-I - Yong-Sŏng LI - Academy of Korean Studies Grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST) (AKS-2010-AGC-2101) - Seoul National University 2014 The linguist Kabak (2004) of the University of Würzburg states that Turkic and Korean share similar phonology as well as Morphology (linguistics), morphology. Li Yong-Sŏng (2014) suggest that there are several cognates between Turkic and Old Korean. He states that these supposed cognates can be useful to reconstruct the early Turkic language. According to him, words related to nature, earth and Government, ruling but especially to the sky and stars seem to be cognates. The linguist Choi suggested already in 1996 a close relationship between Turkic and Korean regardless of any Altaic connections: Many historians also point out a close non-linguistic relationship between
Turkic peoples The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe and North Africa, who speak Turkic languages.. "Turkic peoples, any of various peoples who ...
and Koreans. Especially close were the relations between the Göktürks and Goguryeo.


Rejected or controversial theories


Uralic

Some linguists suggested a relation to Uralic languages, especially to the Ugric languages. This view is rejected and seen as obsolete by mainstream linguists. Similarities are because of language contact and borrowings mostly from Turkic into Ugric languages. Stachowski (2015) states that any relation between Turkic and Uralic must be a contact one.


See also

* Altaic languages * List of Turkic languages * List of Ukrainian words of Turkic origin * Middle Turkic * Old Turkic alphabet * Old Turkic language * Proto-Turkic language


References


Further reading

* Gabdulkhay Akhatov, Akhatov G. Kh. 1960. "About the stress in the language of the Siberian Tatars in connection with the stress of modern Tatar literary language" .- Sat *"Problems of Turkic and the history of Russian Oriental Studies." Kazan. * Akhatov G.Kh. 1963. "Dialect West Siberian Tatars" (monograph). Ufa. * Baskakov, N.A. 1962, 1969. ''Introduction to the study of the Turkic languages''. Moscow. * Boeschoten, Hendrik & Lars Johanson. 2006. ''Turkic languages in contact''. Turcologica, Bd. 61. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. * Clausen, Gerard. 1972. ''An etymological dictionary of pre-thirteenth-century Turkish''. Oxford: Oxford University Press. * Deny, Jean et al. 1959–1964. ''Philologiae Turcicae Fundamenta''. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. * Dolatkhah, Sohrab. 2016. ''Parlons qashqay.'' In: collection "''parlons''". Paris: L'Harmattan. * Dolatkhah, Sohrab. 2016. Le qashqay: langue turcique d'Iran. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (online). * Dolatkhah, Sohrab. 2015. Qashqay Folktales. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (online). * Johanson, Lars & Éva Agnes Csató (ed.). 1998. ''The Turkic languages''. London: Routledge. . * Johanson, Lars. 1998. "The history of Turkic." In: Johanson & Csató, pp. 81–12

* Johanson, Lars. 1998. "Turkic languages." In: ''Encyclopædia Britannica''. CD 98. Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 5 sept. 200

* Menges, K. H. 1968. ''The Turkic languages and peoples: An introduction to Turkic studies''. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. * Öztopçu, Kurtuluş. 1996. Dictionary of the Turkic languages: English, Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Uighur, Uzbek. London: Routledge. * Samoilovich, A. N. 1922. ''Some additions to the classification of the Turkish languages''. Petrograd. *Savelyev, Alexander and Martine Robbeets. (2019). lexibank/savelyevturkic: Turkic Basic Vocabulary Database (Version v1.0) [Data set]. Zenodo. * Schönig, Claus. 1997–1998. "A new attempt to classify the Turkic languages I-III." ''Turkic Languages'' 1:1.117–133, 1:2.262–277, 2:1.130–151. * Starostin, Sergei A., Anna V. Dybo, and Oleg A. Mudrak. 2003. ''Etymological Dictionary of the Altaic Languages.'' Leiden: Brill. * Voegelin, C.F. & F.M. Voegelin. 1977. ''Classification and index of the World's languages''. New York: Elsevier.


External links


Turkic Languages Verb Comparison

Turkic Inscriptions of Orkhon Valley, Mongolia







Online Uyghur–English Dictionary
*
Turkic language vocabulary comparison tool / dictionary

A Comparative Dictionary of Turkic Languages
''Open Project''
The Turkic Languages in a Nutshell
with illustrations.
Swadesh lists of Turkic basic vocabulary words
(from Wiktionary'
Swadesh-list appendix

Turkic basic vocabularies
* Conferences on Turkic languages processing
Astana, Kazakhstan, 2013Istanbul, Turkey, 2014Kazan, Tatarstan, 2015
{{DEFAULTSORT:Turkic Languages Turkic languages, Agglutinative languages Language families History of Ural