Western Yugur language
|yoğïr lar, yoğïr śoz|
Old Uyghur language
|Old Uyghur alphabet (until 19th century)|
Western Yugur (Western Yugur: yoğïr lar[dubious ] (Yugur speech) or yoğïr śoz (Yugur word)) is the Turkic language spoken by the Yugur people. It is contrasted with Eastern Yugur, the Mongolic language spoken within the same community. Traditionally, both languages are indicated by the term "Yellow Uygur", from the endonym of the Yugur.
There are approximately 4,600 Turkic-speaking Yugurs.
Besides similarities with Uyghuric languages, Western Yugur also shares a number of features, mainly archaisms, with several of the Northeastern Turkic languages, but it is not closer to any one of them in particular. Neither Western nor Eastern Yugur are mutually intelligible with Uyghur.
Western Yugur also contains archaisms which're attested in neither modern Uyghuric nor Siberian, such as its anticipating counting system coinsiding with Old Uyghur, and its copula dro, which origined from Old Uyghur but substitute the Uyghur copulative personal suffixes.
A special feature in Western Yugur is the occurrence of preaspiration, corresponding to the so-called pharyngealised or low vowels in Tuva and Tofa, and short vowels in Yakut and Turkmen. Examples of this phenomenon include /oʰtɯs/ "thirty", /jaʰʂ/ "good", and /iʰt/ "meat".
West Yugur has 28 native consonants and two more (indicated in paretheses) found only in loan words.
For centuries, the Western Yugur language has been in contact with Mongolic languages, Tibetan, and Chinese, and as a result has adopted a large amount of loanwords from these languages, as well as grammatical features. Chinese dialects neighboring the areas where Yugur is spoken have influenced the Yugur language, giving it loanwords.
Modern Uyghur is not descended from Old Uyghur, rather, it is a descendant of the Karluk language spoken by the Kara-Khanid Khanate. Western Yugur is considered to be the true descendant of Old Uyghur, and it is also called "Neo-Uygur" because of this. Modern Uyghur is not a descendant of Old Uyghur, but is descended from the Xākānī language described by Mahmud al-Kashgari in Dīwānu l-Luġat al-Turk. Modern Uyghur and Western Yugur belong to entirely different branches of the Turkic language family, respectively the southeastern Turkic languages and the northeastern Turkic languages .
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