The 1989 population census showed over 1,047,000 native speakers of the Bashkir language living in the USSR. Additional 26,737 claimed Bashkir to be their secondary language. Approximately 300,000 Bashkirs said that Tatar was their native language.
Speakers of the Bashkir language mostly live in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan, as well as in neighboring Tatarstan and Udmurtia. Substantial number of the speakers also live in Chelyabinsk, Perm, Orenburg, Sverdlovsk, and Kurgan Oblasts. Large Bashkir minority groups also live in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Alphabet and dialects
Even though Bashkirs originally were of Ugric or Finnic tribes, they initially adopted the Bolgar language. After the Mongol invasion, the Kypchak language became more common due to the fact that it was the language spoken by the majority of the Golden Horde tribes.
Modern Bashkir language, like the similar Tatar language, takes its roots from the Kypchak group of languages. Today the language has many dialects, which are very similar to Tatar. In the past, Bashkirs used Tatar as a written language. In the 15th century it was replaced with the Chagatay language (however, according to some researchers, it was replaced with the Old Tatar variant of Chagatay), which was in use until 1923. Both Tatar and Chagatay were written in Arab letters.
In 1923, a writing system was specifically created for the Bashkir language. Also own literary language was created, using the most differ than bourgeous Tatar language dialect. At first, it used a modified Arabic alphabet. In 1930 it was replaced with a Latin-based alphabet, which was in turn replaced with an adapted Cyrillic alphabet in winter of 1938.
Currently, a new Latin-based Bashkir alphabet is being developed. It is planned to replace the Cyrillic alphabet before 2010; a move strongly influenced by a similar request on Tatar part.
|Bashkir edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
Cyrillic alphabet used by Bashkir is the same as the Russian alphabet, with the addition of the following letters: Ә ә Ө ө Ү ү Ғ ғ Ҡ ҡ Ң ң Ҙ ҙ Ҫ ҫ Һ һ.
The language codes of the Bashkir language are BXK and ba.