|Central Asia, Russia, Northern Caucasus, Ukraine|
Kipchak–Bulgar Kipchak–Cuman Kipchak–Nogai and Kyrgyz–Kipchak
The Kipchak languages (also known as the Kypchak, Qypchaq or the Northwestern Turkic languages) are a sub-branch of the Turkic language family spoken by approximately 26 million people in much of Central Asia and Eastern Europe, spanning from Ukraine to China. Some of the most widely spoken languages in this group are Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tatar.
The Kipchak languages share a number of features that have led linguists to classify them together. Some of these features are shared with other Common Turkic languages; others are unique to the Kipchak family.
- Change of Proto-Turkic *d to /j/ (e.g. *hadaq > ajaq "foot")
- Loss of initial *h (preserved only in Khalaj), see above example
- Extensive labial vowel harmony (e.g. olor vs. olar "them")
- Frequent fortition (in the form of assibilation) of initial */j/ (e.g. *jetti > ʒetti "seven")
- Diphthongs from syllable-final */ɡ/ and */b/ (e.g. *taɡ > taw "mountain", *sub > suw "water")
The Kipchak languages may be broken down into four groups, based on geography and shared features: Languages in bold are still spoken today.
|Proto-Turkic||Common Turkic||Kipchak||Kipchak–Bulgar (Uralian, Uralo-Caspian)|
*Note: Kipchak–Cuman base, but have been heavily influenced by Oghuz languages.