Oghur languages

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Not to be confused with Uyghur language or Oghuz languages.
Astrakhan Oblast, Chuvashia, Dagestan
Linguistic classification: Turkic
  • Oghur
Glottolog: bolg1249[1]

The Oghur, or Bulgar languages (also spelled Ogur, Oghur, Oguric; Bulghar, Bolgar, and variants; also known as Lir-Turkic), are a branch of the Turkic language family. They were historically spoken in Old Great Bulgaria (Magna Bulgaria/Onoguria), and later in the Danube Bulgar Khanate (Danube Bulgaria) and Volga Bulgaria. The only extant member of the group is the Chuvash language. The Oghur branch arguably broke off from Common Turkic perhaps as early as 500 BCE.[2]

Languages from this family were spoken in some of the nomadic tribal confederations, such as those of the Onogurs, Khazars, Bulgars, and Huns, and possibly by the Pannonian Avars. It is uncertain whether Chuvash is directly descended from any of these or is a separate branch within this dialect group (Johanson 1998).

The Oghur group is characterized by the sound correspondences Oghuric l vs. Common Turkic (i.e. non-Oghur-Turkic) š and Oghuric r vs. Common Turkic z, for which reason it is also known as "Lir-Turkic", or "r-Turkic". The name Oghur itself is an example of the r/z isogloss, being cognate with Oghuz in Common Turkic. "dj-Turkic" is also used as a term for Oghur, in reference to a sound change from i- to dj-.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Bolgar". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ Peter Golden, 'The Khazar Sacral Kingship' in Kathryn Von Reyerson, Theofanis George Stavrou, James Donald Tracy (eds.) Pre-modern Russia and its world: Essays in honour of Thomas S. Noonan, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, 2006 p.86.


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