|Glottolog||oghu1243 (Oghuz + Kipchak + Uzbek)|
The term "Oghuz" is applied to the southwestern branch of the Common Turkic languages, in reference to the Oghuz Turks who migrated from the Altai Mountains to Central Asia in the 8th century, and further expanded to the Middle East and to the Balkans as separate tribes.
The Oghuz languages currently spoken have been classified into three groups, based on their features:
- a western group, comprising Istanbul Turkish, Azerbaijani, Gagauz, Balkan Gagauz Turkish, and Ottoman Turkish
- an eastern group, comprising Turkmen and Khorasani Turkish
- a southern group, comprising Qashqai, Sonqori, Aynallu, and Afshar.
An outlying language, Salar, is spoken by about 70,000 people in China.
The Oghuz languages share a number of features that have led linguists to classify them together. Some of these features are shared with other Turkic languages; others are unique to the Oghuz family.
- Loss of initial *h sound (shared with all Turkic languages but Khalaj)
- Loss of productivity of the original Turkic instrumental case -n (shared with all Turkic languages but Sakha and Khalaj)
- Voicing of stops before front vowels (e.g. gör- < kör-, "to see")
- Loss of q/ɣ after ɯ/u (e.g. quru < quruq, "dry", sarɯ < sarɯɣ, "yellow")
- Change in form of participial from -gan to -an