One characteristic feature of Yakut is vowel harmony. For example, if the first vowel of a Yakut word is a front vowel, the second and other vowels of the same word are usually the same vowel or another front vowel: кэлин (kelin) "back": э (e) is open unrounded front, и (i) is close unrounded front. Yakut initial s- corresponds to initial h- in Dolgan and played an important operative rule in the development of proto-Yakut, ultimately resulting in initial Ø- < *h- < *s-. Ubrjatova (1985) suggests that the rule was either reintroduced through Evenki contact, or may be a substratal feature of the Yakut language itself. An example is shown in the word meaning 'not': Dolgan huoq and Yakut suox. This phonetic observation gave rise to two acknowledgements:
that the original phenomenon in proto-Yakut may have likewise been the result of substratal influence.
that the change of *s > h is, however, well known and is far from unusual, being characteristic of such languages as Greek in its development from Proto-Indo-European, as well as such Turkic languages as Bashkir, e.g. höt 'milk' < *süt.
Yakut is written using the Cyrillic script: the modern Yakut alphabet, established in 1939 by the Soviet Union, consists of the usual Russian characters but with 5 additional letters: Ҕҕ, Ҥҥ, Өө, Һһ, Үү.
Nouns have plural and singular forms. The plural is formed with the suffix /-LAr/, which may surface as [-лар (-lar)], [-лэр (-ler)], [-лөр (-lör)], [-лор (-lor)], [-тар (-tar)], [-тэр (-ter)], [-төр (-tör)], [-тор (-tor)], [-дар (-dar)], [-дэр (-der)], [-дөр (-dör)], [-дор (-dor)], [-нар (-nar)], [-нэр (-ner)], [-нөр (-nör)], or [-нор (-nor)], depending on the preceding consonants and vowels. The plural is used only when referring to a number of things collectively, not when specifying an amount. Nouns have no gender.
Personal pronouns in Yakut distinguish between first, second, and third persons and singular and plural number.
Although nouns have no gender, the pronoun system distinguishes between human and non-human in the third person, using кини (kini, 'he/she') to refer to human beings and ол (ol, 'it') to refer to all other things.
Question words in Yakut remain in-situ; they do not move to the front of the sentence. Sample question words include: туох (tuox) "what", ким (kim) "who", хайдах (xaydax) "how", хас (xas) "how much", ханна (xanna) "where", and ханнык (xannık) "which".
The Yakut have a tradition of oral epic in their language called "Olonkho", traditionally performed by skilled performers. Only a very few older performers of this Olonkho tradition are still alive. They have begun a program to teach young people to sing this in their language and revive it, though in a modified form.
^Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Yakut". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
^Forsyth, James (1994). A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia's North Asian Colony 1581-1990. Cambridge University Press. p. 56. ISBN9780521477710. Their language...Turkic in its vocabulary and grammar, shows the influence of both Tungus and Mongolian|access-date= requires |url= (help)