Turkic languages

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EthnicityTurkic peoples
Central Asia
East Asia
North Asia
Western Asia
Eastern Europe
Southern Europe
Linguistic classificationOne of the world's primary language families
ISO 639-5trk
Turkic Languages distribution map.png
The distribution of the Turkic languages

The Turkic languages are a language family of at least 35[1] documented languages, spoken by the Turkic peoples of Eurasia from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe to Central Asia, East Asia, North Asia (Siberia), and Western Asia. The Turkic languages originated in a region of East Asia spanning from Mongolia to Northwest China, where Proto-Turkic is thought to have been spoken,[2] from where they expanded to Central Asia and farther west during the first millennium.[3] They are characterized as a dialect continuum.[4]

Turkic languages are spoken natively by some 170 million people, and the total number of Turkic speakers, including second language speakers, is over 200 million.[5][6] The Turkic language with the greatest number of speakers is Turkish, spoken mainly in Anatolia and the Balkans; its native speakers account for about 40% of all Turkic speakers.[3]

Characteristic features such as vowel harmony, agglutination, and lack of grammatical gender, are almost universal within the Turkic family.[3] There is a high degree of mutual intelligibility among the various Oghuz languages, which include Turkish, Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Qashqai, Chaharmahali Turkic, Gagauz, Balkan Gagauz Turkish and Oghuz-influenced Crimean Tatar.[7] Although methods of classification vary, the Turkic languages are usually considered to be divided equally into two branches: Oghur, the only surviving member of which is Chuvash, and Common Turkic, which includes all other Turkic languages including the Oghuz sub-branch.

Languages belonging to the Kipchak subbranch also share a high degree of mutual intelligibility among themselves. Kazakh and Kyrgyz may be better seen as mutually intelligible dialects of a single tongue that are regarded as separate languages for sociopolitical reasons.[citation needed] They differ mainly phonetically while the lexicon and grammar are much the same, although both have standardized written forms that may differ in some ways. Until the 20th century, both languages used a common written form of Chaghatay Turki.[8]

Turkic languages show many similarities with the Mongolic, Tungusic, Koreanic, and Japonic languages. These similarities have led some linguists to propose an Altaic language family, though this proposal is widely rejected by Western historical linguists.[9][10] Similarities with the Uralic languages even caused these families to be regarded as one for a long time under the Ural-Altaic hypothesis.[11][12][13] However, there has not been sufficient evidence to conclude the existence of either of these macrofamilies, the shared characteristics between the languages being attributed presently to extensive prehistoric language contact.


Turkic languages are null-subject languages, have vowel harmony (with the notable exception of Uzbek), extensive agglutination by means of suffixes and postpositions, and lack of grammatical articles, noun classes, and grammatical gender. Subject–object–verb word order is universal within the family. The root of a word is usually only a few consonants.



The homeland of the Turkic peoples and their language is suggested to be somewhere between the Transcaspian steppe and Northeastern Asia (Manchuria),[14] with genetic evidence pointing to the region near South Siberia and Mongolia as the "Inner Asian Homeland" of the Turkic ethnicity.[15] Similarly several linguists, including Juha Janhunen, Roger Blench and Matthew Spriggs, suggest that modern-day Mongolia is the homeland of the early Turkic language.[16] Relying on Proto-Turkic lexical items about the climate, topography, flora, fauna, people's modes of subsistence, Turkologist Peter Benjamin Golden locates the Proto-Turkic Urheimat in the southern, taiga-steppe zone of the Sayan-Altay region.[17]

Extensive contact took place between Proto-Turks and Proto-Mongols approximately during the first millennium BC; the shared cultural tradition between the two Eurasian nomadic groups is called the "Turco-Mongol" tradition. The two groups shared a similar religion system, Tengrism, and there exists a multitude of evident loanwords between Turkic languages and Mongolic languages. Although the loans were bidirectional, today Turkic loanwords constitute the largest foreign component in Mongolian vocabulary.[18]

Some lexical and extensive typological similarities between Turkic and the nearby Tungusic and Mongolic families, as well as the Korean and Japonic families has in more recent years been instead attributed to prehistoric contact amongst the group, sometimes referred to as the Northeast Asian sprachbund. A more recent (circa first millennium BC) contact between "core Altaic" (Turkic, Mongolic, and Tungusic) is distinguished from this, due to the existence of definitive common words that appear to have been mostly borrowed from Turkic into Mongolic, and later from Mongolic into Tungusic, as Turkic borrowings into Mongolic significantly outnumber Mongolic borrowings into Turkic, and Turkic and Tungusic do not share any words that do not also exist in Mongolic.

Old Turkic Kul-chur inscription with the Old Turkic alphabet (c. 8th century). Töv Province, Mongolia

Turkic languages also show some Chinese loanwords that point to early contact during the time of Proto-Turkic.[19]

Robbeets (et al. 2015 and et al. 2017) suggest that the homeland of the Turkic languages was somewhere in Manchuria, close to the Mongolic, Tungusic and Koreanic homeland (including the ancestor of Japonic), and that these languages share a common "Transeurasian" origin.[20] More evidence for the proposed ancestral "Transeurasian" origin was presented by Nelson et al. 2020 and Li et al. 2020.[21][22]

Early written records[edit]

10th-century Irk Bitig or "Book of Divination" written in Old Uyghur language with the Orkhon script

The first established records of the Turkic languages are the eighth century AD Orkhon inscriptions by the Göktürks, recording the Old Turkic language, which were discovered in 1889 in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia. The Compendium of the Turkic Dialects (Divânü Lügati't-Türk), written during the 11th century AD by Kaşgarlı Mahmud of the Kara-Khanid Khanate, constitutes an early linguistic treatment of the family. The Compendium is the first comprehensive dictionary of the Turkic languages and also includes the first known map of the Turkic speakers' geographical distribution. It mainly pertains to the Southwestern branch of the family.[23]

The Codex Cumanicus (12th–13th centuries AD) concerning the Northwestern branch is another early linguistic manual, between the Kipchak language and Latin, used by the Catholic missionaries sent to the Western Cumans inhabiting a region corresponding to present-day Hungary and Romania. The earliest records of the language spoken by Volga Bulgars, the parent to today's Chuvash language, are dated to the 13th–14th centuries AD.

Geographical expansion and development[edit]

Yuan dynasty Buddhist inscription written in Old Uyghur language with Old Uyghur alphabet on the east wall of the Cloud Platform at Juyong Pass

With the Turkic expansion during the Early Middle Ages (c. 6th–11th centuries AD), Turkic languages, in the course of just a few centuries, spread across Central Asia, from Siberia to the Mediterranean. Various terminologies from the Turkic languages have passed into Persian, Hindustani, Russian, Chinese, and to a lesser extent, Arabic.[24][verification needed]

The geographical distribution of Turkic-speaking peoples across Eurasia since the Ottoman era ranges from the North-East of Siberia to Turkey in the West.[25] (See picture in the box on the right above.)

For centuries, the Turkic-speaking peoples have migrated extensively and intermingled continuously, and their languages have been influenced mutually and through contact with the surrounding languages, especially the Iranian, Slavic, and Mongolic languages.[26]

This has obscured the historical developments within each language and/or language group, and as a result, there exist several systems to classify the Turkic languages. The modern genetic classification schemes for Turkic are still largely indebted to Samoilovich (1922).[citation needed]

The Turkic languages may be divided into six branches:[27]

In this classification, Oghur Turkic is also referred to as Lir-Turkic, and the other branches are subsumed under the title of Shaz-Turkic or Common Turkic. It is not clear when these two major types of Turkic can be assumed to have diverged.[28]

With less certainty, the Southwestern, Northwestern, Southeastern and Oghur groups may further be summarized as West Turkic, the Northeastern, Kyrgyz-Kipchak, and Arghu (Khalaj) groups as East Turkic.[29]

Geographically and linguistically, the languages of the Northwestern and Southeastern subgroups belong to the central Turkic languages, while the Northeastern and Khalaj languages are the so-called peripheral languages.

Hruschka, et al. (2014)[30] use computational phylogenetic methods to calculate a tree of Turkic based on phonological sound changes.

A classification scheme of all the Turkic languages


The following isoglosses are traditionally used in the classification of the Turkic languages:[31][27]

  • Rhotacism (or in some views, zetacism), e.g. in the last consonant of the word for "nine" *tokkuz. This separates the Oghur branch, which exhibits /r/, from the rest of Turkic, which exhibits /z/. In this case, rhotacism refers to the development of *-/r/, *-/z/, and *-/d/ to /r/,*-/k/,*-/kh/ in this branch.[32] See Antonov and Jacques (2012)[33] on the debate concerning rhotacism and lambdacism in Turkic.
  • Intervocalic *d, e.g. the second consonant in the word for "foot" *hadaq
  • Suffix-final -G, e.g. in the suffix *lIG, in e.g. *tāglïg

Additional isoglosses include:

  • Preservation of word initial *h, e.g. in the word for "foot" *hadaq. This separates Khalaj as a peripheral language.
  • Denasalisation of palatal *ń, e.g. in the word for "moon", *āń
isogloss Old Turkic Turkish Turkmen Azerbaijani Qashqai Uzbek Uyghur Tatar Kazakh Kyrgyz Altay Western Yugur Fu-yü Gyrgys Khakas Tuvan Sakha/Yakut Khalaj Chuvash
z/r (nine) toquz dokuz dokuz doqquz doqquz toʻqqiz toqquz tuɣïz toğyz toɣuz toɣus dohghus doɣus toɣïs tos toɣus toqquz tăχăr
*h- (foot) adaq ayak aýak ayaq ayaq oyoq ayaq ayaq aiaq ayaq ayaq azaq azïχ azaχ adaq ataχ hadaq ura
*VdV (foot) adaq ayak aýak ayaq ayaq oyoq ayaq ayaq aiaq ayaq ayaq azaq azïχ azaχ adaq ataχ hadaq ura
*-ɣ (mountain) tāɣ dağ* dag dağ daɣ togʻ tagh taw tau taɣ daχ taɣ daɣ tıa tāɣ tu
suffix *-lïɣ (mountainous) tāɣlïɣ dağlı dagly dağlı daɣlïɣ togʻlik taghliq tawlï tauly tōlū tūlu taɣliɣ daɣluɣ

*In the standard Istanbul dialect of Turkish, the ğ in dağ and dağlı is not realized as a consonant, but as a slight lengthening of the preceding vowel.


The following table is based mainly upon the classification scheme presented by Lars Johanson[34][35]

Proto-Turkic Common Turkic Southwestern Common Turkic (Oghuz)

Oghuz Turkic Languages distribution map.png

West Oghuz
East Oghuz
South Oghuz

Khalaj Turkic Language distribution map.png

Northwestern Common Turkic (Kipchak)

Kipchak Turkic Languages distribution map.png

West Kipchak
North Kipchak (Volga–Ural Turkic)
South Kipchak (Aralo-Caspian)
Eastern Kipchak[35] (Kyrgyz–Kipchak)[40][41][42][a]
Southeastern Common Turkic (Karluk)

Karluk Turkic Languages distribution map.png

West Karluk
East Karluk
Northeastern Common Turkic (Siberian)

Siberian Turkic Languages distribution map.png

North Siberian
South Siberian[c] Sayan Turkic
Altai and Yenisei Turkic

Chuvash Turkic Language distribution map.png


Vocabulary comparison[edit]

The following is a brief comparison of cognates among the basic vocabulary across the Turkic language family (about 60 words).

Empty cells do not necessarily imply that a particular language is lacking a word to describe the concept, but rather that the word for the concept in that language may be formed from another stem and is not cognate with the other words in the row or that a loanword is used in its place.

Also, there may be shifts in the meaning from one language to another, and so the "Common meaning" given is only approximate. In some cases, the form given is found only in some dialects of the language, or a loanword is much more common (e.g. in Turkish, the preferred word for "fire" is the Persian-derived ateş, whereas the native od is dead). Forms are given in native Latin orthographies unless otherwise noted.

Common meaning Proto-Turkic Old Turkic Turkish Azerbaijani Karakhanid Qashqai Turkmen Tatar Karaim Bashkir Kazakh Kyrgyz Uzbek Uyghur Sakha/Yakut Chuvash
father, ancestor *ata, *kaŋ ata, apa, qaŋ baba, ata baba, ata apa, ata bowa/ata ata ata, atay ata ata, atay ata ata ota ata ağa atte, aśu, aşşe
mother *ana, *ög ana, ög ana, anne ana ana, ene ana/nänä ene ana, äni ana ana, inä(y)/asay ana ene ona ana iye anne, annü, amăşĕ
son *ogul oɣul oğul oğul oɣul, ohul oğul ogul ul uvul ul ul uul oʻgʻil oghul uol ıvăl, ul
man *ēr, *érkek er erkek ər/erkək erkek kiši erkek ir ėr ir, irkäk er, erkek erkek erkak er er ar/arśın
girl *kï̄ŕ qïz kız qız qɨz qïz/qez gyz qız qɨz qıð qyz kız qiz qiz kııs hĕr
person *kiĺi, *yạlaŋuk kiši, yalaŋuq kişi kişi kiši kişi keşe kiši keşe kisi kişi kishi kishi kihi śın
bride *gélin kelin gelin gəlin qalɨŋ gälin gelin kilen kelin kilen kelin kelin kelin kelin kiyiit kin
mother-in-law kaynana qaynana qäynänä gaýyn ene qayın ana qäynä qaıyn ene kaynene qaynona qeyinana huńama
Body parts
heart *yürek yürek yürek ürək jürek iräg/üräg ýürek yöräk üriak, jürek yöräk júrek jürök yurak yürek sürex çĕre
blood *kiān qan kan qan qan qan gan qan qan qan qan kan qon qan xaan yun
head *baĺč baš baş baş baš baš baş baş baš baş bas baş bosh bash bas puś/poś
hair *s(i)ač, *kïl sač, qïl saç, kıl saç, qıl sač, qɨl tik/qel saç, gyl çäç, qıl čač, sač, qɨl säs, qıl shash, qyl çaç, kıl soch, qil sach, qil battax, kıl śüś, hul
eye *göŕ köz göz göz köz gez/göz göz küz kioź, goz küð kóz köz koʻz köz xarax, kös kuś/koś
eyelash *kirpik kirpik kirpik kirpik kirpik kirpig kirpik kerfek kirpik kerpek kirpik kirpik kiprik kirpik kılaman, kirbii hărpăk
ear *kulkak qulqaq kulak qulaq qulaq, qulqaq, qulxaq, qulɣaq qulaq gulak qolaq qulax qolaq qulaq kulak quloq qulaq kulgaax hălha
nose *burun burun burun burun burun burn burun borın burun moron muryn murun burun burun murun, munnu murun
arm *kol qol kol qol qol qol gol qul kol qul qol kol qoʻl qol хol hul
hand *el-ig elig el əl elig äl el alaqan alakan ilik ilii ală
finger *erŋek, *biarŋak erŋek parmak barmaq barmaq burmaq barmaq barmaq barmax barmaq barmaq barmak barmoq barmaq tarbaq pürne/porńa
fingernail *dïrŋak tïrŋaq tırnak dırnaq tɨrŋaq dïrnaq dyrnak tırnaq tɨrnax tırnaq tyrnaq tırmak tirnoq tirnaq tıngıraq çĕrne
knee *dīŕ, *dǖŕ tiz diz diz tizle-

(to press with one's knees)

diz dyz tez tɨz teð tize tize tizza tiz tobuk çĕrśi, çerkuśśi
calf *baltïr baltïr baldır baldır baldɨr ballïr baldyr baltır baldɨr baltır baltyr baltır boldir baldir ballır pıl
foot *(h)adak adaq ayak ayaq aδaq ayaq aýak ayaq ajax ayaq aıaq ayak oyoq ayaq ataq ura
belly *kạrïn qarïn karın qarın qarɨn qarn garyn qarın qarɨn qarın qaryn karın qorin qerin xarın hırăm
horse *(h)at at at at at at at at at at at at ot at at ut/ot
cattle *dabar ingek, tabar inek, davar, sığır inək, sığır ingek, ingen; tavar seğer sygyr sıyır sɨjɨr hıyır sıyr sıyır sigir siyir ınax ĕne
dog *ït, *köpek ït it, köpek it ɨt kepäg it et it´ et ıt it it it ıt yıtă
fish *bālïk balïq balık balıq balɨq balïq balyk balıq balɨx balıq balyq balık baliq beliq balık pulă
louse *bït bit bit bit bit bit bit bet bit bet bıt bit bit bit bıt pıytă/puťă
Other nouns
house *eb, *bark eb, barq ev, bark ev ev äv öý öy üy, üv öy úı üy uy öy śurt
tent *otag, *gerekü otaɣ, kerekü çadır, otağ çadır; otaq otaɣ, kerekü čador çadyr; otag çatır oda satır shatyr; otaý çatır chodir; oʻtoq chadir; otaq otuu çatăr
way *yōl yol yol yol jol yol ýol yul jol yul jol jol yoʻl yol suol śul
bridge *köprüg köprüg köprü körpü köprüg köpri küper kiopriu küper kópir köpürö koʻprik kövrük kürpe kĕper
arrow *ok oq ok ox oq ox/tir ok uq oq uq oq ok oʻq oq ox uhă
fire *ōt ōt od, ateş (Pers.) od ot ot ot ut ot ut ot ot oʻt ot uot vut/vot
ash *kül kül kül kül kül kil/kül kül köl kul köl kúl kül kul kül kül kĕl
water *sub, *sïb sub su su suv su suw su su hıw suu suv su uu şıv/şu
ship, boat *gḗmi kemi gemi gəmi kemi gämi köymä gemi kämä keme keme kema keme kimĕ
lake *kȫl köl göl göl köl göl/gel köl kül giol´ kül kól köl koʻl köl küöl külĕ
sun/day *güneĺ, *gün kün güneş, gün günəş, gün kün, qujaš gin/gün gün qoyaş, kön kujaš qoyaş, kön kún kün quyosh, kun quyash, kün kün hĕvel, kun
cloud *bulït bulut bulut bulud bulut bulut bulut bolıt bulut bolot bult bulut bulut bulut bılıt pĕlĕt
star *yultuŕ yultuz yıldız ulduz julduz ulluz ýyldyz yoldız julduz yondoð juldyz jıldız yulduz yultuz sulus śăltăr
ground, earth *toprak topraq toprak torpaq topraq torpaq toprak tufraq topraq, toprax tupraq topyraq topurak tuproq tupraq toburax tăpra
hilltop *tepö, *töpö töpü tepe təpə tepe depe tübä tebe tübä tóbe töbö tepa töpe töbö tüpĕ
tree/wood *ïgač ïɣač ağaç ağac jɨɣač ağaĵ agaç ağaç ahač ağas aǵash jygaç yogʻoch yahach mas yıvăś
god (Tengri) *teŋri, *taŋrï teŋri, burqan tanrı tanrı teŋri tarï/Allah/Xoda taňry täñre Tieńri täñre táńiri teñir tangri tengri tangara tură/toră
sky *teŋri, *kȫk kök, teŋri gök göy kök gey/göy gök kük kök kük kók kök koʻk kök küöx kăvak/koak
long *uŕïn uzun uzun uzun uzun uzun uzyn ozın uzun oðon uzyn uzun uzun uzun uhun vărăm
new *yaŋï, *yeŋi yaŋï yeni yeni jaŋɨ yeŋi ýaňy yaña jɨŋgɨ yañı jańa jañı yangi yengi saña śĕnĕ
fat *semiŕ semiz semiz, şişman səmiz semiz semiz simez semiz himeð semiz semiz semiz semiz emis samăr
full *dōlï tolu dolu dolu tolu dolu doly tulı tolɨ tulı toly tolo toʻla toluq toloru tulli
white *āk, *ürüŋ āq, ürüŋ ak, beyaz (Ar.) aq aq ak aq aq aq aq ak oq aq şură
black *kara qara kara, siyah (Pers.) qara qara qärä gara qara qara qara qara kara qora qara xara hura, hora
red *kïŕïl qïzïl kızıl, kırmızı (Ar.) qızıl qɨzɨl qïzïl gyzyl qızıl qɨzɨl qıðıl qyzyl kızıl qizil qizil kıhıl hĕrlĕ
1 *bīr bir bir bir bir bir bir ber bir, bɨr ber bir bir bir bir biir pĕrre
2 *éki eki iki iki ẹki ikki iki ike eky ike eki eki ikki ikki ikki ikkĕ
3 *üč üč üç üç üč uǰ, u̇č üç öč üć ös üš üč uch/u̇č üch/üç üs viśśĕ, viśĕ, viś
4 *dȫrt tört dört dörd tört derd/dörd dört dürt dört dürt tórt tört toʻrt tört tüört tăvattă
5 *bēĺ(k) béš beş beş béš bäş beş beš biš bes beş besh/beş besh/beş bies pillĕk
6 *altï altï altı altı altï altï alty (altï) altï altï altï altï altï olti (ålti) altä alta ult, ultă, ulttă
7 *yéti yeti yedi yeddi jeti yeddi ýedi cide jedi yete žeti jeti yetti yetti sette śiççe
8 *sekiŕ säkiz sekiz səkkiz sek(k)iz, sik(k)iz sӓkkiz sekiz sigez sekiz higeð segiz segiz säkkiz säkkiz aɣïs sakkăr, sakăr
9 *tokuŕ toquz dokuz doqquz toquz doġġuz dokuz tugïz toɣuz tuɣïð toɣïz toguz to’qqiz toqquz toɣus tăxxăr, tăxăr
10 *ōn on on on on on on un on un on on oʻn on uon vunnă, vună, vun
20 *yẹgirmi yigirmi/yégirmi yirmi iyirmi yigirmi, yigirme igirmi, iyirmi yigrimi yegerme yigirmi yegerme žïyïrma ǰïyïrma yigirmä yigirmä süürbe śirĕm
30 *otuŕ otuz otuz otuz otuz ottiz otuz (otuð) otuz otuz utïð otïz otuz o’ttiz ottuz otut vătăr
40 *kïrk qïrq kırk qırx qïrq ġèrḫ (ɢərx) kyrk (kïrk) qırq (qïrq) kïrx qïrq qïrïq kïrk qirq qirq tüört uon xĕrĕx
50 *ellig älig elli ǝlli (älli) el(l)ig älli, ẹlli elli ille
60 *altmïĺ altmïš altmış altmış (altmïš) altmïš altmïš altmyş (altmïš) altmïš altïmïš altïmïš alpïs altïmïš oltmish (åltmiš) altmiš alta uon ultmăl
70 *yẹtmiĺ yētmiš/s yetmiş yetmiş yetmiš yetmiš ýetmiş (yetmiš) ǰitmeš yetmiš/s yetmeš žetpis ǰetimiš yetmiš yätmiš sette uon śitmĕl
80 *sekiŕ ōn säkiz on seksen sǝksǝn (säksän) seksün sӓɣsen segsen seksen seksen, seksan hikhen seksen seksen sakson (säksån) säksän aɣïs uon sakăr vun(ă)
90 *dokuŕ ōn toquz on doksan doxsan toqsan togsan tuksan toksan, toxsan tukhan toqsan tokson to'qson (tȯksån) toqsan toɣus uon tăxăr vun(ă), tăxăr vunnă
100 *yǖŕ yüz yüz yüz jüz iz/yüz ýüz yöz jiz, juz, jüz yöð júz jüz yuz yüz süüs śĕr
1000 *bïŋ bïŋ bin min miŋ, men min müň (müŋ) meŋ min, bin meŋ mïŋ mïŋ ming (miŋ) miŋ tïhïïnča pin
Common meaning Proto-Turkic Old Turkic Turkish Azerbaijani Karakhanid Qashqai Turkmen Tatar Karaim Bashkir Kazakh Kyrgyz Uzbek Uyghur Sakha/Yakut Chuvash

Azerbaijani "ǝ" and "ä": IPA /æ/

Turkish and Azerbaijani "ı", Karakhanid "ɨ", Turkmen "y", and Sakha "ï": IPA /ɯ/

Turkmen "ň", Karakhanid "ŋ": IPA /ŋ/

Turkish and Azerbaijani "y",Turkmen "ý" and "j" in other languages: IPA /j/

All "ş" and "š" letters: IPA /ʃ/

All "ç" and "č" letters: IPA /ʧ/

Kazakh "ž": IPA /ʒ/

Kyrgyz "ǰ": IPA /ʤ/

Other possible relations[edit]

The Turkic language family is currently regarded as one of the world's primary language families.[12] Turkic is one of the main members of the controversial Altaic language family. There are some other theories about an external relationship but none of them are generally accepted.


The possibility of a genetic relation between Turkic and Korean, independently from Altaic, is suggested by some linguists.[54][55][56] The linguist Kabak (2004) of the University of Würzburg states that Turkic and Korean share similar phonology as well as morphology. Li Yong-Sŏng (2014)[55] suggest that there are several cognates between Turkic and Old Korean. He states that these supposed cognates can be useful to reconstruct the early Turkic language. According to him, words related to nature, earth and ruling but especially to the sky and stars seem to be cognates.

The linguist Choi[56] suggested already in 1996 a close relationship between Turkic and Korean regardless of any Altaic connections:

In addition, the fact that the morphological elements are not easily borrowed between languages, added to the fact that the common morphological elements between Korean and Turkic are not less numerous than between Turkic and other Altaic languages, strengthens the possibility that there is a close genetic affinity between Korean and Turkic.

— Choi Han-Woo, A Comparative Study of Korean and Turkic (Hoseo University)

Many historians also point out a close non-linguistic relationship between Turkic peoples and Koreans.[57] Especially close were the relations between the Göktürks and Goguryeo.[58]

Rejected or controversial theories[edit]


Some linguists suggested a relation to Uralic languages, especially to the Ugric languages. This view is rejected and seen as obsolete by mainstream linguists. Similarities are because of language contact and borrowings mostly from Turkic into Ugric languages. Stachowski (2015) states that any relation between Turkic and Uralic must be a contact one.[59]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nikolai Baskakov and some others believe that the Kyrgyz–Kipchak subgroup originally belonged to the Siberian group, but was significantly influenced by the Kipchak languages and can now be included in the Kipchak group.[40][41][42]
  2. ^ Lars Johanson once considered Kyrgyz language to be a member of South Kipchak.(Johanson 1998)
  3. ^ Lars Johanson once classified South Siberian group into 4 subgroups (Sayan Turkic, Yenisei Turkic, Chulym Turkic and Altai Turkic). Sayan Turkic consisted of Tuvan (Soyot, Uriankhai) and Tofa(Karagas). Yenisei Turkic consisted of Khakas, Shor and related dialects (Saghay, Qaca, Qizil). Chulym Turkic consisted of dialects such as Küerik. Altai Turkic consisted of Altay (Oirot) and dialects such as Tuba, Qumanda, Qu, Teleut, Telengit.(Johanson 1998)
  4. ^ Nikolai Baskakov and some others considered Southern Altai language to be a member of Kyrgyz-Kipchak subgroup.[40][41][42]
  5. ^ According to Lars Johanson, Fuyu Kyrgyz is considered to be closely related to Khakas.
  6. ^ Aini contains a very large Persian vocabulary component, and is spoken exclusively by adult men, almost as a cryptolect. In Glottolog, Aini is classified as Enisei-East Siberian Turkic.


  1. ^ Dybo A.V. (2007). "ХРОНОЛОГИЯ ТЮРКСКИХ ЯЗЫКОВ И ЛИНГВИСТИЧЕСКИЕ КОНТАКТЫ РАННИХ ТЮРКОВ" [Chronology of Turkish Languages and Linguistic Contacts of Early Turks] (PDF) (in Russian). p. 766. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 March 2005. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  2. ^ Janhunen, Juha (2013). "Personal pronouns in Core Altaic". In Martine Irma Robbeets; Hubert Cuyckens (eds.). Shared Grammaticalization: With Special Focus on the Transeurasian Languages. p. 223. ISBN 9789027205995.
  3. ^ a b c Katzner, Kenneth (March 2002). Languages of the World, Third Edition. Routledge, an imprint of Taylor & Francis Books Ltd. ISBN 978-0-415-25004-7.
  4. ^ Grenoble, L.A. (2003). Language Policy in the Soviet Union. Springer. p. 10. ISBN 9781402012983.
  5. ^ Brigitte Moser, Michael Wilhelm Weithmann, Landeskunde Türkei: Geschichte, Gesellschaft und Kultur, Buske Publishing, 2008, p.173
  6. ^ Deutsches Orient-Institut, Orient, Vol. 41, Alfred Röper Publushing, 2000, p.611
  7. ^ "Language Materials Project: Turkish". UCLA International Institute, Center for World Languages. February 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2007.
  8. ^ Robert Lindsay. "Mutual Intelligibility Among the Turkic Languages". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. ^ Vovin, Alexander (2005). "The end of the Altaic controversy: In memory of Gerhard Doerfer". Central Asiatic Journal. 49 (1): 71–132. JSTOR 41928378.
  10. ^ Georg, Stefan; Michalove, Peter A.; Ramer, Alexis Manaster; Sidwell, Paul J. (1999). "Telling general linguists about Altaic". Journal of Linguistics. 35 (1): 65–98. doi:10.1017/S0022226798007312. JSTOR 4176504.
  11. ^ Sinor, 1988, p.710
  12. ^ a b George van DRIEM: Handbuch der Orientalistik. Volume 1 Part 10. BRILL 2001. Page 336
  13. ^ M. A. Castrén, Nordische Reisen und Forschungen. V, St.-Petersburg, 1849
  14. ^ Yunusbayev, Bayazit; Metspalu, Mait; Metspalu, Ene; et al. (21 April 2015). "The Genetic Legacy of the Expansion of Turkic-Speaking Nomads across Eurasia". PLOS Genetics. 11 (4): e1005068. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005068. ISSN 1553-7390. PMC 4405460. PMID 25898006. The origin and early dispersal history of the Turkic peoples is disputed, with candidates for their ancient homeland ranging from the Transcaspian steppe to Manchuria in Northeast Asia,
  15. ^ Yunusbayev, Bayazit; Metspalu, Mait; Metspalu, Ene; et al. (21 April 2015). "The Genetic Legacy of the Expansion of Turkic-Speaking Nomads across Eurasia". PLOS Genetics. 11 (4): e1005068. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1005068. ISSN 1553-7390. PMC 4405460. PMID 25898006. Thus, our study provides the first genetic evidence supporting one of the previously hypothesized IAHs to be near Mongolia and South Siberia.
  16. ^ Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew (2003). Archaeology and Language II: Archaeological Data and Linguistic Hypotheses. Routledge. p. 203. ISBN 9781134828692.
  17. ^ Golden, Peter Benjamin (2011). "Ethnogenesis in the tribal zone: The Shaping of the Turks". Studies on the peoples and cultures of the Eurasian steppes. Bucureşti: Ed. Acad. Române. p. 35-37
  18. ^ Clark, Larry V. (1980). "Turkic Loanwords in Mongol, I: The Treatment of Non-initial S, Z, Š, Č". Central Asiatic Journal. 24 (1/2): 36–59. JSTOR 41927278.
  19. ^ Johanson, Lars; Johanson, Éva Ágnes Csató (29 April 2015). The Turkic Languages. Routledge. ISBN 9781136825279.
  20. ^ Robbeets, Martine (2017). "Transeurasian: A case of farming/language dispersal". Language Dynamics and Change. 7 (2): 210–251. doi:10.1163/22105832-00702005.
  21. ^ Nelson, Sarah. "Tracing population movements in ancient East Asia through the linguistics and archaeology of textile production" (PDF). Cambridge University. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  22. ^ Li, Tao (2020). "Millet agriculture dispersed from Northeast China to the Russian Far East: Integrating archaeology, genetics, and linguistics". Archaeological Research in Asia. 22: 100177. doi:10.1016/j.ara.2020.100177. hdl:21.11116/0000-0005-D82B-8. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
  23. ^ Soucek, Svat (March 2000). A History of Inner Asia. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-65169-1.
  24. ^ Findley, Carter V. (October 2004). The Turks in World History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-517726-8.
  25. ^ Turkic Language tree entries provide the information on the Turkic-speaking regions.
  26. ^ Johanson, Lars (2001). "Discoveries on the Turkic linguistic map" (PDF). Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul. Retrieved 18 March 2007. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)[permanent dead link]
  27. ^ a b Lars Johanson, The History of Turkic. In Lars Johanson & Éva Ágnes Csató (eds), The Turkic Languages, London, New York: Routledge, 81–125, 1998.Classification of Turkic languages
  28. ^ See the main article on Lir-Turkic.
  29. ^ Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.) (2005). "Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. Language Family Trees – Turkic". Retrieved 18 March 2007.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link) The reliability of Ethnologue lies mainly in its statistics whereas its framework for the internal classification of Turkic is still based largely on Baskakov (1962) and the collective work in Deny et al. (1959–1964). A more up-to-date alternative to classifying these languages on internal comparative grounds is to be found in the work of Johanson and his co-workers.
  30. ^ Hruschka, Daniel J.; Branford, Simon; Smith, Eric D.; Wilkins, Jon; Meade, Andrew; Pagel, Mark; Bhattacharya, Tanmoy (2015). "Detecting Regular Sound Changes in Linguistics as Events of Concerted Evolution 10.1016/j.cub.2014.10.064". Current Biology. 25 (1): 1–9. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.10.064. PMC 4291143. PMID 25532895.
  31. ^ Самойлович, А. Н. (1922). Некоторые дополнения к классификации турецких языков (in Russian). Archived from the original on 19 July 2018. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  32. ^ Larry Clark, "Chuvash", in The Turkic Languages, eds. Lars Johanson & Éva Ágnes Csató (London–NY: Routledge, 2006), 434–452.
  33. ^ Anton Antonov & Guillaume Jacques, "Turkic kümüš ‘silver’ and the lambdaism vs sigmatism debate", Turkic Languages 15, no. 2 (2012): 151–70.
  34. ^ Lars Johanson, "The classification of the Turkic languages", in Martine Robbeets and Alexander Savelyev (eds.), The Oxford Guide to the Transeurasian Languages, 2020, Oxford University Press, pp. 105–114
  35. ^ a b c d "turcologica". Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  36. ^ Deviating. Historically developed from Southwestern (Oghuz) (Johanson 1998) [1]
  37. ^ a b c Johanson, Lars & Éva Agnes Csató (ed.). 1998. The Turkic languages. London: Routledge. 82-83p.
  38. ^ Urum - Glottolog
  39. ^ Krymchak - Glottolog
  40. ^ a b c Baskakov, N. A. (1958). "La Classification des Dialectes de la Langue Turque d'Altaï". Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae (in French). 8: 9–15. ISSN 0001-6446.
  41. ^ a b c Baskakov, N. A. (1969). Введение в изучение тюркских языков [Introduction to the study of the Turkic languages] (in Russian). Moscow: Nauka.
  42. ^ a b c Kormushin, I. V. (2018). "Алтайский язык" [Altai language]. Большая российская энциклопедия/Great Russian Encyclopedia Online (in Russian).
  43. ^ Ili Turki - Glottolog
  44. ^ Rassadin, V.I. "The Soyot Language". Endangered Languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia. UNESCO. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  45. ^ "Kumandin". ELP Endangered Languages Project. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  46. ^ Bitkeeva, A.N. "The Kumandin Language". Endangered Languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia. UNESCO. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  47. ^ "Northern Altai". ELP Endangered Languages Project. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  48. ^ Tazranova, A.R. "The Chelkan Language". Endangered Languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia. UNESCO. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  49. ^ Nevskaya, I.A. "The Teleut Language". Endangered Languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia. UNESCO. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  50. ^ Coene 2009, p. 75
  51. ^ Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World. Contributors Keith Brown, Sarah Ogilvie (revised ed.). Elsevier. 2010. p. 1109. ISBN 978-0080877754. Retrieved 24 April 2014.CS1 maint: others (link)
  52. ^ Johanson, Lars, ed. (1998). The Mainz Meeting: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Turkish Linguistics, August 3–6, 1994. Turcologica Series. Contributor Éva Ágnes Csató. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 28. ISBN 978-3447038645. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
  53. ^ In Glottolog, Western Yugur is classified as Enisei-East Siberian Turkic.
  54. ^ Sibata, Takesi (1979). "Some syntactic similarities between Turkish, Korean, and Japanese". Central Asiatic Journal. 23 (3/4): 293–296. ISSN 0008-9192. JSTOR 41927271.
  55. ^ a b SOME STAR NAMES IN MODERN TURKIC LANGUAGES-I - Yong-Sŏng LI - Academy of Korean Studies Grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST) (AKS-2010-AGC-2101) - Seoul National University 2014
  56. ^ a b Choi, Han-Woo (1996). "A comparative study of Korean and Turkic: Is Korean Altaic?" (PDF). International Journal of Central Asian Studies. 1.
  57. ^ Babayar, Gaybullah (2004). "On the ancient relations between the Turkic and Korean peoples" (PDF). Journal of Turkic Civilization Studies (1): 151–155.
  58. ^ Tae-Don, Noh (2016). "Relations between ancient Korea and Turkey: An examination of contacts between Koguryŏ and the Turkic Khaganate". Seoul Journal of Korean Studies. 29 (2): 361–369. doi:10.1353/seo.2016.0017. hdl:10371/164838. ISSN 2331-4826. S2CID 151445857.
  59. ^ Stachowski, Marek (2015). "Turkic pronouns against a Uralic background". Iran and the Caucasus. 19 (1): 79–86. doi:10.1163/1573384X-20150106. ISSN 1609-8498.

Further readings[edit]

  • Akhatov G. Kh. 1960. "About the stress in the language of the Siberian Tatars in connection with the stress of modern Tatar literary language" .- Sat *"Problems of Turkic and the history of Russian Oriental Studies." Kazan. (in Russian)
  • Akhatov G.Kh. 1963. "Dialect West Siberian Tatars" (monograph). Ufa. (in Russian)
  • Baskakov, N. A. (1962, 1969). Introduction to the study of the Turkic languages. Moscow. (in Russian)
  • Boeschoten, Hendrik & Lars Johanson. 2006. Turkic languages in contact. Turcologica, Bd. 61. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. ISBN 3-447-05212-0
  • Clausen, Gerard. 1972. An etymological dictionary of pre-thirteenth-century Turkish. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Deny, Jean et al. 1959–1964. Philologiae Turcicae Fundamenta. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
  • Dolatkhah, Sohrab. 2016. Parlons qashqay. In: collection "parlons". Paris: L'Harmattan.
  • Dolatkhah, Sohrab. 2016. Le qashqay: langue turcique d'Iran. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (online).
  • Dolatkhah, Sohrab. 2015. Qashqay Folktales. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (online).
  • Johanson, Lars & Éva Agnes Csató (ed.). 1998. The Turkic languages. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-08200-5.
  • Johanson, Lars. 1998. "The history of Turkic." In: Johanson & Csató, pp. 81–125.[2]
  • Johanson, Lars. 1998. "Turkic languages." In: Encyclopædia Britannica. CD 98. Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 5 sept. 2007.[3]
  • Menges, K. H. 1968. The Turkic languages and peoples: An introduction to Turkic studies. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
  • Öztopçu, Kurtuluş. 1996. Dictionary of the Turkic languages: English, Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Uighur, Uzbek. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-14198-2
  • Samoilovich, A. N. 1922. Some additions to the classification of the Turkish languages. Petrograd.
  • Savelyev, Alexander and Martine Robbeets. (2019). lexibank/savelyevturkic: Turkic Basic Vocabulary Database (Version v1.0) [Data set]. Zenodo. doi:10.5281/zenodo.3556518
  • Schönig, Claus. 1997–1998. "A new attempt to classify the Turkic languages I-III." Turkic Languages 1:1.117–133, 1:2.262–277, 2:1.130–151.
  • Starostin, Sergei A., Anna V. Dybo, and Oleg A. Mudrak. 2003. Etymological Dictionary of the Altaic Languages. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 90-04-13153-1
  • Voegelin, C.F. & F.M. Voegelin. 1977. Classification and index of the World's languages. New York: Elsevier.

External links[edit]