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Turkic languages

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EthnicityTurkic peoples
Native speakers
c. 200 million (2020)[1]
Linguistic classificationOne of the world's primary language families
ISO 639-5trk
The distribution of the Turkic languages

The Turkic languages are a language family of more than 35[2] documented languages, spoken by the Turkic peoples of Eurasia from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe to Central Asia, East Asia, North Asia (Siberia), and West 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,[3] from where they expanded to Central Asia and farther west during the first millennium.[4] They are characterized as a dialect continuum.[5]

Turkic languages are spoken by some 200 million people.[1] The Turkic language with the greatest number of speakers is Turkish, spoken mainly in Anatolia and the Balkans; its native speakers account for about 38% of all Turkic speakers, followed by Uzbek.[4]

Characteristic features such as vowel harmony, agglutination, subject-object-verb order, and lack of grammatical gender, are almost universal within the Turkic family.[4] There is a high degree of mutual intelligibility, upon moderate exposure, among the various Oghuz languages, which include Turkish, Azerbaijani, Turkmen, Qashqai, Chaharmahali Turkic, Gagauz, and Balkan Gagauz Turkish, as well as Oghuz-influenced Crimean Tatar.[6] Other Turkic languages demonstrate varying amounts of mutual intelligibility within their subgroups as well. Although methods of classification vary, the Turkic languages are usually considered to be divided into two branches: Oghur, the only surviving member of which is Chuvash, and Common Turkic, which includes all other Turkic languages.

Turkic languages show many similarities with the Mongolic, Tungusic, Koreanic, and Japonic languages. These similarities have led some linguists (including Talât Tekin) to propose an Altaic language family, though this proposal is widely rejected by historical linguists.[7][8] Similarities with the Uralic languages even caused these families to be regarded as one for a long time under the Ural-Altaic hypothesis.[9][10][11] However, there has not been sufficient evidence to conclude the existence of either of these macrofamilies. The shared characteristics between the languages are attributed presently to extensive prehistoric language contact.


Map showing countries and autonomous subdivisions where a language belonging to the Turkic language family has official status

Turkic languages are null-subject languages, have vowel harmony (with the notable exception of Uzbek due to strong Persian-Tajik influence), converbs, 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. In terms of the level of vowel harmony in the Turkic language family, Tuvan is characterized as almost fully harmonic whereas Uzbek is the least harmonic or not harmonic at all. Taking into account the documented historico-linguistic development of Turkic languages overall, both inscriptional and textual, the family provides over one millennium of documented stages as well as scenarios in the linguistic evolution of vowel harmony which, in turn, demonstrates harmony evolution along a confidently definable trajectory[12] Though vowel harmony is a common characteristic of major language families spoken in Inner Eurasia (Mongolic, Tungusic, Uralic and Turkic), the type of harmony found in them differs from each other, specifically, Uralic and Turkic have a shared type of vowel harmony (called palatal vowel harmony) whereas Mongolic and Tungusic represent a different type.





The homeland of the Turkic peoples and their language is suggested to be somewhere between the Transcaspian steppe and Northeastern Asia (Manchuria),[13] with genetic evidence pointing to the region near South Siberia and Mongolia as the "Inner Asian Homeland" of the Turkic ethnicity.[14] Similarly several linguists, including Juha Janhunen, Roger Blench and Matthew Spriggs, suggest that modern-day Mongolia is the homeland of the early Turkic language.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17]

Italian historian and philologist Igor de Rachewiltz noted a significant distinction of the Chuvash language from other Turkic languages. According to him, the Chuvash language does not share certain common characteristics with Turkic languages to such a degree that some scholars consider it an independent Chuvash family similar to Uralic and Turkic languages. Turkic classification of Chuvash was seen as a compromise solution for the classification purposes.[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]

Early written records

The 10th-century Irk Bitig ("Book of Divination") from Dunhuang, written in Old Uyghur language with the Orkhon script, is an important literary source for early Turko-Mongol mythology.

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.[20]

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, debatably the parent or a distant relative of Chuvash language, are dated to the 13th–14th centuries AD.[21][22]

Geographical expansion and development

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, Urdu, Ukrainian, Russian,[23] Chinese, Mongolian, Hungarian 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 χayalaaχ tullă

*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

West Oghuz
East Oghuz
South Oghuz

Northwestern Common Turkic

West Kipchak
North Kipchak
(Volga–Ural Turkic)
South Kipchak
Eastern Kipchak[35]
Southeastern Common Turkic

West Karluk
East Karluk
Northeastern Common Turkic

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

Vocabulary comparison


The following is a brief comparison of cognates among the basic vocabulary across the Turkic language family (about 60 words). Despite being cognates, some of the words may denote a different meaning.

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 [g] ata ata, atay [h] ata ata ota ata [i] ağa [j] atte, aśu, aşşĕ [k]
mother *ana, *ög ana, ög ana, anne ana ana, ene ana/nänä ene ana, äni [l] ana ana, inä(y)/asay [m] ana ene, ana [n] ona, acha ana [o] iỹe [p] anne, annü, amăşĕ [q]
son *ogul oɣul oğul oğul oɣul, ohul oğul ogul ul [r] uvul ul ul [s] uul [t] oʻgʻil oghul [u] uol [v] ıvăl, ul [w]
man *ēr, *érkek er erkek ər/erkək erkek kiši erkek ir [x] ėr ir, irkäk [y] er, erkek [z] er, erkek [aa] erkak er [ab] er [ac] ar/arśın [ad]
girl *kï̄ŕ qïz kız qız qɨz qïz/qez gyz qız [ae] qɨz qıð [af] qyz [ag] qız qiz qiz [ah] kııs [ai] hĕr [aj]
person *kiĺi, *yạlaŋuk kiši, yalaŋuq kişi kişi kiši kişi keşe [ak] kiši keşe kisi [al] kişi [am] kishi kishi [an] kihi [ao] śın [ap]
bride *gélin kelin gelin gəlin qalɨŋ gälin gelin kilen [aq] kelin kilen kelin [ar] kelin [as] kelin kelin [at] kiyiit [au] kin [av]
mother-in-law kaynana qaynana qäynänä gaýyn ene qayın ana [aw] qäynä [ax] qaıyn ene [ay] qaynene [az] qaynona qeyinana [ba] huńama [bb]
Body parts
heart *yürek yürek yürek ürək jürek iräg/üräg ýürek yöräk [bc] üriak, jürek yöräk jürek [bd] cürök [be] yurak yürek sürex [bf] çĕre [bg]
blood *kiān qan kan qan qan qan gan qan [bh] qan qan [bi] qan [bj] qan qon qan xaan [bk] 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, qıl soch, qil sach, qil battax, kıl śüś, hul
eye *göŕ köz göz göz köz gez/göz göz küz kioź, goz küð köz 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 qulaq 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 qol qoʻl qol хol hul
hand *el-ig elig el əl elig äl el alaqan alaqan ilik ilik ilii ală
finger *erŋek, *biarŋak erŋek parmak barmaq barmaq burmaq barmaq barmaq barmax barmaq barmaq barmaq barmoq barmaq tarbaq pürne/porńa
fingernail *dïrŋak tïrŋaq tırnak dırnaq tɨrŋaq dïrnaq dyrnak tırnaq tɨrnax tırnaq tyrnaq tırmaq 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 but, ayaq oyoq, adoq ayaq ataq ura
belly *kạrïn qarïn karın qarın qarɨn qarn garyn qarın qarɨn qarın qaryn qarın 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 siyr uy, sıyır, inek sigir, inak siyir ınax ĕne
dog *ït, *köpek ït it, köpek it ɨt kepäg it et it´ et ıt it, köbök it it ıt yıtă
fish *bālïk balïq balık balıq balɨq balïq balyk balıq balɨx balıq balyq balıq 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 üı üy uy öy śurt
tent *otag, *gerekü otaɣ, kerekü çadır, otağ çadır; otaq otaɣ, kerekü čador çadyr; otag çatır oda satır shatyr; otau çatır, otoo, otoq chodir; oʻtoq chadir; otaq otuu çatăr
way *yōl yol yol yol jol yol ýol yul jol yul jol col yoʻl yol suol śul
bridge *köprüg köprüg köprü körpü köprüg köpri küper kiopriu küper köpir köpürö koʻprik kövrük kürpe kĕper
arrow *ok oq ok ox oq ox/tir ok uq oq uq oq oq 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 kül kül kul kül kül kĕl
water *sub, *sïb sub su su suv su suw su su hıw su 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 köl köl koʻl köl küöl külĕ
sun/day *güneĺ, *gün kün güneş, gün günəş, gün kün, qujaš gin/gün gün qoyaş, kön kujaš qoyaş, kön kün 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 cıldız yulduz yultuz sulus śăltăr
ground, earth *toprak topraq toprak torpaq topraq torpaq toprak tufraq topraq, toprax tupraq topyraq topuraq tuproq tupraq toburax tăpra
hilltop *tepö, *töpö töpü tepe təpə tepe depe tübä tebe tübä töbe döbö, töbö tepa töpe töbö tüpĕ
tree/wood *ïgač ïɣač ağaç ağac jɨɣač ağaĵ agaç ağaç ahač ağas ağash baq, daraq, cığaç yogʻoch yahach mas yıvăś
god (Tengri) *teŋri, *taŋrï teŋri, burqan tanrı tanrı teŋri tarï/Allah/Xoda taňry täñre Tieńri täñre täŋiri teñir tangri tengri tangara tură/toră
sky *teŋri, *kȫk kök, teŋri gök göy kök gey/göy gök kük kök kük kök 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 jaña cañı 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 toluq, tolu, toluu, tolo toʻla toluq toloru tulli
white *āk, *ürüŋ āq, ürüŋ ak, beyaz (Ar.) aq aq ak aq aq aq aq aq oq aq ürüñ (үрүҥ) şură
black *kara qara kara, siyah (Pers.) qara qara qärä gara qara qara qara qara qara qora qara xara hura, hora
red *kïŕïl qïzïl kızıl, kırmızı (Ar.) qızıl qɨzɨl qïzïl gyzyl qızıl qɨzɨl qıðıl qyzyl qızıl 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 üş üč uch/u̇č üch/üç üs viśśĕ, viśĕ, viś
4 *dȫrt tört dört dörd tört derd/dörd dört dürt dört dürt tört 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 alty altı olti (ålti) altä alta ult, ultă, ulttă
7 *yéti yeti yedi yeddi jeti yeddi ýedi cide jedi yete jeti ceti 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 toğyz toğuz 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 jiyirma cıyırma yigirmä yigirmä süürbe śirĕm
30 *otuŕ otuz otuz otuz otuz ottiz otuz (otuð) otuz otuz utïð otyz otuz o’ttiz ottuz otut vătăr
40 *kïrk qïrq kırk qırx qïrq ġèrḫ (ɢərx) kyrk (kïrk) qırq (qïrq) kïrx qïrq qyryq qırq qirq qirq tüört uon xĕrĕx
50 *ellig älig elli ǝlli (älli) el(l)ig älli, ẹlli elli ille elu elüü
60 *altmïĺ altmïš altmış altmış (altmïš) altmïš altmïš altmyş (altmïš) altmïš altïmïš altïmïš alpys altımış oltmish (åltmiš) altmiš alta uon ultmăl
70 *yẹtmiĺ yētmiš/s yetmiş yetmiş yetmiš yetmiš ýetmiş (yetmiš) ǰitmeš yetmiš/s yetmeš jetpis cetimiş 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 toqson 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 jüz cüz yuz yüz süüs śĕr
1000 *bïŋ bïŋ bin min miŋ, men min müň (müŋ) meŋ min, bin meŋ myñ miñ 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/

Azerbaijani "q": IPA /g/, word-final "q": IPA /x/

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 /t͡ʃ/

Kyrgyz "c": IPA /d͡ʒ/

Kazakh "j": IPA /ʒ/

Other possible relations


The Turkic language family is currently regarded as one of the world's primary language families.[10] Turkic is one of the main members of the controversial Altaic language family, but Altaic currently lacks support from a majority of linguists. None of the theories linking Turkic languages to other families have a wide degree of acceptance at present. Shared features with languages grouped together as Altaic have been interpreted by most mainstream linguists to be the result of a sprachbund.[54]

Rejected or controversial theories




The possibility of a genetic relation between Turkic and Korean, independently from Altaic, is suggested by some linguists.[55][56][57] 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)[56] 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[57] 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.[58] Especially close were the relations between the Göktürks and Goguryeo.[59]



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.[60]

See also



  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. ^ Äynu contains a very large Persian vocabulary component, and is spoken exclusively by adult men, almost as a cryptolect.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ According to Lars Johanson, Fuyu Kyrgyz is considered to be closely related to Khakas.
  6. ^ Nikolai Baskakov and some others considered Southern Altai language to be a member of Kyrgyz-Kipchak subgroup.[40][41][42]
  7. ^ Cyrillic: ата, атай
  8. ^ Cyrillic: ата, атай
  9. ^ UEY: ئاتا
  10. ^ Cyrillic: аҕа
  11. ^ Cyrillic: атте, аҫу, ашшӗ
  12. ^ Cyrillic: ана, әни
  13. ^ Cyrillic: ана, инә(й)/асай
  14. ^ Cyrillic: эне, ана
  15. ^ UEY: ئانا
  16. ^ IPA /ij̃e/. Cyrillic: ийэ. The nasal glide /j̃/ is not distinguished from oral glide /j/ in orthography.
  17. ^ Cyrillic: анне, аннӳ, амӑшӗ
  18. ^ Cyrillic: ул
  19. ^ Cyrillic: ұл
  20. ^ Cyrillic: уул
  21. ^ UEY: ئوغۇل
  22. ^ Cyrillic: уол
  23. ^ Cyrillic: ывӑл, ул
  24. ^ Cyrillic: ир
  25. ^ Cyrillic: ир, иркәк
  26. ^ Cyrillic: ер, еркек
  27. ^ Cyrillic: эр, эркек
  28. ^ UEY: ئەر
  29. ^ Cyrillic: эр
  30. ^ Cyrillic: ар/арҫын
  31. ^ Cyrillic: кыз
  32. ^ Cyrillic: ҡыҙ
  33. ^ Cyrillic: қыз
  34. ^ UEY: قىز
  35. ^ Cyrillic: кыыс
  36. ^ Cyrillic: хӗр
  37. ^ Cyrillic: кеше
  38. ^ Cyrillic: кісі
  39. ^ Cyrillic: киши
  40. ^ UEY: كىشى
  41. ^ Cyrillic: киһи
  42. ^ Cyrillic: ҫын
  43. ^ Cyrillic: килен
  44. ^ Cyrillic: келін
  45. ^ Cyrillic: келин
  46. ^ UEY: كەلىن
  47. ^ Cyrillic: кийиит
  48. ^ Cyrillic: кин
  49. ^ Cyrillic: кайын ана
  50. ^ Cyrillic: ҡәйнә
  51. ^ Cyrillic: қайын ене
  52. ^ Cyrillic: кайнене
  53. ^ UEY: قەيىنانا
  54. ^ Cyrillic: хунама
  55. ^ Cyrillic: йөрәк
  56. ^ Cyrillic: жүрек
  57. ^ Cyrillic: жүрөк
  58. ^ Cyrillic: сүрэх
  59. ^ Cyrillic: чӗре
  60. ^ Cyrillic: кан
  61. ^ Cyrillic: ҡан
  62. ^ Cyrillic: қан
  63. ^ Cyrillic: хаан


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  3. ^ Janhunen, Juha (2013). "Personal pronouns in Core Altaic". In Martine Irma Robbeets; Hubert Cuyckens (eds.). Shared Grammaticalization: With Special Focus on the Transeurasian Languages. John Benjamins. p. 223. ISBN 9789027205995. Archived from the original on 15 January 2023. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
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  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. Thus, our study provides the first genetic evidence supporting one of the previously hypothesized IAHs to be near Mongolia and South Siberia.
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  22. ^ Agyagási, K. (2020). "A Volga Bulgarian Classifier: A Historical and Areal Linguistic Study". University of Debrecen. 3: 9. Modern Chuvash is the only descendant language of the Ogur branch.The ancestors of its speakers left the Khazar Empire in the 8th century and migrated to the region at the confluence of the Volga and Kama rivers, where they founded the Volga Bulgarian Empire in the 10th century. In the central Volga region three Volga Bulgarian dialects developed, and Chuvash is the descendant of the 3rd dialect of Volga Bulgarian (Agyagási 2019: 160–183). Sources refer to it as a separate language beginning with 1508
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  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.
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Further reading

  • 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.). 2022. The Turkic Languages. Second edition. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-73856-9.
  • Johanson, Lars. 2022. "The history of Turkic." In: Johanson & Csató, pp. 83–120.[2] Archived 8 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  • Johanson, Lars. 1998. "Turkic languages." In: Encyclopædia Britannica. CD 98. Encyclopædia Britannica Online, 5 sept. 2007.[3] Archived 23 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  • 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.
  • Schönig, Claus. "The Internal Division of Modern Turkic and Its Historical Implications". In: Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, vol. 52, no. 1, 1999, pp. 63–95. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/43391369 Archived 3 January 2023 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 3 Jan. 2023.
  • 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.