Ili Turki language

Ili Turki is an endangered[2] Turkic language spoken primarily in China. In 2007, it was reported that there were around 30 families using it in China.

Ili Turki
İlı turkeşi
Native toChina, Kazakhstan
EthnicityIli Turk People
Native speakers
(120 in China cited 1980)[1]
30 families in China (2007); moribund in Kazakhstan
Language codes
ISO 639-3ili
ELPIli Turki
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Ili Turki appears to belong to the Chagatay group of Turkic languages, although it exhibits a number of features that suggest a Kipchak substratum.[3][4]

A comparison of Ili Turki's Chagatay and Kipchak features is shown below:

Kipchak & Chagatay features in Ili Turki
  Kazakh (Kipchak) Ili Turki Uzbek (Chagatay) English
*G > w after low vowels taw taw tɒɣ mountain
Genitive assimilation tyje+niŋ / et+tiŋ tʉjæ+nin / et+tin tʉjæ+niŋ / et+niŋ of the camel / of the meat
*G > w > Ø after high vowels sarɨ sarɨq sarɨq yellow
Loss of geminate consonants seɡiz sekkiz sækkiz eight

Geographic distributionEdit

Ili Turki is spoken in China's Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture along the Ili River and its tributaries and in Yining. There may be some speakers in Kazakhstan. Ili Turki has no official status in either country.



Consonants of Ili Turki
Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ  
Plosive p b t d k ɡ q    
Fricative s z ʃ χ ʁ h
Tap ɾ
Approximant l j w


Vowel Sounds of Ili Turki
Front Central/back
Rounded Unrounded
Close i ʉ ɨ
Mid e ɵ
Open æ ɑ

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Ili Turki at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Moseley, Christopher, ed. (2007). Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered Languages. London: Routledge.
  3. ^ Zhào, Xiāngrú; Hahn, Reinhard F. (1989). "The Ili Turk People and Their Language". Central Asiatic Journal. 33 (3/4): 261–285. JSTOR 41927706.
  4. ^ Hahn, Reinhard F. (1991). "An Annotated Sample of Ili Turki". Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. 45 (1): 31–53. JSTOR 23658071.

External linksEdit