The Kipchak languages (also known as the Kypchak, Qypchaq, Qypshaq or the Northwestern Turkic languages) are a sub-branch of the Turkic language family spoken by approximately 28 million people in much of Central Asia and Eastern Europe, spanning from Ukraine to China. Some of the most widely spoken languages in this group are Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tatar.

Northwestern Turkic
Central Asia, Russia, Northern Caucasus, Balkans, Anatolia Ukraine, China
Linguistic classificationTurkic
  • Kipchak–Bulgar
  • Kipchak–Cuman
  • Kipchak–Nogai
  • Kipchak–Kyrgyz

Linguistic features edit

The Kipchak languages share a number of features that have led linguists to classify them together. Some of these features are shared with other Common Turkic languages; others are unique to the Kipchak family.

Shared features edit

  • Change of Proto-Turkic *d to /d͡ʒ/ (e.g. *hadaq > acaq "foot")
  • Loss of initial *h (preserved only in Khalaj), see above example

Unique features edit

Family-specific edit

Language-specific edit

  • In both Tatar and Bashkir, the original mid and high vowels are swapped in position by vowel raising and lowering:
Old Turkic Tatar
(for example)
Mid → high
*e /e/ i /i/
*o /o/ u /u/
/ø/ ü /y/
High → Mid
*i /i/ e /e/
/ɯ/ î /ɤ/
*u /u/ o /o/
/y/ ö /ø/

Classification edit

The Kipchak languages may be broken down into four groups based on geography and shared features (languages in bold are still spoken today):

Proto-Turkic Common Turkic Kipchak Kipchak–Bulgar (Uralian, Uralo-Caspian)
Kipchak–Cuman (Ponto-Caspian)
Kipchak–Nogai (Aralo-Caspian)
Kyrgyz–Kipchak (Kyrgyz)

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Except for the Southern "dialect", which is classified among the Western Oghuz languages despite its dialect status.[2]

References edit

  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Bashkortostan.
  2. ^ Yazyki mira Языки мира [Languages of the World]. Vol. 2. Indirk: Институт языкознания (Российская академия наук). 1997. pp. 19–20.
  3. ^ Some dialects are close to Kirghiz (Johanson 1998)
  4. ^ Nevskaya, I.A. "The Teleut Language". Endangered Languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia. UNESCO. Retrieved 2021-07-16.

Bibliography edit