Kipchak languages

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.

Kipchak
Northwestern Turkic
EthnicityKipchaks
Geographic
distribution
Central Asia, Russia, Northern Caucasus, Ukraine
Linguistic classificationTurkic
Subdivisions
  • Kipchak–Bulgar
  • Kipchak–Cuman
  • Kipchak–Nogai
  • Kyrgyz–Kipchak
Glottologkipc1239
Kipchak Map Labeled.png

Linguistic featuresEdit

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 featuresEdit

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

Unique featuresEdit

Family-specificEdit

Language-specificEdit

  • 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/ ı /ɤ/
*u /u/ o /o/
/y/ ö /ø/

ClassificationEdit

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) Southern Altai Turkic[2]
Kyrgyz[nb 2]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Except for the Southern "dialect", which is classified among the Western Oghuz languages despite its dialect status.[1]
  2. ^ Although Kyrgyz isn't a language family, it is added to this table as such in order to ensure the formatting works correctly.

ReferencesEdit

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

BibliographyEdit