14 Facts About Turkic languages


Turkic languages are a language family of over 35 documented languages, spoken by the Turkic peoples of Eurasia from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe to Central Asia, East Asia, North Asia, and Western Asia.

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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, from where they expanded to Central Asia and farther west during the first millennium.

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Turkic languages are spoken natively by some 200 million people, and the total number of Turkic speakers, including second language speakers, is over 230 million.

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Turkic languages show many similarities with the Mongolic, Tungusic, Koreanic, and Japonic languages.

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Similarities with the Uralic Turkic languages even caused these families to be regarded as one for a long time under the Ural-Altaic hypothesis.

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However, there has not been sufficient evidence to conclude the existence of either of these macrofamilies, the shared characteristics between the Turkic languages being attributed presently to extensive prehistoric language contact.

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Turkic languages are null-subject languages, have vowel harmony, extensive agglutination by means of suffixes and postpositions, and lack of grammatical articles, noun classes, and grammatical gender.

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

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The Compendium of the Turkic languages Dialects, written during the 11th century AD by Kasgarli Mahmud of the Kara-Khanid Khanate, constitutes an early linguistic treatment of the family.

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The Compendium is the first comprehensive dictionary of the Turkic languages and includes the first known map of the Turkic speakers' geographical distribution.

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Various terminologies from the Turkic languages have passed into Persian, Hindustani, Ukrainian, Russian, Chinese, Mongolian, Hungarian and to a lesser extent, Arabic.

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Geographical distribution of Turkic languages-speaking peoples across Eurasia since the Ottoman era ranges from the North-East of Siberia to Turkey in the West.

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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.

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Turkic languages is one of the main members of the controversial Altaic language family.

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