The Turkic languages
are a group of closely related languages that are spoken by a variety of people distributed across a vast area from Eastern Europe
and Western China
. The Turkic languages are considered by some linguists
to be part of the Altaic language family
The Turkic language with the greatest number of speakers is Turkish.
Turkic languages are agglutinative and exhibit phonological vowel harmony.
Though various different Turkic tribes and their languages have mixed with each other throughout centuries, making a classification extremely difficult, a very simplified classification could be as follows:
- Southwestern languages:
- Northwestern languages: Kypchak group
- Aralo-Caspian: Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Karakalpak, Nogai)
- Ponto-Caspian: Karachay-Balkar, Kumyk, Karaim, Judeo-Crimean Tatar, Pecheneg (extinct), Kuman (extinct)
- Uralian: Tatar, Bashkir, Chulym
- Northern languages:
- Eastern languages:
- Bolgar languages: (sometimes considered to be a separate Altaic subfamily)
Various elements have passed to Turkic languages especially from Chinese
and Arabic languages
, and various elements from Turkic languages have been carried as far as southeastern Asia, the northernmost territories of Russia, and even North America.
See also: Orkhon script, Turkic peoples, Chagatai language