The Turkic languages reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Turkic languages

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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 to Siberia 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:

Various elements have passed to Turkic languages especially from Chinese, Persian, Russian 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