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Kipchak languages

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Title: Kipchak languages  
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Subject: List of contemporary ethnic groups, Crimean Tatar language, Fergana Kipchak language, Kyrgyz language, Turkic languages
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Kipchak languages

Northwestern Turkic
Ethnicity: Kipchaks
Linguistic classification: Turkic
  • Kipchak
  • Kipchak–Bolgar
  • Kipchak–Cuman
  • Kipchak–Nogai
  • Kyrgyz–Kipchak
Glottolog: kipc1239[1]

 Kipchak–Bolgar   Kipchak–Cuman   Kipchak–Nogay and Kyrgyz–Kipchak 

The Kipchak languages (also known as the Kypchak, Qypchaq, or Northwestern Turkic languages) are a branch of the Turkic language family spoken by more than twenty five million people in an area spanning from Lithuania to China.

Linguistic features

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

Shared features

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

Unique features

  • Extensive labial vowel harmony (e.g. olor vs. olar "them")
  • Frequent fortition (in the form of assibilation) of initial */j/ (e.g. *jetti > ʒetti "seven")
  • Diphthongs from syllable-final */ɡ/ and */b/ (e.g. *taɡ > taw "mountain", *sub > suw "water")


The Kipchak languages may be broken down into four groups, based on geography and shared features:[1]

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