Kazakh language

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Kazakh
qazaq tili
қазақ тілі
قازاق ٴتىلى
Pronunciation [qɑˈzɑq tɘˈlɘ]
Native to Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan
Region Turkestan, Dzungaria, Anatolia, Khorasan, Fergana Valley
Native speakers
15 million (2016)
Turkic
Kazakh alphabets (Latin, Cyrillic script, Arabic script, Kazakh Braille)
Official status
Official language in

 Kazakhstan
 Russia

 China

Regulated by Kazakh language agency
Language codes
ISO 639-1 kk
ISO 639-2 kaz
ISO 639-3 kaz
Glottolog kaza1248[2]
Linguasphere 44-AAB-cc
Idioma kazajo.png
The Kazakh-speaking world:
  regions where Kazakh is the language of the majority
  regions where Kazakh is the language of a significant minority
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Kazakh (natively қазақ тілі, qazaq tili, pronounced [qɑˈzɑq tɘˈlɘ]) belongs to the Kipchak branch of the Turkic languages. It is closely related to Nogai, Kyrgyz, and especially Karakalpak. Kazakh is the official language of the Republic of Kazakhstan and a significant minority language in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang, China and in the Bayan-Ölgii Province of Mongolia. Kazakh is also spoken by many ethnic Kazakhs through the former Soviet Union (approximately 500,000 in Russia according to the 2002 Russian Census), Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and Germany.

Like other Turkic languages, Kazakh is an agglutinative language, and it employs vowel harmony.

In October 2017, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev decreed that the government would transition from using Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet by 2025.

Geographic distribution

The Kazakh language has its speakers (mainly Kazakhs) spread over a vast territory from the Tian Shan to the western shore of the Caspian Sea. Kazakh is the official state language of Kazakhstan, with nearly 10 million speakers (based on information from the CIA World Factbook[3] on population and the proportion of Kazakh speakers). In China, more than one million ethnic Kazakhs and Kazakh speakers reside in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture of Xinjiang.[4]

Writing system

The oldest known written records of languages closely related to Kazakh were written in the Old Turkic alphabet, though it is not believed that any of these varieties were direct predecessors of Kazakh.[5] Modern Kazakh, going back approximately one thousand years, was written in the Arabic script until 1929, when Soviet authorities introduced a Latin-based alphabet, and then a Cyrillic in 1940.[6] In presenting a strategic plan in April 2017, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev described the twentieth century as a period in which the "Kazakh language and culture have been devastated."[6] Nazarbayev ordered Kazakh authorities to create a Latin Kazakh alphabet by the end of 2017, so written Kazakh could return to a Latin script starting in 2018.[7][8] As of 2017, Kazakh is written in Cyrillic in Kazakhstan and Mongolia, while more than one million Kazakh speakers in China use an Arabic-derived alphabet similar to the one that is used to write Uyghur.[5] On October 26, 2017, Nazarbayev issued Presidential Decree 569 for the change to a finalized Latin variant of the Kazakh alphabet and ordered that the government's transition to this alphabet be completed by 2025,[9][10] a decision taken to emphasise Kazakh culture after the era of Soviet rule[11] and to facilitate the use of digital devices.[12]

Latin alphabet for the Kazakh language, adopted by Presidential Decree 569 (26 October 2017)[9]

Nazarbayev first brought up the topic of using the Latin alphabet instead of the Cyrillic alphabet as the official script for Kazakh in Kazakhstan in October 2006.[13][14] A Kazakh government study released in September 2007 said that a switch to a Latin script over a 10- to 12-year period was feasible, at a cost of $300 million.[15] The transition was halted temporarily on December 13, 2007, with President Nazarbayev declaring: "For 70 years the Kazakhstanis read and wrote in Cyrillic. More than 100 nationalities live in our state. Thus we need stability and peace. We should be in no hurry in the issue of alphabet transformation."[16] However, on January 30, 2015, the Minister of Culture and Sports Arystanbek Mukhamediuly announced that a transition plan was underway, with specialists working on the orthography in order to accommodate the phonological aspects of the language.[17]

Cyrillic script Arabic script Latin script English translation
Барлық адамдар тумасынан азат және қадыр-қасиеті мен құқтары тең болып дүниеге келеді. Адамдарға ақыл-парасат, ар-ождан берілген, сондықтан олар бір-бірімен туыстық, бауырмалдық қарым-қатынас жасаулары тиіс. بارلىق ادامدار تۋمىسىنان ازات جانە قادىر-قاسيەتى مەن كۇقىقتارى تەڭ بولىپ دۇنيەگە كەلەدى. ادامدارعا اقىل-پاراسات، ار-وجدان بەرىلگەن، سوندىقتان ولار ٴبىر-بىرىمەن تۋىستىق، باۋىرمالدىق قارىم-قاتىناس جاساۋلارى ٴتيىس.‎ Barlyq adamdar ty'masynan azat ja'ne qadyr-qasi'eti men quqtary ten' bolyp du'ni'ege keledi. Adamdarg'a aqyl-parasat, ar-ojdan berilgen, sondyqtan olar bir-birimen ty'ystyq, bay'yrmaldyq qarym-qatynas jasay'lary ti'is. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Kazakh Arabic and Latin script in 1924

Phonology

Kazakh exhibits tongue-root vowel harmony, with some words of recent foreign origin (usually of Russian or Arabic origin) as exceptions. There is also a system of rounding harmony which resembles that of Kyrgyz, but which does not apply as strongly and is not reflected in the orthography.

Consonants

The following chart depicts the consonant inventory of standard Kazakh;[18] many of the sounds, however, are allophones of other sounds or appear only in recent loan-words. The 18 consonant phonemes listed by Vajda are in bold—since these are phonemes, their listed place and manner of articulation are very general, and will vary from what is shown. The borrowed phonemes /f/, /v/, /ɕ/, /t͡ɕ/ and /x/, only occur in recent mostly Russian borrowings, and are shown in parentheses [ ] in the table below.

In the table, the elements left of a divide are voiceless, while those to the right are voiced.

Kazakh consonant phonemes
Labials Dental/
Alveolar
Palato-
alveolar
Alveolo-
palatal
Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m ⟨м/m⟩ n ⟨н/n⟩ ŋ ⟨ң/n'⟩
Plosive p ⟨п/p⟩ b ⟨б/b⟩ t ⟨т/t⟩ d ⟨д/d⟩ k ⟨к/k⟩ ɡ ⟨г/g⟩ q ⟨қ/q⟩
Affricate [t͡ɕ] ⟨ч/c'⟩
Fricative [f] ⟨ф/f⟩ [v] ⟨в/v⟩ s ⟨с/s⟩ z ⟨з/z⟩ ʃ ⟨ш/s'⟩ ʒ ⟨ж/j⟩ [ɕ] ⟨щ/s'⟩ [x] ⟨х/h⟩ ʁ ⟨ғ/g'⟩ h ⟨һ/h⟩
Approximant l ⟨л/l⟩ j ⟨й/i'⟩ w ⟨у/y'⟩
Trill r ⟨р/r⟩

Vowels

Kazakh has a system of nine phonemic vowels, three of which are diphthongs. The rounding contrast and /æ/ generally only occur as phonemes in the first syllable of a word, but do occur later allophonically; see the section on harmony below for more information.

According to Vajda, the front/back quality of vowels is actually one of neutral versus retracted tongue root.[citation needed]

Per convention, rounded vowels are presented to the right of their unrounded counterparts. Phonetic values are paired with the corresponding character in Kazakh's Cyrillic and current Latin alphabets.

Kazakh vowel phonemes
−RTR
("Front")
+RTR
("Back")
Diphthongised /i̯ɘ/, ⟨е/e⟩ /œ~ø/, ⟨ө/o'⟩ /u̯o/, ⟨о/o⟩
Close /ɘ~ɪ/, ⟨i/i⟩ /ʉ/, ⟨ү/u'⟩ /ə/, ⟨ы/y⟩ /ʊ/, ⟨ұ/u⟩
Open /æ/, ⟨ә/a'⟩ /ɑ/, ⟨а/a⟩

Morphology and syntax

Kazakh is generally verb-final, though various permutations on SOV (subject–object–verb) word order can be used.[19] Inflectional and derivational morphology, both verbal and nominal, in Kazakh, exists almost exclusively in the form of agglutinative suffixes. Kazakh is a nominative-accusative, head-final, left-branching, dependent-marking language.[5]

Declension of nouns[5]
Case Morpheme Possible forms кеме "ship" ауа "air" шелек "bucket" сәбіз "carrot" бас "head" тұз "salt"
Nom кеме ауа шелек сәбіз бас тұз
Acc -NI -ні, -ны, -ді, -ды, -ті, -ты, -н кемені ауаны шелекті сәбізді басты тұзды
Gen -NIŋ -нің, -ның, -дің, -дың, -тің, -тың кеменің ауаның шелектің сәбіздің бастың тұздың
Dat -GA -ге, -ға, -ке, -қа, -не, -на кемеге ауаға шелекке сәбізге басқа тұзға
Loc -DA -де, -да, -те, -та кемеде ауада шелекте сәбізде баста тұзда
Abl -DAn -ден, -дан, -тен, -тан, -нен, -нан кемеден ауадан шелектен сәбізден бастан тұздан
Inst -Men -мен(ен) -бен(ен) -пен(ен) кемемен ауамен шелекпен сәбізбен баспен тұзбен

Pronouns

Kazakh has eight personal pronouns:

Personal pronouns[5]
Singular Plural
Kazakh (transliteration) English Kazakh (transliteration) English
Мен (Men) I Біз (Biz) We
Сен (Sen) You (singular informal) Сендер (Sender) You (plural informal)
Сіз (Siz) You (singular formal) Сіздер (Sizder) You (plural formal)
Ол (Ol) He/She/It Олар (Olar) They

The declension of the pronouns is outlined in the following chart. Singular pronouns (with the exception of сіз, which used to be plural) exhibit irregularities, while plural pronouns don't. Irregular forms are highlighted in bold.[5]

Declension of pronouns[5]
Nom мен сен сіз ол біз сендер сіздер олар
Acc мені сені сізді оны бізді сендерді сіздерді оларды
Gen менің сенің сіздің оның біздің сендердің сіздердің олардың
Dat маған саған сізге оған бізге сендерге сіздерге оларға
Loc менде сенде сізде онда бізде сендерде сіздерде оларда
Abl менен сенен сізден одан бізден сендерден сіздерден олардан
Inst менімен сенімен сізбен онымен бізбен сендермен сіздермен олармен

In addition to the pronouns, there are several more sets of morphemes dealing with person.[5]

Morphemes indicating person[5]
pronouns copulas possessive endings past/conditional
1st sg мен -MIn -(I)m -(I)m
2nd sg сен -sIŋ -(I)ŋ -(I)ŋ
2nd formal sg сіз -sIz -(I)ŋIz -(I)ŋIz
3rd sg ол -(s)I(n)
1st pl біз -MIz -(I)mIz -(I)K
2nd pl сендер -sIŋdAr -(I)ŋ -(I)ŋ
2nd formal pl сіздер -sIzdAr -(I)ŋIz -(I)nIz
3rd pl олар -(s)I(n)

Tense, aspect and mood

Kazakh may express different combinations of tense, aspect and mood through the use of various verbal morphology or through a system of auxiliary verbs, many of which might better be considered light verbs. The present tense is a prime example of this; progressive tense in Kazakh is formed with one of four possible auxiliaries. These auxiliaries "отыр" (sit), "тұр" (stand), "жүр" (go) and "жат" (lie), encode various shades of meaning of how the action is carried out and also interact with the lexical semantics of the root verb: telic and non-telic actions, semelfactives, durative and non-durative, punctual, etc. There are selectional restrictions on auxiliaries: motion verbs, such as бару (go) and келу (come) may not combine with "отыр". Any verb, however, can combine with "жат" (lie) to get a progressive tense meaning.[5]

Progressive aspect in the present tense[5]
Kazakh Aspect English translation
Jei'min non-progressive "I eat."
Jep jatyrmyn progressive "I am eating [right now]."
Jep otyrmyn progressive/durative "I am [sitting and] eating." / "I have been eating."
Jep turmyn progressive/punctual "I am [in the middle of] eating [this very minute]."
Jep ju'rmin habitual "I eat [lunch, everyday]"

While it is possible to think that different categories of aspect govern the choice of auxiliary, it is not so straightforward in Kazakh. Auxiliaries are internally sensitive to the lexical semantics of predicates, for example, verbs describing motion:[5]

Selectional restrictions on Kazakh auxiliaries[5]
Kazakh Gloss Auxiliary Used English translation
Суда балық жүзеді

Sy'-da balyq ju'z-e-di

water-LOC fish swim-PRES-3

(present/future tense used)

"Fish swim in water"

(general statement)

Суда балық жүзіп жатыр

Sy'-da balyq ju'z-ip jatyr

water-LOC fish swim-CNVB AUX.3 жат- to lie, general marker for

progressive aspect.

"The/A fish is swimming in the water"
Суда балық жүзіп жүр

Sy'-da balyq ju'z-ip ju'r

water-LOC fish swim-CNVB AUX.3 жүр – "go", dynamic/habitual/iterative "The fish is swimming [as it always does] in the water"
Суда балық жүзіп тұр

Sy'-da balyq ju'z-ip tur

water-LOC fish swim-CNVB AUX.3 тұр – "stand", progressive marker to show

the swimming is punctual

"The fish is swimming in the water"
* Суда балық жүзіп отыр

Sy'-da balyq ju'z-ip otyr

water-LOC fish swim-CNVB AUX.3 отыр – "sit", ungrammatical in

this sentence, отыр can only be used

for verbs that are stative in nature

*The fish has been swimming

Not a possible sentence of Kazakh

In addition to the complexities of the progressive tense, there are many auxiliary-converb pairs that encode a range of aspectual, modal, volitional, evidential and action- modificational meanings. For example, the pattern -ып көру, with the auxiliary verb көру (see), indicates that the subject of the verb attempted or tried to do something (compare the Japanese てみる temiru construction).[5]

Annotated text with gloss

From "Menin' Qazaqstanym" ("My Kazakhstan"), the national anthem of Kazakhstan:

Менің Қазақстаным Menin' Qazaqstan-ym My Kazakhstan
Алтын күн аспаны Altyn ku'n aspan-y The golden sun in the sky
[ɑltən kʉn ɑspɑˈnə] gold sun sky-3.POSS
Алтын дән даласы Altyn da'n dala-sy The golden corn of the steppe
[altən dæn dɑlɑˈsə] gold corn steppe-3.POSS
Ерліктің дастаны Erlik-tin' dastan-y The legend of courage
[jerlɘkˈtɘŋ dɑstɑˈnə] courage legend-GEN epic-3.POSS-NOM
Еліме қарашы! El-im-e qara-s'y Just look at my country!
[jɘlɘˈmʲe qɑrɑˈʃə] country-1SG.ACC look-IMP
Ежелден ер деген Ejel-den er de-gen Called heroes since time immemorial
[jɘʑʲɘlˈdʲen jɘr dʲɪˈɡʲen] antiquity-ABL hero say-PTCP.PST
Даңқымыз шықты ғой Dan'q-ymyz s'yq-ty g'oi' Our glory, emerged!
[dɑɴqəˈməz ʃəqˈtə ʁoj] glory-1PL.POSS.NOM emerge-PST.3 EMPH
Намысын бермеген Namys-y-n ber-me-gen Without losing their honor
[nɑməˈsən bʲermʲeˈɡʲen] honor-3.POSS-ACC give-NEG-PTCP.PST
Қазағым мықты ғой Qazag'-ym myqty g'oi' Mighty are my Kazakh people!
[qɑzɑˈʁəm məqˈtə ʁoj] Kazakh-1SG.POSS strong EMPH
Менің елім, менің елім Menin' el-im, menin' el-im My country, my country
[mʲɘˈnɘŋ jɘˈlɪm, mʲɘˈnɘŋ jɘˈlɪm] 1SG.GEN my country (2x)-1SG.NOM
Гүлің болып, егілемін Gu'l-yn' bol-yp, eg-il-e-min As your flower, I am rooted in you
[ɡʉˈlɘŋ boˈləp, jɘɡɘlʲɘˈmɪn] flower-2SG.NOM be-CNVB, root-PASS-PRES-1SG
Жырың болып төгілемін, елім Jyr-yn' bol-yp, to'g-il-e-min, el-im As your song, I will be sung abound
[ʒəˈrəŋ boˈləp tœɡɪlˈʲɘmɪn, jɘˈlɪm] song-2SG.NOM be-CNVB, sing-PASS-PRES-1SG, country-1SG.POSS.NOM
Туған жерім менің – Қазақстаным Ty'-g'an jer-im menin' – Qazaqstan-ym My native land – My Kazakhstan
[tuwˈʁan ʒeˈrɪm mʲɘnɘŋ qɑzɑqˈstɑnəm] birth-PTCP-PST place-1SG.POSS.NOM 1SG.GEN – Kazakhstan-1SG.POSS.NOM

See also

References

  1. ^ "Нормативные правовые акты субъектов Российской Федерации" [Normative legal acts of the subjects of the Russian Federation] (in Russian). Министе́рство юсти́ции Росси́йской Федера́ции. December 19, 2013. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kazakh". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ "Central Asia: Kazakhstan". The 2017 World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. October 26, 2017. Archived from the original on October 30, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2017. 
  4. ^ Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D., eds. (2017). "Kazakh". Ethnologue: Languages of the World (20th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Retrieved October 28, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Mukhamedova, Raikhangul (2015). Kazakh: A Comprehensive Grammar. Routledge. ISBN 9781317573081. 
  6. ^ a b Назарбаев, Нұрсұлтан (April 26, 2017). "Болашаққа бағдар: рухани жаңғыру" [Orientation for the future: spiritual revival]. Egemen Qazaqstan (in Kazakh). Archived from the original on June 28, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Kazakh President Orders Shift Away From Cyrillic Alphabet". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. April 12, 2017. Archived from the original on July 6, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  8. ^ "From Я to R: How To Change A Country's Alphabet -- And How Not To". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. May 16, 2017. Archived from the original on May 23, 2017. Retrieved May 18, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "О переводе алфавита казахского языка с кириллицы на латинскую графику" [On the change of the alphabet of the Kazakh language from the Cyrillic to the Latin script] (in Russian). President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. October 26, 2017. Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2017. 
  10. ^ Illmer, Andreas; Daniyarov, Elbek; Rakhimov, Azim (October 31, 2017). "Kazakhstan to Qazaqstan: Why would a country switch its alphabet?". BBC News. Archived from the original on October 31, 2017. Retrieved October 31, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Nazarbayev Signs Decree On Kazakh Language Switch To Latin-Based Alphabet". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. October 27, 2017. Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Alphabet soup as Kazakh leader orders switch from Cyrillic to Latin letters". The Guardian. 26 October 2017. Archived from the original on October 28, 2017. Retrieved 30 October 2017 – via Reuters. 
  13. ^ "Kazakhstan switching to Latin alphabet". Interfax. October 30, 2006. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Kazakh President Revives Idea of Switching to Latin Script". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. October 24, 2006. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  15. ^  Bartlett, Paul (September 3, 2007). "Kazakhstan: Moving Forward With Plan to Replace Cyrillic With Latin Alphabet". EurasiaNet. Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Kazakhstan should be in no hurry in Kazakh alphabet transformation to Latin: Nazarbayev". Kazinform. December 13, 2007,  cited in "Kazakhstan backtracks on move from Cyrillic to Roman alphabet?". Pinyin News. December 14, 2007. Archived from the original on September 29, 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  17. ^ "Kazakh language to be converted to Latin alphabet – MCS RK". Kazinform. January 30, 2015. Archived from the original on February 19, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  18. ^ Some variations occur in the different regions where Kazakh is spoken, including outside Kazakhstan; e.g. ж / ج (where a Perso-Arabic script similar to the current Uyghur alphabet is used) is read [ʒ] in standard Kazakh, but [d͡ʒ] in some places.
  19. ^ Beltranslations.com

Further reading

  • Kara, Dávid Somfai (2002), Kazak, Lincom Europa, ISBN 9783895864704 
  • Mark Kirchner: "Kazakh and Karakalpak". In: The Turkic languages. Ed. by Lars Johanson and É. Á. Csató. London [u.a.] : Routledge, 1998. (Routledge language family descriptions). S.318-332.

External links

  • Online Kazakh cyrillic transliteration www.cesty.in
  • Kazakh language, alphabet and pronunciation
  • Aliya S. Kuzhabekova, "Past, Present and Future of Language Policy in Kazakhstan" (M.A. thesis, University of North Dakota, 2003)
  • Kazakh Cyrillic–Latin–Arabic converter
  • Russian–Kazakh Kazakh–Russian dictionary
  • Kazakh language recordings, British Library
  • Kazakh - Apertium
  • KazakhTurkish Dictionary
  • Kazakhstan in the CIA World Factbook
  • US Peace Corps Kazakh Language Courses transcribed to HTML
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