Uzbek belongs to the Eastern Turkic or Karluk
branch of the Turkic language family
. External influences include Arabic
. One of the most noticeable distinctions of Uzbek from other Turkic languages is the rounding of the vowel /ɑ
/ to /ɔ
/, a feature that was influenced by Persian. Unlike other Turkic languages, vowel harmony
is completely lost in Standard Uzbek, though it is (albeit somewhat less strictly) still observed in its dialects, as with its sister Karluk language Uyghur
In the language itself, Uzbek is oʻzbek tili
. In Cyrillic
, it is ўзбек тили or ўзбекча. In Arabic script
, اۉزبېک تیلی
Uzbek can be considered the direct descendant or a later form of Chagatai
, the language of great Turkic
Central Asian literary development in the realm of Chagatai Khan
(Tamerlane), and the Timurid dynasty
(including the early Mughal rulers of India). The language was championed by Ali-Shir Nava'i
in the 15th and 16th centuries. Nava'i was the greatest representative of Chagatai language literature.
He significantly contributed to the development of the Chagatai language and its direct descendant Uzbek and is widely considered to be the founder of Uzbek literature.
Ultimately based on the Karluk
variant of the Turkic languages, Chagatai contained large numbers of Persian and Arabic loanwords
. By the 19th century it was rarely used for literary composition, but disappeared only in the early 20th century.
The term Uzbek
as applied to language has meant different things at different times. Prior to 1921 "Uzbek" and "Sart
" were considered to be different dialects:
In Khanate of Khiva
, Sarts spoke a highly Oghuz
Turkified form of Karluk
Turkic. After 1921 the Soviet regime abolished the term Sart
as derogatory, and decreed that henceforth the entire settled Turkic population of Turkestan would be known as Uzbeks
, even though many had no Uzbek tribal heritage.
However, the standard written language that was chosen for the new republic in 1924, despite the protests of Uzbek Bolsheviks
such as Fayzulla Khodzhayev
, was not pre-revolutionary "Uzbek" but the "Sart" language of the Samarkand region. Edward A. Allworth
argued that this "badly distorted the literary history of the region" and was used to give authors such as the 15th-century author Ali-Shir Nava'i
an Uzbek identity.
All three dialects continue to exist within modern spoken Uzbek.
Uzbek has been written in a variety of scripts throughout history:
- 1880s: Russian missionaries attempted to use Cyrillic for Uzbek.
- Before 1928: the Arabic-based Yaña imlâ alphabet by literates, approximately 3.7% of Uzbeks at the time.
- 1928–1940: the Latin-based Yañalif was used officially.
- 1940–1992: the Cyrillic script was used officially.
- Since 1992: Latin script was being phased in.
- 2019: reform of the Latin script (planed)
- 2021: reform of the Latin script (planed)
Despite the official status of the Latin script in Uzbekistan, the use of Cyrillic is still widespread, especially in advertisements and signs. In newspapers, scripts may be mixed, with headlines in Latin and articles in Cyrillic.
The Arabic script is no longer used in Uzbekistan except symbolically in limited texts
or for the academic studies of Chagatai (Old Uzbek)
In the western Chinese region of Xinjiang
and in northern Afghanistan
, where there is an Uzbek minority, the Arabic-based script is still used.
Modern Latin alphabet
/i/ and /u/ can have short allophones of [ɪ] and [ʊ], and central allophones [ɨ̞] and [ʉ]. /ɔ/ can have an open back allophone [ɒ].
In Uzbek, there are two main categories of words:
- nominals (equivalent to nouns, pronouns, adjectives and some adverbs)
- verbals (equivalent to verbs and some adverbs)
Plurals are formed by suffix -lar
. Nouns take the -ni
suffix as an definite article, unsuffixed nouns are understood as indefinite. The dative case ending -ga
changes to -ka
when the noun ends in -k
, or -qa
when the noun ends in -q
Uzbek uses the following verbal suffixes:
The present and future tenses are both expressed with the -a and -y suffixes.
The word order in the Uzbek language is subject–object–verb
(SOV), like all other Turkic languages
. Unlike in English, the object comes before the verb and the verb is the last element of the sentence.
Number of speakers
Estimates of the number of speakers of Uzbek vary widely, from 25 up to 30 million. Ethnologue
estimates put the number of native speakers at 27 million across all the recognized dialects. The Swedish national encyclopedia, Nationalencyklopedin
, estimates the number of native speakers to be 30 million,
and the CIA World Factbook
estimates 25 million. Other sources estimate the number of speakers of Uzbek to be 21 million in Uzbekistan,
3.4 million in Afghanistan,
900,000 in Tajikistan,
800,000 in Kyrgyzstan,
500,000 in Kazakhstan,
300,000 in Turkmenistan,
and 300,000 in Russia.
The influence of Islam
, and by extension, Arabic
, is evident in Uzbek loanwords
. There is also a residual influence of Russian
, from the time when Uzbeks
were under the rule of the Russian Empire
and the Soviet Union
. Most importantly, Uzbek vocabulary, phraseology and pronunciation has been heavily influenced by Persian
through its historic roots. Uzbek has been significantly influenced by Persian and it also influenced Tajik
(a variety of Persian).
Of the Turkic languages, Uzbek is perhaps the one most strongly influenced by Persian.
A man speaking Uzbek
Uzbek can be roughly divided into three dialect groups. The Karluk dialects, centered on Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, and the Ferghana Valley, are the basis for the standard Uzbek language. This dialect group shows the most influence of Persian vocabulary, particularly in the historically Persian cities of Bukhara and Samarkand. The Kipchak dialect, spoken from the Surxondaryo region
through north-central Uzbekistan into Karakalpakstan
, show significant influence from the Kipchak
Turkic languages, particularly in the mutation of [j] to [ʑ] as in Kazakh
. The Oghuz dialect, spoken mainly in Khorezm
along the Turkmenistan border, is notable for the mutation of word-initial [k] to [g].
In Turkmenistan since the 2000s the government conducted a forced "Turkmenization
" of ethnic Uzbeks living in the country.
In the Soviet years and in the 1990s, the Uzbek language was used freely in Turkmenistan. There were several hundred schools in the Uzbek language, many newspapers were published in this language. Now there are only a few Uzbek schools in the country, as well as a few newspapers in Uzbek. Despite this, the Uzbek language is still considered to be one of the recognized languages of national minorities in this country. Approximately 300,000–600,000 Uzbeks live in Turkmenistan. Most of the Uzbek speakers live in Dashoghuz Velayat
, as well as in Lebap Velayat
and partly in Ashghabad
Uzbek is one of the many recognized languages of national minorities in Russia
. More than 400 thousand Uzbeks
are citizens of the Russian Federation and live in this country. Also in Russia there are 2 to 6 million Uzbeks from the Central Asian
republics (mainly Uzbekistan
) who are immigrants and migrants. Large diasporas of Uzbeks live in such large cities of Russia as Moscow
, Saint Petersburg
, Nizhny Novgorod
. Signs in Uzbek are often found in these cities. Signs refer mainly to various restaurants and eateries, barbershops, shops selling fruits, vegetables and textile products. There is a small clinic, where signs and labels in the Uzbek language. There are also illegal signs in Uzbek on the streets of these cities with underground sex services ("Call girls
"). Uzbeks in Russia prefer to use the Cyrillic Uzbek alphabet, but in recent years Uzbek youth in Russia are also actively using the Latin Uzbek alphabet. Small newspapers in Uzbek are published in large cities of Russia.
Some instructions for immigrants and migrants are duplicated, including in Uzbek. Uzbek language is studied by Russian students in the faculties of Turkology
throughout Russia.
The largest Uzbek language learning centers in Russia are located in the universities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. There are also many Russians
who are interested in and love the Uzbek language and culture and who study this language for themselves. Uzbek is one of the most studied languages among the many languages of the former USSR in Russia. Native speakers of Uzbek in Russia usually use in their vocabulary a lot of words from Russian
- ^ Used in Afghanistan and China
- ^ Third official language in areas where Uzbeks are majority
- ^ Uzbek at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
Northern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
Southern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- ^ Scott Newton (20 November 2014). Law and the Making of the Soviet World: The Red Demiurge. Routledge. pp. 232–. ISBN 978-1-317-92978-9.
- ^  From amongst Pashto, Dari, Uzbeki, Turkmani, Baluchi, Pachaie, Nuristani, Pamiri and other current languages in the country, Pashto and Dari shall be the official languages of the state. In areas where the majority of the people speak in any one of Uzbeki, Turkmani, Pachaie, Nuristani, Baluchi or Pamiri languages, any of the aforementioned language, in addition to Pashto and Dari, shall be the third official language, the usage of which shall be regulated by law.
- ^ "The Origins of the Uzbek Language" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2 September 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- ^ Golden, Peter. B. (1990), "Chapter 13 – The Karakhanids and Early Islam", in Sinor, Denis (ed.), The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-24304-1
- ^ Allworth, Edward (1994). Central Asia: 130 Years of Russian Dominance, a Historical Overview. Duke University Press. p. 72. ISBN 0-8223-1521-1.
- ^ Robert McHenry, ed. (1993). "Navā'ī, (Mir) 'Alī Shīr". Encyclopædia Britannica. 8 (15th ed.). Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. p. 563.
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- ^ Valitova, A. A. (1974). "Alisher Navoi". In A. M. Prokhorov (ed.). Great Soviet Encyclopedia (in Russian). 17 (3rd ed.). Moscow: Soviet Encyclopedia. pp. 194–195.
- ^ A. M. Prokhorov, ed. (1997). "Navoi, Nizamiddin Mir Alisher". Great Encyclopedic Dictionary (in Russian) (2nd ed.). Saint Petersburg: Great Russian Encyclopedia. p. 777.
- ^ "Alisher Navoi". Writers History. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- ^ Maxim Isaev (7 July 2009). "Uzbekistan – The monuments of classical writers of oriental literature are removed in Samarqand". Ferghana News. Archived from the original on 11 September 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- ^ Kamola Akilova. "Alisher Navoi and his epoch in the context of Uzbekistan art culture development [sic]". San'at Magazine. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
- ^ "Uzbek Culture". UzHotels. Archived from the original on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- ^ "Alisher Navoi – The Crown of Literature". Kitob.uz Children's Digital Library (in Uzbek). Retrieved 8 February 2012.[permanent dead link]
- ^ Allworth, Edward A. (1990). The Modern Uzbeks: From the Fourteenth Century to the Present: A Cultural History. Hoover Institution Press. pp. 229–230. ISBN 978-0-8179-8732-9.
- ^ a b c Batalden, Stephen K. (1997). The Newly Independent States of Eurasia: Handbook of Former Soviet Republics. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 194. ISBN 978-0-89774-940-4.
- ^ a b European Society for Central Asian Studies. International Conference (2005). Central Asia on Display. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 221. ISBN 978-3-8258-8309-6.
- ^ Sjoberg, Andrée F. (1963). Uzbek Structural Grammar. Uralic and Altaic Series. 18. Bloomington: Indiana University. pp. 16–18.
- ^ Ahmedjanova, Zumrad, "Uzbek Language", slaviccenters.duke.edu
- ^ "Världens 100 största språk 2007" ("The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007"), Nationalencyklopedin
- ^ "Uzbekistan". CIA. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- ^ "Languages of Afghanistan". Ethnologue. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- ^ "Languages of Tajikistan". Ethnologue. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- ^ "Ethnic Makeup of the Population" (PDF). National Statistics Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic (in Russian). Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- ^ "National Census 2009" (PDF). Statistics Agency of Kazakhstan (in Russian). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- ^ "Languages of Turkmenistan". Ethnologue. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- ^ "National Census 2010". Federal State Statistics Service (in Russian). Retrieved 7 December 2012.
- ^ Ido, Shinji (21 March 2014). "Bukharan Tajik"(PDF). Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 44 (1): 87–102. doi:10.1017/S002510031300011X. S2CID 232344116.
- ^ Hickey, Raymond 2010. The Handbook of Language Contact. Malden, MA: Wiley- Blackwel page 655
- ^ "AZERBAIJAN ix. Iranian Elements in Azeri Turki – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org.
- ^ memohrc.org — "Туркменизация" руководящих кадров в Дашогузе
- ^ iamik.ru — Туркменизация узбеков
- ^ vb.kg — В Туркмении завершается принудительная туркменизация
- ^ 365info.kz — Туркменские узбеки тихо ликуют и следят за Мирзиёевым
- ^ fergananews.com — В Москве начинает выходить газета на узбекском языке
- ^ vesti.kg — В Москве начинает выходить газета на узбекском языке
- ^ caravan.kz — В Москве начинает выходить газета на узбекском языке
- ^ the-village.ru — Москвичи, изучающие узбекский, таджикский и молдавский языки
- Mamatov, Jahangir; Kadirova, Karamat (2008). Comprehensive Uzbek-English Dictionary. Hyattsville, Maryland: Dunwoody Press. ISBN 978-1-931546-83-6. OCLC 300453555.
- Csató, Éva Ágnes; Johanson, Lars (1936). The Turkic Languages. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-41261-7. OCLC 40980286.
- Bregel, Yu (1978). "The Sarts in The Khanate of Khiva". Journal of Asian History. 12 (2): 120–151. JSTOR 41930294.
- Bodrogligeti, András J. E. (2002). Modern Literary Uzbek: A Manual for Intensive Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Courses. München: Lincom Europa. ISBN 3-89586-695-4. OCLC 51061526.
- Fierman, William (1991). Language Planning and National Development: The Uzbek Experience. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-085338-8. OCLC 815507595.
- Ismatullaev, Khaĭrulla (1995). Modern literary Uzbek I. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University, Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies. ISBN 0-933070-36-5. OCLC 34576336.
- Karl, A. Krippes (1996). Uzbek-English Dictionary (Rev ed.). Kensington: Dunwoody Press. ISBN 1-881265-45-5. OCLC 35822650.
- Sjoberg, Andrée Frances (1997). Uzbek Structural Grammar. Richmond: Curzon Press. ISBN 0-7007-0818-9. OCLC 468438031.
- Waterson, Natalie (1980). Uzbek-English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-713597-8. OCLC 5100980.
- Republic of Uzbekistan, Ministry of Higher and Middle Eductation. Lotin yozuviga asoslangan oʻzbek alifbosi va imlosi (Latin writing based Uzbek alphabet and orthography), Tashkent Finance Institute: Tashkent, 2004.
- A. Shermatov. "A New Stage in the Development of Uzbek Dialectology" in Essays on Uzbek History, Culture and Language. Ed. Bakhtiyar A. Nazarov & Denis Sinor. Bloomington, Indiana, 1993, pp. 101–9.
Wikivoyage has a phrasebook for Uzbek
Grammar and orthography
Last edited on 5 May 2021, at 23:00
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