Middle Turkic


  • Language: Middle Turkic
  • Alternate names: Karakhanid
  • Language code: xqa
  • Language family:
  • Number of speakers:
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    Middle Turkic refers to a phase in the development of the Turkic language family, covering much of the Middle Ages. In particular the term is used by linguists to refer to a group of Karluk and Oghuz and related languages spoken during this period in Central Asia, Iran, and other parts of the Middle East occupied by the Seljuk Turks.

    The best known literary form is the Karakhanid dialects spoken in Kashgar, Balasaghun and other cities along the Silk Road.

    Sources for Karakhanid Material include Mahmud al-Kashgari's Divânü Lügati't-Türk and Yusuf Balasaghuni's Kutadgu Bilig.

    Because Karakhanid is an older form of Turkic, it is difficult to definitively place it into any modern branch of Turkic. It exhibits medial /d/ and preserves both /Ag/ and /Ig/. Although it is commonly referred to as a Turki language, it does not exhibit later changes that characterize Uzbek, Uyghur and other varieties.

    The literary language of the Chagatai Khanate is considered a later form of Middle Turkic. Confusingly, the Karluk and Oghuz "Middle Turkic" period overlaps with the East Turkic Old Turkic period, which covers the 8th to 13th centuries.

    The Middle Turkic Verb