Kipchak Languages
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Kipchak Languages
Northwestern Turkic
Central Asia, Russia, Northern Caucasus, Ukraine
Linguistic classificationTurkic
  • Kipchak-Bulgar
  • Kipchak-Cuman
  • Kipchak-Nogai
  • Kyrgyz-Kipchak
Map-Kypchak Language World.png
  Kipchak-Nogai and Kyrgyz-Kipchak

The Kipchak languages (also known as the Kypchak, Qypchaq or the Northwestern Turkic languages) are a sub-branch of the Turkic language family spoken by approximately 31.3 million people in much of Central Asia and Eastern Europe, spanning from Ukraine to China. Some of the most widely spoken languages in this group are Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tatar.

Kipchak languages by native speakers

The Turkic languages are a language family of at least 35 [2] documented languages, spoken by the Turkic peoples. The number of speakers derived from statistics or estimates (2019) and were rounded:[3][4]

Number Name Status Native speakers Main Country
1 Kazakh language Normal 14,000,000  Kazakhstan
2 Tatar language Normal 5,500,000  Russia
3 Kyrgyz language Normal 5,000,000  Kyrgyzstan
4 Bashkir language Vulnerable 1,500,000  Russia
5 Karakalpak language Normal 650,000  Uzbekistan
6 Crimean Tatar language Severely endangered 600,000  Ukraine
7 Kumyk language Vulnerable 450,000  Russia
8 Karachay-Balkar language Vulnerable 400,000  Russia
9 Siberian Tatar language Definitely endangered 100,000  Russia
10 Nogai language Definitely endangered 100,000  Russia
11 Krymchak language Critically endangered 200  Israel
12 Karaim language Critically endangered 100  Ukraine
Total Kipchak languages Normal 31,300,000  Kazakhstan

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 Common Turkic languages; others are unique to the Kipchak family.

Shared features

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

Unique features


The Kipchak languages may be broken down into four groups, based on geography and shared features:[1] Languages in bold are still spoken today.

Proto-Turkic Common Turkic Kipchak Kipchak-Bulgar (Uralian, Uralo-Caspian)
Kipchak-Cuman (Ponto-Caspian)
Kipchak-Nogai (Aralo-Caspian)
Kyrgyz-Kipchak (Kyrgyz)
South Kipchak

*Note: Kipchak-Cuman base, but have been heavily influenced by Oghuz languages.

See also


  1. ^ a b Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kipchak". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Dybo A.V., Chronology of Türkic languages and linguistic contacts of early Türks, Moscow, 2007, p. 766, "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2005-03-11. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) (In Russian)
  3. ^
  4. ^


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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