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|Region||Central Asia and Mongolia|
|Era||evolved into other Turkic languages|
|Old Turkic, Uyghur alphabet|
Old Turkic (also East Old Turkic, Orkhon Turkic, Old Uyghur) is the earliest attested form of Turkic, found in Göktürk and Uyghur inscriptions dating from about the 7th century AD to the 13th century. It is the oldest attested member of the Orkhon branch of Turkic, which is extant in the modern Western Yugur language. However, it is not the ancestor of the language now called Uighur; the contemporaneous ancestor of Uighur to the west is called Middle Turkic, later Chagatai or Turki.
Old Turkic is attested in a number of scripts, including the Orkhon-Yenisei runiform script, the Old Uyghur alphabet (a form of the Sogdian alphabet), the Br?hm? script, the Manichean alphabet, and the Perso-Arabic script.
Old Turkic often refers not to a single language, but collectively to the closely related and mutually intelligible stages of various Common Turkic branches that were spoken during the late 1st millennium AD.
The sources of Old Turkic are divided into two corpora:
The Old Turkic script (also known variously as Göktürk script, Orkhon script, Orkhon-Yenisey script) is the alphabet used by the Göktürks and other early Turkic khanates during the 8th to 10th centuries to record the Old Turkic language.
This writing system was later used within the Uyghur Khaganate. Additionally, a Yenisei variant is known from 9th-century Yenisei Kirghiz inscriptions, and it has likely cousins in the Talas Valley of Turkestan and the Old Hungarian alphabet of the 10th century. Words were usually written from right to left. Variants of the script were found from Mongolia and Xinjiang in the east to the Balkans in the west. The preserved inscriptions were dated to between the 8th and 10th centuries.
Rounded vowels may only occur in the initial syllable. Length is distinctive for all vowels; while most of its daughter languages have lost the distinction, many of these preserve it in the case of /e/ with a height distinction, where the long phoneme developed into a more closed vowel than the short counterpart.
Old Turkic is highly restrictive in which consonants words can begin with: /p/, /d/, /g/, /?/, /l/, /?/, /n/, /?/, /?/, /m/, /?/, and /z/ are not allowed in a word-initial position. The only exceptions are (ne, "what, which") and its derivatives, and some early assimilations of word-initial /b/ to /m/ preceding a nasal in a word such as (men, "I").
This is a partial list of nominal suffixes attested to in Old Turkic and known usages.
The following have been classified by Gerard Clauson as denominal noun suffixes.
|-?a||an?a||at least one|
|thus, like that)|
yesterday, night, north)
on or above
in the house
|tranquil, at peace|
food given to a traveller as a gift
inside human body
|-layu:/-leyü||börileyü||like a wolf|
|-çaq/-çek and -çuq/-çük||ï?ïr?aq||spindle-whorl|
|-q/-k (after vowels and -r) -aq/-ek (the normal forms)/-ïq/-ik/-uq/-ük(rare forms)||ortuq||middle partner|
|-daq/-dek and(?) -duq/-dük||bardaq
|-naq||baqanaq||"frog in a horse's hoof" (from baqa frog)|
The following have been classified by Gerard Clauson as deverbal suffixes.
straight, upright, lawful
|be in the know|
be moving violently
|-maç/-meç||tutmaç||"saved" noodle dish|