Thursday, July 12, 2012
Karakalpak (Қарақалпақ тили / Qaraqalpaq tili)
Karakalpak is a Turkic language mainly spoken by Karakalpaks in Karakalpakstan (Uzbekistan) a language that belongs to the Kipchak or north-western category of the Turkic-Altaic family of languages, along with Kazakh, Bashkir, and Nogay.
It is spoken as their first language by about 600,000 people in the Karakalpakstan Autonomous Republic in Uzbekistan, where the language has official status. (Many Aral Uzbeks and Kazakhs in Karakalpakstan also speak the language as well as their own). There are some Karakalpak speakers in Afghanistan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey as well. Ethnic Karakalpaks who live in other parts of Uzbekistan tend to speak local Uzbek dialects.
Karakalpak is a member of the Kypchak Turkic family of languages, which includes Tatar, Kumyk and Kazakh. The Kypchak family is a subgroup of the Turkic languages. Within the Kypchak Turkic family. Karakalpak is most closely related to Kazakh and Nogai, and has absorbed a lot of vocabulary and some grammar from Uzbek as well as some Uzbek and Russian vocabulary (word share). Due to its proximity to the Uzbek language area, much of the vocabulary and grammar has an Uzbek influence. Like Finnish, Hungarian, and Turkish, Karakalpak has vowel harmony, is agglutinative and has no grammatical gender. Word order is usually subject–object–verb.
The Ethnologue identifies two dialects of Karakalpak: Northeastern and Southwestern. Menges mentions a third possible dialect spoken in the Fergana Valley. The Southwestern dialect has č for the Northeastern š.
Karakalpak has 21 native consonant phonemes and regularly uses 4 non-native phonemes in loan words.
Vowel harmony functions in Karakalpak much as it does in other Turkic languages. Words borrowed from Russian or other languages may not observe rules of vowel harmony, but the following rules usually apply:
a may be followed by a, ɯ
æ may be followed by e, i
e may be followed by e, i
i may be followed by e, i
o may be followed by a, o, u, ɯ
œ may be followed by e, i, œ, y
u may be followed by a, o, u
y may be followed by e, œ, y
ɯ may be followed by a, ɯ
men - I
sen - you (singular)
ol - he, she, it, that
biz - we
siz - you (plural)
olar - they
bir 1, eki 2, u'sh 3, to'rt 4, bes 5, altı 6, jeti 7, segiz 8, tog'ıs 9, on 10, ju'z 100, mın' 1000
Karakalpak was written in the Arabic and Persian script until 1928, in the Latin script (with additional characters) from 1928 to 1940, after which Cyrillic was introduced. Following Uzbekistan's independence in 1991, the decision was made to drop Cyrillic and revert to the Latin alphabet (1994). Whilst the use of Latin script is now widespread in Tashkent, its introduction into Karakalpakstan remains gradual.
The Latin, Cyrillic and Arabic alphabets are shown below: