Turkish refers to all the languages spoken by the Turkic peoples.
Despite the wide area over which they extend, these languages are so similar that it is better to speak of dialects. Only the language of the Yakuts on the Lena and that of the Chuvash on the Volga show significant deviations. The conservative character of the Turkic languages is a result of the fact that the nouns and verbs are made up of invariable monosyllabic stem forms, to which a large number of suffixes can be attached (agglutination); in addition, a generally strictly sustained vocal harmony prevails, ie the vocalism of the suffixes conforms to that of the stem forms. Classification of the Turkish dialects has been tested several times, including by Radloff. A later division (of Samoilovich) is that into:
1. a northeastern group, to which belong the extinct languages of the Orchon inscriptions (Kök-Turkish) and of the Uyghurs, as well as a number of dialects spoken by the Altai Turks and Yakut;
2. a northwestern group extending from the Altai Mountains through southern Siberia into Russia and Poland; these include the languages of the Kyrgyz, the Siberian Tatars, the Volga Tatars, and the Bashkir;
3. a southeastern group, comprising Turkic peoples in West, East Turkestan and Afghanistan (including the Uzbeks);
4. the southwestern group, which includes the Turkmen, the Turks of Persia and the Caucasus, who speak Azeri (Azerbaijani), and the Ottomans;
5. some languages, which might be called proto-Turkish; this group forms a kind of transition to Mongolian and is now only represented by Chuvash. In the past the languages of the Khazars, Cumans and Bulgarians also seem to have belonged to this. Of all these dialect groups, especially the southeastern and southwestern groups, under the influence of Islam, absorbed a very large number of Arabic and Persian words. In Turkey, since 1928, Turkish has been written in Latin characters, previously in Arabic script.
List of Acronyms Related to Turkish