ListMoto - Altay Language

--- Advertisement ---

Gorno-Altai (also Gorno-Altay) is a Turkic language, spoken officially in the Altai Republic, Russia. The language was called Oyrot (ойрот) prior to 1948.


1 Classification 2 Geographical distribution

2.1 Official status 2.2 Varieties

3 Orthography 4 Linguistic features 5 Sounds

5.1 Consonants 5.2 Vowels

6 Writing system 7 Morphology and syntax

7.1 Pronouns

8 See also 9 References 10 External links

Classification[edit] Due to its isolated position in the Altai Mountains
Altai Mountains
and contact with surrounding languages, the classification of Altai within the Turkic languages has often been disputed. Because of its geographic proximity to the Shor and Khakas languages, some classifications place it in a Northern Turkic subgroup.[3] Due to certain similarities with Kyrgyz, it has been grouped with the Kypchak languages. A more recent classification by Talat Tekin places Southern Altai in its own subgroup within Turkic and groups the Northern Altai dialects with Lower Chulym and the Kondoma dialect of Shor.[4] Geographical distribution[edit] Altai is spoken primarily in the Altai Republic
Altai Republic
(Southern Altai) and Altai Krai
Altai Krai
(Northern Altai). Official status[edit] Alongside Russian, Altai is an official language of the Altai Republic. The official language is based on the Southern dialect spoken by the group called the Altay-Kiži, however in the few years it has also spread to the Northern Altai Republic. Varieties[edit] Though traditionally considered one language, Southern Altai is not fully mutually intelligible with the Northern varieties. Written Altai is based on Southern Altai, and according to Ethnologue is rejected by Northern Altai children.[5] In 2006, a Cyrillic
alphabet was created for the Kumandy variety of Northern Altai for use in Altai Krai.[6] Dialects are as follows:[7]

Southern Altai

Altai proper



Tölös Chuy


Northern Altai

Tuba Kumandy

Turachak Solton Starobardinian

Chalkan (also called Kuu, Lebedin)

Closely related to the northern varieties are Kondom Shor and Lower Chulym, which have -j- for proto-Turkic inter-vocalic *d, unlike Mras Shor and Middle Chulym, which have -z- and are closer to Khakas. Orthography[edit] Altay is written in the Cyrillic
alphabet: а б в г д ј е ё ж з и й к л м н ҥ о ӧ п р с т у ӱ ф х ц ч ш щ ъ ы ь э ю я Linguistic features[edit] The following features refer to the outcome of commonly used Turkic isoglosses in Northern Altai.[8][9][10]

*/ag/ — Proto-Turkic */ag/ is found in three variations throughout Northern Altai: /u/, /aw/, /aʁ/. */eb/ — Proto-Turkic */eb/ is found as either /yj/ or /yg/, depending on the variety. */VdV/ — With a few lexical exceptions (likely borrowings), proto-Turkic intervocalic */d/ results in /j/.

Sounds[edit] The sounds of the Altai language vary from dialect to dialect. Consonants[edit]

Consonant phonemes of Altai

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar





Plosive p b t d c ɟ k ɡ


s z ç ʝ x ɣ






The voiced palatal plosive /ɟ/ varies greatly from dialect to dialect, especially in the initial position. Forms of the word јок "no" include [coq] (Kuu dialect) and [joq] (Kumandy). Even within dialects, this phoneme varies greatly.[11][12] Vowels[edit] There are eight vowels in Altai. These vowels may be long or short.

Vowel phonemes of Altai

Close Open

short long short long

Front unrounded i iː e eː

rounded y yː ø øː

Back unrounded ɯ ɯː a aː

rounded u uː o oː

Writing system[edit] The language was written with the Latin script
Latin script
from 1928–1938, but has used Cyrillic
(with the addition of 9 extra letters: Јј [d͡z~ɟ], Ҥҥ [ŋ], Ӧӧ [ø~œ], Ӱӱ [y~ʏ], Ғғ [ʁ], Ққ [q], Һһ [h], Ҹҹ [d͡ʑ], Ii [ɨ̹]) since 1938. The letter Ÿ is sometimes used instead of Ӱ. Morphology and syntax[edit] Pronouns[edit] Altai has six personal pronouns:

Personal pronouns in Standard/Southern dialect

Singular Plural

Altai (transliteration) English Altai (transliteration) English

мен (men) I бис (bis) we

сен (sen) you (singular) слер (sler) you (plural, formal)

ол (ol) he/she/it олор (olor) they

The declension of the pronouns is outlined in the following chart.

Declension of pronouns in Standard/Southern dialect

Nom мен сен ол бис слер олор

Acc мени сени оны бисти слерди олорды

Gen мениҥ сениҥ оныҥ бистиҥ слердиҥ олордыҥ

Dat меге сеге ого биске слерге олорго

Loc менде сенде анда бисте слерде олордо

Abl мендеҥ сендеҥ ондоҥ бистеҥ слердеҥ олордоҥ

Inst мениле сениле оныла бисле слерле олорло

Pronouns in the various dialects vary considerably. For example, the pronouns in the Qumandin dialect follow.[13]

Personal pronouns in Qumandin

Singular Plural

Altai (transliteration) English Altai (transliteration) English

мен (men) I пис (pis) we

сен (sen) you (singular) снер (sner) you (plural, formal)

ол (ol) he/she/it анар (anar) they

See also[edit]

Telengits, Teleuts (names of related ethnic groups) Turkic peoples


^ "Population of the Russian Federation by Languages (in Russian)" (PDF). gks.ru. Russian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 1 November 2017.  ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Altay Turkic". Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ Gordon, Raymond G. Jr., ed. (2005). "Ethnologue report for Northern Turkic". SIL International. Retrieved 2007-09-14.  ^ Tekin, Tâlat (January 1989). "A New Classification of the Chuvash-Turkic Languages". Erdem. 5 (13): 129–139. ISSN 1010-867X.  ^ Raymond G. Gordon, Jr, ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics. ^ В Алтайском крае издана азбука кумандинского языка. 2006 ^ Baskakov, N. A. (1958). "La Classification des Dialectes de la Langue Turque d'Altaï". Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae (in French). 8: 9–15. ISSN 0001-6446.  ^ Баскаков, Николай Александрович (1966). Диалект Черневых Татар (Туба-Кижи): грамматический очерк и словарь. Москва: Наука.  ^ Баскаков, Николай Александрович (1972). Диалект Кумандинцев (Куманды-Кижи): грамматический очерк, тексты, переводы и словарь. Москва: Наука.  ^ Баскаков, Николай Александрович (1985). Диалект Лебединских Татар-Чалканцев (Куу-Кижи). Москва: Наука.  ^ Baskakov, N.A. (1985). Диалект Лебединских Татар-Чалканцев (Куу-Кижи). Северные Диалекты Алтайского (Ойротского) Языка (in Russian). Moscow: Издательство «Наука». ISBN 0-8285-3393-8. OCLC 21048607.  ^ Baskakov, N.A. (1972). Диалект Кумандынцев (Куманды-Кижи). Северные Диалекты Алтайского (Ойротского) Языка (in Russian). Moscow: Издательство «Наука». ISBN 0-8285-3393-8. OCLC 38772803.  ^ Сатлаев, Ф.А. (n.d.). Учитесь говорить по-кумандински, русско-кумандинский разговорник (in Russian). ?: Горно-Алтайская типография. 

External links[edit]

South Altai language test of at Wikimedia Incubator

North Altai language test of at Wikimedia Incubator

Altai Alphabet Altai phrases (Archived 2009-10-25) Russian–Altai Online Dictionary

v t e

State languages of Russia

Federal language


State languages of federal subjects

Abaza Adyghe Agul Altai Avar Azerbaijani Bashkir Buryat Chechen Chuvash Crimean Tatar Dargwa Erzya Ingush Kabardian Kalmyk Karachay-Balkar Khakas Komi Kumyk Lak Lezgian Mari

Hill Meadow

Moksha Nogai Ossetic Rutul Sakha Tabasaran Tat Tatar Tsakhur Tuvan Ukrainian Udmurt

Languages with official status

Chukchi Dolgan Even Evenki Finnish Karelian Kazakh Khanty Komi-Permyak Mansi Nenets Selkup Veps Yukaghir


Cyrillic Cyrillic

v t e

Turkic languages

Italics indicate extinct languages


Proto-Altaic Proto-Turkic

Common Turkic




Äynu1 Khorezmian Turki1 Chagatai Ili Turki Lop Uyghur Uzbek



Cuman Crimean Tatar Karachay-Balkar Karaim Kipchak Krymchak Kumyk Urum2


Siberian Tatar Fergana Kipchak Karakalpak Kazakh Kyrgyz Nogai


Bashkir Old Tatar Tatar


Afshar Azerbaijani


Crimean Turkish Gagauz Balkan Gagauz Turkish Khorasani Turkic Old Anatolian Turkish Ottoman Turkish Pecheneg2 Qashqai Salar (Anatolian) Turkish Turkmen Urum2


Altai Chulym Dolgan Fuyu Kyrgyz Khakas Old Turkic Old Uyghur Shor Tofa Tuvan


Yakut (Sakha) Western Yugur2


Bulgar Chuvash Khazar

1 Mixed language. 2 Classification disputed.

Authority control