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  documented languages, spoken by the Turkic peoples. The number of speakers derived from statistics or estimates (2019) and were rounded:
|Number||Name||Status||Native speakers||Main Country|
|6||Crimean Tatar language||Severely endangered||600,000||Ukraine|
|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|
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.
- Change of Proto-Turkic *d to /j/ (e.g. *hadaq > ajaq "foot")
- Loss of initial *h (preserved only in Khalaj), see above example
- Extensive labial vowel harmony (e.g. olor vs. olar "them")
- Frequent fortition (in the form of assibilation) of initial */j/ (e.g. *jetti > ʒetti "seven")
- Diphthongs from syllable-final */ɡ/ and */b/ (e.g. *taɡ > taw "mountain", *sub > suw "water")
The Kipchak languages may be broken down into four groups, based on geography and shared features: Languages in bold are still spoken today.
|Proto-Turkic||Common Turkic||Kipchak||Kipchak–Bulgar (Uralian, Uralo-Caspian)|
*Note: Kipchak–Cuman base, but have been heavily influenced by Oghuz languages.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kipchak". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- 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 2005-03-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) (In Russian)