Tatar language

formerly Volga Tatar language

Turkic language with some eight million speakers.

Its speakers include less than half the population of Tatarstan in Russia, with the remainder scattered in enclaves across eastern European Russian, Siberia, and the Central Asian republics. Tatar, like the closely related Bashkir language, is characterized by a remarkable series of vowel shifts that distinguish it (at least in its most characteristic varieties) from all other Turkic languages. It has numerous dialect distinctions; the conventional division is between a central group that includes the Tatar of most of Tatarstan and the literary language based on Kazan speech, a western group, and an eastern group. Crimean Tatar, belonging to the southwestern group of Turkic languages, and Chulym Tatar, belonging to the northeastern group, are not closely related to Tatar.

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      northwestern (Kipchak) language of the Turkic subfamily of Altaic languages. It is spoken in the republic of Tatarstan in west-central Russia and in Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and China. There are numerous dialectal forms. The major Tatar dialects are Kazan Tatar (spoken in Tatarstan), Western or Misher Tatar, as well as the minor eastern or Siberian dialects, Kasimov, Tepter (Teptyar), and Astrakhan and Ural Tatar. Kazan Tatar is the literary language.

      Crimean Tatar belongs to the same division of the Turkic languages. It has its roots in the language of the Golden Horde in the 13th century and was the official literary language in the Crimea until the 17th century, when it was replaced by Ottoman Turkish. Revived as a literary language in the 19th century, it declined in use in the 20th century after Stalin's deportation of the Crimean Tatars. See also Turkic languages.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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