Learn more about Khazar language
|Spoken in:||Southern Russia, the northern Caucasus, Pontic steppes and parts of Central Asia|
|Language extinction:||sometime between 1000 and 1300 CE|
|Language family:|| Altaic<ref>" Ethnologue"</ref> (controversial)|
|Writing system:||variant of Turkic runiform; Hebrew alphabet; possibly others|
|ISO 639-2:||to be added|
|Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. See IPA chart for English for an English-based pronunciation key.|
Arab scholars of the Middle Ages classified Khazar as similar to, yet distinct from, the type of Turkic spoken by other Turks with whom they were familiar, such as the Oghuz. They noted, however, that both the Khazar tongue and the more common forms of Turkic were widely spoken in Khazaria.
The current consensus among scholars is that the Khazars spoke an Oghuric Turkic language similar to Hunnish and the language of the early Bulgars, possibly influenced by Old Turkic and Uyghur influences. Given the Gokturk origin of the Khazar khagans, it is possible that Gokturk-style Old Turkic was used as a courtly language early in Khazar history, though there is no direct evidence of this.
Very few examples of the Khazar language exist today, mostly in names that have survived in historical sources. Extant written works are primarily in Hebrew. The only written word in the Khazar tongue that survives is the single word-phrase HWQWRWM, "I have read (this or it)" at the end of the Kievian Letter. This word is written in Turkic runiform script, suggesting that this script survived the conversion to Judaism. It is, however, conceivable that at various times and in different communities the Khazar language was written in Cyrillic, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Arabic, and/or Georgian scripts.
- Kevin Alan Brook. The Jews of Khazaria. 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2006.
- Douglas M. Dunlop, The History of the Jewish Khazars, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954.
- Norman Golb and Omeljan Pritsak, Khazarian Hebrew Documents of the Tenth Century. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1982.
- Peter B. Golden. Khazar Studies: An Historio-Philological Inquiry into the Origins of the Khazars. Budapest: Akademia Kiado, 1980.
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}"> |Turkic languages
|Bolgar||Bolgar* | Chuvash | Hunnic* | Khazar*|
|Chagatay||Aini2| Chagatay* | Ili Turki | Lop | Uyghur | Uzbek|
|Kypchak||Baraba | Bashkir | Crimean Tatar1 | Cuman* | Karachay-Balkar | Karaim | Karakalpak | Kazakh | Kipchak* | Krymchak | Kumyk | Nogay | Tatar | Urum1|
|Oghuz||Afshar | Azerbaijani | Crimean Tatar1 | Gagauz | Khorasani Turkish | Ottoman Turkish* | Pecheneg* | Qashqai | Salar | Turkish | Turkmen | Urum1|
|Kyrgyz-Kypchak||Altay | Kyrgyz|
|Uyghur||Chulym | Dolgan | Fuyü Gïrgïs | Khakas | Northern Altay | Shor | Tofa | Tuvan | Western Yugur | Sakha / Yakut|
|Notes: 1 Listed in more than one group, 2 Mixed language, * Extinct|