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Turkmen language

Turkmen language

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Türkmen dili
Spoken in: Turkmenistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey (Asia)
Total speakers: ca. 6 million
Language family: Altaic<ref>"[1] Ethnologue"</ref> (controversial)
Official status
Official language of: Turkmenistan
Regulated by: no official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1: tk
ISO 639-2: tuk
ISO/FDIS 639-3: tuk 

Map showing location of Turkmen</center>


Turkmen (Latin script: Türkmen, Cyrillic: Түркмен, ISO 639-1: tk, ISO 639-2: tuk) is the name of the national language of Turkmenistan. It is spoken by approximately 3,430,000 people in Turkmenistan, and by an additional approximately 3,000,000 people in other countries, including Iran (2,000,000), Afghanistan (500,000), and Turkey (1,000). Up to 50% of speakers in Turkmenistan also claim a good knowledge of Russian.


[edit] Classification and related languages

Turkmen is in the Turkic family; sometimes grouped in the larger, but disputed Altaic language family. It is a member of the southwestern Turkic language family, more specifically the East Oghuz group. This group is also comprised of Khorasan Turkic. Turkmen is related to Crimean Tatar and Salar, and less closely related to Turkish and Azerbaijani.

Turkmen has vowel harmony, is agglutinative, has no grammatical gender, and no irregular verbs. Word order is Subject Object Verb.

[edit] Writing System

Main article: Turkmen alphabet

Officially, Turkmen currently is rendered in the “Täze Elipbiýi,” or “New Alphabet.” However, the old "Soviet" Cyrillic alphabet is still in wide use. Many political parties in opposition to the current authoritarian rule in Turkmenistan use the Cyrillic alphabet on websites and publications, most likely to distance themselves from the alphabet created by President Niyazov. There is a one-to-one correspondence between the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets for Turkmen that is as follows: Before 1929, Turkmen was written in a modified Arabic alphabet. In 1929–1938 a Latin alphabet replaced it and then the Cyrillic alphabet was used from 1938 to 1991. In 1991, the current Latin alphabet was re-introduced, although the transition to it has been rather slow. When it was first reintroduced it was supposed to contain some rather unusual letters, such as the pound, dollar, yen, and cent signs, but these were later replaced by more orthodox letter symbols. In 2002, the days of the week and the months were also renamed according to the ideology of Ruhnama.

[edit] Sounds

The following phonemes are present in the Turkmen language:

[edit] Vowels

Turkmen contains both short and long vowels. Doubling the duration of sound for a short vowel is generally how its long vowel counterpart is pronounced. Turkmen employs vowel harmony, a principle that is common in fellow Turkic languages. Vowels and their sounds are as follows:

front central1 back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
Close i/и ü/ү y/ы u/у
mid ö/ө o/о
open ä/ә a/а
  1. For purposes of vowel harmony (see below), the central vowel /a/ is considered back.

[edit] Consonants

Turkmen consonant phonemes (shown in Turkmen alphabet):

Bilabial Dental/
Palatal Velar Glottal
plosive p b
п б
t d
т д
k g
к г1
nasal m
flap r
fricative f w
ф в
s z
с з2
ž ş
ж ш
affricate ç j
ч җ
approximant l
  1. g/г represents either a voiced velar plosive or a voiced uvular fricative ([ʁ]).
  2. While z/з is a dental sibilant (like English z), s/с is non-sibilant, making it closer to [θ] (as in English thistle)

[edit] Grammar

[edit] Vowel Harmony

Vowel harmony is the way in which all words, at least of a non-borrowed origin, consist either entirely of front vowels (inçe çekimli sesler) or entirely of back vowels (ýogyn çekimli sesler); this includes prefixes and suffixes.

The infinitive form of a verb determines whether it will follow a front vowel harmony or back vowel harmony. Words of foreign origin, mainly Russian, Persian, or Arabic, do not follow vowel harmony.

[edit] Verbs

There are both singular and plural tenses for all first, second, and third person verb conjugations. There are 11 verb tenses in Turkmen. These include: Present Comprehensive (long & short form), Present Perfect (regular and negative), Future Certain, Future Indefinite, Conditional, Past Definite, Obligatory, Imperative, and Intentional. The presence of so many tenses may intimidate native English speakers, but due to Turkmen's inherent logic in its conjugation, the task of conjugating verbs is not as daunting as it may appear.

Infinitive Forms of Verbs
There are two types of verbs in their infinitive forms in Turkmen; those ending in the suffix "-mak" and those ending in "-mek". -Mak verbs follow back vowel harmony, whereas -mek verbs follow front vowel harmony.

[edit] Grammatical Cases

Like Latin, the Turkmen language has several cases. They are as follows: the Nominative case, the Possessive case, the Dative case, the Accusative case, the Locative case, and the Instrumental case.

Pronouns also have different case endings.

Pronoun Cases
Nominative men / I sen / you (sing. Inf.) ol / he/she/it biz / we siz / you (pl. or for.) olar / they
Possessive meniň / my seniň / your onyň / his/her/its biziň / our siziň / your olaryň / their
Dative maňa / to me saňa / to you oňa / to him/her/it bize / to us size / to you olara / to them
Accusative meni / me seni / you ony / him/her/it bizi / us sizi / you olary / them
Locative mende / upon me sende / upon you onda / upon him/her/it bizde / upon us sizde / upon you olarda / upon them
Instrumental menden / from me senden / from you ondan / from him/her/it bizden / from us sizden / from you olardan / from them

[edit] Suffixes

Suffixes, or "goşylmalar," form a very important part of Turkmen. They can mark possession, or change a verb.

To make a verb passive: -yl/-il; -ul/-ül; -l To make a verb reflexive: -yn/-in; -un/-ün; -n To make a verb reciprocal: -yş/-iş; -uş/-üş; -ş To make a verb causitive: -dyr/-dir; -dur/-dür; -yr/-ir; -ur/-ür; -uz/-üz; -ar/-er; -der/-dar; -t

Note: the suffixes are dependent on the ending of the infinitive form of the verb.

[edit] References

Garrett, Jon, Meena Pallipamu, and Greg Lastowka (1996). “Turkmen Grammar”.

[edit] External links

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Turkic languages
West Turkic
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
East Turkic
Khalaj Khalaj
Kyrgyz-Kypchak Altay | Kyrgyz
Uyghur Chulym | Dolgan | Fuyü Gïrgïs | Khakas | Northern Altay | Shor | Tofa | Tuvan | Western Yugur | Sakha / Yakut
Old Turkic*
Notes: 1 Listed in more than one group, 2 Mixed language, * Extinct

ast:Turcomanu az:Türkmən dili br:Turkmeneg bg:Туркменски език ca:Turcman cs:Turkmenština de:Turkmenische Sprache es:Idioma turcomano fr:Turkmène ko:투르크멘어 id:Bahasa Turkmen it:Lingua turcmena ka:თურქმენული ენა ms:Bahasa Turkmen nl:Turkmeens ja:トルクメン語 no:Turkmensk språk pl:Język turkmeński pt:Língua turcomena ru:Туркменский язык fi:Turkmeenin kieli sv:Turkmeniska th:ภาษาเติร์กเมน tg:Забони туркменӣ tr:Türkmen Türkçesi tk:Türkmen dili


Turkmen language

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