Uyghur

A language of China

ISO 639-3: uig
 

Population 7,214,431 in China (1990 census). Most are monolingual. Population includes 4,700,000 Central Uyghur, 1,150,000 Hotan, 25,000 Lop. Population total all countries: 7,601,431.
Region Throughout the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Also spoken in Afghanistan, Australia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkey (Asia), USA, Uzbekistan.
Alternate names   Uighur, Uygur, Uigur, Uighuir, Uiguir, Weiwuer, Wiga
Dialects Central Uyghur, Hotan (Hetian), Lop (Luobu). The Akto Türkmen speak a dialect of Uyghur with 500 different seldom-used words. There are 2,000 in two villages, Kösarap and Oytak in Akto County, south of Kashgar, Xinjiang. Dolan is a dialect spoken around the fringes of the Taklimakan Desert in Xinjiang. Chinese linguists recognize 3 dialects. Others have used the following dialect names: Kashgar-Yarkand (Kashi-Shac he), Yengi Hissar (Yengisar), Khotan-Kerya (Hotan-Yutian), Charchan (Qarqan, Qiemo), Aksu (Aqsu), Qarashahr (Karaxahar), Kucha (Kuqa), Turfan (Turpan), Kumul (Hami), Ili (Kulja, Yining, Taranchi), Urumqi (Urumchi), Lopnor (Lopnur), Dolan, Akto Türkmen. There are significant dialect differences between China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.
Classification Altaic, Turkic, Eastern
Language use Official regional language. Widely used in print media in Kashgar. Vigorous. All domains. All ages. Positive language attitude. Young people and intellectuals can also speak Chinese, a few can also speak English, Japanese, or Russian.
Language development Literacy rate in second language: 56%. Literacy based on Central Uyghur as spoken in the area between Yili (Ili) and Urumqi. Roman, Arabic, and Cyrillic scripts; Cyrillic script in Kazakhstan; Roman script in Turkey; Arabic script in Afghanistan. Newspapers. Radio programs. TV. Grammar. Bible: 1950.
Comments Part of the Uyghur nationality. One of the five main official nationalities in China. Those in the north are more influenced by modern Chinese culture. SOV; postpositions; genitives, adjectives, numerals, relatives before noun heads; question words initial; a few prefixes; 3 suffixes on nouns; 6 suffixes on verbs; word order distinguishes subjects and indirect objects, topic and comment; eight noun cases shown by suffixes; verb suffixes mark subject person, number, 2nd person marks plural and 3 levels of respect; passive, reflexive, reciprocal and causative; comparatives; CV, CVC, CVCC syllables; nontonal. Valleys, mountain slope. Desert, oases. Agriculturalists: grain, fruit, grapes, vegetables, cotton; traders; craftsmen; animal husbandry. Muslim (Sunni).


Also spoken in:
Afghanistan

Language name   Uyghur
Population 3,000 in Afghanistan.
Region Spoken in a few villages in Badakshan and Abi-i-Barik. Also possibly in Iran and Taiwan.
Alternate names   Uighur, Uyghuri, Wighor, Uighor, Uiguir
Dialects Kashgar-Yarkand (Yarkandi), Taranchi.
Language development Literacy rate in first language: below 1%. Literacy rate in second language: 5% to 15%.
Comments Muslim (Sunni).

Kazakhstan
 
Language name   Uyghur
Population 300,000 in Kazakhstan (1993).
Region Taranchi dialect in Kazakhstan, Kashgar-Yarkand dialect in Uzbekistan.
Alternate names   Uighur, Uiguir, Uygur, Novouygur
Dialects Taranchi (Kulja), Kashgar-Yarkand.
Language use 86% speak it as first language.
Comments Agriculturalists. Muslim (Sunni).

Mongolia
 
Language name   Uyghur
Population 1,000 in Mongolia (1982).
Region Hövsgöl Aimag, north Mongolia.
Alternate names   Uygur, Uighur, Uigur, Uighuir, Uiguir
Language development Literacy is in Halh in Mongolia; the Uyghur are generally assimilated to Halh culture.
Comments Muslim (Sunni).


Turkey (Asia)

Language name   Uyghur
Population 500 in Turkey (1981).
Region Kayseri city, and an unknown number in Istanbul. Possibly in Iran.
Alternate names   Uighur, Uygur, Uigur
Comments

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Muslim (Sunni).