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Bashkir is spoken by about 1.000.000 people. The vast majority of the speakers live in the Republic of Bashkortostan in the Russian Federation. Bashkir speaking communities are also reported in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The Bashkir call themselves Bashqort.

Bashkir belongs to the western branch of the Turkic languages. The Turkic languages form a top-level constituent of the Altaic language family. Other major branches of Altaic are the Mongolian and Tungus languages.

Baskhir is subdivided into the following major dialects: Kuvakan, also called 'Mountain Baskir', Yurmaty, also called 'Steppe Baskir', and Burzhan, also called 'Western Bashkir'.

Bashkir is written with a Cyrillic based alphabet, which was introduced in 1940. The literary language is based on the Kuvakan dialect.

The morphology of Baskir is predominantly suffixing and has agglutinative structure, i.e. it is characterised by invariable roots or stems augmented by sequences of suffixed grammatical morphemes, which mostly bear one single meaning and have clear-cut boundaries. The stem of a word is not modified for grammatical purposes. Nouns and verbs are highly inflected. Bahkir has no grammatical gender. The verb agrees with the subject in person and number by means of various suffixes. There is also a number of suffixes that indicate tense, aspect and mood. Postpositions generally have nominal or verbal origin. The unmarked order of constituents in simple transitive sentences is SOV.

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