Bashkir (; Bashkir: , , ) is a Turkic languages, Turkic language belonging to the Kipchak languages, Kipchak branch. It is co-official with Russian language, Russian in Bashkortostan. It is spoken by approximately 1.4 million native speakers in Russia. It has three dialect groups: Southern, Eastern and Northwestern.


Speakers of Bashkir mostly live in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan. Many speakers also live in Tatarstan, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Chelyabinsk, Orenburg Oblast, Orenburg, Tyumen Oblast, Tyumen, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Sverdlovsk and Kurgan Oblasts and other regions of Russia. Minor Bashkir groups also live in Kazakhstan and other countries.


Bashkir together with Tatar language, Tatar belongs to the Bulgaric (russian: кыпчакско-булгарская) subgroups of the Kipchak languages. They both share the same vocalism and the vowel shifts (see #Historical shifts, below) that make both the languages stand apart from most other Kipchak and Oghuz Turkic languages. However, Bashkir differs from Tatar in several important ways: * Bashkir has dental fricatives and in the place of Tatar (and other Turkic) and . Bashkir and , however, cannot begin a word (there are exceptions: ҙур ''zur'' 'big', and the particle/conjunction ҙа/ҙә ''źa/źä''). The only other Turkic language with a similar feature is Turkmen language, Turkmen. However, in Bashkir and are two independent phonemes, distinct from and , whereas in Turkmen [θ] and [ð] are the two main Phone (phonetics), realizations of the common Turkic and . In other words, there are no and phonemes in Turkmen, unlike Bashkir which has both and and and . * The word-initial and morpheme-initial is turned into . An example of both features can be Tatar сүз ''süz'' and Bashkir һүҙ ''hüź'' , both meaning "word". * Common Turkic (Tatar ) is turned into Bashkir , e.g., Turkish ''ağaç'' , Tatar агач ''ağaç'' and Bashkir ағас ''ağas'' , all meaning "tree". * The word-initial in Tatar always corresponds to in Standard Bashkir, e.g., Tatar җылы ''cılı'' and Bashkir йылы ''yılı'' , both meaning "warm". However, the eastern and northern dialects of Bashkir have the > /~/ shift. The Bashkir orthography is more explicit. and are written with their own letters Ҡ ҡ and Ғ ғ, whereas in Tatar they are treated as positional allophones of and , written К к and Г г. Labial vowel harmony in Bashkir is written explicitly, e.g. Tatar тормышым ''tormışım'' and Bashkir тормошом ''tormoşom'', both pronounced , meaning "my life".


After the adoption of Islam, which began in the 10th century and lasted for several centuries, the Bashkirs began to use Turki as a written language. Turki was written in a variant of the Arabic script. In 1923, a writing system based on the Arabic script was specifically created for the Bashkir language. At the same time, the Bashkir literary language was created, moving away from the older written Turkic influences. At first, it used a modified Arabic alphabet. In 1930 it was replaced with the Unified Turkic Latin Alphabet, which was in turn replaced with an adapted Cyrillic script, Cyrillic alphabet in 1939. The modern alphabet used by Bashkir is based on the Russian alphabet, with the addition of the following letters: Ә, Ә ә , Ө, Ө ө , Ү, Ү ү , Ғ, Ғ ғ , Ҡ, Ҡ ҡ , Ң, Ң ң , Ҙ, Ҙ ҙ , Ҫ, Ҫ ҫ , Һ, Һ һ .



Bashkir has nine native vowels, and three or four loaned vowels (mainly in Russian loanwords). Phonetically, the native vowels are approximately thus (with the Cyrillic letters and the usual Latin romanization in angle brackets; R+ means rounded): The two mid unrounded vowels are always short, in an unstressed position they are frequently elided, as in кеше ''keşe'' > 'person', or ҡышы ''qışı'' > '(his) winter'. Low back is rounded in the first syllable and after , but not in the last, as in бала ''bala'' 'child', балаларға ''balalarğa'' 'to children'. In Russian loans there are also , , and , written the same as the native vowels: ы, е/э, о, а respectively. The mid vowels may be transcribed as lowered near-high [, , , ].

Historical shifts

Historically, the Old Turkic mid vowels have Raising (phonetics), raised from mid to high, whereas the Old Turkic high vowels have become the Bashkir reduced mid series. (The same shifts have also happened in Tatar language, Tatar.)


;Notes : The phonemes , , , , , , are found only in loanwords except that also occurs in a few native onomatopoeic words. * are dental , and is apical alveolar . The exact place of articulation of the other dental/alveolar consonants is unclear.


A member of the Turkic languages, Turkic language family, Bashkir is an agglutinative language, agglutinative, Subject–object–verb, SOV language. A large part of the Bashkir vocabulary has Turkic roots; and there are many loan words in Bashkir from Russian language, Russian, Arabic language, Arabic and Persian language, Persian sources.

Declension of nouns

Declension of pronouns


Further reading

* * *

External links

National Corpus of the Bashkir languageMachine fund of the Bashkir languageSpoken corpus of Bashkir (Rakhmetovo and Baimovo)
{{Authority control Bashkir language, Agglutinative languages Subject–object–verb languages Kipchak languages Languages of Kazakhstan Vowel-harmony languages Languages written in Cyrillic script