Bayarma Khabtagaeva (University of Szeged, Hungary) “Sayan Turkic Varieties in Central Asia”


The topic of the presentation is to give a brief introduction on the varieties of the Sayan Turkic group that belongs to the South Siberian Turkic branch. The Sayan Turkic group consists of Tuvan and its dialects, Tofan, the Soyot variety spoken in Buryatia, three varieties spoken in Mongolia – Altay Tuvan, Uyghur-Uryankhay, and Dukhan – and the variety spoken in China – Jungar Tuvan. From the Sayan Turkic group Tuvan and Tofan are standard languages with their own Cyrillic-based writing system. Tofan, however, has a rather low status in comparison with Tuvan. The other varieties can be classified as “highly endangered” Turkic languages.

According to lifestyle and linguistic features, the Sayan Turkic languages divide into the Steppe and Taiga groups. The lifestyle of the Taiga group is characterized as reindeer-breeding and hunting, while the lifestyle of the Steppe group is based on livestock breeding of the Mongolian type.

The presentation tries to shed light on the common linguistic features and differences among Sayan Turkic varieties.


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