The dynamic history of the Turkic-speaking
peoples makes it difficult to set up a classification of modem
Turkic languages that combines geographic and genetic criteria.
The following rough scheme represents an attempt to combine the
current area distribution with genetic and typological features.
It primarily distinguishes six branches, some of heterogeneous
1 A southwestem (SW) branch, Oghuz
2 A northwestem (NW) branch, Kipchak Turkic;
3 A southeastem (SE) branch, Uyghur Turkic;
4 A northeastem (NE) branch, Siberian Turkic;
5 Chuvash, representing Oghur or Bulghar Turkic;
6 Khalaj, representing Arghu Turkic.
The six branches may be subdivided as follows:
SWw, a West Oghuz group comprising Turkish, Gagauz and
SWe, an East Oghuz group comprising Turkmen and Khorasan Turkic.
SWs, a South Oghuz group comprising dialects of Iran (Kashkay,
Sonqori, Aynallu etc.) and Afghanistan (Afshar).
NWw, a West Kipchak group comprising Kumyk, Karachay,
Balkar, Crimean Tatar and Karaim.
NWn, a North Kipchak or Volga-Ural group comprising (Kazan Tatar,
Mishar, West Siberian) and Bashkir. West Siberian Tatar (Tura,
Baraba, Tomsk, Tümen, Ishim, Irtysh, Tobol, Tara and other
dialects) is partly of different origin.
NWs, a South Kipchak or Aralo-Caspian group comprising Kazakh,
Karakalpak, Kipchak Uzbek and Noghay. In spite of strong genetic
bonds with Altay Turkic of the NEs group, modem Kirghiz may also
be placed in the NWs group, since recent changes have brought
it close to Kazakh. Though the so-called Fu-yü language of
Manchuria is considered a Kirghiz dialect, it is closely related
to South Siberian Turkic, e.g. Yenisey Turkic.
SEw, a western group comprising modern Uzbek and its
various dialects, i.e. Oghuz Uzbek.
SEe, an eastem group comprising modern Uyghur, Taranchi and different
Eastern Turki dialects of Kashgar, Yarkand, Khotan, Kerya, Cherchen,
Aksu, Kucha.Turfan, etc. Deviating languages belonging to the
SEe area are Yellow Uyghur, probably of NEs origin, and Salar,
historically developed from the SW branch.
NEn, a North Siberian group comprising Yakut (Sakha) and Dolgan.
NEs, a heterogeneous South Siberian group comprising three subgroups:
l Sayan Turkic consisting of Tuvan (Soyot, Uryankhai) and Tofa
2 Yenisey Turkic comprising Khakas, Shor and related dialects
(Saghay Qaca, Qizil);
3 Chulym Turkic comprising dialects such as Küerik;
4 Altay Turkic comprising Altay (Oyrot) and dialects such as Tuba,
Qumanda, Qu, Teleut, Telengit.
Some Altay Turkic dialects are rather close to Kirghiz (NWs).
As noted above, Yellow Uyghur may be of NEs origin, and Fu-yü
displays similarities with Yenisey Turkic.