Notes on Some Turkic Vowel Developments


  • Julian Rentzsch Johannes Gutenberg University Institute of Slavic, Turkic and Circum-Baltic Studies (ISTziB), Department of Turcology



This contribution deals with four types of vowel developments found in Turkic languages. Two of these, i-umlaut and u-umlaut, are
regressive vowel assimilations, the other two – vowel raising and vowel lowering – originate in a reduction in terms of quantity. In order to get a rough idea of the distribution of the phenomena under discussion, modern Standard Uyghur, a language in which these developments are especially common, is taken as a starting point. Lexemes in which one or more of these changes occur are compared with the cognates in other modern and historical Turkic languages. It turns out that while most of the vowel developments considered here have gained a certain dissemination accross the Turkic world in individual lexical items, the instability in the vowel system is especially striking in the Uyghur area.