Kazakh: An Elementary Textbook

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Kazakh belongs to the Turkic group of languages, which includes languages such as Uzbek, Turkish, Uyghur, and Tatar. Turkic languages have been spoken across vast territory from the Balkans to China for many centuries. Kazakh is the most widely spoken language of the Kipchak sub-branch of the Turkic languages. Kazakh is an agglutinative language in which suffixes that indicate only one meaning are attached to the word stem one after another in a set order. Unlike some other Turkic languages, Kazakh also has a vigorous system of vowel harmony in which the vowels of the suffixes change to fit the vowels in the stem. But Kazakh does not have the difficulties that inflecting languages have with grammatical gender and multiple systems of declension and conjugation. The vocabulary of Kazakh has been influenced by Arabic, Persian, Mongolian, and Russian. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Kazakh lexicon went through a major de-Russification process. As a result, many Russian loanwords were replaced with new Kazakh ones.