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Azerbaijani language

From Academic Kids

The term "Azeri language" is also sometimes used to refer to a dialect of the Tat language spoken in Azerbaijan.

Template:IPA notice The Azerbaijanian language, also called Azeri, Azari, Azeri Turkish, or Azerbaijanian Turkish, is the official language of Republic of Azerbaijan. It's called azrbaycanca in Azerbaijani. Some dialects of the language are spoken in many parts of Iran (but most notably in the northwestern areas, known as the Iranian Azarbaijan), where it is the most popular minority language and there are more speakers than any other country in the world. The language is also spoken in Russia's Republic of Dagestan, south-eastern Georgia, northern Iraq, and eastern Turkey.

There are approximately between 22 and 50 million native Azerbaijanian speakers. It is a Turkic language of Oghuz branch, closely related to Turkish and also historically influenced by Persian and Arabic languages.

Contents

Nomenclature

During the initial period of the Republic of Azerbaijan's independence, the official language of Azerbaijan was called "Trk dili" ("Turkish"), but since 1994 the older name of the language, "Azərbaycan dili" ("Azerbaijanian"), has been re-established. The most important literary magazine of the language published in Iran, Varliq, uses the English term "Turkish" and the Persian term "torki" for the language. Most Iranians casually call the language turki or torki, distinguishing it from the Turkey's official language, Turkish, by calling the latter a term which can be translated as Istanbul Turkish. Some people also consider "Azerbaijanian" a dialect of a greater "Turkish" language and call it "Azerbaijanian-Turkish". ISO and the Unicode Consortium, call the language "Azerbaijani".

History and Evolution

For the languages spoken in Azerbaijan before the Turks' arrival, see Languages of Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijani language of today was brought in from Central Asia by the Oghuz Seljuk Turks. It gradually supplanted the previous languages - Tat and Pahlavi in the south, and a variety of Caucasian languages, particularly Udi, further north - and had become the dominant language before the Safavid dynasty; however, minorities in both the Republic of Azerbaijan and Iran continue to speak the earlier languages to this day, and Pahlavi and Persian loanwords are numerous in Azerbaijani. It became a literary language early on, with some works from as early as the 11th century. The Russian conquest of northern Azerbaijan in the 19th century split the speech community across two states; the Soviet Union promoted development of the language, but set it back considerably with two successive script changes - from Arabic alphabet to Latin to Cyrillic - while Iranian Azeris continued to use Arabic as they always had. After independence, the Republic of Azerbaijan decided to switch again, to the Latin script, following the Turkish model.

Literature

Main article: Azerbaijani literature

Classical literature in Azerbaijanian was formed in 11th century based on Tabrizi and Shervani dialects (these dialects were used by classical Azerbaijani writers Nasimi, Fizuli, and Khatai). Modern literature in the Republic of Azerbaijan is based on the Shervani dialect only, while in Iran it is based on the Tabrizi one. The first newspaper in Azerbaijani, Əkini was published in 1875. During the Soviet Union period, Azerbaijani was often used as a lingua-franca between the Turkic people of the Union.

In mid-19th century it was taught in schools of Baku, Ganja, Sheki, Tbilisi, and Yerevan. Since 1845, it has also been taught in the University of St. Petersburg in Russia.

Famous literacy works in Azerbaijani are The book of Dede Qorqud (which UNESCO celebrated its 1300th anniversary in 1998, written in an early Oghuz Turkic dialect), Koroğlu, Leyli and Mejnun, and Heydar Babaya Salam. Important poets and writers of the Azerbaijani language include Imadedin Nesimi, Muhammad Suleymanoglu Fuzuli (the first writer to write extensively in Azerbaijani, but also in Persian), Hesenoglu Izedin, Ismail I (the Azeri king), Bakhtiar Vahabzada, Khurshudbanu Natavan (female poet), Mirza Fatali Akhundov, Mirza Sabir (satirist), and Mohammad Hossein Shahriar (who has more poems in Persian than in Azerbaijani).

Phonology

Based on information at [1] (http://www.azeri.org/Azeri/az_learn/latin_az_sounds.html), Azerbaijani phonology appears to be:

Consonants

bilabial dental alveolar velar uvular glottal
stops voiceless    
voiced      
affricates voiceless          
voiced          
fricatives voiceless  
voiced    
nasals        
lateral          
rhotic          

Vowels

front central back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
high  
mid    
low    

Alphabets

Officially, Azerbaijani now uses Latin alphabet, but the "Soviet" Cyrillic alphabet is still in wide use: see Azerbaijani alphabet. There is a one-to-one correspondence between the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets for Azerbaijani (although the Cyrillic alphabet has a different order):

(Aa Аа), (Əə Әә), (Bb Бб), (Cc Ҹҹ), ( Чч), (Dd Дд), (Ee Ее), (Ff Фф), (Gg Ҝҝ), (Ğğ Ғғ), (Hh Һһ), (Xx Хх), (Iı Ыы), (İi Ии), (Jj Жж), (Kk Кк), (Qq Гг), (Ll Лл), (Mm Мм), (Nn Нн), (Oo Оо), ( Өө), (Pp Пп), (Rr Рр), (Ss Сс), (Şş Шш), (Tt Тт), (Uu Уу), ( Үү), (Vv Вв), (Yy Јј), (Zz Зз).

Before 1929, Azerbaijani was only written in the Arabic alphabet. In 19291938 a Latin alphabet was in use (although it was different from the one used now), from 1938 to 1991 the Cyrillic alphabet was used, and in 1991 the current Latin alphabet was introduced, although the transition to it has been rather slow. The Azerbaijani speakers in Iran have always continued to use the Arabic alphabet, although the spelling and orthography is not yet standardized.

The Azerbaijani language, if written in Latin, transliterates all foreign words to its own spelling. For example, "Bush" becomes "Buş", and "Schrder" becomes "Şrder".

See also

External links

Template:Interwiki

de:Aserbaidschanische Sprache eo:Azerbajgxana lingvo et:Aserbaidžaani keel fr:Azri (langue) he:אזרית ja:アゼルバイジャン語 nl:Azeri pl:Język azerski sv:Azeriska tr:Azerice zh-cn:阿塞拜疆语

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