|Glottolog:||oghu1243 (Oghuz + Kipchak + Uzbek)|
The term Oghuz is applied to the Southwestern Branch of Turkic languages such as Turkish, Azerbaijani and Turkmen which are mainly spoken in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iranian Azerbaijan, Iraq, Syria and Balkans. In the 8th century, the Oghuz tribes migrated to Central Asia from the Altai Mountains, and then they started to spread out through Central Asia and Khwarezm to the Middle East and Balkans. With time, the name "Oghuz" was replaced by the names "Turkmen", "Seljuk", "Azerbaijani", and later "Ottoman Turk".
The Oghuz languages may be broken down into three main groups, based on geography and shared features:
- a Western group, including
- an Eastern or Turkmen group, including Turkmen, Khorasani Turkish, and the Oghuz dialect of Uzbek
- a Southern group, including Qashqa'i, Sonqori, Aynallu, and Afshar.
An outlying language, Salar, is spoken by about 70,000 people in China.
This section requires expansion with: text. (February 2011)
The Oghuz languages share a number of features that have led linguists to classify them together. Some of these features are shared with other Turkic languages; others are unique to the Oghuz family.
- Loss of initial *h sound (shared with all Turkic languages but Khalaj)
- Loss of the instrumental case (shared with all Turkic languages but Sakha and Khalaj)
- Voicing of stops before front vowels (e.g. gör- < kör- "to see")
- Loss of q/ɣ after ɯ/u (e.g. quru < quruq "dry", sarɯ < sarɯɣ "yellow")
- Change in form of participial -gan- to -an-
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