|Türkmençe, türkmen dili,|
Түркменче, түркмен дили,
تۆرکمن ديلی ,تۆرکمنچه
|Native to||Turkmenistan, Russia, Iran, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan|
|6.7 million (2009–2015)|
|Latin (Turkmen alphabet), Cyrillic, Arabic|
Official language in
Turkmen (Türkmençe, Түркменче, تۆرکمنچه, [tʏɾkmɛntʃɛ], or türkmen dili, түркмен дили, تۆرکمن ديلی, [tʏɾkmɛn dɪlɪ]) is the official language of Turkmenistan and the language of the Turkmen peoples of Central Asia. It is a Turkic language spoken by 5.9 million people in Turkmenistan as well as by around 719,000 people in Northeastern Iran and 1.5 million people in Northwestern Afghanistan.
However, many Iranian "Turkmen" are speakers of Khorasani Turkic. Moreover, Iraqi and Syrian "Turkmen" speak dialects that form a continuum between Turkish and Azerbaijani, in both cases heavily influenced by Arabic. These three varieties are not Turkmen in the sense of this article.
Turkmen is a member of the East Oghuz branch of the Turkic family of languages; its closest relatives being Turkish and Azerbaijani, with which it shares a relatively high degree of mutual intelligibility.
Written Turkmen today is based on the Teke (Tekke) dialect. The other dialects are Nohurly, Ýomud, Änewli, Hasarly, Nerezim, Gökleň, Salyr, Saryk, Ärsary and Çowdur. The Russian dialect is Trukhmen. The Teke dialect is sometimes (especially in Afghanistan) referred to as "Chagatai", but like all Turkmen dialects it reflects only a limited influence from classical Chagatai.
Officially, Turkmen is rendered in the “Täze Elipbiý”, or “New Alphabet”, which is based on the Latin alphabet. Many political parties in opposition to the authoritarian rule of President Saparmurat Niyazov continued to use the Cyrillic alphabet on websites and publications, most likely to distance themselves from the alphabet that Niyazov created.
Before 1929, Turkmen was written in an Arabic alphabet. In 1929–1938 a Latin alphabet replaced it, and then the Cyrillic alphabet was used from 1938 to 1991. In 1991, the current Latin alphabet was introduced, although the transition to it has been rather slow. It used to use some unusual letters, such as the pound, dollar, yen, and cent signs, but these were replaced by more conventional letter symbols.[clarification needed]
The following phonemes are present in the Turkmen language:
Turkmen contains both short and long vowels. Doubling the duration of sound for a short vowel is generally how its long vowel counterpart is pronounced. Turkmen employs vowel harmony, a principle that is common in fellow Turkic languages. Vowels and their sounds are as follows:
|Mid||e/е /ɛ/||ö/ө /œ/
|Open||ä/ә /æː/||a/а /ɑ/
Turkmen consonant phonemes (shown with the letters of the Turkmen alphabet used to represent them):
Note that s/с and z/з represent /θ/ and /ð/, which are not [s] and [z], a unique feature among the Turkic languages (cf. ceceo in some Spanish dialects).
Like other Turkic languages, Turkmen is characterized by vowel harmony. In general, words of native origin consist either entirely of front vowels (inçe çekimli sesler) or entirely of back vowels (ýogyn çekimli sesler). Prefixes and suffixes reflect this harmony, taking different forms depending on the word to which they are attached.
The infinitive form of a verb determines whether it will follow a front vowel harmony or back vowel harmony. Words of foreign origin, mainly Russian, Persian, or Arabic, do not follow vowel harmony.
Verbs are conjugated for singular and plural number and first, second, and third persons. There are 11 verb tenses: present comprehensive (long and short form), present perfect (regular and negative), future certain, future indefinite, conditional, past definite, obligatory, imperative, and intentional.
There are two types of verbs in Turkmen, distinguished by their infinitive forms: those ending in the suffix "-mak" and those ending in "-mek". -Mak verbs follow back vowel harmony, whereas -mek verbs follow front vowel harmony.
Evidentiality of a reported event is determined by four markers, affixed to the finite verb, roughly:
Here Y represents the close vowel conforming to vowel harmony.
Some independent particles may be said to convey evidentiality: one such word is the particle eken.
Aman become sick-EV-COP (I heard that) Aman is sick.(information is "hearsay")
Aman become sick-3sPAST
Aman sick. Aman is sick. (speaker has spoken with Aman)
Maral Ashgabat-ABL come-EV-COP (I heard that) Maral came from Ashgabat.
Ben you-GEN cookie-pl-2sPOSS-ACC eat-3spast Ben ate your cookies.
Ben you-GEN cookie-pl-2sPOSS-ACC eat-EV-COP Ben ate your cookies.
Ben eat-EV-COP-EV you-GEN cookie-pl-2sPOSS-ACC Ben ate your cookies, or more loosely: I wonder if Ben ate your cookies.
I (...) eat-EV-1sPRES(?)-EV Did I eat something?
Ben eat-PART be-RUM you-GEN cookie-PL-2sPOSS-ACC It is rumoured that Ben ate your cookies.
The phonetically similar suffix -ok is another option: it attaches to the verb which it negates. It comes after the stem and before the tense suffix. -Ok does not modify its form due to vowel harmony. In addition to -ok there is another suffix -me or -ma. It appears -mV is used when dealing with one event, -ok for more habitual or lasting states:
(These correspond to the positive forms 'Men bilyärin', 'Men bilyärdim', and 'Men bildim.')
Speakers of Eastern dialects of Turkmen, influenced by Uzbek, are less likely to utilize the -ok suffix.
Yet another way of expressing negation is by the negative particle däl.
There is not an equivalent in Turkmen to the English prefix 'un-'. That is, one can't simply attach an affix to a verb to indicate the opposite action, as in wrap the present → unwrap the present.
It appears that different tenses use different forms of negation, as in the following sentences:
Turkmen has six cases: Accusative, Dative, Genitive, Instrumental, Locative, and Nominative.
|Pronouns||1 sg||2 sg||3 sg||1 pl||2 pl||3 pl|
Back Vowels: The noun sygyr "cow" declined in the six Turkmen cases, with Jenneta's examples of how it would be used for each:
|Turkmen case name||English case name||Noun + ending||Example|
|Baş düşüm||Nominative||sygyr||Sygyr yzyna geldi.|
|Eýelik düşüm||Genitive||sygyryň||Men sygyryň guýrugyny çekdim.|
|Ýöneliş düşüm||Dative||sygyra||Men sygyra iým berdim.|
|Ýeňiş düşüm||Accusative||sygyry||Men sygyry sagdym.|
|Wagt-orun düşüm||Locative||sygyrda||Sygyrda näme günä bar?|
|Çykys düşüm||Ablative||sygyrdan||Bu kesel sygyrdan geçdi. Men sygyrdan ýadadym.|
Front Vowels: The proper noun Jeren (a woman's name) declined in the six Turkmen cases, with examples of how it would be used for each:
|Turkmen case name||English case name||Noun + ending||Example|
|Baş düşüm||Nominative||Jeren||Jeren yzyna geldi.|
|Eýelik düşüm||Genitive||Jereniň||Men Jereniň saçyny çekdim.|
|Ýöneliş düşüm||Dative||Jerene||Men Jerene nahar berdim.|
|Ýeňiş düşüm||Accusative||Jereni||Men Jereni gördüm.|
|Wagt-orun düşüm||Locative||Jerende||Jerende näme günä bar?|
|Çykys düşüm||Ablative||Jerenden||Bu kesel Jerenden geçdi. Men Jerenden ýadadym.|
Suffixes, or "goşulmalar", form a very important part of Turkmen. They can mark possession, or change a verb.
Suffixes reflect vowel harmony.
Note: Numbers are formed identically to other Turkic languages, such as Turkish. So, eleven (11) is "on bir" (ten-one). Two thousand seventeen (2017) is "iki müň on ýedi" (two-thousand-ten-seven).
|goodbye||sag boluň, hoş|
|good morning||ertiriňiz haýyrly bolsun|
|good evening||agşamyňyz haýyrly bolsun|
|good night||gijäňiz rahat bolsun|
|thank you||sag boluň|
|Do you speak English?||Siz iňlis dilinde gepleýärsiňizmi?|
|I don't speak Turkmen||Men türkmen dilinde geplemeýärin|
|What does it mean?||Munuň manysy näme?|
Magtymguly's most famous poem among the 1.3 million Iranian Turkmen is "Türkmeniň" (of the Turkmen). The poem concerns the geography of the Turkmen people, and it sings praise for their culture. The poem became a rallying cry for Turkmen independence during the Iranian Revolution. The poem can be read aloud or sung in groups. The Iranian Turkmen dialect is closer to Turkish, so they refer to the poet as "Mahtumkulu Firaki."
Jeýhun bilen bahry-Hazar arasy,
In between the Amu Darya and the Caspian Sea,
|Turkmen edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Turkmen|
|Wikivoyage has a phrasebook for Turkmen.|