More than 90% of Azerbaijan’s inhabitants speak Azeri. The Azeri language is similar to Turkish. Many Azeri also speak Russian. There are more than 20 languages spoken in Azerbaijan by ethnic minorities, Those languages are usually not understood by those who Azeri. Jan 31, · The Azerbaijani Language Azerbaijani, or Azeri, is part of the Oghuz branch of Turkic languages along with Turkish and Turkmen. Statistics suggest Azeri and Turkish speakers can understand each other more than 80% of the time. Azeri has influences from both Russia and Arabic too.
The Azerbaijani language has a rich and complicated history boasting more than 30 million native speakers. After the nation split between Russia and Iran in the early 19th century, the language evolved and divided into two categories. Discover what does s s mean in ships summary of the intriguing story of the Azerbaijani language below.
Azerbaijani, or Azeri, is part of the Oghuz branch of Turkic languages along with Turkish and Turkmen. Azeri has influences from both Russia and Arabic too. Today, the language sounds similar to modern Turkish and uses the Latin script with a series of accents in the written form. Here is an in-depth guide to Turkic-based languages:. Turkic speakers wandered into modern-day Azerbaijan territory in the 7th century before invading in the 11th.
Azerbaijan started to communicate in a Turkic-based language. Russia and Iran competed languaeg influence in the region, culminating in the Treaty of Turkmenchay, which partitioned Azerbaijan. The north became Russian and the south Iranian. Inevitably, this was a significant point in the evolution of Azeri. The Russian Empire encouraged culture, arts and literature, languahe the language in the Russian part of Azerbaijan.
Various Russian loan words were included too. Init became the official language of education and flourished until the later Soviet repression. This became known as Northern Azerbaijani and has more than 7 million native speakers around the globe how to prevent hair thinning and loss almost 2 million living in Baku.
Southern Azerbaijani in northern Iran evolved separately, boasting almost 19 million languge speakers. Significant differences exist in the written and spoken form, but most people can understand each other. Untilboth forms of Azeri used the Arabic alphabet. The Northern transitioned between a Latin and Cyrillic before the introduction of the current Latin-based alphabet in Both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets are used in Azerbaijan today with some of the older generations preferring to use the latter.
Southern Azerbaijani continued to use an Arabic alphabet, despite sharing strong phonetic similarities with their northern neighbours. The 21st-century language in Azerbaijan is complicated. Northern Azerbaijani has regional dialects depending on the part of the country. Head to the Caucasus Mountainswhzt find even more diversity of Caucasus languages.
Almost everyone speaks Russian as a lingua franca after nearly two centuries of Russian rule. The younger generations are slowly ln to learn English, but few outside of the tourist areas in Baku can communicate well.
Azerbaijani Phrases you need to know
Dec 16, · Azerbaijani language is of Turkic language family (not to be confused with Turkish, which is also from Turkic language family) and because of historical events, the language has been gradually influenced by Russian and Arabic languages. That’s why you can hear many familiar words if you know Turkish, Russian or Arabic. May 07, · Azerbaijani is spoken primarily in Azerbaijan, the crossroads of Asia and Europe. As such, the Azerbaijani language opens doors to travelers not only to Azerbaijan, but also to northwestern Iran, where it is second most spoken language. It’s also spoken in Georgia, Russia and Turkey. Why You Should Consider Learning Azerbaijani. The 1 official language of Azerbaijan is Azerbaijani, spoken by about 92% of the population. Azerbaijani, also referred to as Azeri Turkic or Azeri Turkish is closely related to Turkish, Qashqai, Turkmen and Crimean Tatar, sharing varying degrees of mutual intelligibility with each of .
Download PDF. A short summary of this paper. Colonialism, Nationalism and Language Vitality in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is home to a dozen of these languages. Various writers have claimed that most are endangered, although the shift is to Azerbaijani, not Russian.
Research conducted from to , however, found that most of the languages were actively spoken in at least core areas. In this paper I examine factors that led to claims of endangeredness. Analyzing the situation in terms of language ecology and its relationship to colonization, I argue that Russian, Azerbaijani, and the less-widely-used languages filled different niches and so did not compete with each other.
Since independence, however, shift towards Azerbaijani has accelerated. As a result of nationalism, Azerbaijani and these languages are competing for the same niche. I suggest that by expanding the domains of the less-widely-used languages, they can coexist with Azerbaijani. Introduction Discussions of language endangerment must consider language policies and practices. Grenoble explicitly examines the role the language policy of the USSR played in the debate regarding the nationalities question.
This policy had two goals. The first was to protect the rights of non-Russian-speaking communities to use their traditional languages in education and other domains, while the second was to encourage every citizen to learn Russian.
Bilingual schools represented a way to meet both goals. Over time, however, the goal of protecting the use of traditional languages became secondary under a stronger push for Russification. Grenoble notes that as the use of Russian spread, many of the less-widely-spoken languages became highly endangered. Neroznak documents 63 endangered languages just in Russia; as Grenoble notes, this list includes all the languages spoken in the Far East.
And language endangerment associated with Russification did not only affect languages in Russia. Of course, language endangerment is not limited to the USSR. It is generally accepted that multilingualism and language shift have led to language endangerment and death in many areas of the world.
These effects have not, however, been universal. My own research indicated that the Kaki Ae language of Papua New Guinea existed in a state of stable multilingualism in spite of the fact that it was unrelated to any surrounding languages and was spoken by only about people Clifton These instances of unexpected language vitality are significant since they can shed light on the causes of language endangerment.
In this paper I examine the language situation in Azerbaijan, one of the countries that emerged from break-up of the Soviet Union. With approximately 8. The state language is Azerbaijani, a Turkic language. This mosaic of languages has resulted in widespread multilingualism. As a result, Azerbaijan provides a good testing ground for theories regarding the relationship between multilingualism and language shift.
Against the backdrop of these claims, field research conducted in Azerbaijan from to indicated that most heritage languages were still vital in at least a significant core region. My purpose in this paper is to investigate why it has been assumed that most languages in Azerbaijan are endangered, possible reasons for their unexpected vitality, and the prognosis for their long-term survival.
Next, in section 3 I summarize our findings for a number of languages spoken in Azerbaijan, justifying the claim that they show unexpected vitality.
I show in that section that although Russian colonization does not fit neatly into either of the two major patterns outlined by Mufwene, more general principles of language ecology underlying his analysis do in fact predict the vitality seen in our research. In section 5 I examine the current effects of nationalization, showing it is triggering effects comparable to those Mufwene describes as resulting from settlement colonization.
I conclude by outlining possible responses in section 6. While the official policy of the USSR was that all languages and cultures should have equal opportunities for development and support, Azerbaijani with Armenian and Georgian were recognized as official languages by the Soviet state. This elevated status of Azerbaijani was reflected in the educational policies. Azerbaijani was taught as a subject in schools in Azerbaijan where Russian was the language of instruction.
In spite of its official status, however, Azerbaijani was subordinate to Russian. While Russian had no official status, it was the de facto language of government. Furthermore, Russian-language classes were better supplied than Azerbaijani classes even in schools where Azerbaijani was the medium of instruction. The relative status of Russian and Azerbaijani is reflected in the fact that in seventy percent of students at the Azerbaijan State University studied in Azerbaijani, while all classes at the more prestigious Oil and Gas Institute were in Russian Altstadt Although Azerbaijani was subordinate to Russian, less-widely-used languages were even further marginalized.
As Grenoble notes, while Azerbaijani competed only with Russian, these languages had to compete with both Russian and Azerbaijani. The guarantee that all children should have access to education in their mother tongue was ignored in the case of these languages Grenoble — Since there was room in the curriculum for only two languages, and given that both Azerbaijani and Russian had to be included in the curriculum, the heritage language was left out. While it might be possible to claim that this was due to a lack of materials, the situation in languages like Lezgi and Avar shows this is not the case.
For example, materials were created in the Lezgi language for use in Lezgi communities in Dagestan, a neighboring republic that was a part of Russia. While languages like Lezgi, Talysh, Udi and Khinalug had no official status in Azerbaijan during the Soviet era, the fact that significant numbers of people in Azerbaijan did not speak Azerbaijani as their first language was used by Soviet officials in Moscow to promote Russian as a general lingua franca. Changing Latin-based orthographies to Cyrillic- based orthographies in the s was another way of promoting Russian norms Grenoble Given the complex relationships between Russian, Azerbaijani, and the less-widely-spoken languages, and the concerted effort of the central government to promote Russification, it would not have been surprising to find widespread shift from all the indigenous languages of Azerbaijan, including Azerbaijani, to Russian.
This is exactly what happened in Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan, where people in the cities gradually became Russian monolinguals Fierman In Azerbaijan, however, this did not happen. Russian never became established in the rural areas. Azerbaijani was the medium of instruction in most schools in these areas, and the inhabitants of these communities rarely spoke Russian. As a result, even Russian-speaking Azerbaijanis holding positions in government or education were bilingual in Azerbaijani although they were generally more fluent in Russian.
While there was no widespread shift from Azerbaijani or the less- widely-spoken languages to Russian, and the role of Russian was limited, many researchers reported that members of communities speaking less- widely-used languages exhibited high levels of proficiency in Azerbaijani.
This phenomenon led to the claim that these communities were undergoing language shift from the heritage languages to Azerbaijani. The claim was not based on actual research in the communities to determine what the actual levels of Azerbaijani proficiency were, however, or whether the expected shift was actually occurring. It was simply assumed that shift must be occurring given the extensive bilingualism. In the next section I present data indicating that while Azerbaijani proficiency was indeed high, widespread shift to Azerbaijani was not taking place.
Language Vitality Assessed From to I led a research team investigating the vitality of eleven indigenous languages in Azerbaijan. For each language, we visited a representative sample of villages, interviewing government officials, educators, religious leaders, medical personnel, and groups of village people.
Our goals were to determine levels of proficiency in the traditional languages, Azerbaijani and Russian; to determine patterns of language use; and to determine attitudes towards various languages. In section 3. Finally, in section 3. According to the census there are , Talysh and 25, Tat in Azerbaijan.
The two languages are physically separated from each other: Talysh, spoken in the south of the country, is indigenous to Azerbaijan and Iran, while the Tat language is spoken in northeastern Azerbaijan.
Previous reports of proficiency in Azerbaijani support the claimed difference in endangeredness. Clifton, Deckinga, et al.
While proficiency in Azerbaijani was uniformly high, levels of proficiency in Talysh and Tat was more varied.
In ethnically-mixed villages, fluency was reported to be low among individuals under the age of In homogenous communities, however, self-reported data indicated that people of all ages and both genders had high levels of oral proficiency in the traditional languages. Isolation also played a role in fluency, as children in more isolated homogenous villages were reported to acquire the traditional language by the age of six, while children in less isolated homogenous villages reportedly took until 15 to become fluent.
At least in the Tat community, a final factor in fluency was economic opportunity. Children in villages with little economic opportunity were encouraged to become more fluent in Azerbaijan, and showed less fluency in the traditional language.
In general, Azerbaijani existed in a diglossic relationship with both Tat and Talysh: Azerbaijani was used in formal situations including education, government and the media, and the traditional languages were used in informal situations including the home and local community.
Our research indicates, however, that the factors that determine fluency were also relevant to analysis of language use. While diglossic relationships existed in most communities, the use of Tat and Talysh was greater in homogenous communities. In ethnically-mixed locations, Azerbaijani was used more widely with Tat and Talysh playing a secondary role. Isolation was also a factor, as people in more isolated villages used Tat and Talysh more commonly in informal situations than did people in less isolated situations.
At the time of this research, then, high levels of proficiency in Azerbaijani had not resulted in an overall shift from Tat and Talysh to Azerbaijani. While individuals under 45 in ethnically-mixed villages had little to no proficiency in the traditional language, there was a good-sized core in each language community where proficiency in the heritage language remained high.
According to the census, Khinalug is the largest of the three communities with a population of 2,, less than ten percent of the population of Tat. Budukh and Kryz have even smaller populations and are not listed separately in the census data.
The primary occupation in all three communities is sheep herding, and during the Soviet era they made up a single collective farm, pasturing their sheep together. Our research, summarized by Clifton , confirms that Azerbaijani proficiency was generally high in all three communities, especially among men under the age of The use of common pasture lands even after the dissolution of the collective has reinforced the use of Azerbaijani as a lingua franca.
We also confirm claims that large numbers of residents of all the mountain villages have migrated to the plains where they live in proximity with native speakers of Azerbaijani. These differences resulted in different levels of endangeredness.