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(New-Uighur), the language of the Uighurs, spoken in the Sinkiang-Uighur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China by 5.5 million people (1975, estimate). Uighur is also spoken in certain regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India and in the Kazakh, Uzbek, Kirghiz, and Turkmen SSR’s by more than 150,000 people (1970 census). Uighur belongs to the southeastern (Middle Asian, or Karluk) group of Turkic languages.

Uighur comprises three dialects: the northwestern or central dialect, the eastern, or Lop Nor dialect, and the southern, or Hat’-ang dialect. The northwestern dialect includes ten subdialects, of which the Hi subdialect forms the basis for the modern Uighur literary language. The characteristic phonetic features of Uighur include ten vowels and 26 consonants, including ж[d3], K [q], H [B], and h. Synharmony is inconsistent. The language shares morphological features with the other Turkic languages.

The literary language of the Uighurs in the USSR is a unified national language. In the USSR, the writing system was based on Arabic script until 1930; in Sinkiang this script is still in use. The Latin alphabet was used in the USSR from 1930 to 1946, when the Cyrillic alphabet was introduced, with additional symbols for special phonemes.

The term “Uighur” was adopted for this language in 1921 at the suggestion of S. E. Malov, although Uighur is not a linguistic continuation of the Old Uighur language.


Kaidarov, A. T. “Uigurskii (novouigurskii) iazyk.” In lazyki narodov SSSR, vol. 2. Moscow, 1966. (Contains bibliography.)
Uigursko-russkiislovar’. Alma-Ata, 1961.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to Anwar Toto, the CCP recently sent 25 percent of the Uighur population to the so-called "learning class", but those who were sent "did not come back.
The most tumultuous period for China-based Uighurs brought them a series of added calamities as well, as they were left with no distinctive cultural and religious identity owing to a total ban on practicing Islam, while Uighur-language schools, seminaries and customs were officially outlawed.
Fundamentalism has been on the rise because of the Iranian Revolution; the civil wars in Iraq and Syria have set an example for radicalism in the Uighur Autonomous Region.
Ankara summoned the Chinese ambassador last week over reports that Beijing had banned Uighurs from fasting and worship during the holy month.
The Bole county government said Mehmet Talip, a 90-year-old Uighur Communist Party member, had promised to avoid fasting and vowed to "not enter a mosque in order to consciously resist religious and superstitious ideas.
In China this is strictly controlled, so we see many Uighurs come here during Ramadan to pray, to fast, to learn more knowledge about Islam," said Ali, who has presided over the mosque for three years.
Tohti was a lecturer in economics at Minzu University in Beijing and was running a popular online publication on Uighur affairs when he disappeared last January in Beijing.
On Tuesday, a court gave a life sentence to a Uighur scholar who has criticized China's ethnic policies and sought to reduce tensions between Uighurs and the Han majority.
China's xenophobic zeal has worked to consistently de-legitimise the Muslim Uighurs in their own territory -- with their religion, language, customs and traditions finding little space to flourish under China's baleful glare.
Authorities later charged Tohti, who had championed Uighur rights, with separatism.
military announced that it had transferred the remaining three Uighur detainees to Slovakia, a move apparently made possible by recent congressional passage of a defense bill that included a provision easing restrictions on the military's ability to transfer Guantanamo detainees deemed low-risk to other countries.
The three who were still at Guantanamo until this week did not want to be in Palau or Bermuda because they wanted to be closer to Uighur communities in other parts of Europe, said Abbas, who lives in Herndon, Va.