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the language of the Kara-Kalpaks, the main population of the Kara-Kalpak ASSR; Kara-Kalpaks also live in Khorezm and Fergana oblasts of the Uzbek SSR, Tashauz Oblast of the Turkmen SSR, the Kazakh SSR, and Afghanistan. Kara-Kalpak is spoken by 228, 000 persons (1970 census). It belongs to the Kipchak group of Turkic languages. The principal dialects are northeastern and southwestern.
Kara-Kalpak is grouped with Nogai and Kazakh because of the characteristic replacement of Common Turkic č and š by Kara-Kalpak sh and s, respectively (Kara-Kalpak kash-, “to run away,” instead of Common Turkic kač-, and bas, “head,” instead of baš). The Kara-Kalpak literary language formed after the Great October Socialist Revoltion. The Kara-Kalpak writing system was based on the Arabic alphabet until 1928, on the Roman alphabet from 1928 to 1940, and on the Russian alphabet since 1940.
REFERENCESMalov, S. E. Zametki o karakalpakskom iazyke. Nukus, 1966.
Baskakov, N. A. Karakalpakskii iazyk, vol. 1–2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951–52.
Ubaydullaev, K. Häzirgi zaman qaraqalpaq tili: Fonetika. Nukus, 1965.
Berdimuratov, Ye. Häzirgi zaman qaraqalpaq tilining leksikologiyäsï Nukus, 1968.
Karakalpaksko-russkii slovar’ Edited by N. A. Baskakov. Moscow, 1958.
Russko-karakalpakskii slovar’ Edited by N. A. Baskakov. Moscow, 1967.
Menges, K. Qaraqalpaq Grammar. Vol. 1: Phonology. New York, 1947.