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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city (since 1909) and administrative center of Kazakh Raion, Azerbaijan SSR. Located on the Akstafa River, atributary of the Kura, 9 km southwest of the Akstafa railroad station on the Tbilisi-Baku line. Population, 13, 000 (1970). Ahighway junction and center for the manufacture of high-pile carpets, Kazakh has a carpet factory. It also has an agricultural technicum and a medical school. Cultural institutions include a museum of the Azerbaijani poet M. Vagif and a people’s amateur theater.



the language of the Kazakhs, the native population of the Kazakh SSR. The number of Kazakh speakers in the USSR is 5, 193, 000 (1970, census). Kazakh is also spoken by Kazakhs living in the People’s Republic of China (509, 000; 1953, census), the Mongolian People’s Republic (43, 000; 1963, estimate), and Afghanistan (3, 000; 1962, estimate). Kazakh belongs to the Kipchak group of the Turkic languages.

Modern Kazakh has three dialects: northeastern, southern, and western. However, the dialectal differences are not great. The modern Kazakh literary language is based on the northeastern dialect. The principal features of Kazakh are the correspondence of Kazakh š to Common Turkic č (qaš instead of qač, “to run away”), the correspondence of Kazakh s to Common Turkic š (qïs instead of qiš, “winter”), the correspondence of Kazakh initial ž to initial y and in other Turkic languages (žol instead of yol or džol, “road”), and the presence of a present-future participle with the suffix -atïn (-etin, -ytïn, or -ytin).

The Kazakh literary language took shape in the second half of the 19th century as a result of the activities of the Kazakh enlighteners Abai Kunanbaev and Ibrai Altynsarin. Kazakh was first written in the Arabic alphabet and later in the Latin alphabet; a Russian-based alphabet was adopted in 1940.


Melioranskii, P. M. Kratkaia grammatika kazak-kirgizskogo iazyka, parts 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1894–97.
Balakaev, M. B. Sovremennyi kazakhskii iazyk: Sintaksis slovosochetaniia i prostogo predlozheniia. Alma-Ata, 1959.
Begaliev, G. Kratkii kazakhsko-russkii slovar’. Alma-Ata, 1959.
Sovremennyi kazakhskii iazyk. Edited by M. B. Balakaev, N. A. Baskakov, and S. K. Kenesbaev. Alma-Ata, 1962.
Russko-kazakhskii slovar’. Edited by N. Sauranbaev. Moscow, 1954.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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