Nogai language

From Academic Kids

Nogay, also Nogai or Nogai Tatar, is generally classified into the Aralo-Caspian branch of Northwestern Turkic, or Kypchak languages. This family includes Crimean Tatar, Karakalpak in Uzbekistan, Kazakh in Kazakhstan, and Kirgiz in Kyrgyzstan.

Descended from the peoples of the Golden Horde, this language and its speakers take their name from the grandson of Genghis Khan, Nogay. He ruled the nomadic people west of the Danube toward the end of the 13th century.

The rise of the Soviet Union and the establishment of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics (ASSRs) in the 1950s separated the Nogay speakers into small enclaves in the Dagestan ASSR, the Chechen-Ingush ASSR and the Stavropol District. At the same time the teaching of Russian took precendence over teaching native languages and so the number of speakers began to decline. Recent estimates place the number of Nogay speakers at about 80,000.

Nogay is composed of three dialects: Qara-Nogay (Black or Northern Nogay) in Dagestan, Nogay Proper in Stavropol, and Aqnogay (White or Western Nogay) by the Kuban River and its tributaries in Karachay-Cherkessia and in the Mineralnye Vody District. Qara-Nogay and Nogay Proper are very close linguistically, while Aqnogay shows more differences.

Originally, the Nogay written language was based on the Arabic alphabet. In 1928 the Latin alphabet was introduced. This orthographic system was compiled by Nogay academic, A. Dzhanibekov (Canibek) following principles adopted for all Turkic languages.

In 1938 a transition to the Russian alphabet began. The orthography based on the Latin alphabet had allegedly been an impediment to learning Russian.

Nogay is part of the school curriculum from the 1st to the 10th year in the Nogay District in Dagestan. It is also taught at the Karachayevo-Cherkess Pedagogical School and the national branch of the Pedagogical Institute.

In 1973, two small newspapers were being published, one in Karachay-Cherkessia and another in the Dagestan Autonomous SSR, but because of poor communications, these papers did not reach Nogay villages.

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