Linguistic classificationTurkic
  • Oghuric

The Oghuric, Onoguric or Oguric[3] languages (also known as Bulgar,[4] Bulgharic,[5] Bolgar,[6] Pre-Proto-Bulgaric[7] or Lir-Turkic and r-Turkic) are a branch of the Turkic language family. The only extant member of the group is the Chuvash language. The first to branch off from the Turkic family, the Oghuric languages show significant divergence from other Turkic languages, which all share a later common ancestor. Languages from this family were spoken in some nomadic tribal confederations, such as those of the Onogurs or Ogurs, Bulgars and Khazars.[8]


The Oghuric languages are a distinct group of the Turkic languages, standing in contrast to Common Turkic. Today they are represented only by Chuvash. The only other language which is conclusively proven to be Oghuric is the long-extinct Bulgar, while Khazar may be a possible relative within the group.[9] The Hunnic language is sometimes assumed to have been a Oghuric language, although such speculations are not based on proper linguistic evidence, since the language of the Huns is almost unknown except for a few attested words and personal names.[10] Oghuric was the lingua franca of the Khazar state.[11]

There is no consensus among linguists on the relation between Oghuric and Common Turkic and several questions remain unsolved:[3]

Fuzuli Bayat dates the separation into Oghur r-dialects and Oghuz z-dialects to the 2nd millennium BC.[12]


The Oghuric languages are also known as "-r Turkic" because the final consonant in certain words is r, not z as in Common Turkic.[9] Chuvash: вăкăр - Turkish: öküz - Tatar: үгез - English: ox. Hence the name Oghur corresponds to Oghuz "tribe" in Common Turkic.[3] Other correspondences are Com. š : Oghur l (tâš : tâl, 'stone'); s > š; > ś; k/q > ğ; y > j, ś; d, δ > δ > z (10th cent.) > r (13th cent.)"; ğd > z > r (14th cent.); a > ı (after 9th cent.).[13][14] The shift from s to š operates before i, ï, and iV, and Dybo calls the sound change the "Bulgar palatalization".[15]

Denis Sinor believed that the differences noted above suggest that the Oghur-speaking tribes could not have originated in territories inhabited by speakers of Mongolic languages, given that Mongolian dialects feature the -z suffix.[16] Peter Golden, however, has noted that there are many loanwords in Mongolic from Oghuric, such as Mongolic ikere, Oghuric *ikir, Hungarian iker, Common Turkic *ikiz 'twins',[3] and holds the contradictory view that the Oghur inhabited the borderlands of Mongolia prior to the 5th century.[17]

Oghuric influence on other languages

The Oghuric tribes are often connected with the Hungarians, whose exo-ethnonym is usually derived from On-Oğur (> (H)Ungari). Hungarians -> Hun Oghur -> (ten oghur tribes): On ogur -> up.chv. Won ogur -> dow.chv. Wun ogur -> belor. Wugorac -> rus. Wenger -> slove. Vogr, Vogrin -> cheh. pol. Węgier, Węgrzyn, -> lit. Veñgras. [18] Hungarian has many borrowings from Turkic languages, with phonological characteristics which indicate that they borrowed from a Oghuric source language:[19] Hung. tenger, Oghur. *tengir, Comm. *tengiz 'sea',[3] Hung. gyűrű, Oghur. *ǰürük, Comm. *yüzük 'ring',[20] A number of Hungarian loanwords were borrowed before the 9th century, shown by sz- (< Oğ. *ś-) rather than gy- (< Oğ. *ǰ-), for example Hung. szél, Oghur. *śäl, Chuv. śil, Comm. *yel 'wind', Hung. szűcs 'tailor', Hung. szőlő 'grapes'.[20]

In the Oghuz languages as azer. tur. öküz means ox (totemic animal), and is a reflection of the Chuvash language wăkăr where rhotacism is used, in the Kipchak languages it is ögiz.[21][22]

See also


  1. ^ Juha Janhunen, (1996), Manchuria: An Ethnic History, p. 190
  2. ^ Golden 1992, p. 110.
  3. ^ a b c d e Golden 2011, p. 30.
  4. ^ The extinct Bulgar, Bulgaric, etc., a Turkic group, should not be confused with the unrelated Indo-European Bulgarian, which is very much alive.
  5. ^ Savelyev 2020, p. 446.
  6. ^ Glottolog
  7. ^ Golden 2011, p. 39.
  8. ^ Golden 2011, p. 239.
  9. ^ a b Golden 1992, p. 95–96.
  10. ^ Savelyev 2020, p. 448.
  11. ^ Golden 2006, p. 91.
  12. ^ Karadeniz Araştırmaları, Sayı 3 (Güz 2004), s.71-77. Fuzuli Bayat: Oğuz kelimesinin etimolijisi, Page 74.
  13. ^ Golden 1992, p. 20, 96.
  14. ^ Golden 2011, p. 30, 236–239.
  15. ^ Dybo 2014, p. 13.
  16. ^ Golden 2011, p. 29.
  17. ^ Golden 2011, p. 31.
  18. ^ Golden 1992, p. 102–103.
  19. ^ Golden 1992, p. 259–260.
  20. ^ a b Golden 2011, p. 164.
  21. ^ Clauson, Gerard (1972), An Etymological Dictionary of pre-thirteenth-century Turkish, Oxford: Clarendon Press, page: 120.
  22. ^ Егоров (Egorov), Василий Георгиевич (1964). Чăваш чĕлхин этимологи словарĕ [Этимологический словарь чувашского языка] (PDF) (in Russian). Cheboksary: Чувашское книжное издательство.