This article includes a list of references, related reading, or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (October 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Orkhon Turkic
Orkhon Uyghur
RegionEastern Europe, Central Asia, Eastern Asia
Era5th–8th century
Old Turkic
Language codes
ISO 639-3otk

Orkhon Turkic (also Göktürk) is the language used in the oldest known written Turkic texts. It is the first stage of Old Turkic, preceding Old Uyghur. It is generally used for the language in which the Orkhon and Yenisei inscriptions are written.


Most of the vocabulary includes words of Turkic origin in Orkhon Turkic. In addition, a few words used are based on origin languages such as Sogdian and Chinese.[1][2] Mehmet Ölmez claims that about 20% of the vocabulary in Orkhon Turkic comes from neighboring cultures.[3]

The borrowed words of the Orkhon Turkic period include Chinese, Sogdian, Mongolian, and Tibetan loanwords, although primarily Chinese. In the period of Old Uyghur Turkic that will come right after, Sogdian loanwords increase exponentially. The main reason for the increase of Sogdian influence is that the Uyghurs accepted the Mani religion.[4] In this context, we can say that Orkhon Turkic has a vocabulary that is less influenced by Sogdian and more heavily influenced by Chinese.

Foreign Elements in Orkhon Turkic by Etymology in Mehmet Ölmez's studies, 1995-1999. (n=26) Red: Chinese, Light Blue: Sogdian, Dark Blue: Mongolian, Orange: Tibetian, Flesh: Others, Grey: Unknown/uncertain
Foreign Elements in Orkhon Turkic by Etymology in Mehmet Ölmez's studies, 1995-1999. (n=26) Red: Chinese, Light Blue: Sogdian, Dark Blue: Mongolian, Orange: Tibetian, Flesh: Others, Grey: Unknown/uncertain


Orkhon Turkic is a Shaz Turkic language, also a d-type Turkic language (e.g; Turkish: ayak, Chuvash: ура (ura) but Old Turkic: 𐰑𐰴 (adaq)) which belongs to the Siberian Turkic branch. Orkhon Turkic sometimes has long vowels. [5][6]


Turkic people used a common literary language in the 5th-8th centuries, but there were some differences.[7] It is possible to examine the Orkhon Turkic under two Yenisei and the Classical Orkhon Turkic headings. Orkhon Turkic had two main dialects, both written in Orkhon script.

Yenisei Kyrgyz Inscriptions and the Dialect

The language used in the inscriptions found along the Yenisei river[8] is called the Yenisei Kyrgyz dialect. (See more at Yenisei Inscriptions)

Phonetic Features

In Yenisei inscriptions, the letters e and i change places from time to time. The same change is seen in b with m, g with k, ş with s, and z with s. It has also been seen once in the letters ı and i.[7]

Morphonological Features

A completely morphological difference was not detected in the Yenisei Inscriptions. But there are some points:

Orkhon Turkic Inscriptions and the Dialect (Classical)

The language used in the inscriptions, most of which are found along the Orkhon river[9] is called the Orkhon Turkic language. It contains not only tombstones but also diaries describing state events. For this reason, it is richer in terms of language and the language used expertly.[10] (See more at Orkhon inscriptions)

Other Inscriptions Written in Orkhon Turkic language

Talas Inscriptions

They are found around the Talas, Issyk-Kul and Kochkor.[11] They were written with the Yenisei variants of the Orkhon alphabet.[12][13][14][15][16] It is believed that these inscriptions were also written by the Kyrgyzs.[17]

The language of the texts used in the inscriptions is the same as the language used in the Orkhon and Yenisei inscriptions. The suffix -ka after the possessive suffix, which is seen in some of the Yenisei Kyrgyz inscriptions, is not seen in these inscriptions.[18]


  1. ^ Ölmez, Mehmet (1995). "Eski Türk Yazıtlarında Yabancı Öğeler" (PDF). Türk Dilleri Araştırmaları. 5: 227–229.
  2. ^ Ölmez, Mehmet (1997). "Eski Türk Yazıtlarında Yabancı Öğeler 2" (PDF). Türk Dilleri Araştırmaları. 7: 175–186.
  3. ^ Olmez, Mehmet (1999-01-01). "Foreign Elements in Old Turkic Inscriptions (3) // Eski Türk Yazıtlarında Yabancı Öğeler (3)". Türk Dilleri Araştırmaları, 9: 59-65.
  4. ^ Ayazlı, Özlem (2020-01-01). "Soğdca Bazı Sözcüklerin Eski Uygurcadaki İmlası / Orthography of Some Sogdian Words in Old Uyghur Turkic". International Journal of Old Uyghur Studies. doi:10.46614/ijous.743040. S2CID 225560776.
  5. ^ Tekin, Talat (1997). A Grammar of Orkhon Turkic. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7007-0869-7.
  6. ^ "KökTörükçede Birincil Uzun Üŋlüler". Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  7. ^ a b c Şabdanaliyev, Negizbek. "YENİSEY YAZITLARI'NDAKİ AĞIZ ÖZELLİKLERİ (FONOLOJİK VE MORFONOLOJİK İNCELEME)". Türk Dünyası. 42: 153–165.
  8. ^ "TURK BITIG". Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  9. ^ "TURK BITIG". Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  10. ^ Güler, Hakan (2019-05-01). "TAŞLARIN RUHU: ORHUN YAZITLARI". Türk Ekini (in Turkish) (1): 4–8. ISSN 2687-296X.
  11. ^ Ali̇mov, Rysbek (2017-12-31). "TALAS YAZITLARI: İŞARET KADROSUYLA İLGİLİ BAZI DÜZELTMELER (2. TALAS YAZITI ÖRNEĞİNDE)". Türk Dili Araştırmaları Yıllığı - Belleten. 65 (1): 129–144. ISSN 0564-5050.
  12. ^ "TURK BITIG". Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  13. ^ "TURK BITIG". Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  14. ^ "TURK BITIG". Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  15. ^ "TURK BITIG". Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  16. ^ "TURK BITIG". Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  17. ^ "Türkçe Bilgi: Talas-Yenisey Yazıtları". Türkçe Bilgi (in Turkish). Retrieved 2022-04-12.
  18. ^ "TURK BITIG"., uyalarïna adïrïlmïš. Retrieved 2022-04-12.