Kazakh Writing System

Kazakh today is written using the Cyrillic alphabet in Mongolia as well as Kazakhstan. In china, over a million speakers of the language use a script derived from Arabic that is similar to the one that is used for writing Uyghur. The oldest remaining written records for the language that was related closely to Kazakh had been written in Orkhon script. Even though it is not really believed that these varieties were the direct predecessors of the language. Modern Kazakh language has been historically written with various versions of Arabic, Cyrillic and Latin scripts. In the year 2006, Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev raised the topic of the use of Latin alphabet officially for Kazakh script instead of Cyrillic alphabet.

The Kazakh language has a vowel harmony where some of the words of foreign origin, especially Arabic and Russian are exceptions. The language also has a system similar to Kyrgyz of rounding harmony. However, this system is not as strongly applied and is also not reflected in orthography. The Kazakh language can express various combinations of mood, aspect and tense with the use of different verbal morphology and even through an auxiliary verb system. Several of these can be considered as light verbs. To provide an example, in Kazakh, the present tens has different information based on whether the basic tense morphology is used or if one of the verbs is used in the sentence.

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