ABOUT AZERBAIJANI LANGUAGE

 

Azerbaijani language is the state official language of Azerbaijan and the mean of linguistic communication of the 8 million population of the country (2001).

Besides, Azerbaijani is also spoken by 20 million Azerbaijanis residing in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Several millions of Azerbaijanis reside in Russia, USA, Turkey and Western Europe. Regardless of their current country of residence, Azerbaijanis still can understand each other easily. There are over 30 million speakers of Azerbaijani at present.

Genealogically, Azerbaijani language belongs to the Turkic group of languages and, together with closely associated Turkish, Turkmen and Gagauz languages, forms the southwestern group of Turkic languages.

From the traditional-morphological and typological point of view, the Azerbaijani language belongs to the group of agglutinative languages. Unlike inflexional languages, all words of Azerbaijani as well as other agglutinative languages are lexically and grammatically independent units: grammatical meanings and grammatical relations are built by monosemantic inflexions which follow the stem and the root of a word.

The Turks who make up the ethnic foundation of the Azerbaijani people appeared in the territory of the present Azerbaijan long before our century and in the early first millennium along with other numerous tribes were the ancient residents of these lands. The appearance of a nation of Turkish origin and speaking Azerbaijani language and the transformation of this language to a means of communication was a long process, covering several centuries.

With the increase in the number of Turkish tribes as well as their economic, political and cultural influence the language was enriched and thus ethnic groups, that manage to preserve their ethnic and anthropological peculiarities even nowadays, united into a nation with a unique culture and language.

The Azerbaijani language consists of 15 vowel and 25 consonant phonemes. These 40 phonemes are marked with 32 letters of the Azerbaijani alphabet.

There are 9 short (i,ü,e,ö,ə,a,o,u,ı) and 6 long (i:,e:,ö:,ə:, a:,u:) vowels in Azerbaijani language. Long vowels are not typical of this language and are mainly found in loan words.

As a rule, phonetic accent falls on a last syllable. Phonemic accent does not depend on the lexical meaning of a word: 'alma (an apple)-alma' (don't take).

The vowel ı and consonant ğ are not used at the beginning of a word in Azerbaijani language.

The morphological system of Azerbaijani language includes notional parts of speech (nouns, adjectives, numerals, pronouns, adverbs, verbs) and secondary (postpositions, conjunction, particles, modal words, interjection).

Nouns are characterized by the categories of number, possession, case and can be used as a predicate. These categories are typical of other substantiated parts of speech.

The category of case consists of 6 cases (nominative, possessive, dative, accusative, ablative, prepositional). The verb has five tenses (the past indefinite tense, past declarative tense, present tense, future suppositional tense, future complete tense) and 6 forms of mood (order, wish, condition, necessity, importance, predicate).

Depending on the relations between subject, object and predicate, verbs can be used in five grammatical voices (active, passive, reflexive, causative, interaction).

According to the syntactical rules of Azerbaijani language, subject is used at the beginning of a sentence, predicate at the end, while attribute precedes the word it modifies.

In Azerbaijani language words are forming by using morphological methods: (dəmirçi (a blacksmith), üzümçü (Vine-grower), təbliğatçı (propagandist); dəmirçilik (the profession of blacksmith), üzümçülük (vine-growing), təbliğatçılıq (propaganda); dolça (a can), qazança(a pan) otluq(grassland), meşəlik (woodland) qaldırıcı (lifting), endirici (drawoff) ; sevinc (joy), gülünc (smile); yavaşca (slowly, carefully), indicə (just) and syntactical ones (otbiçən (hay-maker), vaxtamuzd (time work), boyunbağı (necklace), gündoğan (east), sarıköynək (oriole), əlidolu (with the hands full (of), adlı-sanlı (celebrated, famous), qırxayaq (centipede), beşaçılan (rifle having five charges), etc).

To date Azerbaijan uses the Azerbaijani alphabet, established on the basis of Latin letters.

Depending on the areas of usage of literary Azerbaijani language, it combines four main styles: official style, publicistic style, belles-letters and the style of scientific prose. To date all the styles are on highly developed.

Great changes occurring in political, scientific, cultural life of the country caused the rapid increase of terms in the vocabulary of Azerbaijani language. This process is observed in all styles, especially in official and scientific styles and in some way in the publicistic style.

The dialects of the Azerbaijani language consist of four groups: 1) eastern group (Baku, Quba, Shamakhi, Lenkeran , Mugham dialects; 2) western group (Ganja, Qazakh, Karabakh and Ayrym dialects); 3) northern group (Sheki, Zagatala-Qakh dialects); 4) southern group (Nakhichevan, Ordubad dialects).