Despite the existence of a common written language between peoples, the history of the use of different dialects extends as far back as the Old Turkic period. Although the only written Turkic language known to exist in the 11th century, Hakaniye Turkic, was the language of the Kutadgu Bilig, Mahmud al-Kashgari, in his Diwanu l-Lugat al-Turk, showed that in fact a number of dialects were in use at that time (now identified as the Middle Turkic period). Evidence of many different dialects is found today in the Kutadgu Bilig; Oghuz, Karluk, Kipchak, Yaghma, Oghrak, Suvar, and Pechenek are just some of these. In this article, the Oghuz dialect found in the Kutadgu Bilig, the longest literary work in Karakhanid Turkic, will be examined. After providing a brief overview of the Oghuz people and their language in the introduction, Oghuz elements in the Kutadgu Bilig will be discussed. Having defined the elements of Oghuz, separate sections under the headings of phonetics, morphology and vocabulary are designated. In the section on Oghuz phonetics, the following phenomena are discussed: nasalization of b > m, the i > é sound change, word-initial y glide formation, syllabic fusion, haplology, and elision, the sound changes b- > v-, t- > d-, and d- > y-, word-initial k- > g- voicing, the ? > n sound change, the status of the consonants à / g, and use of the adjectival suffix aú / ek. The topics covered in the morphology section are: the presence of + Ig / +Ug which is the original form of the accusative case, use of the adverb ö?dün derived from the noun ö? affixed with the –dın / -din suffix indicating direction, use of the genitive suffix in the form of +(n)Ing / +nIng, use of the second person singular pronoun sen, use of the second person singular and plural imperative affix, use of the aorist tense suffixed with –r, use of the past definite and past indefinite tenses, and use of the suffixes - mış/miş; -àan/-gen; -àuluk/-gülük; -àlı/ -glı ; -àuçı /- güçi; -teçi / -taçı as verbal adjectives. In the section on vocabulary, the following points are discussed: the reflexive pronoun öz / kentü; tap- / bul-, eliğ, el / kol; kizle- / yaşur-, me?ze- / okşa-, and the use of equivalent pairs.
Kutadgu Bilig, Oghuz Turkic, Oghuz Elements, Historical Turkic Dialects, Phonetics and Morphology