Turkic language speakers

Turkic language speakers
As a branch of Altaic, Turkic is a big group of languages and has about 10 million speakers in China. Turkic languages in China consist of two groups: the first includes Uighur, Kazak, Sala, Uzbek and Tatar, and the second Kirgiz and Yugur. Most of these languages have writing systems, which are based on the Arabic alphabet. Some Turkic languages are only spoken languages, and they adopt the writing systems of other languages, such as Uighur and Chinese. Turkic speakers are generally Muslims, but some follow Lamaism, such as Yugurs, and others follow forms of shamanism, such as some of the Kazaks.
Uighur in China has three main dialects and the pronunciation of Yili and Wulumuqi (Urumqi) is regarded as standard. Uighur speakers number over 7 million and they mainly live in Xinjiang. Kazak speakers in China, with a population of over 1 million, are distributed mainly in Xinjiang (with some in Gansu). Salas, living in Qinghai and Gansu, have a population of about 90,000.
A number of Sala speakers can speak Chinese and/or Tibetan. Uzbek speakers in China live scattered in Xinjiang and the population is about 20,000. They use the Uighur writing system. There are about 5,000 Tatars in China. They live scattered among the Uighurs and Kazaks in Xinjiang and they now mainly use the language and writing system of Uighur or Kazak. Kirgiz speakers, with a population of over 140,000, are distributed in Xinjiang and Heilongjiang. Yugur speakers live in Gansu. A number of Yugurs speak Mongolian languages and the population of Yugur speakers is only about 10,000.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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