Uzbek, Northern


A language of Uzbekistan

Alternate Names

16,500,000 in Uzbekistan (1995 UN). Population total all countries: 18,968,250.


East of the Amu Darya; south Aral Sea area. Possibly in Munich, Germany. Also in Australia, China, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United States.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (1995, [amended] Official Language Law, 3561-XI, Article 1).


Karluk (Qarlug), Kipchak (Kypchak), Oghuz. Distinct from Southern Uzbek [uzs] of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkey. Russian [rus] influences in grammar, use of loanwords, and script. Oghuz may be a dialect of Khorasani Turkish [kmz] in Turkey rather than Uzbek.


SOV; has lost its historical vowel harmony and its vowel system now resembles that of Tajiki

Language Use

Vigorous. Turks of Fergana and Samarkand speak Uzbek. Uzbek-speaking Gypsy communities in Russian central Asia. All ages. Positive attitudes. Most also use Russian [rus].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: High. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1992–2010.
Arabic script, officially abandoned in 1927, used in China. Braille script. Cyrillic script, officially adopted in 1940. Latin script, officially adopted in 1927 and abandoned in 1940, used in China. Sogdian script, used in China.
Other Comments

About a third urbanized. Much Persian influence in language and culture. Patrilineal. Sart is an obsolete name for sedentary Uzbek, possibly those who are ethnically Tajik. Muslim (Hanafi Sunni).

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All