Uzbek, Northern


A language of Uzbekistan

Alternate Names

21,300,000 in Uzbekistan (2014 World Factbook). Population total all countries: 24,039,250. Ethnic population: 22,900,000 (2014 World Factbook).


East of the Amu Darya; south Aral Sea area.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (1995, Official Language Law (amended), 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. A member of macrolanguage Uzbek [uzb].


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. 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 [Arab], officially abandoned in 1927, used in China. Braille script [Brai]. Cyrillic script [Cyrl], officially adopted in 1940. Latin script [Latn], officially adopted in 1927 and abandoned in 1940, used in China. Sogdian script [Qaap], 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:

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