Altaic languages

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The Altaic languages are a family of languages of Eurasia. The usually accepted members of this family include the Turkic, Mongolian, and Tungusic language families. Some linguists place Japanese and Korean in this family because all the Altaic languages are agglutinative, meaning that they join morphemes together.

A number of linguists place the Uralic languages with the Altaic family to form the Ural-Altaic languages because the Uralic languages are aggultinative, just like the Altaic languages.

They comprise three subgroups:

  • Mongol
  • Manchu-Tungus
  • Turkish languages

This group of languages is spoken in parts of the old Soviet Union, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, China and Mongolia.

Notable Altaic languages


The New American Desk Encyclopedia, Penguin Group, 1989.