Study of standardization and unification of Kazakhstan toponyms on the basis of Latin alphabet

  • Agabekova, Zhazira (PI)
  • Imanberdiyeva, Saule (Other Faculty/Researcher)
  • Shelekpayev, Nariman (Other Faculty/Researcher)

Project: Monitored by Research Administration

Project Details

Grant Program

Faculty Development Competitive Research Grants 2020-2022

Project Description

Recent research in the fields of linguistics, onomastics, and place-naming in Kazakhstan demonstrates that the Cyrillic alphabet, which has been used to date as a basis for writing in Kazakh language, does not allow the sounds, peculiar to Kazakh phonetics, to be expressed properly in written form (Qaidar, 1992; Zhunisbekov, 2017; Myrzabekov 1999;). This fact, in turn, influences the structure and vocabulary of Kazakh language. As a result, for many years it has been suggested by a number scholars and Kazakh intellectuals to change the alphabet in which Kazakh language is written. Due to the multinationalism and the wide range of use of the Russian language, this suggestion has always been postponed. On April 12, 2017, however, Kazakhstan’s former president, in a programmatic article, mentioned again the necessity for the so-called ‘latinization’ of Kazakh (Nazarbayev, 2017).

The new Kazakh alphabet, based on the Latin letters, was approved by a presidential decree of the First President on February 18, 2018. Now, however, the spelling rules for most words need to be created and formalized as it is impossible to simply copy-paste a language to any alphabet. A set of the new spelling rules has been discussed and debated intensely by scholars, who were entitled to prepare these new rules and to submit to the National Commission under the Government. On December 6, 2018, the Committee approved to transfer Kazakh alphabet into the Latin script. This approval opened a period when Latin script and Kazakh language would be mutually accommodated .. I will further discuss and problematize the complexities and intricacies of this process.
Effective start/end date1/1/2012/31/22

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