The Caucasian Urums and the Urum Language

Stavros Skopeteas


Urum people identify themselves as Turkish-speaking Pontic Greeks who left Anatolia at the beginning of the 19th century. A major group immigrated to the highlands of K’vemo K’art’li, where they are still living today. They conserved the variety of Turkish that their ancestors were speaking before emigration and enriched their language by influences from the languages in their new environment, in particular from Russian. The Urum language displays substantial similarities with the Turkish dialects of Anatolia; beyond these similarities, it displays some unique developments (e.g., in vowel harmony) as well as properties that are traced back to the influences from Russian (e.g., in the use of subordinate clauses).

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