Since early times the Azerbaijanis were speaking proto-Turkic language. Yet in the early medieval times (3rd-7th centuries), despite dialect differences, indigenous and migrated Turkic ethnics began to merge as a unique nation. In this period some phonetic traits that differentiated the Azerbaijani language from other Turkish ones emerged. During the 7th and 8th centuries the formation of the Azerbaijani people and language has already come to a conclusion. Continue reading
Like other Turkic languages in the former USSR, Azeri has gone through several changes of alphabet over the past century. Until the 1920s it was written in the Arabic alphabet, from 1928 to 1938 it, along with the other Turkic languages, was switched to Latin. From then on it was written in a modified Cyrillic script, and in 1992 it switched to a Latin alphabet, this time based on the one used in Turkey. In South Azerbaijan (Iran) Azeri is still written with the Arabic script.
The latin alphabet:
a b c ç d e ə f g ğ h x ı i j k q l m n o ö p r s ş t u ü v y z
and the cyrillic:
а б в г ғ д е ә ж з и ы ј к ҝ л м н о ө п р с т у ү ф х һ ч ҹ ш ‘
While the Cyrillic is being phased out and is hardly ever seen on the internet, it is still used in printing. since we’ll be using the Latin in this course these are only included for completeness’ sake.