At the eastern edge of China’s Xinjiang region, Qumul (Hami) has been a major gateway between Central Asia and inner China since at least the first century. This paper examines the effects of sustained language contact between speakers of Northern Chinese, Uyghur, Qazaq, Mongolian, and other languages. Qumul Chinese and Qumul Uyghur share many areal linguistic features, but also preserve medieval features of each language family. What is striking is the degree to which Qumul Chinese and Uyghur have not influenced each other. While the two languages do share certain features of vocabulary and phonology, they exhibit a parallel but separate development.
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