Paj-Puj: The Noun-to-Adverb Derivation Suffix <span style="font-family:sans-serif;" >چە</span>

The Noun-to-Adverb Derivation Suffix چە

ئىسىمدىن رەۋىش ياسايدىغان «چە» ئارقا قوشۇمچىسى

Adding the suffix چە to an ethnicity results in a word denoting the language of the ethnic group.

Uyghur + [language] = (in) the Uyghur language
ئۇيغۇر + چە = ئۇيغۇرچە

Han + [language] = (in) Mandarin
خەنزۇ + چە = خەنزۇچە

These words may function as both nouns (e.g., "the Uyghur language") and as adverbs (e.g., "in the Uyghur language"). Contrary to most English speakers' expectations, it is the adverb form that is used in such simple expressions as "I speak Uyghur" (ئۇيغۇرچە سۆزلىيەلەيمەن), with the adverb "in the Uyghur language" (ئۇيغۇرچە) describing how one can speak.

I can only speak English.
.مەن پەقەتلا ئىنگلىزچە سۆزلىيەلەيمەن

I have to say that you speak Uyghur very well!
!سىز ئۇيغۇرچە بەك ياخشى سۆزلەيدىكەنسىز جۇمۇ

Unfortunately, that foreigner doesn't seem to speak Uyghur. I don't know what he wanted to say.
.ئۇ چەت ئەللىك ئۇيغۇرچە سۆزلىيەلمەيدىكەن ـ دە، ئۇ نېمە دېمەكچى بولغانلىقىنى بىلمىدىم

The standard vowel-reduction rules apply when adding this suffix - i.e., if the ethnicity ends in an ئا or ئە vowel, this reduces to an ئى (provided that it is not a long vowel). For this reason, there is no reduction in the word خەنزۇچە.

In some (rarer) cases, چە may be added to other nouns, with the similar meaning of "in the style/manner of".

ease + [manner] = easily
ئاسانلىق + چە = ئاسانلىقچە

See also: 4.3.2, 4.7.1, 4.8.1, 4.9.1


  1. Personal research/experience
  2. Tarjei Engesæth, Mahire Yakup, Arienne M. Dwyer, "Greetings from the Teklimakan: a handbook of Modern Uyghur". University of Kansas: Kansas, 2009. (p. 138)
  3. Hamit A. Zakir, "Introduction to Modern Uighur". Xinjiang University Press: Urumqi, 2007. (p. 133)
  4. Frederick De Jong, "A Grammar of Modern Uyghur". Houtsma Stichting: Utrecht, 2007. (p. 22)
  5. Hämit Tömür, "Modern Uyghur Grammar" (translation by Anne Lee). Yıldız: Istanbul, 2003. (p. 90)
  6. Reinhard F. Hahn, Ablahat Ibrahim, "Spoken Uyghur". University of Washington Press: Seattle, 1991. (p. 159)
  7. E. N. Nadzhip, "Modern Uigur". Nauka Publishing House: Moscow, 1971. (p. 92, 137)
  8. А. Кайдаров, "Краткий грамматический очерк уйгурского языка". 1966. (p. 16)