American linguist Jonathan Washington revealed the features of the Kazakh language with the help of an ultrasound. A young assistant professor of linguistics at Swarthmore University paid his first visit to Kazakhstan in 2004. Later he graduated from Brandy University, where he studied linguistics, anthropology and computer science. It was then that he showed interest in Turkology, and devoted his thesis to the peculiarities of the Kazakh language. It was hard to explain this fascination, at first. Jonathan Washington was born in Vermont and grew up in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Louisiana. He started studying Turkology more deeply during his Master’s program at the University of Washington in Seattle. The main theme of his research was devoted to the phonological phenomenon and sonority in the Turkic languages. After receiving Master's degree in the Euro-Asian studies, he wrote his doctoral thesis on the features of pronunciation of vowels in the Kazakh language using ultrasonic technology.


- A position of a tongue can be viewed on ultrasound. I add the gel and watch my tongue. I see how the vowel is formed with help of this technology. You see, this is the front and back of the tongue. When I pronounce the letter "O", a movement occurs from the front, and when I pronounce the letter "Y", this apparatus shows the simultaneous rotation of all parts. In other languages, the rear end remains in the same position.

Jonathan also commented on the transition of the Kazakh language to the Latin script. He says experts should pay special attention to the world’s experience of spelling reforms. According to him, the keyboard design, fonts, and coding easily adapt to new languages. The main thing is that the new spelling system should be easy to use.


- Hello, Kazakhstan! I wish you a bright future. I'm very interested in learning Kazakh. This brings us closer to Kazakhstan.

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