The formation of Kazakh linguistics as a scientific subject was connected with the name of the outstanding scientist, famous state and public figure Akhmet Baitursynuly. A. Baitursynuly was the first chairman (1921-1922) of the Academic center (Academcentre) created under the National educational commissariat.
In 1941 the sectors of Language, Literature and History (the Director – linguist Sauranbayev N. T.) as a part of the Kazakh branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences were created. In 1945 on the basis of the Institute of Language, Literature and History, two independent institutes- the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography and the Institute of Language and Literature were formed.
In 1961 at the initiative of Satpayev K. I. and Auezov M. O., the Institute of Literature and Art named after M. Auezov was branched off from the Institute of Language and Literature whose director was S. Kenesbayev. In 1990 the Institute of Linguistics was named after the prominent statesman, educator and the founder of Kazakh linguistics Akhmet Baitursynuly, who is known in the world’s Linguistics as the author of the phenomenal alphabet.
The Institute of Linguistics named after A. Baitursynuly is the unique scientific institution not only in Kazakhstan, but also around the world, specializing in research of fundamental and applied problems of Kazakh linguistics and Turkology.
The history of formation of Kazakh linguistics and Turkology is associated with the names of the researchers, who made a great contribution to the development of linguistic thought in the country, such as A. Baitursynuly, K.Zhubanov, academicians of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.Sauranbaev, S. Kenesbaev, corresponding members of the Kazakh Academy of Sciences S.Amanzholov, A. Iskakov, M. Balakayev, N. Musabayev and others.
The Institute conducts researches on grammar, lexicology, phonetics, language culture, onomastics, Kazakh terminology, and also on linguocognitology, applied linguistics, corpus linguistics, ethnolinguistics and history of the literary Kazakh language. The Institute is engaged in the following activities: research work; preparation of highly qualified scientific personnel; scientific-pedagogical and socio-political work. The main directions of the Institute scientific activities are elaboration of capital academic grammar of the Kazakh language, preparation and publication of voluminous explanatory, terminology, spelling, bilingual, multilingual dictionaries, as well as promotion of the achievements and results of the studies on Kazakh linguistics.
The scientists of the Institute annually publish on the average about ten monographs, textbooks, reference books, about 200 scientific articles dealing with problems not only in the branch of traditional Linguistics but also on fundamental directions in world Linguistics. In keeping with anthropocentric direction, investigations of the Kazakh language in linguocultorological, psycholinguistic, ethnolinguistic, sociolinguistic, linguocommunicative, pragmalinguistic, linguo-regional study aspects, experimental works on automatic speech recognition and synthesis and as well as collective work on elaboration of the National Corpus of the Kazakh Language are carried out.
The Institute pays great attention to preparation of highly qualified specialists-linguists. Until 2011 the Institute had the post-graduate course and the Dissertation Council, where candidate and doctoral theses of the Institute employees and of research workers of other research institutions of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, higher educational establishments of the country and research centers of several CIS and abroad countries were carried out and defended.
Many entitled linguists of Kazakhstan and also some specialists from Turkey, People’s Republic of China, Russia, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Yakutia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and other countries defended their scientific works and received scientific qualifications at the Institute: 110 doctoral and 415 candidate dissertation works were defended from 1961 to 2010. Now the Institute continues the activities on preparation of scientific personnel within the educational program together with the KazNU named after Al-Farabi on speciality “Linguistics”, where 10 of Doctoral students, 12 Master’s students are trained.
The researchers of the Institute are actively involved in elaboration, discussion and examination of normative and legal documents of national importance-Basic spelling rules of the Kazakh language, “Language Law” (1989, 1997), “ Program of development of languages in the Republic of Kazakhstan till 2000 (1989, 1997), draft of “Conception of the language policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan” (1989, 1996), “Program of development of languages in the Republic of Kazakhstan” (2001-2010, 2011-2020), the plan of Linguistics section of the State program “Cultural Heritage”, etc.
The Institute makes the significant contribution to the development of scientific linguistic thought in the Republic. Since 1961, the Institute organizes the permanent theoretical seminar “Linguistic Friday”, where leading scientists and young professionals give talks on various aspects of Kazakh linguistics and Turkology; foreign scientists-specialists in Turkic philology often deliver reports here.
The Institute has rather considerable intellectual potential. Highly qualified specialists in various branches of Kazakh linguistics, well-known to the wide scientific community of the Republic of Kazakhstan and abroad, academicians of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Professors A.Kaydar, R.Syzdyk, O.Aytbayuly work here. (A.Kaydar, R. Syzdyk are Honoured Science Workers of the Republic and Ch. Valikhanov AS RK Prize winners). Doctors of Philology, professors T. Zhanuzakov, B. Abilkasymov are also winners of Ch. Valikhanov State award.
Doctors of Science K. Khussain, N. Uali, A. Zhubanov, M. Malbakov, Z.M. Bazarbayeva, Zh. A. Mankeeva, R. Shoybekov, B. Momynova, S. Bizakov, K. Rysbergen along with the successful elaborations of the topical issues of Kazakh linguistics are actively engaged in training of skilled young linguists.
Among the young scientists one should note Doctors of Philology B. Suyerkul, O. Zhubayeva, A. Zhanabekova, candidates of science N. Ongarbayeva, N. Ashimbayeva, A. Khabieva, B. Zhonkeshev, G. Isaeva, A. Amirbekova, G. Mamyrbekova, A. Seytbekova, A. Soltanbekova, G. Kobdenova, A. Karshigayeva and winners of the State award named after M. Auezov for young talented scientists A. Fazylzhanova, A. Amanbayeva, Zh. Zhumabayeva, N. Amirzhanova.
The Institute since 2001 issues the linguistic journal “Tiltanym/Linguistics” with periodicity 4 issues per year, which in 2015 was registered in the International center for registration of the serial ISSN editions (UNESCO, Paris, France); and the international number ISSN 2411-6076 was assigned to it.
In addition to the accomplishment of fundamental and applied research programs, the Institute successfully finished work on the realization of the plan of the section “Linguistics” on the State program “Cultural heritage” realized due to initiative and support of the President of the country N. A. Nazarbayev. Within this program, the Institute prepared for the edition the fundamental works –Academic (big) standard dictionaries which constitute the scientific-linguistic base of the State language.
The Institute consists of the departments of grammar, lexicology, phonetics, speech culture, onomastics, terminology, history of language and dialectology, computational linguistics, ethnolinguistics.
The Institute scientists published the works acknowledged by the republic scientific community and foreign specialists in Turkic philology: two-volume “Modern Kazakh language” (1954), large “Russian-Kazakh dictionary” (1954), ten-volume “Explanatory dictionary of the Kazakh language” (1974-1986) awarded the State Prize, “Phraselogical dictionary of the Kazakh language” (1977), large “Kazakh- Russian Dictionary” (2001), single-volume “Explanatory Dictionary of the Kazakh language” (2001),”Academic grammar of the Kazakh language” (2002), “Orthoepic dictionary of the Kazakh language” (2004), “Spelling Dictionary of the Kazakh language” (2005, 2007, 2013), “Dictionary of synonyms of the Kazakh language” (2005), “Regional dictionary of the Kazakh language” (2005), fifteen-volume explanatory “Dictionary of the Kazakh literary language“ (2013) and big single-volume explanatory dictionary «Қазақ сөздігі» (2013) highly appreciated by the Head of the State in the Prefaces written by him especially for the first editions of these works, “Functional grammar of the Kazakh language” (2010-2011) in two volumes and many other essential publications and researches which serve as the serious tool, the basis in learning of the State language; and these publications strengthening the status of the State language are strategically important for the State.
The Institute is the unique linguistic center in the country which is engaged in the creation, storage, enrichment of the invaluable intellectual property (heritage) on the Kazakh language, Kazakh linguistics on the basis of continuous collection, systematization and regulation of the sound and lexical fund of the Kazakh language. In this regard, one should note the availability of the National dictionary fund of the Kazakh language at the Institute consisting of about 6 million card-index base. In this connection, the Institute conducts work on the creation of the computer fund of Kazakh lexicon and also of the National Corpus of the Kazakh language, whose purpose is the maximum scope of lexical diversity of the nation and its systematization according to the norm and long-term functioning. One should also note the availability of the fund of the dissertation works on Linguistics defended at the Institute dissertation council and the constantly filled-up fund of the linguistic library consisting of more than 7 thousand copies of scientific books.
The Institute of Linguistics named after Akhmet Baitursynuly, being the oldest research institution in the Republic of Kazakhstan, has certain traditions in the researches, scientific schools, trends, rather strong intellectual capacity, the personnel and the material-technical base; provides the successful solution of actual problems of Turkology and Kazakh Linguistics at the up-to-date scientific level.