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the language of the Buriats, who live in the Buriat Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic; Ust’-Orda Buriat National Okrug, Irkutsk Oblast; Aga-Buriat National Okrug, Chita Oblast, RSFSR; the northern part of the Mongolian People’s Republic; and the northeastern part of the People’s Republic of China. The number of Buriat speakers in the USSR is approximately 239, 000 (1959).
Buriat belongs to the Mongolian group of languages. The grammatical structure is agglutinative. Vowels are subject to rules of vowel harmony and are short and long. The Buriat vocabulary is rich and distinctive. The Buriats did not have their own writing system before the October Revolution; the Old Mongolian writing system had been used for business correspondence and instruction in reading and writing since the 18th century. In 1931 a writing system based on the Roman alphabet was created, and in 1939, one based on Russian. A modern Buriat literary language, based on the Khorints dialect, took shape in the late 1930’s.
REFERENCESAmogolonov, D. D. Sovremennyi buriatskii iazyk. Ulan-Ude, 1958.
Grammatika buriatskogo iazyka: Fonetika i morfologiia, part 1. Moscow, 1962.
Bertagaev, T. A., and Ts. B. Tsydendambaev. Grammatika buriatskogo iazyka: Sintaksis. Moscow, 1962.
Cheremisov, K. M. Buriat-mongol’sko-russkii slovaf. Moscow, 1951.
Russko-buriat-mongol’ skii slovar’. Moscow, 1954.
T. G. BRIANTSEVA