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the language of Mongolia: see Khalkha



the language of the Mongols, the predominant population of the Mongolian People’s Republic and Inner Mongolia, and of groups living in various provinces of the People’s Republic of China. Mongolian belongs to the Mongolian language group and is spoken by approximately 3 million persons (1970, estimate). It evolved between the 14th and 16th centuries.

Mongolian is divided into dialects. The Khalkha dialect has both sibilant and hushing consonants. Dialects having only hushing consonants (without the phonemes dz and ts) include Chakhar (Chahar), Kharchin, Tumet, and Ordos. Mongolian is an agglutinative language in which the subject occurs before the predicate, and the attribute precedes the dependent member. The language has no grammatical gender, and there is no agreement of the attribute with the dependent member or of the predicate with the subject in number and case. It also lacks personal-predicative particles, thereby differing from other Mongolian languages and the Turkic languages. Mongolian has seven cases and personal and impersonal possession, the particles of which occur after the case endings. Verbs have five voices and 21 conjugated forms. Participial and adverbial-participial constructions replace subordinate clauses, and the accusative case is used to form the subject of such constructions.

In the phonetic system the phonemes k, p, and f occur only in recent borrowings, and b and v are variants of the same phoneme in native Mongolian words. Voiced consonants are devoiced at the end of a syllable, and l and r almost never occur at the beginning of a word. Many consonants have palatalized variants, for example, khaliuun (“otter”) and khaluun (“hot”). Vowels are subject to the laws of vowel harmony and may be phonemically short or long, for example, kharakh (“to look”) and khaarakh (“to be closed”) or der (“head of the bed”) and deer (“above”). The Mongolian language began to evolve as a national language, based on the Khalkha dialect, after the Mongolian People’s Revolution of 1921.


Todaeva, B. Kh. Grammatika sovremennogo mongol’skogo iazyka: Fonetika i morfologiia. Moscow, 1951.
Sanzheev, G. D. Sovremennyi mongol’skii iazyk, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1960.
Sanzheev, G. D. Staropis’mennyi mongol’skii iazyk. Moscow, 1964.
Mongol’sko-russkii slovar’ Edited by A. Luvsandendev. Moscow, 1957.
Damdinsuren, Ts., and A. Luvsandendev. Oros-mongol tol’ vols. 1–2. Ulan Bator, 1967–69.
Rinchen, B. Mongol bichgiin khelnii zui, parts 1–2. Ulan Bator, 1964–66.
Tsevel, la. Mongol khelnii tovch tailbar tol’ Ulan Bator, 1966.
Luvsanvandan, Sh. Orchin tsagiin mongol khelnii butets, parts 1–2. Ulan Bator, 1967–68.
Street, J. Khalkha Structure. The Hague, 1963.
Lessing, F. Mongolian-English Dictionary. Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1960.


References in periodicals archive ?
During an address at the exhibition's opening ceremony on Sunday, Chiayi County Magistrate Helen Chang said the Tibetan and Mongolian nomads advocate for nature and it's hoped that this exhibition will enhance people's knowledge about the nomads.
That's why the new Mongolian iTunes app allows users to post up to 10 photos per horse and include a whole profile for the horse, with its age, gender, race history and general information about its health.
During the meeting, the prime minister noted the government's commitment to tackling the number Mongolians diagnosed with liver disease.
Ridden by his regular work-rider Santiago Aragon, Mongolian Saturday breezed just two furlongs in hand but there were reasons for that.
In this regard, Al Kooheji previewed the unique features of Bahrain's economy and the facilities offered to foreign investors, calling the Mongolian private business sector to explore and avail from the Bahraini market and create joint ventures and partnerships with their local counterparts.
Critique: An impressively magnificent collection showcasing black-and-white photos, "Hunting with Eagles: In the Realm of the Mongolian Kazakhs" is a pure pleasure to simply browse through and would prove to be an enduringly popular and informative addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Photography Studies collections.
The meat of the cattle, which were sacrificed in some parts of Mongolia on the occasion of Eid-al-Adha, was distributed to Mongolian families by volunteers of Kimse Yok Mu.
Aspire Mining's Mongolian rail subsidiary, Northern Railways, has received a formal letter from the Mongolian government confirming that a multidepartmental working group has been established to negotiate a rail concession for the Erdenet to Ovoot Railway.
Welcoming the Mongolian delegation, Majid Al Shamsi stressed on the importance of enhancing bilateral ties between Dubai and Mongolia.
Mongolian Presodent Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj confirmed the announcement of Plevneliev, adding that the goal of the visit was to find out how the Sofia subway had been built on a small budget over a short period of time, according to a correspondent of the BGNES news agency.
PREVIOUS SPREAD: when they move in hordes, the Mongolian horses evoke prehistoric cave paintings; ABOVE: from just under 2,500,000 horses in 1975, Mongolian horses number less than 700,000 today; BELOW: the horses must sometimes cover tens of kilometres in the snow and freezing cold to find a place where they will find meager fodder.
The spectacular sounds and exoticism of Mongolian music often attract audiences outside the Mongolian cultural area--the rough, unreal human voice of khoomii (throat singing), the wide range and powerful vocal projection of urtyn duu (long song), and the harmonized sound, unusually familiar to the Western ear, of such traditional folk instruments as the horse-head fiddle.