Mongolian language

Mongolian[note 1] is the official language of Mongolia and both the most widely spoken and best-known member of the Mongolic language family. The number of speakers across all its dialects may be 5.2 million, including the vast majority of the residents of Mongolia and many of the ethnic Mongol residents of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.[1] In Mongolia, the Khalkha dialect is predominant, and is currently written in both Cyrillic and traditional Mongolian script (and at times in Latin for social networking), while in Inner Mongolia, the language is dialectally more diverse and is written in the traditional Mongolian script.

  • монгол хэл
  • ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠬᠡᠯᠡ
Pronunciation[ˈmɔɴɢɔ̆ɮ çiɮ]
Native toMongolian Plateau
RegionAll of state Mongolia and Inner Mongolia; Buryatia, Kalmykia, parts of Irkutsk Oblast, Zabaykalsky Krai in Russia; parts of Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Xinjiang, Gansu and Qinghai provinces in China; Issyk-Kul Region in Kyrgyzstan
Native speakers
5.2 million (2005)[1]
  • Mongolian
Early forms
Standard forms
Khalkha (Mongolia)
Chakhar (China)
Official status
Official language in
Regulated by
  • Mongolia:
  • State Language Council,[3]
  • China:
  • Council for Language and Literature Work[4]
Language codes
ISO 639-1mn
ISO 639-2mon
ISO 639-3mon – inclusive code
Individual codes:
khk  Khalkha Mongolian
mvf  Peripheral Mongolian (part)
Linguaspherepart of 44-BAA-b
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

In the discussion of grammar to follow, the variety of Mongolian treated is Standard Khalkha Mongolian (i.e., the standard written language as formalized in the writing conventions and in grammar as taught in schools), but much of what is to be said is also valid for vernacular (spoken) Khalkha and for other Mongolian dialects, especially Chakhar.

Some classify several other Mongolic languages like Buryat and Oirat as dialects of Mongolian, but this classification is not in line with the current international standard.

Mongolian has vowel harmony and a complex syllabic structure for a Mongolic language that allows clusters of up to three consonants syllable-finally. It is a typical agglutinative language that relies on suffix chains in the verbal and nominal domains. While there is a basic word order, subject–object–predicate, ordering among noun phrases is relatively free, as grammatical roles are indicated by a system of about eight grammatical cases. There are five voices. Verbs are marked for voice, aspect, tense and epistemic modality/evidentiality. In sentence linking, a special role is played by converbs.

Modern Mongolian evolved from Middle Mongol, the language spoken in the Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries. In the transition, a major shift in the vowel-harmony paradigm occurred, long vowels developed, the case system changed slightly, and the verbal system was restructured. Mongolian is related to the extinct Khitan language. It was believed that Mongolian is related to Turkic, Tungusic, Korean and Japonic languages but this view is now seen as obsolete by a majority of (but not all) comparative linguists. These languages have been grouped under the Altaic language family and contrasted with the Mainland Southeast Asia linguistic area. However, instead of a common genetic origin, Clauson, Doerfer, and Shcherbak proposed that Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic languages form a Sprachbund, rather than common origin.[5] Mongolian literature is well attested in written form from the 13th century but has earlier Mongolic precursors in the literature of the Khitan and other Xianbei peoples. The Bugut inscription dated to 584 CE and the Inscription of Hüis Tolgoi dated to 604-620 CE appear to be the oldest substantial Mongolic or Para-Mongolic texts discovered.

Geographic distribution

Mongolian is the official national language of Mongolia, where it is spoken (but not always written) by nearly 3.6 million people (2014 estimate),[6] and the official provincial language (both spoken and written forms) of Inner Mongolia, China, where there are at least 4.1 million ethnic Mongols.[7] Across the whole of China, the language is spoken by roughly half of the country's 5.8 million ethnic Mongols (2005 estimate)[6] However, the exact number of Mongolian speakers in China is unknown, as there is no data available on the language proficiency of that country's citizens. The use of Mongolian in Inner Mongolia, has witnessed periods of decline and revival over the last few hundred years. The language experienced a decline during the late Qing period, a revival between 1947 and 1965, a second decline between 1966 and 1976, a second revival between 1977 and 1992, and a third decline between 1995 and 2012.[8] However, in spite of the decline of the Mongolian language in some of Inner Mongolia's urban areas and educational spheres, the ethnic identity of the urbanized Chinese-speaking Mongols is most likely going to survive due to the presence of urban ethnic communities.[9] The multilingual situation in Inner Mongolia does not appear to obstruct efforts by ethnic Mongols to preserve their language.[10][11] Although an unknown number of Mongols in China, such as the Tumets, may have completely or partially lost the ability to speak their language, they are still registered as ethnic Mongols and continue to identify themselves as ethnic Mongols.[6][12] The children of inter-ethnic Mongol-Chinese marriages also claim to be and are registered as ethnic Mongols.[13] In 2020, the Chinese government required three subjects — language and literature, politics, and history — to be taught in Mandarin in Mongolian language primary and secondary schools in the Inner Mongolia since September, which caused widespread protests among ethnic Mongol communities.[14][15] These protests were quickly suppressed by the Chinese government.[16]

Classification and dialects

Mongolian script and Mongolian Cyrillic on Sukhbaatar's statue in Ulaanbaatar
Modern Mongolian's place on the chronological tree of Mongolic languages

Mongolian belongs to the Mongolic languages. The delimitation of the Mongolian language within Mongolic is a much disputed theoretical problem, one whose resolution is impeded by the fact that existing data for the major varieties is not easily arrangeable according to a common set of linguistic criteria. Such data might account for the historical development of the Mongolian dialect continuum, as well as for its sociolinguistic qualities. Though phonological and lexical studies are comparatively well developed,[17] the basis has yet to be laid for a comparative morphosyntactic study, for example between such highly diverse varieties as Khalkha and Khorchin.[18][19]

The status of certain varieties in the Mongolic group—whether they are languages distinct from Mongolian or just dialects of it—is disputed. There are at least three such varieties: Oirat (including the Kalmyk variety) and Buryat, both of which are spoken in Russia, Mongolia, and China; and Ordos, spoken around Inner Mongolia's Ordos City.[20]

There is no disagreement that the Khalkha dialect of the Mongolian state is Mongolian.[21] Beyond this one point, however, agreement ends. For example, the influential classification of Sanžeev (1953) proposed a "Mongolian language" consisting of just the three dialects Khalkha, Chakhar, and Ordos, with Buryat and Oirat judged to be independent languages.[22]

On the other hand, Luvsanvandan (1959) proposed a much broader "Mongolian language" consisting of a Central dialect (Khalkha, Chakhar, Ordos), an Eastern dialect (Kharchin, Khorchin), a Western dialect (Oirat, Kalmyk), and a Northern dialect (consisting of two Buryat varieties).[23] Additionally, the Language Policy in the People’s Republic of China: Theory and Practice Since 1949, states that Mongolian can be classified into four dialects: the Khalkha dialect in the middle, the Horcin-Haracin dialect in the East, Oriat-Hilimag in the west, and Bargu-Buriyad in the north.[24]

Some Western scholars[25] propose that the relatively well researched Ordos variety is an independent language due to its conservative syllable structure and phoneme inventory. While the placement of a variety like Alasha,[26] which is under the cultural influence of Inner Mongolia but historically tied to Oirat, and of other border varieties like Darkhad would very likely remain problematic in any classification,[27] the central problem remains the question of how to classify Chakhar, Khalkha, and Khorchin in relation to each other and in relation to Buryat and Oirat.[28] The split of [tʃ] into [tʃ] before *i and [ts] before all other reconstructed vowels, which is found in Mongolia but not in Inner Mongolia, is often cited as a fundamental distinction,[29] for example Proto-Mongolic *tʃil, Khalkha /tʃiɮ/, Chakhar /tʃil/ 'year' versus Proto-Mongolic *tʃøhelen, Khalkha /tso:ɮəŋ/, Chakhar /tʃo:ləŋ/ 'few'.[30] On the other hand, the split between the past tense verbal suffixes - in the Central varieties vs. -dʒɛː in the Eastern varieties[31] is usually seen as a merely stochastic difference.[32]

In Inner Mongolia, official language policy divides the Mongolian language into three dialects: Southern Mongolian, Oirat, and Barghu-Buryat. Southern Mongolian is said to consist of Chakhar, Ordos, Baarin, Khorchin, Kharchin, and Alasha. The authorities have synthesized a literary standard for Mongolian in whose grammar is said to be based on Southern Mongolian and whose pronunciation is based on the Chakhar dialect as spoken in the Plain Blue Banner.[33] Dialectologically, however, western Southern Mongolian dialects are closer to Khalkha than they are to eastern Southern Mongolian dialects: for example, Chakhar is closer to Khalkha than to Khorchin.[34]

Besides Mongolian, or "Central Mongolic", other languages in the Mongolic grouping include Dagur, spoken in eastern Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, and in the vicinity of Tacheng in Xinjiang; the Shirongolic subgroup Shira Yugur, Bonan, Dongxiang, Monguor, and Kangjia, spoken in Qinghai and Gansu regions; and the possibly extinct Moghol of Afghanistan.[35]

As for the classification of the Mongolic family relative to other languages, the Altaic theory (which is increasingly less well received among linguists[36]) proposes that the Mongolic family is a member of a larger Altaic family that would also include the Turkic and Tungusic, and usually Koreanic languages and Japonic languages as well.

List of dialects

Juha Janhunen (2003: 179)[37] lists the following Mongol dialects, most of which are spoken in Inner Mongolia.

  • Tongliao group
    • Khorchin (Qurciv)
    • Jasagtu (Jasaqdu)
    • Jarut (Jarut)
    • Jalait (Jalajit)
    • Dörbet (Tuirbat)
    • Gorlos (Qhurlus)
  • Juu Uda group
    • Aru Khorchin (vAru Qurciv)
    • Baarin (Baqhariv)
    • Ongniut (vUvgniqhut)
    • Naiman (Naimav)
    • Aokhan (vAuqav)
  • Josotu group
    • Kharachin (Qaraciv)
    • Tümet (Tuimat)
  • Ulan Tsab group
    • Chakhar (Caqar)
    • Urat (vUrat)
    • Darkhan (Tarqav)
    • Muumingan (Muumivgqhav)
    • Dörben Küüket (Tuirbav Gaugat)
    • Keshigten (Gasigdav)
  • Shilingol group
    • Üdzümüchin (vUiczumuciv)
    • Khuuchit (Qaqhucit)
    • Abaga (vAbaqhe)
    • Abaganar (vAbaqhanar)
    • Sönit (Suinit)
  • Outer Mongolian group
Juha Janhunen – 'Mongolian' book – from 2012

In Juha Janhunen's book titled "Mongolian", he groups the Mongolic language family into 4 distinct linguistic branches:[38]

Shirongolic/Southern Mongolic (part of a Gansu–Qinghai Sprachbund)

The Shirongolic branch of the Mongolic language family is made up of roughly 7 languages, grouped in the following way:[38]

Common Mongolic/Central Mongolic

The Common Mongolic (or Central Mongolic – see Mongolic languages) branch of the Mongolic language family is made up of roughly 6 languages, grouped in the following way:[38]


The following description is based primarily on the Khalkha dialect as spoken in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia's capital. The phonologies of other varieties such as Ordos, Khorchin, and even Chakhar, differ considerably.[39] This section discusses the phonology of Khalkha Mongolian with subsections on Vowels, Consonants, Phonotactics and Stress.


The standard language has seven monophthong vowel phonemes. They are aligned into three vowel harmony groups by a parameter called ATR (advanced tongue root); the groups are −ATR, +ATR, and neutral. This alignment seems to have superseded an alignment according to oral backness. However, some scholars still describe Mongolian as being characterized by a distinction between front vowels and back vowels, and the front vowel spellings 'ö' and 'ü' are still often used in the West to indicate two vowels which were historically front. The Mongolian vowel system also has rounding harmony.

Length is phonemic for vowels, and each of the seven phonemes occurs short or long. Phonetically, short /o/ has become centralized to the central vowel [ɵ].

In the following table, the seven vowel phonemes, with their length variants, are arranged and described phonetically. The vowels in the Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet are:

IPA (International
а, аа [a, aː] a, aa
и, ий/ы [i, iː] i, ii
о, оо [ɔ, ɔː] o, oo
ө, өө [ɵ, oː] /o, oː/ ö, öö
у, уу [ʊ, ʊː] u, uu
ү, үү [u, uː] ü, üü
э, ээ [e, eː] e, ee
Front Central Back
Short Long Short Long Short Long
Close i u
Near-Close ʊ ʊː
Close-Mid e ɵ
Open-mid ɔ ɔː
Open a

Khalkha also has four diphthongs: historically /ui, ʊi, ɔi, ai/, though they may be pronounced more like [ue, ʊe, ɔe, ae].[40] Vowels can also combine to form a further three diphthongs, and so seven in total: ia (иа), ʊa (уа) ei (эй). For example: aй in далай (sea), иа in амиараа (individually), ой in нохой (dog), уа in хуаран (barracks), уй in уйлах (to cry), үй in үйлдвэр (factory), эй in хэрэгтэй (necessary).[41]

ATR harmony. Mongolian divides vowels into three groups in a system of vowel harmony:

+ATR ("front") −ATR ("back") Neutral
IPA Characters e, u, o a, ʊ, ɔ i
Mongolian Cyrillic characters э, ү, ө а, у, о и and й

As mentioned, for historical reasons these have traditionally been labeled as "front" vowels and "back" vowels. Indeed, in Romanized transcription of Mongolian, the vowels /o/ and /u/ are often conventionally rendered as ö and ü, while the vowels /ɔ/ and /ʊ/ are expressed as o and u (this is also the case in the nonphonological sections of this article). However, for modern Mongolian phonology, it seems more appropriate to instead characterize the two vowel-harmony groups by the dimension of tongue root position. There is also one neutral vowel, /i/, not belonging to either group.

All the vowels in a noncompound word, including all its suffixes, must belong to the same group. If the first vowel is −ATR, then every vowel of the word must be either /i/ or a −ATR vowel. Likewise, if the first vowel is a +ATR vowel, then every vowel of the word must be either /i/ or a +ATR vowel. In the case of suffixes, which must change their vowels to conform to different words, two patterns predominate. Some suffixes contain an archiphoneme /A/ that can be realized as /a, ɔ, e, o/. For example:

  • orx household + -Ar (instrumental) → orxor by a household
  • xarʊɮ sentry + -Ar (instrumental) → xarʊɮar by a sentry

Other suffixes can occur in /U/ being realized as /ʊ, u/, in which case all −ATR vowels lead to /ʊ/ and all +ATR vowels lead to /u/. For example:

  • aw to take + -Uɮ (causative) → awʊɮ

If the only vowel in the word stem is /i/, the suffixes will use the +ATR suffix forms.[42]

Rounding harmony. Mongolian also has rounding harmony, which does not apply to close vowels. If a stem contains /o/ (or /ɔ/), a suffix that is specified for an open vowel will have [o] (or [ɔ], respectively) as well. However, this process is blocked by the presence of /u/ (or /ʊ/) and /ei/. E.g. ɔr-ɮɔ came in, but ɔr-ʊɮ-ɮa inserted.[43]

Vowel length. The pronunciation of long and short vowels depends on the syllable's position in the word. In word-initial syllables there is a phonemic contrast in length. A long vowel has about 208% the length of a short vowel. In word-medial and word-final syllables, formerly long vowels are now only 127% as long as short vowels in initial syllables, but they are still distinct from initial-syllable short vowels. Short vowels in noninitial syllables differ from short vowels in initial syllables by being only 71% as long and by being centralized in articulation. As they are nonphonemic, their position is determined according to phonotactic requirements.[44]


The following table lists the consonants of Khalkha Mongolian. The consonants enclosed in parentheses occur only in loanwords.[45]

Labial Dental Velar Uvular
plain pal. plain pal. plain pal.
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless/voiced p t ɡ ɡʲ ɢ
voiceless aspirated () (pʲʰ) tʲʰ () (kʲʰ)
Affricate voiceless ts
voiceless aspirated tsʰ tʃʰ
Fricative central (f) s ʃ x
lateral ɮ ɮʲ
Trill r
Approximant w̜ʲ j

A striking and rare feature among the world's languages, Mongolian lacks the voiced lateral approximant, [l] and the voiceless velar plosive [k]; instead, it has a voiced alveolar lateral fricative, /ɮ/, which is often realized as voiceless [ɬ].[46] In word-final position, /n/ (if not followed by a vowel in historical forms) is realized as [ŋ]. The occurrence of palatalized consonant phonemes seems to be restricted to words that contain [−ATR] vowels.[47] Aspirated consonants are preaspirated in medial and word-final contexts, devoicing preceding consonants and vowels. Devoiced short vowels are often deleted.[48]

Syllable structure and phonotactics

The maximal syllable is CVVCCC, where the last C is a word-final suffix. A single short vowel rarely appears in syllable-final position. If a word was monosyllabic historically, *CV has become CVV. [ŋ] is restricted to codas (else it becomes [n]), and /p/ and /pʲ/ do not occur in codas for historical reasons. For two-consonant clusters, the following restrictions obtain:

  • a palatalized consonant can be preceded only by another palatalized consonant or sometimes by /ɢ/ and /ʃ/
  • /ŋ/ may precede only /ʃ, x, ɡ, ɡʲ/ and /ɢ/
  • /j/ does not seem to appear in second position
  • /p/ and /pʲ/ do not occur as first consonant and as second consonant only if preceded by /m/ or /ɮ/ or their palatalized counterparts.

Clusters that do not conform to these restrictions will be broken up by an epenthetic nonphonemic vowel in a syllabification that takes place from right to left. For example, hojor 'two', ažil 'work', and saarmag 'neutral' are, phonemically, /xɔjr/, /atʃɮ/, and /saːrmɡ/ respectively. In such cases, an epenthetic vowel is inserted so as to prevent disallowed consonant clusters. Thus, in the examples given above, the words are phonetically [xɔjɔ̆r], [atʃĭɮ], and [saːrmăɢ]. The phonetic form of the epenthetic vowel follows from vowel harmony triggered by the vowel in the preceding syllable. Usually it is a centralized version of the same sound, with the following exceptions: preceding /u/ produces [e]; /i/ will be ignored if there is a nonneutral vowel earlier in the word; and a postalveolar or palatalized consonant will be followed by an epenthetic [i], as in [atʃĭɮ].[49]


Stress in Mongolian is nonphonemic (does not distinguish different meanings) and thus is considered to depend entirely on syllable structure. But scholarly opinions on stress placement diverge sharply.[50] Most native linguists, regardless of which dialect they speak, claim that stress falls on the first syllable. Between 1941 and 1975, several Western scholars proposed that the leftmost heavy syllable gets the stress. Yet other positions were taken in works published between 1835 and 1915.

Walker (1997)[51] proposes that stress falls on the rightmost heavy syllable unless this syllable is word-final:

HˈHLL[pai.ˈɢʊɮ. ɮəɢ.təx]to be organized
LHˈHL[xon.ti.ˈru.ɮəŋ]separating (adverbial)
LHHˈHL[ʊ.ɮan.paːtʰ.ˈrin.xəŋ]the residents of Ulaanbaatar

A "heavy syllable" is here defined as one that is at least the length of a full vowel; short word-initial syllables are thereby excluded. If a word is bisyllabic and the only heavy syllable is word-final, it gets stressed anyway. In cases where there is only one phonemic short word-initial syllable, even this syllable can get the stress:[52]

ˈLL[ˈʊnʃ.səŋ]having read

More recently, the most extensive collection of phonetic data so far in Mongolian studies has been applied to a partial account of stress placement in the closely related Chakhar dialect.[53][54] The conclusion is drawn that di- and trisyllabic words with a short first syllable are stressed on the second syllable. But if their first syllable is long, then the data for different acoustic parameters seems to support conflicting conclusions: intensity data often seems to indicate that the first syllable is stressed, while F0 seems to indicate that it is the second syllable that is stressed.[55]


The grammar here is also based primarily on Khalkha Mongolian. Unlike the phonology, most of what is said about morphology and syntax also holds true for Chakhar,[56] while Khorchin is somewhat more diverse.[57]

Forming questions

When asking questions in Mongolian, a question marker is used to show a question is being asked. There are different question markers for yes/no questions and for information questions. For yes/no questions, уу and үү are used when the last word ends in a short vowel or a consonant, and their use depends on the vowel harmony of the previous word. When the last word ends in a long vowel or a diphthong, then юу and юү are used (again depending on vowel harmony). For information questions (questions asking for information with an interrogative word like who, what, when, where, why, etc.), the question particles are вэ and бэ, depending on the last sound in the previous word.

  1. Yes/No Question Particles -уу/үү/юу/юү (uu/üü/yuu/yuü)
  2. Open Ended Question Particles -бэ/вэ (be/ve)

Basic interrogative pronouns -юу (yuu; 'what'), -хаана (khaana; 'where'), хэн (khen; 'who'), яагаад (yaagaad; 'why'), яаж (yaaj; 'how'), хэзээ (khezee; 'when'), ямар (yamar; 'what kind')


In Mongolian, verbs have a stem and an ending. For example, бай, сур, and үзэ are the stems and take the following endings: х, ах, and х respectively: байx, сурax, and үзэx. These are the infinitive or dictionary forms.[58] The present/future tense is formed by adding either на, но, нэ, or нө to the stem. These do not change for different pronouns, so сурна (I/you/he/she/we/you all/they study) will always be сурна. байна is the present/future tense verb for to be. уншина is to read. үзнэ is to see. The final vowel is barely pronounced and is not pronounced at all if the word after begins with a vowel, so сайн байна уу is pronounced sain bain uu.[58]

  1. Past Tense -сан/сон/сэн/сөн (san/son/sen/sön)
  2. Informed Past Tense (any point in past) -в (v)
  3. Informed Past Tense (not long ago) -лаа/лоо/лээ/лөө (laa/loo/lee/löö)
  4. Non-Informed Past Tense (generally a slightly to relatively more distant past) -жээ/чээ (jee/chee)
  5. Present Perfect Tense -даг/дог/дэг/дөг (dag/dog/deg/dög)
  6. Present Progressive Tense -ж/ч байна (j/ch baina)
  7. (Reflective) Present Progressive Tense -аа/оо/ээ/өө (aa/oo/ee/öö)
  8. Simple Present Tense -на/но/нэ/нө (na/no/ne/nö)
  9. Simple Future -х (+болно) (kh (+bolno))
  10. Infinitive Tense -х (kh)

Negative form

There are several ways to form negatives in Mongolian.[59] For example:

  1. биш (bish) – the negative form of the verb 'to be' (байх baikh) – биш means 'is/are not'.
  2. -гүй (güi). This suffix is added to verbs, for example явах (yavakh – go/will go) becomes явахгүй (yavakhgüi – do not go/will not go).
  3. үгүй (ügüi) is the word for 'no' in Mongolian
  4. битгий (bitgii) is used for negative imperatives, for example битгий яваарай (bitgii yavaarai – don't go)
  5. бүү (büü) is the formal version of битгий.


Modern Mongolian is an agglutinative, almost exclusively suffixing language, the only exception being reduplication.[60] Mongolian also does not have gendered nouns, or definite articles like "the".[61] Most of the suffixes consist of a single morpheme. There are many derivational morphemes.[62] For example, the word bajguullagynh consists of the root baj- 'to be', an epenthetic -g-, the causative -uul- (hence 'to found'), the derivative suffix -laga that forms nouns created by the action (like -ation in 'organisation') and the complex suffix –ynh denoting something that belongs to the modified word (-yn would be genitive).

Nominal compounds are quite frequent. Some derivational verbal suffixes are rather productive, e.g. jar'- 'to speak', jarilts- 'to speak with each other'. Formally, the independent words derived using verbal suffixes can roughly be divided into three classes: final verbs, which can only be used sentence-finally, i.e. -na (mainly future or generic statements) or –ø (second person imperative);[63] participles (often called "verbal nouns"), which can be used clause-finally or attributively, i.e. -san (perfect-past)[64] or -maar ('want to'); and converbs, which can link clauses or function adverbially, i.e. -ž (qualifies for any adverbial function or neutrally connects two sentences) or -tal (the action of the main clause takes place until the action expressed by the suffixed verb begins).[65]

Roughly speaking, Mongolian has eight cases: nominative (unmarked), genitive, dative, accusative, ablative, instrumental, comitative and directional.[66] If a direct object is definite, it must take the accusative, while it must take the nominative if it is unspecific.[67][68] In addition to case, a number of postpositions exist that usually govern genitive, ablative, or comitative case or a form of the nominative that has sometimes -Vn either for lexical historical reasons or analogy (thus maybe becoming an attributive case suffix).[69] Nouns can take reflexive-possessive clitics indicating that the marked noun is possessed by the subject of the sentence: bi najz(-)aa avarsan I friend-reflexive-possessive save-perfect 'I saved my friend'.[70] However, there are also somewhat noun-like adjectives to which case suffixes seemingly cannot be attached directly unless there is ellipsis.[71]

Mongolian noun cases[72]
CaseSuffixEnglish prepositionExampleTranslation
accusative-г (-g), -ийг (-iig)nomiigthe book (as object)
genitive-н (-n), -ы (-ii), -ий (-ii), -ийн (-iin), -ын (-iin), -гийн (-giin)ofnomiinof (a) book, book's
dative/locative-д (-d), -ад (-ad), -т (-t)on, to, at, innomdin (a) book
ablativelong vowel + -с (-s)fromnomoosfrom (a) book
instrumentallong vowel + -р (-r)withnomoorwith (e.g. by means of a) book
comitative-t–i, dependent on vowel, e.g. -тай (-tai), -той (-toi), -тэй (-tei)together withnomtoiwith (e.g. alongside a) book

Nominative case

The nominative case is used when a noun (or other part of speech acting as one) is the subject of the sentence, and the agent of whatever action (not just physically) takes place in the sentence. In Mongolian, the nominative case does not have an ending.

Accusative case

The accusative case is used when a noun acts as a direct object (or just “object”), and receives action from a transitive verb. It is formed by adding one of the following endings: -ийг (-iig), -ыг (-iig), -г (-g).

Genitive case

The genitive case is used to show possession of something. It is formed by adding one of the following endings: -н (n) -ы (i) -ий (ii) -ийн (iin) -ын (in) -гийн (giin).[73] For example:

  1. -н (n) is added to all words which end with a diphthong or ий (ii).
  2. -ы (i) is added to back vowel words ending in -н (n).
  3. -ий (ii) is added to front vowel words ending in н (n).
  4. -ийн (iin) is added to front vowel words ending in short vowels or consonants (except those ending in н), and to back vowel words ending in ж, ч, ш, г, ь, и, and the short vowel will be dropped.
  5. -ын (in) is added to all other back vowel words ending with short vowels or other consonants (except those ending in н).
  6. -гийн (giin) is added to all front and back vowel word ending with long vowels.
Dative/locative case

The dative/locative case is used to show the location of something. It is formed by adding one of the following endings to the stem of a word: -д (d), -ад (ad), -ид (id), -т (t).[59] For example:

  1. -д (d) is added to words ending in a vowel, or -м, -н. -л.
  2. -ад (ad) is added to words ending in -д, -з, -ц, -с. -т, -х.
  3. -ид (id) is added to words ending in -ш, -ж or -ч.
  4. -т (t) is added to words ending in -р, -г, or -с (only when -c has a vowel before it).

Source:[74] Plurality may be left unmarked, but there are overt plurality markers, some of which are restricted to humans. A noun that is modified by a numeral usually does not take any plural affix.[75]

There are four ways of forming plurals in Mongolian:

  1. Some plurals are formed by adding noːd or -nuːd (нууд or нүүд - nuud or nüüd). If the last vowel of the previous word is a (a), o (y), or ɔ (o), then -noːd (нууд) is used. For example, харx (kharkh - rat) becomes xapхнууд (kharkhnuud - rats). If the last vowel of the previous word is e (э), ʊ (ө), ü (ү), or i (и) then -nuːd (нүүд) is used: for example, нүд (eye) becomes нүднүүд (eyes - nüdnüüd).
  2. In other plurals, just -oːd or -uːd is added with no "n" included. For example, хот (city - khot) becomes хотууд (cities - khotuud), and ээж (mother - eej) becomes ээжүүд (mothers - eejüüd).
  3. Another way of forming plurals is adding -nar. For example, багш (teacher - bagsh) becomes багш нар (teachers - bagsh nar).
  4. The final way is an irregular form used: хүн (khün - person) becomes хүмүүс (khümüüs - people).

Personal pronouns exist for the first and second person, while the old demonstrative pronouns have come to form third person (proximal and distal) pronouns. Other word (sub-)classes include interrogative pronouns, conjunctions (which take participles), spatials, and particles, the last being rather numerous.[76]

Personal Pronouns[77]
Oblique stem
(used for all other cases)
1st person singular Би (bi) Намайг (namaig) Миний (minii) Над- (nad-)
plural exclusive Бид (bid) Биднийг (bidniig) Бидний (bidnii) Бидн- (bidn-)
inclusive Манай (manai) Ман- (man-)
2nd person singular familiar Чи (chi) Чамайг (chamaig) Чиний (chinii) Чам- (cham-)
polite Та (ta) Таныг (tanaig) Таны (tanii)
plural Та Нар (ta nar) Танай/Та Нарын (Tanai/Ta Napriin) Тан- (tan-)
3rd person singular Тэр (ter) Түүнийг (tüüniig) Түүний (tüünii)
plural Тэд Нар (ted nar) Тэднийг (tedniig) Тэд Нарын (ted nariin)

Negation is mostly expressed by -güi (-гүй) after participles and by the negation particle bish after nouns and adjectives; negation particles preceding the verb (for example in converbal constructions) exist, but tend to be replaced by analytical constructions.[78]


Differential case marking

Mongolian uses differential case marking, being a regular Differential Object Marking (DOM) language. DOM emerges from a complicated interaction of factors such as referentiality, animacy and topicality.

Mongolian also exhibits a specific type of Differential Subject Marking (DSM), in which the subjects of embedded clauses (including adverbial clauses) occur with accusative case.[79]

Phrase structure

The noun phrase has the order: demonstrative pronoun/numeral, adjective, noun.[80][68] Attributive sentences precede the whole NP. Titles or occupations of people, low numerals indicating groups, and focus clitics are put behind the head noun.[81] Possessive pronouns (in different forms) may either precede or follow the NP.[82] Examples:












bid-nij uulz-san ter sajhan zaluu-gaas č

we-GEN meet-PRF that beautiful FOC

'even from that beautiful young man that we have met'







Dorž bagš maan'

Dorj teacher our

'our teacher Dorj'

The verbal phrase consists of the predicate in the center, preceded by its complements and by the adverbials modifying it and followed (mainly if the predicate is sentence-final) by modal particles,[83] as in the following example with predicate bičsen:











ter hel-eh-güj-geer üün-ijg bič-sen šüü

s/he without:saying it-ACC write-PRF PTC

's/he wrote it without saying [so] [i.e. without saying that s/he would do so, or that s/he had done so], I can assure you.'

In this clause the adverbial, helehgüjgeer 'without saying [so]' must precede the predicate's complement, üünijg 'it-accusative' in order to avoid syntactic ambiguity, since helehgüjgeer is itself derived from a verb and hence an üünijg preceding it could be construed as its complement. If the adverbial was an adjective such as hurdan 'fast', it could optionally immediately precede the predicate. There are also cases in which the adverb must immediately precede the predicate.[84]

For Khalkha, the most complete treatment of the verbal forms is Luvsanvandan (ed.) 1987. However, the analysis of predication presented here, while valid for Khalkha, is adapted from the description of Khorchin by Matsuoka 2007.

Most often, of course, the predicate consists of a verb. However, there are several types of nominal predicative constructions, with or without a copula.[85] Auxiliaries that express direction and aktionsart (among other meanings) can with the assistance of a linking converb occupy the immediate postverbal position, e.g. uuž orhison drink-converb leave-perfect 'drank up'. The next position is filled by converb suffixes in connection with the auxiliary, baj- 'to be', e.g. ter güjž bajna s/he run-converb be-nonpast 'she is running'. Suffixes occupying this position express grammatical aspect, e.g., progressive and resultative. In the next position, participles followed by baj- may follow, e.g., ter irsen bajna s/he come-perfect be-nonpast 'he has come'. Here, an explicit perfect and habituality can be marked, which is aspectual in meaning as well. This position may be occupied by multiple suffixes in a single predication, and it can still be followed by a converbal Progressive. The last position is occupied by suffixes that express tense, evidentiality, modality, and aspect.


Unmarked phrase order is subjectobject–predicate.[86][68] While the predicate generally has to remain in clause-final position, the other phrases are free to change order or to wholly disappear.[87] The topic tends to be placed clause-initially, new information rather at the end of the clause.[88] Topic can be overtly marked with bol, which can also mark contrastive focus,[89] overt additive focus ('even, also') can be marked with the clitic č,[90] and overt restrictive focus with the clitic l ('only').[91]

The inventory of voices in Mongolian consists of passive, causative, reciprocal, plurative, and cooperative. In a passive sentence, the verb takes the suffix -gd- and the agent takes either dative or instrumental case, the first of which is more common. In the causative, the verb takes the suffix -uul-, the causee (the person caused to do something) in a transitive action (e.g., 'raise') takes dative or instrumental case, and the causee in an intransitive action (e.g., 'rise') takes accusative case. Causative morphology is also used in some passive contexts:






Bi tüün-d huurt-san


'I was fooled by her/him'.

The semantic attribute of animacy is syntactically important: thus the sentence, 'the bread was eaten by me', which is acceptable in English, would not be acceptable in Mongolian. The reciprocal voice is marked by -ld-, the plurative by -tsgaa-, and the cooperative by -lts-.[92]

Mongolian allows for adjectival depictives that relate to either the subject or the direct object, e.g. Ljena nücgen untdag 'Lena sleeps naked', while adjectival resultatives are marginal.[93]

Complex sentences

One way to conjoin clauses is to have the first clause end in a converb, as in the following example using the converb -bol:











bid üün-ijg ol-bol čam-d ög-nö

we it-ACC find-COND.CVB you.FAM-DAT give-FUT

'if we find it we'll give it to you'

Some verbal nouns in the dative (or less often in the instrumental) function very similar to converbs:[94] e.g., replacing olbol in the preceding sentence with olohod find-imperfective-dative yields 'when we find it we'll give it to you'. Quite often, postpositions govern complete clauses. In contrast, conjunctions take verbal nouns without case:[95]







jadar-san učraas unt-laa

become.tired-PRF because sleep-WIT.PAST

'I slept because I was tired'

Finally, there is a class of particles, usually clause-initial, that are distinct from conjunctions but that also relate clauses:











bi olson, harin čamd ögöhgüj

I find-PRF but you-DAT give-IPFV-NEG

'I've found it, but I won't give it to you'.

Mongolian has a complementizer auxiliary verb ge- very similar to Japanese to iu. ge- literally means 'to say' and in converbal form gež precedes either a psych verb or a verb of saying. As a verbal noun like gedeg (with n' or case) it can form a subset of complement clauses. As gene it may function as an evidentialis marker.[96]

Mongolian clauses tend to be combined paratactically, which sometimes gives rise to sentence structures which are subordinative despite resembling coordinative structures in European languages:[97]








ter ir-eed namajg üns-sen come-CVB I.ACC kiss-PRF

'S/he came and kissed me.'

In the subordinate clause the subject, if different from the subject of main clause, sometimes has to take accusative or genitive case.[98] There is marginal occurrence of subjects taking ablative case as well.[99] Subjects of attributive clauses in which the head has a function (as is the case for all English relative clauses) usually require that if the subject is not the head, then it take the genitive,[100] e.g. tüünij idsen hool eat-perfect meal 'the meal that s/he had eaten'.

Loanwords and coined words

Mongolian first adopted loanwords from many languages including Old Turkic, Sanskrit (these often through Uighur), Persian, Arabic, Tibetan,[101] Tungusic, and Chinese.[102] However, more recent loanwords come from Russian, English,[103] and Mandarin Chinese (mainly in Inner Mongolia).[104] Language commissions of the Mongolian state continuously translate new terminology into Mongolian,[105] so as the Mongolian vocabulary now has jerönhijlögč 'president' ("generalizer") and šar ajrag 'beer' ("yellow kumys"). There are several loan translations, e.g., galt tereg 'train' ('fire-having cart') from Chinese huǒchē (火车, fire cart) 'train'.[106] Other loan translations include mön chanar (essence) from Chinese shízhì (实质, true quality), khün am (population) from Chinese rénkǒu (人口, person mouth), erdene shish (corn, maize) from Chinese yùmǐ (玉米, jade rice) and bügd nairamdakh uls (republic) from Chinese gònghéguó (共和国, public collaboration nation).

  • Sanskrit loanwords include shashin (शशन sasana, religion), sansar (सँसार sansāra, space), avyas (अभ्यास abhyasa, talent), buyan (पुण्य punya, good deeds), agshin (क्षण kšana, instant), tiv (द्वीप dvipa, continent), garig (ग्रह graha, planet), tsadig (जातक jātaka, tales, stories), shüleg (श्लोक šloka, poems, verses), badag (पदक| padaka, strophe), arshan (रसायन rašayana, mineral water, nectar), shastir (शास्त्र shastra, chronicle), bud (बुध budh, Mercury), sugar (शुक्र shukra, Venus), barhasvadi (वृहस्पति vrihaspati, Jupiter) and sanchir (शनि shani, Saturn).
  • Persian loanwords include anar (anar, amethyst), arkhi (aragh, brandy, from Arabic), baishin (pishiwan, building), bars (fars, tiger), bers (farzin, chess queen/female tiger), bold (pulad, steel), bolor (bulur, crystal), gunjid (kunjut, sesame), gindan (zindan, prison), dari (daru, powder/gunpowder), duran (dur, telescope), duranbai (durbin, telescope/microscope), devter (daftar, notebook), hurmast (Ohrmazd, high God), savan (savan, soap) sandal (sandali, stool), and tsom (jam, cup).
  • Chinese loanwords include banz (板子 bǎnzi, board), laa (蜡 là, candle), luuvan (萝卜 lúobo, radish), khuluu (葫芦 húlu, gourd), denlüü (灯路 dēnglù, lamp), chiiden (汽灯 qìdēng, electric lamp), biir (笔儿 bǐ'er, paintbrush), gambanz (斩板子 zhǎnbǎnzi, cutting board), chinjuu (青椒 qīngjiāo, pepper), juutsai (韭菜 jiǔcài, leek), moog (蘑菇 mógu, mushroom), tsuu (醋 cù, vinegar, soy sauce), baitsaa (白菜 báicài, cabbage), mantuu (馒头 mántou, steamed bun), naimaa/maimaa (买卖 mǎimài, trade), goimon (挂面 gùamiàn, noodles), dan (单 dān, single), gan (钢 gāng, steel), lantuu (榔头 lángtou, sledgehammer), tsonkh (窗户 chūanghu, window), buuz (包子 bāozi, dumplings), khuushuur (火烧儿 hǔoshāo'er, fried dumpling), zutan (乳脂汤 rǔzhītāng, cream soup), bantan (粉汤 fěntāng, flour soup), jan (酱 jiàng, soy), van (王 wáng, king), günj (公主 gōngzhǔ, princess), gün (公 gōng, duke), janjin (将军 jiāngjūn, general), taigan (太监 tàijiàn, eunuch), pyanz (片子 piànzi, recorded disk), guanz (馆子 guǎnzi, restaurant), lianhua (莲花 liánhuā, lotus), khuar (花儿 huā'er, flower, used in names), toor (桃儿 táo'er, peach), intoor (樱桃儿 yīngtáo'er, cherry), zeel (借 jie, borrow, lend, with Mongolian denominal verb suffix -l-), vandui (豌豆 wāndòu, pea), yanz (样子 yàngzi, manner, appearance), shinj (性质 xìngzhì, characteristic), liir (梨儿 lí'er, pear), bai (牌 páizi, target), jin(g) (斤 jīn, weight), bin(g) (饼 bǐng, pancake), khuanli (皇历 huángli, calendar), shaazan (烧瓷 shāocí, porcelain), khantaaz (砍兜肚 kǎndōudu, sleeveless vest), püntüüz (粉条子 fěntiáozi, potato noodles) and tsai (茶 chá, tea).

In the 20th century there were numerous Russian loanwords concerning daily life: doktor (doctor), shokolad (chocolate), vagon (train wagon), kalendar (calendar), sistem, podvoolk (from futbolka, T-shirt), and mashin (car). In more recent times, due to socio-political changes, Mongolian has loaned various words from English; some which have gradually evolved as official terms: menejment, computer, fail (file), marketing, kredit, onlain (online), mesej (message). Most of the latter are confined to the Mongolian state.

Mongolian also gave out loanwords to other languages. Examples, with Mongolian in brackets, include the following. Persian: kheshikchi (kheshig, royal guard), Gūrkāniyān گورکانیان‎ (küregen, son-in-law), qarqavol قرقاول (girgawl, pheasant), jebe جبه (jebseg, iron armour), nokar نوکر (nökör, attendant), chedar چدار (chödör, hobble), daruge داروغه (darga, chief commandant), keyichi قیچی (kayichi, scissors). Uzbek orol (aral, island). Chinese hutong 衚衕 (gudum, passageway), zhanchi 站赤 (jamchi, courier/post station). Middle Chinese duk 犢 (tugul, calf). Korean sura 수라 (shüle, royal meal), akdae 악대 (agta, castrated animal), eobjin 업진 (ebchigün, chest of an animal). Old English cocer (köküür, container). Old French quivre (köküür, container). Old High German Baldrian (balchirgan-a, valerian plant). Köküür and balchirgan-a are thought to have been brought to Europe by the Huns or Pannonian Avars.

Despite having a diverse range of loanwords, Mongolian dialects such as Khalkha and Khorchin, within a comparative vocabulary of 452 words of Common Mongolic vocabulary, retain as many as 95% of these native words, contrasting e.g. with Southern Mongolic languages at 39–77% retentions.[107]

Writing systems

Nova N 176 found in Kyrgyzstan. The manuscript (dating to the 12th century Western Liao) is written in the Mongolic Khitan language using cursive Khitan large script. It has 127 leaves and 15,000 characters.

Mongolian has been written in a variety of alphabets, making it a language with one of the largest number of scripts used historically. The earliest stages of Mongolian (Xianbei, Wuhuan languages) may have used an indigenous runic script as indicated by Chinese sources. The Khitan large script adopted in 920 CE is an early Mongol (or according to some, para-Mongolic) script.

The traditional Mongolian script was adapted from Uyghur script probably at the very beginning of the 13th century and from that time underwent some minor disambiguations and supplementation.

Between 1930 and 1932, a short-lived attempt was made to introduce the Latin script in the Mongolian state. In 1941, the Latin alphabet was adopted, though it lasted only two months.

The Mongolian Cyrillic script was the result of the spreading of Russian influence following the expansion of Russian Empire. The establishment of Soviet Union helped the influence persisted, and the Cyrillic alphabet was slowly introduced with the effort by Russian/Soviet linguists in collaboration with their Mongolian counterparts. It was made mandatory by government decree in 1941. It has been argued that the introduction of the Cyrillic script, with its smaller discrepancy between written and spoken form, contributed to the success of the large-scale government literacy campaign, which increased the literacy rate from 17.3% to 73.5% between 1941 and 1950.[108] Earlier government campaigns to eradicate illiteracy, employing the traditional script, had only managed to raise literacy from 3.0% to 17.3% between 1921 and 1940.[108] From 1991 to 1994, an attempt at reintroducing the traditional alphabet failed in the face of popular resistance.[109] In informal contexts of electronic text production, the use of the Latin alphabet is common.[110]

In the People's Republic of China, Mongolian is a co-official language with Mandarin Chinese in some regions, notably the entire Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The traditional alphabet has always been used there, although Cyrillic was considered briefly before the Sino-Soviet split.[111] There are two types of written Mongolian used in China: the traditional Mongolian script, which is official among Mongols nationwide, and the Clear Script, used predominantly among Oirats in Xinjiang.[112]

In March 2020, the Mongolian government announced plans to use both Cyrillic and the traditional Mongolian script in official documents by 2025.[113][114][115]

Linguistic history

Edict of Yesün Temür Khan, Emperor Taiding of Yuan (1328). Only the 'Phags-pa script retains the complete Middle Mongol vowel system.[116]

The earliest surviving Mongolian text may be the Stele of Yisüngge [ru], a report on sports composed in Mongolian script on stone, which is most often dated at 1224 or 1225.[117] The Mongolian-Armenian wordlist of 55 words compiled by Kirakos of Gandzak (13th century) is the first written record of Mongolian words.[118] From the 13th to the 15th centuries, Mongolian language texts were written in four scripts (not counting some vocabulary written in Western scripts): Uyghur Mongolian (UM) script (an adaptation of the Uyghur alphabet), 'Phags-pa script (Ph) (used in decrees), Chinese (SM) (The Secret History of the Mongols), and Arabic (AM) (used in dictionaries).[119] While they are the earliest texts available, these texts have come to be called "Middle Mongol" in scholarly practice.[120] The documents in UM script show some distinct linguistic characteristics and are therefore often distinguished by terming their language "Preclassical Mongolian".[121]

The Yuan dynasty referred to the Mongolian language in Chinese as "Guoyu" (Chinese: 國語), which means "National language", a term also used by other non-Han dynasties to refer to their languages such as the Manchu language during the Qing dynasty, the Jurchen language during the Jin dynasty (1115–1234), the Khitan language during the Liao dynasty, and the Xianbei language during the Northern Wei period.

The next distinct period is Classical Mongolian, which is dated from the 17th to the 19th century. This is a written language with a high degree of standardization in orthography and syntax that sets it quite apart from the subsequent Modern Mongolian. The most notable documents in this language are the Mongolian Kangyur and Tengyur[122] as well as several chronicles.[123] In 1686, the Soyombo alphabet (Buddhist texts) was created, giving distinctive evidence on early classical Mongolian phonological peculiarities.[124]

Changes in phonology


Research into reconstruction of the consonants of Middle Mongol has engendered several controversies. Middle Mongol had two series of plosives, but there is disagreement as to which phonological dimension they lie on, whether aspiration[125] or voicing.[126] The early scripts have distinct letters for velar plosives and uvular plosives, but as these are in complementary distribution according to vowel harmony class, only two back plosive phonemes, */k/, */kʰ/ (~ *[k], *[qʰ]) are to be reconstructed.[127] One prominent, long-running disagreement concerns certain correspondences of word medial consonants among the four major scripts (UM, SM, AM, and Ph, which were discussed in the preceding section). Word-medial /k/ of Uyghur Mongolian (UM) has not one, but two correspondences with the three other scripts: either /k/ or zero. Traditional scholarship has reconstructed */k/ for both correspondences, arguing that */k/ was lost in some instances, which raises the question of what the conditioning factors of those instances were.[128] More recently, the other possibility has been assumed; namely, that the correspondence between UM /k/ and zero in the other scripts points to a distinct phoneme, /h/, which would correspond to the word-initial phoneme /h/ that is present in those other scripts.[129] /h/ (also called /x/) is sometimes assumed to derive from */pʰ/, which would also explain zero in SM, AM, Ph in some instances where UM indicates /p/; e.g., debel > Khalkha deel.[130]

The palatal affricates *č, *čʰ were fronted in Northern Modern Mongolian dialects such as Khalkha. * was spirantized to /x/ in Ulaanbaatar Khalkha and the Mongolian dialects south of it, e.g. Preclassical Mongolian kündü, reconstructed as *kʰynty 'heavy', became Modern Mongolian /xunt/[131] (but in the vicinity of Bayankhongor and Baruun-Urt, many speakers will say [kʰunt]).[132] Originally word-final *n turned into /ŋ/; if *n was originally followed by a vowel that later dropped, it remained unchanged, e.g. *kʰen became /xiŋ/, but *kʰoina became /xɔin/. After i-breaking, *[ʃ] became phonemic. Consonants in words containing back vowels that were followed by *i in Proto-Mongolian became palatalized in Modern Mongolian. In some words, word-final *n was dropped with most case forms, but still appears with the ablative, dative and genitive.[133]

Only foreign origin words start with the letter L and none start with the letter R.[134]


The standard view is that Proto-Mongolic had *i, *e, *y, *ø, *u, *o, *a. According to this view, *o and *u were pharyngealized to /ɔ/ and /ʊ/, then *y and were velarized to /u/ and /o/. Thus, the vowel harmony shifted from a velar to a pharyngeal paradigm. *i in the first syllable of back-vocalic words was assimilated to the following vowel; in word-initial position it became /ja/. *e was rounded to when followed by *y. VhV and VjV sequences where the second vowel was any vowel but *i were monophthongized. In noninitial syllables, short vowels were deleted from the phonetic representation of the word and long vowels became short.[135]

E.g. *imahan (*i becomes /ja/, *h disappears) > *jamaːn (unstable n drops; vowel reduction) > /jama(n)/ 'goat'

and *emys- (regressive rounding assimilation) > *ømys- (vowel velarization) > *omus- (vowel reduction) > /oms-/ 'to wear'

This reconstruction has recently[when?] been opposed, arguing that vowel developments across the Mongolic languages can be more economically explained starting from basically the same vowel system as Khalkha, only with *[ə] instead of *[e]. Moreover, the sound changes involved in this alternative scenario are more likely from an articulatory point of view and early Middle Mongol loans into Korean.[136]

Changes in morphology

Nominal system
The Secret History of the Mongols which goes back to a lost Mongolian script original is the only document that allows the reconstruction of agreement in social gender in Middle Mongol.[137]

In the following discussion, in accordance with a preceding observation, the term "Middle Mongol" is used merely as a cover term for texts written in any of three scripts, Uighur Mongolian script (UM), Chinese (SM), or Arabic (AM).

The case system of Middle Mongol has remained mostly intact down to the present, although important changes occurred with the comitative and the dative and most other case suffixes did undergo slight changes in form, i.e., were shortened.[138] The Middle Mongol comitative -luγ-a could not be used attributively, but it was replaced by the suffix -taj that originally derived adjectives denoting possession from nouns, e.g. mori-tai 'having a horse' became mor'toj 'having a horse/with a horse'. As this adjective functioned parallel to ügej 'not having', it has been suggested that a "privative case" ('without') has been introduced into Mongolian.[139] There have been three different case suffixes in the dative-locative-directive domain that are grouped in different ways: -a as locative and -dur, -da as dative[140] or -da and -a as dative and -dur as locative,[141] in both cases with some functional overlapping. As -dur seems to be grammaticalized from dotur-a 'within', thus indicating a span of time,[142] the second account seems to be more likely. Of these, -da was lost, -dur was first reduced to -du and then to -d[143] and -a only survived in a few frozen environments.[144] Finally, the directive of modern Mongolian, -ruu, has been innovated from uruγu 'downwards'.[145] Social gender agreement was abandoned.[146]

Verbal system

Middle Mongol had a slightly larger set of declarative finite verb suffix forms[147] and a smaller number of participles, which were less likely to be used as finite predicates.[148] The linking converb -n became confined to stable verb combinations,[149] while the number of converbs increased.[150] The distinction between male, female and plural subjects exhibited by some finite verbal suffixes was lost.[151]

Changes in syntax

Neutral word order in clauses with pronominal subject changed from object–predicate–subject to subject–object–predicate, e.g.,





















Kökseü sabraq ügü.le-run ayyi yeke uge ugu.le-d ta ... kee-jüü.y

Kökseü sabraq speak-CVB alas big word speak-PAST you ... say-NFUT

"Kökseü sabraq spoke saying, 'Alas! You speak a great boast....' "[152]

The syntax of verb negation shifted from negation particles preceding final verbs to a negation particle following participles; thus, as final verbs could no longer be negated, their paradigm of negation was filled by particles.[153] For example, Preclassical Mongolian ese irebe 'did not come' vs. modern spoken Khalkha Mongolian ireegüj or irsengüj.

See also




  1. Estimate from Svantesson et al. 2005: 141.
  2. "China". Ethnologue.
  3. "Törijn alban josny helnij tuhaj huul'". 2003-05-15. Archived from the original on 2009-08-22. Retrieved 2009-03-27. The decisions of the council have to be ratified by the government.
  4. "Mongγul kele bičig-ün aǰil-un ǰöblel". See Sečenbaγatur et al. 2005: 204.
  5. Gerard Clauson (1956). "The case against the Altaic theory". Central Asiatic Journal volume 2, pages 181–187
  6. Janhunen, Juha (November 29, 2012). "1". Mongolian. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 11.
  7. Tsung, Linda (October 27, 2014). "3". Language Power and Hierarchy: Multilingual Education in China. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 59.
  8. Tsung, Linda (October 27, 2014). "3". Language Power and Hierarchy: Multilingual Education in China. Bloomsbury Academic.
  9. Iredale, Robyn; Bilik, Naran; Fei, Guo (August 2, 2003). "4". China's Minorities on the Move: Selected Case Studies. p. 84.
  10. Janhunen, Juha (November 29, 2012). "1". Mongolian. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 16.
  11. Otsuka, Hitomi (30 Nov 2012). "6". More Morphologies: Contributions to the Festival of Languages, Bremen, 17 Sep to 7 Oct, 2009. p. 99.
  12. Iredale, Robyn (August 2, 2003). "3". China's Minorities on the Move: Selected Case Studies. Routledge. pp. 56, 64–67.
  13. Janhunen, Juha (November 29, 2012). "1". Mongolian. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 11.Iredale, Robyn; Bilik, Naran; Fei, Guo (August 2, 2003). "3". China's Minorities on the Move: Selected Case Studies. p. 61.
  14. Shih, Gerry (August 31, 2020). "Chinese authorities face widespread anger in Inner Mongolia after requiring Mandarin-language classes". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  15. Qin, Amy (August 31, 2020). "Curbs on Mongolian Language Teaching Prompt Large Protests in China". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  16. Feng, Emily (16 September 2020). "Parents Keep Children Home As China Limits Mongolian Language In The Classroom". NPR. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  17. See especially Rinčjen 1979, Amaržargal 1988, Coloo 1988 and for a general bibliography on Mongolic phonology Svantesson et al. 2005: 218–229.
  18. See Ashimura 2002 for a rare piece of research into dialect morphosyntax that shows significant differences between Khalkha and Khorchin.
  19. Janhunen 2003d: 189.
  20. See Janhunen (ed.) 2003 and Sečenbaγatur et al. 2005 for two classificatory schemes.
  21. For an exact delimitation of Khalkha, see Amaržargal 1988: 24–25.
  22. Sanžeev 1953: 27–61, especially 55.
  23. Quoted from Sečenbaγatur et al. 2005: 167–168.
  24. Zhou, Minglang; Sun, Hongkai (2006-04-11). Language Policy in the People's Republic of China: Theory and Practice Since 1949. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-1-4020-8039-5.
  25. among them Janhunen 2003
  26. Sečenbaγatur et al. 2005: 265–266.
  27. Sečenbaγatur et al. 2005: 266 classify Alasha as a variety of Southern Mongolian according to morphological criteria, while Svantesson et al. 2005: 148 classify it as a variety of Oirat according to phonological criteria. For a discussion of opinions on the classification of Darkhad, see Sanžaa and Tujaa 2001: 33–34.
  28. Sečenbaγatur et al. 2005: 166–73, 184–195. See also Janhunen 2003d: 180.
  29. E.g., Svantesson et al. 2005: 143, Poppe 1955: 110–115.
  30. Svantesson et al. 2006: 159–160; the difference between the [l]s might just be due to the impossibility of reconstructing something as precise as [ɮ] for Proto-Mongolic and imprecision or convenience in notation for Chakhar (Chakhar phonemes according to Dobu 1983).
  31. E.g., bi tegün-i taniǰei I him know -past 'I knew him' is accepted and ?Bi öčögedür iregsen rejected by an Inner Mongolian grammarian from Khorchin (Chuluu 1998: 140, 165); in Khalkha, by contrast, the first sentence would not appear with the meaning attributed to it, while the second is perfectly acceptable.
  32. See, for example, Činggeltei 1959. Notice that this split is blurred by the school grammar, which treats several dialectal varieties as one coherent grammatical system (for example Činggeltei 1999 [1979]). This understanding is in turn reflected in the undecided treatment of - in research work like Bayančoγtu 2002: 306.
  33. "Öbür mongγul ayalγu bol dumdadu ulus-un mongγul kelen-ü saγuri ayalγu bolqu büged dumdadu ulus-un mongγul kelen-ü barimǰiy-a abiy-a ni čaqar aman ayalγun-du saγurilaγsan bayidaγ." (Sečenbaγatur et al. 2005: 85).
  34. Janhunen 2003d.
  35. Janhunen 2006, except that Mongghul and Mangghuer are treated as a sub-branch (Slater 2003) and that Kangjia has been added (Siqinchaoketu 1999). Khamnigan which Janhunen groups as a Central Mongolic language is usually not discussed by other scholars.
  36. For a history of the Altaic theory, see Georg et al. 1999. Since then, the major pro-Altaistic publication Starostin et al. 2003 has appeared, which got mostly mildly negative to devastating reviews, the most detailed being Vovin 2005.
  37. Janhunen, Juha. 2003. The Mongolic Languages, p.179. Routledge Language Family Series 5. London: Routledge.
  38. Janhunen, Juha A. (2012). Mongolian. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 3. ISBN 978-90-272-3820-7.
  39. See Sečenbaγatur et al. 2005: 249–384.
  40. Svantesson et al. 2005: 22
  41. Sanders, Alan J. K. (2015-08-14). Colloquial Mongolian : the complete course for beginners. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-317-30598-9. OCLC 919495714.
  42. Svantesson et al. 2005: 43–50.
  43. Svantesson et al. 2005: 46–47, 50–51.
  44. Svantesson et al. 2005: 1–7, 22–24, 73–75.
  45. Svantesson et al. 2005: 25–30.
  46. Karlsson 2005: 17
  47. Svantesson et al. 2005: 20–21, where it is actually stated that they are phonemic only in such words; in Svantesson's analysis, [−ATR] corresponds to "pharyngeal" and [+ATR]—to "nonpharyngeal".
  48. Anastasia Mukhanova Karlsson. "Vowels in Mongolian speech: deletions and epenthesis". Retrieved 2014-07-26.
  49. Svantesson et al. 2005: 62–72.
  50. Svantesson et al. 2005: 95–97
  51. elaborating on Bosson 1964 and Poppe 1970.
  52. Walker's evidence is collected from one native informant, examples from Poppe 1970, and consultation with James Bosson. She defines stress in terms of pitch, duration and intensity. The analysis pertains to the Khalkha dialect. The phonemic analysis in the examples is adjusted to Svantesson et al. 2005.
  53. Harnud [Köke] 2003.
  54. Harnud 2003 was reviewed by J. Brown in Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 2006 Dec, 36(2): 205–207.
  55. Harnud [Köke] 2003: 44–54, 94–100.
  56. See Sečenbaγatur 2003
  57. See Bayančoγtu 2002
  58. Gaunt, John; Bayarmandakh, L.; Chuluunbaatar, L. (2004). Modern Mongolian: A Course-book. Psychology Press. pp. xv/13 (depending on ebook or physical / xvi/14. ISBN 978-0-7007-1305-9.
  59. Gaunt, John. (2006). Modern Mongolian : a course-book. Routledge. ISBN 0-7007-1305-0. OCLC 615102455.
  60. Svantesson et al. 2005: 58–59.
  61. "Grammar". Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  62. Sečen 2004.
  63. Luvsanvandan (ed.) 1987: 151–153, 161–163.
  64. Hashimoto 1993.
  65. Luvsanvandan (ed.) 1987: 103–104, 124–125, 130–131.
  66. Tsedendamba and Möömöö 1997: 222–232.
  67. Guntsetseg 2008: 61. The exact conditions of use for indefinite specific direct objects have not yet been specified in detail, but they appear to be related to animacy and textual context.
  68. Guntsetseg, Dolgor (January 2008). "Differential object marking in Mongolian". Research Gate. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  69. Sečenbaγatur 2003: 32–46.
  70. Tsedendamba and Möömöö 1997: 234–241.
  71. For a pioneering approach to this problem, see Sajto 1999.
  72. "Mongolian". Languages Gulper. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  73. Gaunt, John. (2006). Modern Mongolian : a course-book. Routledge. pp. xxv (13 depending on ebook/physical book) / xxvi (14 depending on ebook/physical book). ISBN 0-7007-1305-0. OCLC 615102455.
  74. "Mongolian Grammar - Linguistics 35". Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  75. Tsedendamba and Möömöö 1997: 210–219, Sečenbaγatur 2003: 23–29.
  76. This is a simplified treatment of word classes. For a more precise treatment within the descriptive framework common in Inner Mongolia, see Sečenbaγatur 2003.
  77. "Mongolian Grammar". Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  78. For the historic background of negation, see Yu 1991. For a phenomenology, see Bjambasan 2001.
  79. Guntsetseg, Dolgor. "Differential Case Marking in Mongolian". Research Gate. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  80. Guntsetseg 2008: 55.
  81. Tserenpil and Kullmann 2005: 237, 347.
  82. Svantesson 2003: 164–165.
  83. See Mönh-Amgalan 1998.
  84. Sečenbaγatur 2003: 167.
  85. Hashimoto 2004
  86. Guntsetseg 2008: 54.
  87. Tserenpil and Kullmann 2005: 88, 363–364.
  88. Apatoczky 2005.
  89. Hammar 1983: 45–80.
  90. Kang 2000.
  91. Tserenpil and Kullmann 2005: 348–349.
  92. Sečenbaγatur 2003: 116–123.
  93. Brosig 2009.
  94. Svantesson 2003: 172.
  95. See Sečenbaγatur 2003: 176–182 (who uses the term "postposition" for both and the term "conjunction" for junctors).
  96. Sečenbaγatur 2003: 152–153.
  97. Johanson 1995.
  98. Mizuno 1995.
  99. Pürev-Očir 1997: 131.
  100. Sečenbaγatur 2003: 36.
  101. Temürčereng 2004: 86–99.
  102. Svantesson 2003: 127.
  103. Temürčereng 2004: 99–102.
  104. Öbür mongγul-un yeke surγaγuli 2005: 792–793.
  105. Baabar (2008-12-09). "Yum bolgon nertei". Ödriin sonin. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  106. Öbür mongγul-un yeke surγaγuli 2005: 828.
  107. Rybatzki 2003a: 385–387
  108. Batchuluun Yembuu, Khulan Munkh-Erdene. 2005. Literacy country study: Mongolia. Background paper prepared for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2006. Literacy for Life. P.7-8]
  109. Svantesson et al. 2005: 34, 40–41.
  110. Sühbaatar, B. "Mongol helnij kirill üsgijg latin üsgeer galiglah tuhaj". InfoCon. Archived from the original on 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
  111. Svantesson et al. 2005: 34, 40.
  112. Sečenbaγatur et al. 2005: 398.
  113. "Mongolia to promote usage of traditional script". (March 19, 2020).
  114. Official documents to be recorded in both scripts from 2025, Montsame, 18 March 2020.
  115. Mongolian Language Law is effective from July 1st, Gogo, 1 July 2015. "Misinterpretation 1: Use of cyrillic is to be terminated and only Mongolian script to be used. There is no provision in the law that states the termination of use of cyrillic. It clearly states that Mongolian script is to be added to the current use of cyrillic. Mongolian script will be introduced in stages and state and local government is to conduct their correspondence in both cyrillic and Mongolian script. This provision is to be effective starting January 1st of 2025. ID, birth certificate, marriage certificate and education certificates are to be both in Mongolian cyrillic and Mongolian script and currently Mongolian script is being used in official letters of President, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament."
  116. Svantesson et al. 2005: 111.
  117. E.g. Garudi 2002: 7. But see Rachewiltz 1976)
  118. Djahukyan 1991: 2368
  119. Rybatzki 2003b: 58
  120. See Rachewiltz 1999 for a critical review of the terminology used in periodizations of Mongolic; Svantesson et al. 2005: 98–99 attempt a revision of this terminology for the early period.
  121. Rybatzki 2003b: 57"
  122. Janhunen 2003a: 32.
  123. Okada 1984.
  124. Nadmid 1967: 98–102.
  125. e.g. Svantesson et al. 2005
  126. e.g. Tömörtogoo 1992
  127. Svantesson et al. 2005: 118–120
  128. e.g. Poppe 1955
  129. Svantesson et al. 2005: 118–124.
  130. Janhunen 2003c: 6
  131. Svantesson et al. 2005: 133, 167.
  132. Rinchen (ed.) (1979): 210.
  133. Svantesson et al. 2005: 124, 165–166, 205.
  134. S. Robert Ramsey (1987). The Languages of China. Princeton University Press. pp. 206–. ISBN 0-691-01468-X.
  135. Svantesson 2005: 181, 184, 186–187, 190–195.
  136. Ko 2011
  137. Tümenčečeg 1990.
  138. Rybatzki 2003b: 67, Svantesson 2003: 162.
  139. Janhunen 2003c: 27.
  140. Rybatzki 2003b: 68.
  141. Garudi 2002: 101–107.
  142. Toγtambayar 2006: 18–35.
  143. Toγtambayar 2006: 33–34.
  144. Norčin et al. (ed.) 1999: 2217.
  145. Sečenbaγatur et al. 2005: 228, 386.
  146. Rybatzki 2003b: 73, Svantesson 2003: 166.
  147. Weiers 1969: Morphologie, §B.II; Svantesson 2003: 166.
  148. Weiers 1969: Morphologie, §B.III; Luvsanvandan 1987: 86–104.
  149. Luvsanvandan (ed.) 1987: 126, Činggeltei 1999: 251–252.
  150. Rybatzki 2003b: 77, Luvsanvandan (ed.) 1987: 126–137
  151. The reconstruction of a social gender distinction is fairly commonplace, see e.g. Rybatzki 2003b: 75. A strong argument for the number distinction between -ba and -bai is made in Tümenčečeg 1990: 103–108 (also see Street 2008), where it is also argued that this has been the case for other suffixes.
  152. Street 1957: 14, Secret History 190.13v.
  153. Yu 1991.


For some Mongolian authors, the Mongolian version of their name is also given in square brackets, e.g., "Harnud [Köke]". Köke is the author's native name. It is a practice common among Mongolian scholars, for purposes of publishing and being cited abroad, to adopt a surname based on one's patronymic, in this example "Harnud"; compare Mongolian name.
Some library catalogs write Chinese language titles with each syllable separate, even syllables belonging to a single word.

List of abbreviations used

TULIP is in official use by some librarians; the remainder have been contrived for this listing.

  • KULIP = Kyūshū daigaku gengogaku ronshū [Kyushu University linguistics papers]
  • MKDKH = Muroran kōgyō daigaku kenkyū hōkoku [Memoirs of the Muroran Institute of Technology]
  • TULIP = Tōkyō daigaku gengogaku ronshū [Tokyo University linguistics papers]
  • (in Mongolian) Amaržargal, B. 1988. BNMAU dah' Mongol helnij nutgijn ajalguuny tol' bichig: halh ajalguu. Ulaanbaatar: ŠUA.
  • Apatóczky, Ákos Bertalan. 2005. On the problem of the subject markers of the Mongolian language. In Wú Xīnyīng, Chén Gānglóng (eds.), Miànxiàng xīn shìjìde ménggǔxué [The Mongolian studies in the new century : review and prospect]. Běijīng: Mínzú Chūbǎnshè. 334–343. ISBN 7-105-07208-3.
  • (in Japanese) Ashimura, Takashi. 2002. Mongorugo jarōto gengo no -lɛː no yōhō ni tsuite. TULIP, 21: 147–200.
  • (in Mongolian) Bajansan, Ž. and Š. Odontör. 1995. Hel šinžlelijn ner tom"joony züjlčilsen tajlbar toli. Ulaanbaatar.
  • (in Mongolian) Bayančoγtu. 2002. Qorčin aman ayalγun-u sudulul. Kökeqota: ÖMYSKQ. ISBN 7-81074-391-0.
  • (in Mongolian) Bjambasan, P. 2001. Mongol helnij ügüjsgeh har'caa ilerhijleh hereglüürüüd. Mongol hel, sojolijn surguul: Erdem šinžilgeenij bičig, 18: 9–20.
  • Bosson, James E. 1964. Modern Mongolian; a primer and reader. Uralic and Altaic series; 38. Bloomington: Indiana University.
  • Brosig, Benjamin. 2009. Depictives and resultatives in Modern Khalkh Mongolian. Hokkaidō gengo bunka kenkyū, 7: 71–101.
  • Chuluu, Ujiyediin. 1998. Studies on Mongolian verb morphology. Dissertation, University of Toronto.
  • (in Mongolian) Činggeltei. 1999. Odu üj-e-jin mongγul kelen-ü ǰüi. Kökeqota: ÖMAKQ. ISBN 7-204-04593-9.
  • (in Mongolian) Coloo, Ž. 1988. BNMAU dah' mongol helnij nutgijn ajalguuny tol' bichig: ojrd ajalguu. Ulaanbaatar: ŠUA.
  • (in English) Djahukyan, Gevork. (1991). Armenian Lexicography. In Franz Josef Hausmann (Ed.), An International Encyclopedia of Lexicography (pp. 2367–2371). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
  • (in Chinese) [Dobu] Dàobù. 1983. Ménggǔyǔ jiǎnzhì. Běijīng: Mínzú.
  • (in Mongolian) Garudi. 2002. Dumdadu üy-e-yin mongγul kelen-ü bütüče-yin kelberi-yin sudulul. Kökeqota: ÖMAKQ.
  • Georg, Stefan, Peter A. Michalove, Alexis Manaster Ramer, Paul J. Sidwell. 1999. Telling general linguists about Altaic. Journal of Linguistics, 35: 65–98.
  • Guntsetseg, D. 2008. Differential Object Marking in Mongolian. Working Papers of the SFB 732 Incremental Specification in Context, 1: 53–69.
  • Hammar, Lucia B. 1983. Syntactic and pragmatic options in Mongolian – a study of bol and n'. Ph.D. Thesis. Bloomington: Indiana University.
  • [Köke] Harnud, Huhe. 2003. A Basic Study of Mongolian Prosody. Helsinki: Publications of the Department of Phonetics, University of Helsinki. Series A; 45. Dissertation. ISBN 952-10-1347-8.
  • (in Japanese) Hashimoto, Kunihiko. 1993. <-san> no imiron. MKDKH, 43: 49–94. Sapporo: Dō daigaku.
  • (in Japanese) Hashimoto, Kunihiko. 2004. Mongorugo no kopyura kōbun no imi no ruikei. Muroran kōdai kiyō, 54: 91–100.
  • Janhunen, Juha (ed.). 2003. The Mongolic languages. London: Routledge. ISBN 0700711333
  • Janhunen, Juha. 2003a. Written Mongol. In Janhunen 2003: 30–56.
  • Janhunen, Juha. 2003b. Para-Mongolic. In Janhunen 2003: 391–402.
  • Janhunen, Juha. 2003c. Proto-Mongolic. In Janhunen 2003: 1–29.
  • Janhunen, Juha. 2003d. Mongol dialects. In Janhunen 2003: 177–191.
  • Janhunen, Juha. 2006. Mongolic languages. In K. Brown (ed.), The encyclopedia of language & linguistics. Amsterdam: Elsevier: 231–234.
  • Johanson, Lars. 1995. On Turkic Converb Clauses. In Martin Haspelmath and Ekkehard König (eds.), Converbs in cross-linguistic perspective. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter: 313–347. ISBN 978-3-11-014357-7.
  • (in Korean) Kang, Sin Hyen. 2000. Tay.mong.kol.e č-uy uy.mi.wa ki.nung. Monggolhak [Mongolian Studies], 10: 1–23. Seoul: Hanʼguk Monggol Hakhoe [Korean Association for Mongolian Studies].
  • Karlsson, Anastasia Mukhanova. 2005. Rhythm and intonation in Halh Mongolian. Ph.D. Thesis. Lund: Lund University. Series: Travaux de l'Institut de Linguistique de Lund; 46. Lund: Lund University. ISBN 91-974116-9-8.
  • Ko, Seongyeon. 2011. Vowel Contrast and Vowel Harmony Shift in the Mongolic Languages. Language Research, 47.1: 23–43.
  • (in Mongolian) Luvsanvandan, Š. 1959. Mongol hel ajalguuny učir. Studia Mongolica [Mongolyn sudlal], 1.
  • (in Mongolian) Luvsanvandan, Š. (ed.). 1987. (Authors: P. Bjambasan, C. Önörbajan, B. Pürev-Očir, Ž. Sanžaa, C. Žančivdorž) Orčin cagijn mongol helnij ügzüjn bajguulalt. Ulaanbaatar: Ardyn bolovsrolyn jaamny surah bičig, setgüülijn negdsen rjedakcijn gazar.
  • (in Japanese) Matsuoka, Yūta. 2007. Gendai mongorugo no asupekuto to dōshi no genkaisei. KULIP, 28: 39–68.
  • (in Japanese) Mizuno, Masanori. 1995. Gendai mongorugo no jūzokusetsushugo ni okeru kakusentaku. TULIP, 14: 667–680.
  • (in Mongolian) Mönh-Amgalan, J. 1998. Orčin tsagijn mongol helnij bajmžijn aj. Ulaanbaatar: Moncame. ISBN 99929-951-2-2.
  • (in Mongolian) Nadmid, Ž. 1967. Mongol hel, tüünij bičgijn tüühen högžlijn tovč tojm. Ulaanbaatar: ŠUA.
  • (in Mongolian) Norčin et al. (eds.) 1999. Mongγol kelen-ü toli. Kökeqota: ÖMAKQ. ISBN 7-204-03423-6.
  • Okada, Hidehiro. 1984. Mongol chronicles and Chinggisid genealogies. Journal of Asian and African studies, 27: 147–154.
  • (in Mongolian) Öbür mongγul-un yeke surγaγuli. 2005 [1964]. Odu üy-e-yin mongγul kele. Kökeqota: ÖMAKQ. ISBN 7-204-07631-1.
  • Poppe, Nicholas. 1955. Introduction to Mongolian comparative studies. Helsinki: Finno-Ugrian Society.
  • Poppe, Nicholas. 1970. Mongolian language handbook. Washington D.C.: Center for Applied Linguistics.
  • (in Mongolian) Pürev-Očir, B. 1997. Orčin cagijn mongol helnij ögüülberzüj. Ulaanbaatar: n.a.
  • Rachewiltz, Igor de. 1976. Some Remarks on the Stele of Yisuüngge. In Walter Heissig et al., Tractata Altaica – Denis Sinor, sexagenario optime de rebus altaicis merito dedicata. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. pp. 487–508.
  • Rachewiltz, Igor de. 1999. Some reflections on so-called Written Mongolian. In: Helmut Eimer, Michael Hahn, Maria Schetelich, Peter Wyzlic (eds.). Studia Tibetica et Mongolica – Festschrift Manfred Taube. Swisttal-Odendorf: Indica et Tibetica Verlag: 235–246.
  • (in Mongolian) Rinchen, Byambyn (ed.). 1979. Mongol ard ulsyn ugsaatny sudlal helnij šinžlelijn atlas. Ulaanbaatar: ŠUA.
  • Rybatzki, Volker. 2003a. Intra-Mongolic Taxonomy. In Janhunen 2003: 364–390.
  • Rybatzki, Volker. 2003b. Middle Mongol. In Janhunen 2003: 47–82.
  • (in Mongolian) Sajto, Kosüke. 1999. Orčin čagyn mongol helnij "neršsen" temdeg nerijn onclog (temdeglel). Mongol ulsyn ih surguulijn Mongol sudlalyn surguul' Erdem šinžilgeenij bičig XV bot', 13: 95–111.
  • (in Mongolian) Sanžaa, Ž. and D. Tujaa. 2001. Darhad ajalguuny urt egšgijg avialbaryn tövšind sudalsan n'. Mongol hel šinžlel, 4: 33–50.
  • (in Russian) Sanžeev, G. D. 1953. Sravnitel'naja grammatika mongol'skih jazykov. Moskva: Akademija Nauk USSR.
  • (in Mongolian) Sečen. 2004. Odu üy-e-yin mongγul bičig-ün kelen-ü üge bütügekü daγaburi-yin sudulul. Kökeqota: ÖMASKKQ. ISBN 7-5311-4963-X.
  • Sechenbaatar [Sečenbaγatur], Borjigin. 2003. The Chakhar dialect of Mongol: a morphological description. Helsinki: Finno-Ugrian society. ISBN 952-5150-68-2.
  • (in Mongolian) Sečenbaγatur, Qasgerel, Tuyaγ-a [Туяa], Bu. Jirannige, Wu Yingzhe, Činggeltei. 2005. Mongγul kelen-ü nutuγ-un ayalγun-u sinǰilel-ün uduridqal [A guide to the regional dialects of Mongolian]. Kökeqota: ÖMAKQ. ISBN 7-204-07621-4.
  • (in Chinese) Siqinchaoketu [=Sečenčoγtu]. 1999). Kangjiayu yanjiu. Shanghai: Shanghai Yuandong Chubanshe.
  • Slater, Keith. 2003. A grammar of Mangghuer. London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 978-0-7007-1471-1.
  • Starostin, Sergei A., Anna V. Dybo, and Oleg A. Mudrak. 2003. Etymological Dictionary of the Altaic Languages, 3 volumes. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 90-04-13153-1.
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Further reading

  • Janhunen, Juha A. 2012: Mongolian. (London Oriental and African Language Library, 19.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. ISSN 1382-3485. ISBN 978-90-272-3820-7