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Mongolian Language


The Mongolian language is the best-known member of the Mongolic language family. It has about 5.7 million speakers, including over 90% of the residents of Mongolia and many of the Mongolian residents of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region of China. In Mongolia, the Khalkha dialect of Mongolian, written in Cyrillic, is predominant; in Inner Mongolia, the language is more dialectally diverse and written in the traditional Mongolian script.

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

Modern Mongolian evolved from "Middle Mongolian", 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 was slightly reformed, and the verbal system was restructured.


Mongolian is the national language of the state of Mongolia, where it is spoken by about 2.5 million people, and an official language of China's Inner Mongolia region, where it is spoken by 2.7 million or more people. The exact number of Mongolian speakers in China is hard to determine, as there is no data available on Chinese citizens' language proficiency. There are roughly five million ethnic Mongolians in China, but the use of Mongolian is declining among them, especially among younger speakers in urban areas, due to the dominance of Mandarin Chinese. The great majority of speakers of Mongolian proper in China live in Inner Mongolia; in addition, some speakers of the Kharchin and Khorchin dialects live in areas of Liaoning,Jilin, and Heilongjiang that border Inner Mongolia.


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