Wiktionary:About Proto-Mongolic

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Proto-Mongolic is the reconstructed ancestor of the Mongolic languages, including the Mongolian language of Outer and Inner Mongolia, several minority languages of China and Russia as well the historical language of the Mongol Empire and its descendant states.

Transcription[edit]

There are a few transcription schemes of Proto-Mongolic in use. For the purposes of consistency, a single transcription is used

Consonants[edit]

  • Occlusives *b, *t, *d, *c, *j, *k, *g
  • Fricatives *s, *š, *h, *x
  • Sonorants *m, *n, *ŋ, *l, *r, *y


  • Velars and uvulars are treated as allophones depending on the surrounding vowels and are thus marked with the same letters: *k, *g.
  • Palatalization of sibilants by a following *ï, *i is not marked, however a *š may be written before other vowels and consonants where reconstructible.
  • *h only appears in the beginning of the word and *x only between vowels.

Vowels[edit]

  • "Back" vowels: *a, *ï, *o, *u
  • "Front" vowels: *e, *i, *ö, *ü
  • Diphthongs: *aï, *oï, *uï, *ei, *üi


  • Low vowels following initial-syllable *o, *ö are written *a, *e instead of labially assimilated *o, *ö.
  • However, *o, *ö may be written in medial syllables when causing breaking of preceding *ï, *i; or when warranted by comparison with Turkic material.


This scheme is almost identical with the one used in Nugteren, Hans (2011) Mongolic phonology and the Qinghai-Gansu languages (dissertation)[1], Utrecht: LOT; with a single difference of writing *x between vowels which were contracted into diphthongs and long vowels in modern languages.

Alternate forms[edit]

This section is reserved for differing views on phonological reconstruction and proto-language variatn forms, they should not be created just for the purpose of mentioning alternate transcriptions. Creating a redirect is possible.

Etymology[edit]

  • As current reconstructions are unable to subsume Khitan and Xianbei (so-called Para-Mongolic) cognate forms and their loans into Jurchen and Manchu, these are noted in the Etymology section.
  • Due to relatively recent date of Proto-Mongolic, borrowings from historically attested Turkic languages such as Old Uyghur and Old Turkic are possible, however only Proto-Turkic is usually presumed unless the form is unique to a particular language.
  • Links to Altaic reconstructions are marked as controversial.

Descendants[edit]

Proto-Mongolic reconstruction entries should ideally contain more than a single branch among its descendants.

This is the suggested ranking of descendants:

* Middle Mongolian: 
** Uyghur: {{l|xng|}},
** Phags-Pa {{l|xng|}}
** Arabic: {{l|xng|}}
** Chinese: {{l|xng|}}
* Mongolian: 
** Classical: {{l|mn|}}
** Khalkha: {{l|mn|}}
** Ordos: //
* Oirat:
** Written Oirat: {{l|xwo|}}
** Kalmyk: {{l|xal|}}
* Buryat: {{l|bua|}}
* Khamnigan: {{l|xgn-kha|}}
* Daur: {{l|dta|}}
* Eastern Yugur: {{l|yuy|}}
* Monguor:
** Mongghul: {{l|mjg|}}
** Mangghuer: {{l|mjg|}}
* Bonan: 
** Gansu: {{l|peh|}}
** Qinghai: {{l|peh|}}
* Kangjia: {{l|kxs|}}
* Dongxiang: {{l|sce|}}
* Mogholi: {{l|mhj|}}

Most sources list reflexes in the smaller Mongolic languages in phonetic transcription. Any such forms are not to be formatted as links, and should be converted to the native orthography, if possible. An explicit request for this can be easily created by formatting the transcription inside {{l|(lang)||tr=...}} (with the entry parameter left blank). Dialect data, however, should not be converted into standardized form.

For minor Mongolic languages, orthographies used in The Mongolic languages (2003) edited by Juha Janhunen, London/New York are adopted, with the exclusion of Mongghul, Mangghuer and Dongxiang which possess Pinyin based orthographies.

Borrowings into other languages are marked with an arrow (→) and may be grouped by language families.

Sources[edit]

As an unattested language, any Proto-Mongolic reconstruction entry should have a ==References== section.

The following templates for general sources may come useful:

  • {{R:Nugteren 2011}}, which produces:
    • Nugteren, Hans (2011) Mongolic phonology and the Qinghai-Gansu languages (dissertation)[2], Utrecht: LOT
  • {{R:TMN|vol=3}}, which produces:
    • Doerfer, Gerhard (1967) Türkische und mongolische Elemente im Neupersischen [Turkic and Mongolian Elements in New Persian] (Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur: Veröffentlichungen der Orientalischen Kommission; 20) (in German), volume 3, Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag
  • {{R:Mengu}}, which produces:
    • Sun Zhu (1990) 蒙古语族语言词典 [Dictionary of Mongolic Languages] (in Chinese), Qinghai