Proto-Mongolic language

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Proto-Mongolic is the hypothetical ancestor language of the modern Mongolic languages. It is very close to the Middle Mongol language, the language spoken at the time of Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire. Most features of modern Mongolic languages can thus be reconstructed from Middle Mongol. An exception would be the voice suffix like -caga- 'do together', which can be reconstructed from the modern languages but is not attested in Middle Mongol.

The languages of Donghu, Wuhuan and Xianbei might be related to Proto-Mongolic,[1] as might be Tabghach (the language of the founders of the Northern Wei dynasty) and Khitan. Because the surviving evidence for Tabghach is very sparse, one can hypothesize, but not definitively state, that a generic relationship could be possible. In the case of Khitan, there is rich evidence, but most of it is written in the two Khitan scripts that have as yet not been fully deciphered. However, from the available evidence it has to be concluded that a generic relationship to Mongolic is likely.[2]

Grammar[edit]

Numbers[3]
1 *nikēn
2 *koxar
3 *gurbān
4 *dörbēn
5 *tabūn
6 *jirguxān
7 *doluxān
8 *na(y)imān
9 *yersǖn
10 *xarbān
20 *korīn
30 *gucīn
40 *döcīn
50 *tabīn
60 *jirān
70 *dalān
80 *nayān
90 *yerēn
100 *minggān

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Andrews (1999:72), "[...] believed that at least some of their constituent tribes spoke a Mongolian language, though there is still some argument that a particular variety of Turkic may have been spoken among them."
  2. ^ Janhunen (2003b:391–394); Janhunen (2003a:1–3)
  3. ^ Janhunen (2003a:16–17)

References[edit]