Mongolian Latin alphabet

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The Mongolian Latin script was officially adopted in Mongolia in 1931. In 1939, the second version of the Latin alphabet was introduced but not used widely until it was replaced by the Cyrillic script in 1941.[1]

Characters[edit]

First Latin alphabet was using "y" as feminine "u", with additional feminine "o" ("ө") and with additional consonants "ç" for "ch", "ş" for "sh" and "ƶ" for "j", it successfully served in printing books and newspapers. A few of the letters (f, k, p, v) were rarely used, being found only in borrowings, while q, w and x were excluded altogether. Since k transcribed [h] in loans, it is unclear how loans in [kʰ] were written. "j" is used for vowel combinations of the [ja] type. Letter "c" is used for the sound [ts] and "k" is used for the sound [h].

The second version of Latin alphabet made few minor changes to make the way it works to look more familiar to European languages. That change was including replacement of "y" by "ü", "ө" by "ö", "ƶ" by "j", "j" by "y" and also "k" by "x" in native words. Also reduced the number of letters in the alphabet by erasing "ç" "ş" and write them as a combination of ch and sh. And the rest of the alphabet and orthography kept same.

List of characters[edit]

IPA a e i ɔ ʊ ɵ u n

ŋ

m ɮ p

w

f χ

h

q

ɡ

s ʃ t t͡s t͡ʃ dz j r h
Mongolian
Latin 1931 -

1939

A E I O U Ө Y N M L B P F K G S Ş T D C Ç Z Ƶ J R H
1939 -

1941

A E I O U Ö Ü N M L B P F K X G S Sh T D C Ch Z J Y R H

The unaspirated stops are often realized as voiced [b d dz dʒ ɡ/ɢ]. The non-nasal sonorants are often devoiced to [ɸ ɬ].

Orthography[edit]

The orthography of the Mongolian Latin is based on the orthography of the Classical Mongolian script. It preserves short final vowels. It does not drop unstressed vowels in the closing syllables when the word is conjugated. The suffixes and inflections without long or i-coupled vowels are made open syllables ending with a vowel, which is harmonized with the stressed vowel. The rule for the vowel harmony for unstressed vowels is similar to that of the Mongolian Cyrillic. It does not use consonant combinations to denote new consonant sounds. For both of the version, letter "b" is used both in the beginning and in the middle of the word. Because it phonetically assimilates into sound [w], no ambiguity is caused.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Lenore A. Grenoble: Language policy in the Soviet Union. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2003; S. 49.