Mongolian script

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Mongolian script
ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ
Bosoo mongol bicig.png
Script type
CreatorTata-tonga
Time period
c. 1204 – present
Directionvertical left-to-right, left-to-right Edit this on Wikidata
LanguagesMongolian language
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Manchu alphabet
Oirat alphabet (Clear script)
Buryat alphabet
Galik alphabet
Evenki alphabet
Xibe alphabet
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Mong (145), ​Mongolian
Unicode
Unicode alias
Mongolian
 This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

The classical or traditional Mongolian script,[note 1] also known as the Hudum Mongol bichig,[note 2] was the first writing system created specifically for the Mongolian language, and was the most widespread until the introduction of Cyrillic in 1946. It is traditionally written in vertical lines Text direction TDright.svg Top-Down, right across the page. Derived from the Old Uyghur alphabet, Mongolian is a true alphabet, with separate letters for consonants and vowels. The Mongolian script has been adapted to write languages such as Oirat and Manchu. Alphabets based on this classical vertical script are used in Mongolia and Inner Mongolia to this day to write Mongolian, Xibe and, experimentally, Evenki.

Computer operating systems have been slow to adopt support for the Mongolian script, and almost all have incomplete support or other text rendering difficulties.

History[edit]

The so-called Stone of Genghis Khan or Stele of Yisüngge, with the earliest known inscription in the Mongolian script.[1]: 33 

The Mongolian vertical script developed as an adaptation of the Old Uyghur alphabet for the Mongolian language.[2]: 545  From the seventh and eighth to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the Mongolian language separated into southern, eastern and western dialects. The principal documents from the period of the Middle Mongol language are: in the eastern dialect, the famous text The Secret History of the Mongols, monuments in the Square script, materials of the Chinese–Mongolian glossary of the fourteenth century, and materials of the Mongolian language of the middle period in Chinese transcription, etc.; in the western dialect, materials of the Arab–Mongolian and Persian–Mongolian dictionaries, Mongolian texts in Arabic transcription, etc.[3]: 1–2  The main features of the period are that the vowels ï and i had lost their phonemic significance, creating the i phoneme (in the Chakhar dialect, the Standard Mongolian in Inner Mongolia, these vowels are still distinct); inter-vocal consonants γ/g, b/w had disappeared and the preliminary process of the formation of Mongolian long vowels had begun; the initial h was preserved in many words; grammatical categories were partially absent, etc. The development over this period explains why the Mongolian script looks like a vertical Arabic script (in particular the presence of the dot system).[3]: 1–2 

Eventually, minor concessions were made to the differences between the Uyghur and Mongol languages: In the 17th and 18th centuries, smoother and more angular versions of the letter tsadi became associated with [dʒ] and [tʃ] respectively, and in the 19th century, the Manchu hooked yodh was adopted for initial [j]. Zain was dropped as it was redundant for [s]. Various schools of orthography, some using diacritics, were developed to avoid ambiguity.[2]: 545 

Traditional Mongolian is written vertically from top to bottom, flowing in lines from left to right. The Old Uyghur script and its descendants, of which traditional Mongolian is one among Oirat Clear, Manchu, and Buryat are the only known vertical scripts written from left to right. This developed because the Uyghurs rotated their Sogdian-derived script, originally written right to left, 90 degrees counterclockwise to emulate Chinese writing, but without changing the relative orientation of the letters.[4][1]: 36 

The reed pen was the writing instrument of choice until the 18th century, when the brush took its place under Chinese influence.[5]: 422  Pens were also historically made of wood, reed, bamboo, bone, bronze, or iron. Ink used was black or cinnabar red, and written with on birch bark, paper, cloths made of silk or cotton, and wooden or silver plates.[6]: 80–81 

Mongols learned their script as a syllabary, dividing the syllables into twelve different classes, based on the final phonemes of the syllables, all of which ended in vowels.[7]

The script remained in continuous use by Mongolian speakers in Inner Mongolia in the People's Republic of China. In the Mongolian People's Republic, it was largely replaced by the Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet, although the vertical script remained in limited use. In March 2020, the Mongolian government announced plans to increase the use of the traditional Mongolian script and to use both Cyrillic and Mongolian script in official documents by 2025.[8][9][10]

Names[edit]

The script is known by a wide variety of names. As it was derived from the Old Uyghur alphabet, the Mongol script is known as the Uighur(-)Mongol script.[note 3] From 1941 onwards, it became known as the Old Script,[note 4] in contrast to the New Script,[note 5] referring to Cyrillic. The Mongolian script is also known as the Hudum or 'not exact' script,[note 6], in comparison with the Todo 'clear, exact' script [note 7].[11]: 308 [1]: 30–32, 38–39 [12]: 640 [13]: 7 [14][15]: 206 [16]

Overview[edit]

The traditional or classical Mongolian alphabet, sometimes called Hudum 'traditional' in Oirat in contrast to the Clear script (Todo 'exact'), is the original form of the Mongolian script used to write the Mongolian language. It does not distinguish several vowels (o/u, ö/ü, final a/e) and consonants (syllable-initial t/d and k/g, sometimes ǰ/y) that were not required for Uyghur, which was the source of the Mongol (or Uyghur-Mongol) script.[4] The result is somewhat comparable to the situation of English, which must represent ten or more vowels with only five letters and uses the digraph th for two distinct sounds. Ambiguity is sometimes prevented by context, as the requirements of vowel harmony and syllable sequence usually indicate the correct sound. Moreover, as there are few words with an exactly identical spelling, actual ambiguities are rare for a reader who knows the orthography.

Letters have different forms depending on their position in a word: initial, medial, or final. In some cases, additional graphic variants are selected for visual harmony with the subsequent character.

The rules for writing below apply specifically for the Mongolian language, unless stated otherwise.

Sort orders[edit]

  • Traditional: n, q/k, γ/g, b, p, s, š, t, d, l, m, č...[17][18]: 7 
  • Modern: n, b, p, q/k, γ/g, m, l, s, š, t, d, č...[17][18]: 7 
  • Other modern orderings that apply to specific dictionaries also exist.[19]

Vowel harmony[edit]

Mongolian vowel harmony separates the vowels of words into three groups – two mutually exclusive and one neutral:

  • The back, male, masculine,[20] hard, or yang[21] vowels a, o, and u.
  • The front, female, feminine,[20] soft, or yin[21] vowels e, ö, and ü.
  • The neutral vowel i, able to appear in all words.

Any Mongolian word can contain the neutral vowel i, but only vowels from either of the other two groups. The vowel qualities of visually separated vowels and suffixes must likewise harmonize with those of the preceding word stem. Such suffixes are written with front or neutral vowels when preceded by a word stem containing only neutral vowels. Any of these rules might not apply for foreign words however.[3]: 11, 35, 39 [22]: 10 [23]: 4 [19]

Separated final vowels[edit]

Two examples of the two kinds of letter separation: with the suffix ‑un ( Brush-written un-uen suffix 2.svg ) and the final vowel ‑a ( Brush-written a-e suffix or seprated vowel 2.svg )

A separated final form of vowels a or e is common, and can appear at the end of a word stem, or suffix. This form requires a final-shaped preceding letter, and an inter-word gap in between. This gap can be transliterated with a hyphen.[note 8][3]: 30, 77 [24]: 42 [1]: 38–39 [23]: 27 [25]: 534–535 

The presence or lack of a separated a or e can also indicate differences in meaning between different words (compare ᠬᠠᠷ᠎ᠠ⟨?⟩ qar‑a 'black' with ᠬᠠᠷᠠ qara 'to look').[26]: 3 [25]: 535 

Its form could be confused with that of the identically shaped traditional dative-locative suffix ‑a/‑e exemplified further down. That form however, is more commonly found in older texts, and more commonly takes the forms of ᠲ᠋ᠤᠷ tur/tür or ᠳ᠋ᠤᠷ dur/dür instead.[22]: 15 [27][1]: 46 

Separated suffixes[edit]

1925 logo of Buryat–Mongolian newspaper in Mongolian script
1925 logo of Buryat–Mongolian newspaper ᠪᠤᠷᠢᠶᠠᠳ ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠤᠨ ᠦᠨᠡᠨ᠃ Buriyad Mongγol‑un ünen 'Buryat-Mongol truth' with the suffix  ᠤᠨ⟨?⟩ ‑un.

All case suffixes, as well as any plural suffixes consisting of one or two syllables, are likewise separated by a preceding and hyphen-transliterated gap.[note 9] A maximum of two case suffixes can be added to a stem.[3]: 30, 73 [22]: 12 [27][28][23]: 28 [25]: 534 

Such single-letter vowel suffixes appear with the final-shaped forms of a/e, i, or u/ü,[3]: 30  as in ᠭᠠᠵᠠᠷ ᠠ⟨?⟩ γaǰar‑a 'to the country' and ᠡᠳᠦᠷ ᠡ⟨?⟩ edür‑e 'on the day',[3]: 39  or ᠤᠯᠤᠰ ᠢ⟨?⟩ ulus‑i 'the state' etc.[3]: 23  Multi-letter suffixes most often start with an initial- (consonants), medial- (vowels), or variant-shaped form. Medial-shaped u in the two-letter suffix  ᠤᠨ⟨?⟩ ‑un/‑ün is exemplified in the adjacent newspaper logo.[3]: 30 [25]: 27 

Consonant clusters[edit]

Two medial consonants are the most that can come together in original Mongolian words. There are however, a few loanwords that can begin or end with two or more.[note 10]

Compound names[edit]

In the modern language, proper names (but not words) usually forms graphic compounds (such as those of ᠬᠠᠰᠡᠷᠳᠡᠨᠢ Qas'erdeni 'Jasper-jewel' or ᠬᠥᠬᠡᠬᠣᠲᠠ Kökeqota – the city of Hohhot). These also allow components of different harmonic classes to be joined together, and where the vowels of an added suffix will harmonize with those of the latter part of the compound. Orthographic peculiarities are most often retained, as with the short and long teeth of an initial-shaped ö in ᠮᠤᠤ‍‍ᠥ᠌‍‍ᠬᠢᠨ Muu'ökin 'Bad Girl' (protective name). Medial t and d, in contrast, are not affected in this way.[3]: 30 [30]: 92 [1]: 44 [13]: 88 

Isolate citation forms[edit]

Isolate citation forms for syllables containing o, u, ö, and ü may in dictionaries appear without a final tail as in ᠪᠣ bo/bu or ᠮᠣ᠋ mo/mu, and with a vertical tail as in ᠪᠥ᠋ / or ᠮᠥ᠋ / (as well as in transcriptions of Chinese syllables).[19][1]: 39 

Letters[edit]

Native Mongolian[edit]

Native Mongolian
Letters
[3]: 17, 18 [2]: 546 
Contextual forms Transliteration[note 11] International Phonetic Alphabet
Initial Medial Final Latin Cyrillic[32][31] Khalkha[24]: 40–42  Chakhar[19][33]
 
ᠠ‍ ‍ᠠ‍ ‍ᠠ

‍ᠠ᠋

a а /a/ /ɑ/
ᠡ‍ ‍ᠡ‍ ‍ᠡ

‍ᠡ᠋

e э /ə/
ᠢ‍ ‍ᠢ‍ ‍ᠢ i и /i/ /i/ or /ɪ/
ᠣ‍ ‍ᠣ‍ ‍ᠣ o о /ɔ/
ᠤ‍ ‍ᠤ‍ ‍ᠤ u у /ʊ/
ᠥ‍ ‍ᠥ‍

‍ᠥ᠋‍

‍ᠥ ö ө /ɵ/ /o/
ᠦ‍ ‍ᠦ‍

‍ᠦ᠋‍

‍ᠦ ü ү /u/
ᠨ‍ ‍ᠨ‍

‍ᠨ᠋‍

‍ᠨ

‍ᠨ᠎

n н /n/
‍ᠩ‍ ‍ᠩ ng нг /ŋ/
ᠪ‍ ‍ᠪ‍ ‍ᠪ b б /p/ and /w/ /b/
ᠫ‍ ‍ᠫ‍ p п // /p/
ᠬ‍

Mongolian letter Qa (initial form).svg

‍ᠬ‍

Mongolian letter Qa (initial form).svg

‍ᠬ q

k

х /x/

Mongolian letter Qa (initial form).svg

‍ᠭ‍

‍ᠭ᠋‍

Mongolian letter Qa (initial form).svg

‍ᠭ

‍ᠭ᠎

3mg g final.png

γ

g

г /ɢ/ /ɣ/
ᠮ‍ ‍ᠮ‍ ‍ᠮ m м /m/
ᠯ‍ ‍ᠯ‍ ‍ᠯ l л /ɮ/ /l/
ᠰ‍ ‍ᠰ‍ ‍ᠰ s с /s/ or /ʃ/ before i
ᠱ‍ ‍ᠱ‍ ‍ᠱ š ш /ʃ/
ᠲ‍ ‍ᠲ‍ t т /t/
ᠳ‍ ‍ᠳ‍

‍ᠳ᠋‍

‍ᠳ d д /t/ and // /d/
ᠴ‍ ‍ᠴ‍ č ч /t͡ʃʰ/ and /t͡sʰ/ /t͡ʃ/
ᠵ‍ ‍ᠵ‍ ǰ ж /d͡ʒ/ and d͡z /d͡ʒ/
ᠶ‍ ‍ᠶ‍ ‍ᠶ y й ю /j/
ᠷ‍ ‍ᠷ‍ ‍ᠷ r р /r/

Galik characters[edit]

In 1587, the translator and scholar Ayuush Güüsh (Аюуш гүүш) created the Galik alphabet (Али-гали Ali-gali), inspired by the third Dalai Lama, Sonam Gyatso. It primarily added extra characters for transcribing Tibetan and Sanskrit terms when translating religious texts, and later also from Chinese. Some of those characters are still in use today for writing foreign names (as listed below).[34]

A KFC in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, China, with a trilingual sign in English, Chinese, and Mongolian
From left to right : Phagspa, Lantsa, Tibetan, Mongolian, Chinese and Cyrillic
Galik characters
Letters
[3]: 17, 18 [2]: 546 
Contextual forms Transliteration[note 11] IPA
Initial Medial Final Latin Cyrillic[32][31] Sanskrit Tibetan[3]: 28 [35]: 86, 244, 251 
 
ᠧ‍ ‍ᠧ‍ ‍ᠧ ē е /e/
ᠸ‍ ‍ᠸ‍ ‍ᠸ w в /w/
ᠹ‍ ‍ᠹ‍ ‍ᠹ f ф /f/
ᠺ‍ ‍ᠺ‍ ‍ᠺ g к /k/
ᠻ‍ ‍ᠻ‍ ‍ᠻ kh к //
ᠼ‍ ‍ᠼ‍ ‍ᠼ c ц /t͡s/
ᠽ‍ ‍ᠽ‍ ‍ᠽ z з /d͡z/
ᠾ‍ ‍ᠾ‍ ‍ᠾ h х /h/
ᠿ‍ ‍ᠿ‍ ‍ᠿ ž[a] ж /ʐ/, /ɻ/[b]
ᡀ‍ ‍ᡀ‍ ‍ᡀ lh лх ལྷ /ɬ/
ᡁ‍ ‍ᡁ‍ ‍ᡁ zh[c] з /d͡ʐ/
ᡂ‍ ‍ᡂ‍ ‍ᡂ ch[d] ч /t͡ʂ/
  1. ^ used in Inner Mongolia.
  2. ^ Transcribes Chinese r /ɻ/ [ɻ ~ ʐ]; Lee & Zee (2003) and Lin (2007) transcribe these as approximants, while Duanmu (2007) transcribes these as voiced fricatives. The actual pronunciation has been acoustically measured to be more approximant-like as in Ri, and used in Inner Mongolia. Always followed by an i.[33][36]
  3. ^ used in Inner Mongolia.
  4. ^ as in Chī, used in Inner Mongolia.

Punctuation[edit]

Example of word-breaking the name Oyirad 'Oirat', 1604 manuscript

When written between words, punctuation marks use space on both sides of them. They can also appear at the very end of a line, regardless of where the preceding word ends.[30]: 99  Red (cinnabar) ink is used in many manuscripts, either to symbolize emphasis or respect.[30]: 241  Modern punctuation incorporates Western marks: parentheses; quotation, question, and exclamation marks; as well as precomposed and .[25]: 535–536 

Punctuation[29]: 106, 168, 203 [3]: 28 [37]: 30 [30]: 99 [31]: 3 [25]: 535–536 [16]
Form(s) Name Function(s)
Birga: ᠪᠢᠷᠭ᠎ᠠ birγ‑a Marks start of a book, chapter, passage, or first line
᠀᠋
᠀᠌
᠀᠍
[...]
'Dot': ᠴᠡᠭ čeg Comma
'Double-dot': ᠳᠠᠪᠬᠤᠷ ᠴᠡᠭ dabqur čeg Period / full stop
'Four-fold dot': ᠳᠥᠷᠪᠡᠯᠵᠢᠨ ᠴᠡᠭ dörbelǰin čeg Marks end of a passage, paragraph, or chapter
'Dotted line': ᠴᠤᠪᠠᠭ᠎ᠠ ᠴᠡᠭ čubaγ‑a čeg Ellipsis
Хос цэг khos tseg[citation needed] Colon
'Spine, backbone': ᠨᠢᠷᠤᠭᠤ niruγu Mongolian soft hyphen
Mongolian non-breaking hyphen, or stem extender


Numerals[edit]

Examples of numbers 10 and 89: written horizontally on a stamp and vertically on a hillside, respectively

Mongolian numerals are either written from left to right, or from top to bottom.[3]: 54 [32]: 9 

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


Components and writing styles[edit]

Components[edit]

Listed in the table below are letter components (graphemes, or in Mongolian: ᠵᠢᠷᠤᠯᠭ᠎ᠠ ǰirulγ‑a / зурлага zurlaga) commonly used across the script. Some of these are used with several letters, and others to contrast between them. As their forms and usage may differ between writing styles, however, examples of these can be found under this section below.

Common components[29][32]: 4–5 [37]: 29–30, 205 [39][30]: 82–83 [1]: 36 [18]: 1 [40][41]: 20 [15]: 211–212 [42]: 10–11 [43][44][16]
Form Name(s) Used with
ᠡ‍ 'Crown': ᠲᠢᠲᠢᠮ titim (тит(и/э)м tit(i/e)m) all initial vowels (a, e, i, o, u, ö, ü, ē), and some initial consonants (n, m, l, h, etc).
᠊ᠡ‍ 'Tooth': ᠠᠴᠤᠭ ačuγ (ацаг atsag) a, e, n, ng, q, γ, m, l, d, etc; historically also r.
'Tooth': ᠰᠢᠳᠦ sidü (шүд shüd)
᠊᠊ 'Spine, backbone': ᠨᠢᠷᠤᠭᠤ niruγu (нуруу nuruu) the vertical line running through words.
‍᠊ᠠ 'Tail': ᠰᠡᠭᠦᠯ segül (сүүл süül) a, e, n, etc. A final connected flourish/swash pointing right.
‍᠊ᠰ᠋ 'Short tail': ᠪᠣᠭᠤᠨᠢ ᠰᠡᠭᠦᠯ boγuni segül (богино/богонь сүүл bogino/bogoni süül) final q, γ, m, and s
᠎ᠠ⟨?⟩ Mongolian letter E (final form-2).svg [...]: ᠣᠷᠬᠢᠴᠠ orkiča (орхиц orkhits) separated final a or e.
'Sprinkling, dusting': ᠴᠠᠴᠤᠯᠭ᠎ᠠ⟨?⟩ čačulγ‑a (цацлага tsatslaga) lower part of final a or e; the lower part of final g.
‍ᡳ᠌ 'Hook': ᠳᠡᠭᠡᠭᠡ degege (дэгээ degee) final i and d.
ᠵ‍ 'Shin, stick': ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ silbi (шилбэ shilbe) i; initial ö and ü; the upper part of final g; ǰ and y, etc.
'Straight shin': ᠰᠢᠯᠤᠭᠤᠨ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ siluγun silbi (шулуун шилбэ shuluun shilbe)
'Long tooth': ᠤᠷᠲᠤ ᠰᠢᠳᠦ urtu sidü (урт шүд urt shüd)
ᠶ‍ 'Shin with upturn': ᠡᠭᠡᠲᠡᠭᠡᠷ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ egeteger silbi (э(э)тгэр шилбэ e(e)tger shilbe) y.
ᠸ‍ Shin with downturn: ᠮᠠᠲᠠᠭᠠᠷ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ mataγar silbi (матгар шилбэ matgar shilbe) ē and w.
ᠷ‍ Horned shin: ᠥᠷᠭᠡᠰᠦᠲᠡᠢ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ örgesütei silbi (өргөстэй шилбэ örgöstei shilbe) r, and historically also the upper part of final g and separated a.
ᠳ᠋‍ 'Looped shin': ᠭᠣᠭᠴᠤᠭᠠᠲᠠᠢ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ γoγčuγatai silbi (гогцоотой шилбэ gogtsootoi shilbe) t and d.
ᡁ‍ 'Hollow shin': ᠬᠥᠨᠳᠡᠢ ᠰᠢᠯᠪᠢ köndei silbi (хөндий шилбэ khöndii shilbe) h and zh.
‍ᠢ 'Bow': ᠨᠤᠮᠤ numu (нум num) final i, oü, and r; ng, b, p, k, g, etc.
‍᠊ᠣ‍ 'Belly, stomach,' loop, contour: ᠭᠡᠳᠡᠰᠦ gedesü (гэдэс gedes) the enclosed part of oü, b, p, initial t and d, etc.
ᠲ‍ 'Hind-gut': ᠠᠷᠤ ᠶᠢᠨ ᠭᠡᠳᠡᠰᠦ⟨?⟩ aru‑yin gedesü (арын гэдэс aryn gedes) initial t and d.
‍᠊ᠹ‍ Flaglet, tuft: ᠵᠠᠷᠲᠢᠭ ǰartiγ (зартиг zartig Wylie: 'jar-thig) the left-side diacritic of f and z.
‍ᠽ‍
[...]: [...] (ятгар зартиг yatgar zartig) initial q and γ.
‍᠊ᠮ‍ 'Braid, pigtail': ᠭᠡᠵᠢᠭᠡ geǰige (гэзэг gezeg) m.
'Horn': ᠡᠪᠡᠷ eber (эвэр ever)
‍᠊ᠯ‍ 'Horn': ᠡᠪᠡᠷ eber (эвэр ever) l.
'Braid, pigtail': ᠭᠡᠵᠢᠭᠡ geǰige (гэзэг gezeg)
‍᠊ᠰ‍ 'Corner of the mouth': ᠵᠠᠪᠠᠵᠢ ǰabaǰi (зав(и/ь)ж zavij) s and š.
‍ᠴ‍ [...]: ᠰᠡᠷᠡᠭᠡ ᠡᠪᠡᠷ serege eber (сэрээ эвэр seree ever) č.
'Fork': ᠠᠴᠠ ača (ац ats)
‍ᠵ‍ [...]: [...] (жалжгар эвэр jaljgar ever) ǰ.
'Tusk, fang': ᠰᠣᠶᠤᠭ᠎ᠠ⟨?⟩ soyuγ‑a (соёо soyoo)

Writing styles[edit]

As exemplified in this section, the shapes of glyphs may vary widely between different styles of writing and choice of medium with which to produce them. The development of written Mongolian can be divided into the three periods of pre-classical (beginning – 17th century), classical (16/17th century – 20th century), and modern (20th century onward):[29][3]: 2–3, 17, 23, 25–26 [22]: 58–59 [2]: 539–540, 545–546 [32]: 62–63 [45]: 111, 113–114 [24]: 40–42, 100–101, 117 [1]: 34–37 [46]: 8–11 [15]: 211–215 

Cursive sample in (pre-classical) Middle Mongol: Uridu maqam‑un qaǰiun medekü
Cursive sample in (pre-classical) Middle Mongol: Uridu maqam‑un qaǰiun medekü
  • Rounded letterforms tend to be more prevalent with handwritten styles (compare printed and handwritten arban 'ten').
Block‑printed Pen-written form Modern brush‑​written​ form Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. form semi-modern forms
Block-printed arban 2.svg Block-printed arban.svg Pen-written arban.svg Brush-written arban 2.svg arban 'ten'
Block-printed arban v.svg
  • Final letterforms with a right-pointing tail (such as those of a, e, n, q, γ, m, l, s, š, and d) may have the notch preceding it in printed form, written in a span between two extremes: from as a more or less tapered point, to a fully rounded curve in handwriting.
  • The long final tails of a, e, n, and d in the texts of pre-classical Mongolian can become elongated vertically to fill up the remainder of a line. Such tails are used consistently for these letters in the earliest 13th to 15th century Uyghur Mongolian style of texts.
Examples of lengthened letterforms d and n in ‑daγan (left), and their regular equivalents (right)
Block‑printed Pen-written forms Modern brush‑​written​ forms Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. forms semi-modern forms
Block-printed acha-eche suffix 2.svg Block-printed aca-ece suffix.svg Pen-written -ača -eče.svg Brush-written aca-ece suffix 2.svg ‑ača/‑eče
Block-printed aca-ece suffix v.svg
Block-printed un-uen suffix 2.svg Block-printed un-uen suffix.svg Pen-written -un -ün.svg Brush-written un-uen suffix 2.svg ‑un/‑ün
Block-printed un-uen suffix v.svg
Block-printed ud-ued suffix 2.svg Block-printed ud-ued suffix.svg Pen-written -ud -üd.svg Brush-written ud-ued suffix 2.svg ‑ud/‑üd
Block-printed ud-ued suffix v.svg
Block-printed ba-be 2.svg Block-printed ba-be.svg Pen-written ba.svg Brush-written ba 2.svg ba 'and'
  • A hooked form of yodh was borrowed from the Manchu alphabet in the 19th century to distinguish initial y from ǰ. The handwritten form of final-shaped yodh (i, ǰ, y), can be greatly shortened in comparison with its initial and medial forms.
Block‑printed Pen-written forms Modern brush‑​written​ forms Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. forms semi-modern forms
Block-printed i suffix 2.svg Block-printed i suffix.svg Pen-written -i.svg Brush-written i suffix 2.svg ‑i
Block-printed -i alt.svg
Block-printed yi suffix 2.svg Block-printed yi suffix.svg Pen-written -yi.svg Brush-written yi suffix 2.svg ‑yi
Block-printed yin suffix 2.svg Block-printed yin suffix.svg Pen-written -yin.svg Brush-written yin suffix 2.svg ‑yin
Block-printed yin suffix v.svg
Block-printed sayin 2.svg Block-printed sayin.svg Pen-written sayin.svg Brush-written sayin 2.svg sain/sayin 'good'
Block-printed sayin v.svg
Block-printed yeke 2.svg Block-printed yeke.svg Pen-written yeke.svg Brush-written yeke 2.svg yeke 'great'
  • The definite status or function of diacritics was not established prior to classical Mongolian. As such, the dotted letters n, γ, and š, can be found sporadically dotted or altogether lacking them. Additionally, both q and γ could be (double-)dotted to identify them regardless of their sound values. Final dotted n is also found in modern Mongolian words. Any diacritical dots of γ and n can be offset downward from their respective letters (as in ᠭᠣᠣᠯ Brush-written γool 2.svg γool and ᠭᠦᠨ ᠢ⟨?⟩ Brush-written gün-i 2.svg n‑i).
  • When a bow-shaped consonant is followed by a vowel in Uyghur style text, said bow can be found to notably overlap it (see bi). A final b has, in its final pre-modern form, a bow-less final form as opposed to the common modern one:[1]: 39 
Block‑printed Pen-written forms Modern brush‑​written​ forms Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. forms semi-modern forms
Block-printed u-ue suffix 2.svg Block-printed u-ue suffix.svg Pen-written -u -ü.svg Brush-written u-ue suffix 2.svg ‑u/‑ü
Block-printed bi 2.svg Block-printed bi.svg Pen-written bi.svg Brush-written bi 2.svg bi 'I'
Block-printed ab 2.svg Block-printed ab.svg Pen-written ab.svg Brush-written ab 2.svg ab (intensifying particle)
  • As in Block-printed emphatic particle 2.svg/Block-printed emphatic particle.svg kü, köke, ǰüg and separated a/e, two teeth can also make up the top-left part of a kaph (k/g) or aleph (a/e) in pre-classical texts. In back-vocalic words of Uyghur Mongolian, qi was used in place of ki, and can therefore be used to identify this stage of the written language. An example of this appears in the suffix Block-printed -taqi -daqi 2.svg ‑taqi/‑daqi.[24]: 100, 117 
Block‑printed Pen-written forms Modern brush‑​written​ forms Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. forms semi-modern forms
Block-printed a-e suffix or seprated vowel 2.svg Block-printed a-e suffix or seprated vowel.svg Pen-written -a -e.svg Brush-written a-e suffix or seprated vowel 2.svg ‑a/‑e
Block-printed a-e suffix or seprated vowel alt.svg
Block-printed a-e suffix or seprated vowel alt 2.svg
Block-printed a-e suffix or seprated vowel alt 3.svg
Block-printed lugh-a suffix 2.svg Block-printed lugh-a suffix.svg Pen-written -luγ-a.svg Brush-written lugh-a suffix 2.svg ‑luγ‑a
Block-printed köke 2.svg Block-printed koeke.svg Pen-written köke.svg Brush-written koeke 2.svg köke 'blue'
köge 'soot'
Block-printed jueg 2.svg Block-printed jueg.svg Pen-written ǰüg.svg Brush-written jueg 2.svg ǰüg 'direction'
  • In pre-modern Mongolian, medial ml (‍ᠮᠯ‍) forms a ligature: Mongolian script ml ligature.svg.
  • A pre-modern variant form for final s appears in the shape of a short final n ‍ᠰ᠋, derived from Old Uyghur zayin (𐽴). It tended to be replaced by the mouth-shaped form and is no longer used. An early example of it is found in the name of Gengis Khan on the Stele of Yisüngge: ᠴᠢᠩᠭᠢᠰ᠋ Činggis. A zayin-shaped final can also appear as part of final m and γ.
Block‑printed Pen-written forms Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. forms semi-modern forms
Block-printed ez-e 2.svg Block-printed ese.svg Pen-written ese.svg es(‑)e 'not, no', (negation)
Block-printed es-e.svg
Block-printed uluz 2.svg Block-printed uluz.svg Pen-written ulus.svg ulus 'nation'
Block-printed uluz alt.svg
Block-printed nom 2.svg Block-printed nom.svg Pen-written nom.svg nom 'book'
Block-printed čaγ 2.svg Block-printed čaγ.svg Pen-written čaγ.svg čaγ 'time'
Block-printed čaγ 2 alt.svg Block-printed čaγ alt.svg
  • Initial taw (t/d) can, akin to final mem (m), be found written quite explicitly loopy (as in nom 'book' and toli 'mirror'). The lamedh (t or d) may appear simply as an oval loop or looped shin, or as more angular, with an either closed or open counter (as in daki/deki or dur/dür). As in metü, a Uyghur style word-medial t can sometimes be written with the pre-consonantal form otherwise used for d. Taw was applied to both initial t and d from the outset of the script's adoption. This was done in imitation of Old Uyghur which, however, had lacked the phoneme d in this position.
Block‑printed Pen-written forms Modern brush‑​written​ forms Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. forms semi-modern forms
Block-printed toli 2.svg Block-printed toli.svg [...] Brush-written toli 2.svg toli 'mirror'
Block-printed daki-deki suffix 2.svg Block-printed daki-deki suffix.svg Pen-written -taki -teki -daki -deki.svg [...] ‑daki/‑deki
Block-printed tur-tuer-dur-duer suffix 2.svg Block-printed tur-tuer suffix.svg Pen-written -tur -tür.svg [...] ‑tur/‑tür
Block-printed dur-duer suffix.svg Pen-written -dur -dür.svg Brush-written dur-duer suffix 2.svg ‑dur/‑dür
Block-printed metü 2.svg Block-printed metü.svg Pen-written metü.svg [...] metü 'as'
The word čiγšabd in an Uyghur Mongolian style: exemplifying a dotted syllable-final γ, and a final bd ligature. There is one mistake, that is there won't be any dots in γ if there is a consonant after it.
  • Following the late classical Mongolian orthography of the 17th and 18th centuries, a smooth and angular tsade (‍ᠵ‍ and ) has come to represent ǰ and č respectively. The tsade before this was used for both these phonemes, regardless of graphical variants, as no ǰ had existed in Old Uyghur:
Block‑printed Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. form semi-modern form
Block-printed čečeg 2.svg Block-printed čečeg.svg čečeg 'flower'
Block-printed semi-modern form Pen-written form Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Block-printed γaǰar-qačar.svg Pen-written qačar γaǰar.svg qačar/γaǰar 'cheek/place'
  • As in sara and ‑dur/‑dür, a resh (of r, and sometimes of l) can appear as two teeth or crossed shins; adjacent, angled, attached to a shin and/or overlapping.
Block‑printed Pen-written form Modern brush‑​written​ form Trans­lit­er­a­tion(s) & 'trans­la­tion'
Uyghur Mong. form semi-modern forms
Block-printed sara 2.svg Block-printed sara.svg Pen-written sara.svg Brush-written sara 2.svg sar(‑)a 'moon/month'
Block-printed sar-a.svg

Example[edit]

Wikipedia slogan
Manuscript Type Unicode Transliteration
(first word)
Mclassical mimic.jpg Wikiclassicalmongol.svg ᠸᠢᠺᠢᠫᠧᠳᠢᠶᠠ᠂
ᠴᠢᠯᠦᠭᠡᠲᠦ ᠨᠡᠪᠲᠡᠷᠬᠡᠢ ᠲᠣᠯᠢ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ ᠪᠣᠯᠠᠢ᠃
ᠸᠢ‍ wi/vi
‍ᠺᠢ‍ gi/ki
‍ᠫᠧ‍ /
‍ᠳᠢ‍ di
‍ᠶᠠ ya
  • Transliteration: Wikipēdiya čilügetü nebterkei toli bičig bolai.
  • Cyrillic: Википедиа чөлөөт нэвтэрхий толь бичиг болой.
  • Transcription: Vikipedia chölööt nevterkhii toli bichig boloi.
  • Gloss: Wikipedia free omni-profound mirror scripture is.
  • Translation: Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia.

Gallery[edit]

Unicode[edit]

Mongolian script was added to the Unicode standard in September 1999 with the release of version 3.0. However, several design issues have been pointed out.[47]

  • The 1999 Mongolian script Unicode codes are duplicated and not searchable.
  • The 1999 Mongolian script Unicode model has multiple layers of FVS (free variation selectors), MVS, ZWJ, NNBSP, and those variation selections conflict with each other, which create incorrect results.[48] Furthermore, different vendors understood the definition of each FVS differently, and developed multiple applications in different standards.[49]

Blocks[edit]

The Unicode block for Mongolian is U+1800–U+18AF. It includes letters, digits and various punctuation marks for Hudum Mongolian, Todo Mongolian, Xibe (Manchu), Manchu proper, and Ali Gali, as well as extensions for transcribing Sanskrit and Tibetan.

Mongolian[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+180x FVS
1
FVS
2
FVS
3
MVS FVS
4
U+181x
U+182x
U+183x
U+184x
U+185x
U+186x
U+187x
U+188x
U+189x
U+18Ax
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 14.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

The Mongolian Supplement block (U+11660–U+1167F) was added to the Unicode Standard in June, 2016 with the release of version 9.0:

Mongolian Supplement[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1166x 𑙠 𑙡 𑙢 𑙣 𑙤 𑙥 𑙦 𑙧 𑙨 𑙩 𑙪 𑙫 𑙬
U+1167x
Notes
1.^ As of Unicode version 14.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In Mongolian script: ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭMonggol.svg Bicig.svgMongol bichig; in Mongolian Cyrillic: Монгол бичиг Mongol bichig
  2. ^ In Mongolian script: ᠬᠤᠳᠤᠮ ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ; Khalkha: Худам Монгол бичиг; Buryat: Худам Монгол бэшэг, Kudam Mongol besheg; Kalmyk: Хуудм Моңһл бичг, Xuudm Moñğl biçg[citation needed]
  3. ^ ᠤᠶᠢᠭᠤᠷᠵᠢᠨ ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ uyiγurǰin mongγol bičig (уйгар/уйгаржин/уйгуржин монгол бичиг/үсэг uigar/uigarjin/uigurjin mongol bichig/üseg)
  4. ^ ᠬᠠᠭᠤᠴᠢᠨ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ qaγučin bičig (хуучин бичиг khuuchin bichig)
  5. ^ ᠰᠢᠨᠡ/ᠰᠢᠨ᠎ᠡ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ sine/sin‑e bičig (шинэ үсэг shine üseg)
  6. ^ ᠬᠤᠳᠤᠮ ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ qudum mongγol bičig (худам монгол бичиг khudam mongol bichig)
  7. ^ ᠲᠣᠳᠣ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ/ᠦᠰᠦᠭ todo bičig/üsüg (тод бичиг/үсэг tod bichig/üseg)
  8. ^ In digital typesetting, this shaping is achieved by inserting a U+180E MONGOLIAN VOWEL SEPARATOR (MVS) between the separated letters.
  9. ^ In digital typesetting, this shaping is achieved by inserting a U+202F NARROW NO-BREAK SPACE (NNBSP) between the separated letters.
  10. ^ Examples of such include: (dotless š) gšan 'moment' (Block-printed gshan.svg), gkir 'dirt' (Block-printed gkir.svg), or bodisdv 'Bodhisattva' (Block-printed bodisdv.svg).[3]: 15, 32 [22]: 9 [29]: 385 
  11. ^ a b Scholarly/Scientific transliteration.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Janhunen, Juha (2006-01-27). The Mongolic Languages. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-79690-7.
  2. ^ a b c d e Daniels, Peter T. (1996). The World's Writing Systems. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507993-7.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Poppe, Nicholas (1974). Grammar of Written Mongolian. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-447-00684-2.
  4. ^ a b György Kara, "Aramaic Scripts for Altaic Languages", in Daniels & Bright The World's Writing Systems, 1994.
  5. ^ a b Shepherd, Margaret (2013-07-03). Learn World Calligraphy: Discover African, Arabic, Chinese, Ethiopic, Greek, Hebrew, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Russian, Thai, Tibetan Calligraphy, and Beyond. Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale. ISBN 978-0-8230-8230-8.
  6. ^ Berkwitz, Stephen C.; Schober, Juliane; Brown, Claudia (2009-01-13). Buddhist Manuscript Cultures: Knowledge, Ritual, and Art. Routledge. ISBN 9781134002429.
  7. ^ Chinggeltei. (1963) A Grammar of the Mongol Language. New York, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. p. 15.
  8. ^ "Mongolia to promote usage of traditional script". China.org.cn (March 19, 2020).
  9. ^ Official documents to be recorded in both scripts from 2025, Montsame, 18 March 2020.
  10. ^ 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."
  11. ^ Publishing, International Conference on Electronic (1998-03-18). EP '98. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 978-3-540-64298-5.
  12. ^ Sanders, Alan J. K. (2010-05-20). Historical Dictionary of Mongolia. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-7452-7.
  13. ^ a b Janhunen, Juha A. (2012). Mongolian. John Benjamins Publishing. ISBN 978-9027238207.
  14. ^ Bawden, Charles (2013-10-28). Mongolian English Dictionary. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-15595-6.
  15. ^ a b c Bat-Ireedui, Jantsangiyn; Sanders, Alan J. K. (2015-08-14). Colloquial Mongolian: The Complete Course for Beginners. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-30598-9.
  16. ^ a b c "Mongolian State Dictionary". mongoltoli.mn (in Mongolian). Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  17. ^ a b "Unicode Technical Report #2". ftp.tc.edu.tw. Retrieved 2017-12-13.
  18. ^ a b c Jugder, Luvsandorj (2008). "Diacritic marks in the Mongolian script and the 'darkness of confusion of letters'". In J. Vacek; A. Oberfalzerová (eds.). MONGOLO-TIBETICA PRAGENSIA '08, Linguistics, Ethnolinguistics, Religion and Culture. Mongolo-Tibetica Pragensia : Ethnolinguistics, Sociolinguistics, Religion and Culture. Vol. 1/1. Praha: Charles University and Triton. pp. 45–98. ISSN 1803-5647.
  19. ^ a b c d "Mongolian Traditional Script". cjvlang.com. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  20. ^ a b by Manchu convention
  21. ^ a b in Inner Mongolia.
  22. ^ a b c d e Grønbech, Kaare; Krueger, John Richard (1993). An Introduction to Classical (literary) Mongolian: Introduction, Grammar, Reader, Glossary. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 978-3-447-03298-8.
  23. ^ a b c "A Study of Traditional Mongolian Script Encodings and Rendering: Use of Unicode in OpenType fonts" (PDF). w.colips.org. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  24. ^ a b c d Svantesson, Jan-Olof (2005). The Phonology of Mongolian. Oxford University Press. pp. 40–42. ISBN 0-19-926017-6.
  25. ^ a b c d e f "The Unicode® Standard Version 10.0 – Core Specification: South and Central Asia-II" (PDF). Unicode.org. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  26. ^ "Mongolian / ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ Moŋġol" (PDF). www.eki.ee. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  27. ^ a b Viklund, Andreas. "Lingua Mongolia – Mongolian Grammar". www.linguamongolia.com. Retrieved 2017-12-13.
  28. ^ "PROPOSAL Encode Mongolian Suffix Connector (U+180F) To Replace Narrow Non-Breaking Space (U+202F)" (PDF). Unicode.org. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  29. ^ a b c d Lessing, Ferdinand (1960). Mongolian-English Dictionary (PDF). University of California Press. Note that this dictionary uses the transliterations c, ø, x, y, z, ai, and ei; instead of č, ö, q, ü, ǰ, ayi, and eyi;: xii  as well as problematically and incorrectly treats all rounded vowels (o/u/ö/ü) after the initial syllable as u or ü.[38]
  30. ^ a b c d e Kara, György (2005). Books of the Mongolian Nomads: More Than Eight Centuries of Writing Mongolian. Indiana University, Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies. ISBN 978-0-933070-52-3.
  31. ^ a b c d "Mongolian transliterations" (PDF). Institute of the Estonian Language]].
  32. ^ a b c d e Скородумова, Лидия Григорьевна (2000). Введение в старописьменный монгольский язык: учебное пособие (PDF) (in Russian). Изд-во Дом "Муравей-Гайд". ISBN 9785846300156.
  33. ^ a b "Writing | Study Mongolian". www.studymongolian.net. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  34. ^ Otgonbayar Chuluunbaatar (2008). Einführung in die Mongolischen Schriften (in German). Buske. ISBN 978-3-87548-500-4.
  35. ^ "BabelStone: Mongolian and Manchu Resources". babelstone.co.uk (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  36. ^ Lee-Kim, Sang-Im (2014), "Revisiting Mandarin 'apical vowels': An articulatory and acoustic study", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 44 (3): 261–282, doi:10.1017/s0025100314000267, S2CID 16432272
  37. ^ a b Shagdarsürüng, Tseveliin (2001). "Study of Mongolian Scripts (Graphic Study or Grammatology). Enl". Bibliotheca Mongolica: Monograph 1.
  38. ^ "University of Virginia: Mongolian Transliteration & Transcription". collab.its.virginia.edu. Retrieved 2021-02-22.
  39. ^ Sanders, Alan (2003-04-09). Historical Dictionary of Mongolia. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-6601-0.
  40. ^ "The Mongolian Script" (PDF). Lingua Mongolia.
  41. ^ Mongol Times (2012). "Monggul bichig un job bichihu jui-yin toli" (in Mongolian). {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)[clarification needed]
  42. ^ "Analysis of the graphetic model and improvements to the current model" (PDF). www.unicode.org. Retrieved 2020-08-13.
  43. ^ Gehrke, Munkho. "Монгол бичгийн зурлага :|: Монгол бичиг". mongol-bichig.dusal.net (in Mongolian). Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  44. ^ "ᠵᠢᠷᠤᠯᠭ᠎ᠠ ᠪᠠ ᠲᠡᠭᠦᠨ ᠦ ᠨᠡᠷᠡᠢᠳᠦᠯ - ᠮᠤᠩᠭᠤᠯ ᠪᠢᠴᠢᠭ". www.mongolfont.com (in Mongolian). Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  45. ^ Clauson, Gerard (2005-11-04). Studies in Turkic and Mongolic Linguistics. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-134-43012-3.
  46. ^ "Exploring Mongolian Manuscript Collections in Russia and Beyond" (PDF). www.manuscript-cultures.uni-hamburg.de. Retrieved 2019-07-17.
  47. ^ Liang, Hai (23 Sep 2017). "Current problems in the Mongolian encoding" (PDF). Unicode. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 June 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  48. ^ Anderson, Debbie (22 Sep 2018). "Mongolian Ad Hoc meeting summary" (PDF). Unicode.
  49. ^ Moore, Lisa (27 Mar 2019). "Summary of MWG2 Outcomes and Goals for MWG3 Meeting" (PDF). Unicode.Org.

External links[edit]

Summaries
Dictionaries
Transliteration
Manuscripts
Other