Monguor language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Dēd Mongol, Tu
Native toChina
RegionQinghai, Gansu
Native speakers
150,000 (2000 census)[1]
  • Shirongolic
    • Monguor
  • Mongghul
  • Mangghuer
Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3mjg

The Monguor language (Chinese: 土族语; pinyin: Tǔzúyǔ; also written Mongour and Mongor) is a Mongolic language of its Shirongolic branch and is part of the Gansu–Qinghai sprachbund (also called the Amdo sprachbund). There are several dialects, mostly spoken by the Monguor people. A written script was devised for Huzhu Monguor (Mongghul) in the late 20th century, but has been little used. A division into two languages, namely Mongghul in Huzhu Tu Autonomous County and Mangghuer in Minhe Hui and Tu Autonomous County, is considered necessary by some linguists. While Mongghul was under strong influence from Amdo Tibetan, the same holds for Mangghuer and Sinitic languages, and local varieties of Chinese such as the Gangou language were in turn influenced by Monguor.


Monguor has five vowels: /a, e, i, o, u/. [3]

Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Retroflex Alveolo-palatal Palatal Velar Uvular
Stop voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ ɢ
Affricate voiceless t͡s ʈ͡ʂ t͡ɕ
voiced d͡z ɖ͡ʐ d͡ʑ
Fricative f s ʂ ɕ x
Nasal m n ŋ
Approximant l j w
Trill r


Mongolian numerals such as the following[4] are only in use in the Mongghul dialect, while Mangghuer speakers have switched to counting in Chinese.[4] Note that while the Mongolian script has only arban for 'ten', Middle Mongolian *harpa/n including *h can be reconstructed from the scripts.[5]

Numeral Classical Mongolian Monguor
1 nigen nige
2 qoyar ghoori
3 ghurban ghuran
4 dörben deeran
5 tabun tawun
6 jirghughan jirighun
7 dologhan duluun
8 naiman niiman
9 yisün shdzin
10 arban haran


  1. ^ Monguor at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tu". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Nugteren, Hans (2011). Mongolic phonology and the Qinghai-Gansu languages; Doctoral Thesis, Leiden University (PDF). Utrecht: LOT, Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics. p. 31. ISBN 978-94-6093-070-6.
  4. ^ a b Dpal-ldan-bkra-shis, Slater et al. 1996: 4
  5. ^ Svantesson et al. 2005: 130


  • Dpal-ldan-bkra-shis, Keith Slater, et al. (1996): Language Materials of China’s Monguor Minority: Huzhu Mongghul and Minhe Mangghuer. Sino-Platonic papers no. 69.
  • Georg, Stefan (2003): Mongghul. In: Janhunen, Juha (ed.) (2003): The Mongolic languages. London: Routledge: 286-306.
  • Slater, Keith W. (2003): A grammar of Mangghuer: A Mongolic language of China's Qinghai-Gansu sprachbund. London/New York: RoutledgeCurzon.
  • Svantesson, Jan-Olof, Anna Tsendina, Anastasia Karlsson, Vivan Franzén (2005): The Phonology of Mongolian. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Zhàonàsītú 照那斯图 (1981): Tǔzúyǔ jiǎnzhì 土族语简志 (Introduction to the Tu language). Běijīng 北京: Mínzú chūbǎnshè 民族出版社.
  • Mostaert, A., and A. de Shmedt. 1930. “Le Dialecte Monguor Parlé Par Les Mongols Du Kansu Occidental. Iére Partie: Phonétique. (suite)”. Anthropos 25 (3/4). Anthropos Institute: 657–69.
  • Mostaert, A., and A. de Smedt. 1929. “Le Dialecte Monguor Parlé Par Les Mongols Du Kansu Occidental. Iére Partie: Phonétique. (suite)”. Anthropos 24 (5/6). Anthropos Institute: 801–15.
  • A. Mostaert et A. de Smedt : Le dialecte monguor parlé par les Mongols du Kansu occidental, 1ère à 3ème parties [compte rendu]

E. Gaspardone Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient Année 1933 Volume 33 Numéro 1 p. 1014

External links[edit]