Mongolian is a language spoken by 5.2 million people, primarily in Mongolia and the Inner Mongolia region of China. It is by far the most-spoken member and namesake of the Mongolic language family.
Traditionally, and still in Inner Mongolia to this day, Mongolian has been written in the Mongolian script. In the separate country of Mongolia, Cyrillic has been used to write it since the 1940s, but the government has announced their intention to switch back to the traditional Mongolian script by 2025.
Like many other languages in the Altaic sprachbund, Mongolian exhibits vowel harmony. The back vowels ‘a’, ‘o’ and ‘u’ are considered masculine, the front vowels ‘e’, ‘ö’ and ‘ü’ are considered feminine, and ‘i’ is a neutral vowel. Masculine words can only contain back vowels and ‘i’, feminine words can only contain front vowels and ‘i’, and if a word contains all ‘i’s, it’s considered a feminine word.
Mongolian makes use of many suffixes, to convey things like pluralisation, noun case (it has eight cases, but the nominative is unmarked) and possession. It is typologically an agglutinating language. It has both inclusive and exclusive “we” and a T–V distinction for 2nd person singular pronouns.
References / See Also
- Wikipedia article: Mongolian
- (PDF) A Study of Traditional Mongolian Script Encodings and Rendering: Use of Unicode in OpenType fonts by Biligsaikhan Batjargal, Garmaabazar Khaltarkhuu, Fuminori Kimura, and Akira Maeda