Mongolian Latin alphabet

The Mongolian Latin script (Mongolian Cyrillic: Монгол Латин үсэг, Mongol Latin üseg; Mongolian Latin: Mongol Latiin ysyg; Traditional Mongolian script: ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ
; IPA: [ˈmɔŋɡɔɮ ɮɑˈtin usəx]) was officially adopted in Mongolia in 1931. In 1939, a second version of the Latin alphabet was introduced but not widely used, and was replaced by the Cyrillic script in 1941.[1]

History edit

In the early 1930s, under the influence of latinisation in the Soviet Union, a draft alphabet on a Latin basis was developed in the Mongolian People's Republic. This alphabet was used in several articles in the Ynen newspaper, but did not receive official status.[2]

On 1 February 1941, Mongolia officially switched to a modified Latin alphabet, which was successfully used for some time to print books and newspapers. However, two months later, on 25 March, this decision was canceled. According to official explanations, the adopted writing system was not well thought out: it did not cover all the sounds of the Mongolian language and was difficult to use.

The adoption of the Cyrillic alphabet occurred almost simultaneously with the Cyrillization in the Soviet Union, therefore, the rejection of the Latin alphabet could have been due to political considerations.

In the Mongolian version of the Latin alphabet, there were additional letters ɵ (Cyrillic: ө), ç (ч), ş (ш) and ƶ (ж); Y corresponded to the Cyrillic ү. K transliterated the sound that would later come to be represented in Cyrillic by х in native Mongolian words.

The letters f, h, p, v were rarely used except in Russian loanwords, and q, w, and x were almost never used.

Despite being neither widely promoted nor having any official status, Mongolians were increasingly using Latin script on smartphones and social networking services as of 2019.[3]

In 1975, preparations began in China for the romanization of Mongolian writing in Mongol areas based on the pinyin system used for Mandarin Chinese. According to the plan, the Latin alphabet should have been introduced in 1977, but the death of Mao Zedong and the changes in domestic policy that had begun did not allow the project to materialize.[4] This system forms the basis of the SASM/GNC romanization of Mongolian that has been used in China to transcribe personal names and toponyms since 1978.[5]

Characters edit

First Latin alphabet was using "y" as feminine "u", with additional feminine "o" ("ɵ") 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 first version was inspired by the Yanalif script used for the Soviet Union's Turkic languages.

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", "ɵ" 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
m ɮ p
f χ
s ʃ t t͡s t͡ʃ d͡z d͡ʒ j r h
Latin 1931 -


1939 -


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
Cyrillic А Э И О У Ө Ү Н М Л В П Ф К Х Г С Ш Т Д Ц Ч З Ж Й Р Х

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

Text samples edit

Traditional script
ᠮᠠᠨ ᠤ ᠤᠯᠤᠰ ᠤᠨ ᠨᠡᠶᠢᠰᠯᠡᠯ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ ᠤᠯᠠᠭᠠᠨᠪᠠᠭᠠᠲᠤᠷ ᠪᠣᠯ ᠘᠐᠐᠐᠐ ᠰᠢᠬᠠᠮ ᠬᠦᠮᠦᠨ ᠲᠡᠢ᠂ ᠤᠯᠤᠰ ᠤᠨ ᠣᠯᠠᠨ ᠨᠡᠶᠢᠲᠡ ᠶᠢᠨ᠂ ᠠᠵᠤ ᠠᠬᠤᠢ ᠶᠢᠨ ᠲᠥᠪ ᠭᠠᠵᠠᠷ ᠤᠳ ᠣᠷᠣᠰᠢᠭᠰᠠᠨ ᠶᠡᠬᠡᠬᠡᠨ ᠣᠷᠣᠨ ᠪᠣᠯᠤᠨ᠎ᠠ᠃
ᠲᠤᠰ ᠤᠯᠤᠰ ᠤᠨ ᠳᠣᠲᠣᠷ᠎ᠠ ᠠᠴᠠ ᠭᠠᠷᠬᠤ ᠲᠦᠭᠦᠬᠡᠢ ᠵᠤᠶᠢᠯ ᠢ ᠪᠣᠯᠪᠠᠰᠤᠷᠠᠭᠤᠯᠬᠤ ᠠᠵᠤ ᠦᠢᠯᠡᠳᠪᠦᠷᠢ ᠶᠢᠨ ᠭᠠᠵᠠᠷ ᠤᠳ ᠢ ᠪᠠᠶᠢᠭᠤᠯᠬᠤ ᠨᠢ ᠴᠢᠬᠤᠯᠠ᠃
Latin 1931-1939
Manai ulasiin niislel koto Ulaanbaatar bol 80 000 şakam kyntei, ulasiin olon niitiin, aƶi akuin tɵb gazaruud oroşison jikeeken oron bolno.
Tus ulasiin dotoroos garka tyykii zuiliig bolbosruulka aƶi yildberiin gazaruudiig baiguulka ni çukala.
Latin 1939-1941
Manai ulasiin niislel xoto Ulaanbaatar bol 80 000 shaxam xüntei, ulasiin olon niitiin, aji axuin töb gazaruud oroshison yixeexen oron bolno.
Tus ulasiin dotoroos garxa tüüxii zuiliig bolbosruulxa aji üildberiin gazaruudiig baiguulxa ni chuxala.
Манай улсын нийслэл хот Улаанбаатар бол 80 000 шахам хүнтэй, улсын олон нийтийн, аж ахуйн төв газрууд орошсон ихээхэн орон болно.
Тус улсын дотроос гарах түүхий зүйлийг боловсруулах аж үйлдвэрийн газруудыг байгуулах нь чухал.
Transliteration of Cyrillic into Latin
Manai ulsyn niislel khot Ulaanbaatar bol 80 000 shakham khüntei, ulsyn olon niitiin, aj akhuin töv gazruud oroshson ikheekhen oron bolno.
Tus ulsyn dotroos garakh tüükhii züiliig bolovsruulakh aj üildveriin gazruudyg baiguulakh ni chukhal.

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

References edit

  1. ^ Lenore A. Grenoble: Language policy in the Soviet Union. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2003; S. 49.
  2. ^ The Latinization Attempt in Mongolia
  3. ^ "Russian Influence in Mongolia is Declining". Global Security Review (March 2, 2019). 2 March 2019.
  4. ^[dead link]
  5. ^ 关于改用汉语拼音方案作为我国人名地名罗马字母拼写法的统一规范的报告. 国发[1978]192号. 中华人民共和国国务院 [State Council of the People's Republic of China]. 26 September 1978.