Monguor language

Monguor language
Spoken in China
Region Qinghai, Gansu
Native speakers 152,000  (1999)
Language family
  • Shirongolic
    • Monguor
Language codes
ISO 639-3 mjg

The Monguor language (Chinese: 土族语; pinyin: Tǔzúyǔ; also written Mongour and Mongor) is a Mongolic language of its Shirongolic branch and part of the Gansu-Qinghai-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 scientists. While Mongghul was under strong influence from Tibetan, the same holds for Mangghuer and Chinese.



Mongolian numerals such as the following[1] are only in use in the Mongghul dialect, while Mangghuer speakers have switched to counting in Chinese.[2] Note that while the Mongolian script has only arban for 'ten', Middle Mongolian *harpa/n including *h can be reconstructed from the scripts.[3]

English Mongolian script Monguor
1 One Nigen Nige
2 Two Qoyar Ghoori
3 Three Ghurban Ghuran
4 Four Dörben Deeran
5 Five Tabun Tawun
6 Six Jirghughan Jirighun
7 Seven Dologhan Duluun
8 Eight Naiman Niiman
9 Nine Yisün Shdzin
10 Ten Arban Haran


  1. ^ Dpal-ldan-bkra-shis, Slater et al. 1996:4
  2. ^ Dpal-ldan-bkra-shis, Slater et al.: 1996: 4
  3. ^ 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.

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