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Mongolian (was: Re: Fluency Wish-List

From:Kenji Schwarz <schwarz@...>
Date:Friday, April 14, 2000, 21:33
On Thu, 13 Apr 2000, BP Jonsson wrote:

> Agreed. Have you ever heard Oirat? (I haven't, I'm asking for a > description...) I like the Oirat version of the script, see. I suppose > I ought to like the Vagintara script too, since my Dharma name is > Ngawang/Vagindra, but I don't, at least not the printed version. > Never seen it in handwriting, tho.
I'd agree with you about the Vagintara script, but not, I'm afraid, the Todoo script for OIrat -- something about it just rubs me the wrong way. (And, really! if they wanted a rationalized, improved, and just plain superior version of the old Mongol script, why couldn't they have just adopted the Manchu one? It is, after all, perfect :) ) As far as spoken Oirat goes, I've heard Oirat speakers from Xinjiang, but not Kalmuks, and there may be some differences in accent there. At the time I was just beginning to learn modern Mongol, and so I was just confused by these Torguts (or whatever they were) and can't really remember what it "sounded like".
> Somehow Old Mongolian as transliterated from the Uighur script looks > euphonious -- downright Finnish! :-) -- while transliterated from > hP'ags-pa it looks cocophonous.
Well, someday, someone really should adopt it for a conlang -- some little minority nationality in Yunnan/Sichuan that kept some traditions going from the Yuan dynasty?
> I have to get hold of a phonemic transcription and render it into > Hangyl! ;-)
That would be interesting to see! And, after all, at the risk of stepping on Korean(ist) toes, it does seem to me to be likely that it's directly inspired by 'phags-pa script, anyway.
> (While we are on the subject, can you give me a pointer to a table of the > Galik letters?)
I'm fairly sure that Nicholas Poppe's _Grammar of Classical Mongolian_ (if I'm remembering the exact title) has a fairly extensive treatment of all the Galik letters and their combinations; I can't think of anything else offhand. I don't think the Mongol chapter in the _Writing Systems of the World_ compendium really has that information, unfortunately. Kenji