The present paper deals with some particularities of affricates in Middle Mongol (13th–16th centuries) as related to the problem of reconstructing the (Pre)-Proto-Mongolic consonant system. Three particularities of Middle Mongol affricates are especially highlighted: (1) č ∼ ǰ alternation; (2) alliteration of the type č — ǰ or ǰ — č; (3) underdifferentiation of the medial č and ǰ in Uighur-Mongol script. Examples of the non-distinctive use of affricates in the Modern Mongolic languages as e.g. those spoken in Qinghai and Gansu provinces (Eastern Yugur and Shirongol) and the central Mongolic group (Khalkha, Buryat, Kalmyk) are given as well. The author comes to the conclusion that in Proto-Mongolic the distinction between *č and *ǰ may have been a phonemic one, while at the Pre-Proto-Mongolic stage *č and *ǰ were presumably free-variant allophones of the same consonant phoneme **C. Our reconstruction seems to be confirmed by the evidence from Khitan where alternation of the segments 〈ct and 〈dz〉 occurred, probably dating back to the Pre-Proto-Mongolic stage.
This paper deals with the structural analysis of the system of kinship and affinity terms in Middle Mongolian based on all known lexicographical and narrative sources. The system of kinship and affinity terms is seen as a separate lexical group which is to be studied by methods of structural semantics, in particular by the method of componential analysis. This method is for the first time applied to the study of Middle Mongolian vocabulary. The meaning of each kinship or affinity term is defined in the meta-language of componential analysis in its two varieties, main structural features of the system are discovered and defined, the dialectal distribution, inter- and intradialectal lexical differences among the terms are described and presented in the form of tables. The morphological classification of the terms is given, the question of the polysemy of some of them is touched upon. The author comes to the conclusion that East Middle Mongolian dialects and their system of kinship and affinity terms could be in a more archaic stage of development than the language of West Middle Mongolian literary monuments. The results of the semantic analysis are compared with some historical and ethnographical data on the Mongolian social structure of the imperial period (in particular on kinship system and marriage rules).
The article deals with the main principles according to which Mongolian sounds are rendered into Chinese in the Sino-Mongolian glossary Dada yu/Beilu yiyu (late 16th–early 17th century) where one of the late Middle Mongolian dialects is reflected. Three such principles are distinguished by the author: (1) principle of phonetic identity (the Chinese and Mongolian segments completely coincide with each other by their features); (2) principle of phonetic substitution in its two varieties: weak phonetic substitution (the Chinese and Mongolian segments differ from each other in only one distinctive feature) and strong phonetic substitution (the Chinese and Mongolian segments are distinguished from each other by two or more features); (3) principle of zero marking (the Mongolian segment is in no way rendered into the Chinese transcription because of the impossibility of its notation by means of Chinese). The influence of different stages of the phonetic development of Chinese on the glossary’s system of transcriptions is also emphasised, such as Standard Chinese, Late Ming Guanhua, and Ancient Mandarin.