The Present Situation of Non-Sino-Tibetan Languages Spoken in Northern and North-Western China I Altaic Languages I – Mongolian

Journal of Turkish Studies 7:3301-3335 (2012)
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Mongolian is one of the languages, which Turkish has been in intensive mutual contact throughout the historical course. The interactive relation between Turkish and Mongolian has continued todate despite it has occasionally decreased and increased due to the migrations and cultural changes experienced by the speakers of these languages. Some areas in present-day People’s Republic of China are regions, where this interaction still remains intact. Turkish and Mongolian have lost ground or even are facing extinction in some of these regions, which historically had been the living space of Turkish and Mongolian-speaking populations. However, Mongolian is still represented with at least ten varieties within the borders of People’s Republic of China. Some of these varieties are at the edge of extinction whereas others like Southern Mongol are enduring the pressure of the Chinese language as well as posing a threat to other Mongolian varieties together with Chinese and Tibetan. The Chinese language endangers the existence of Mongolian varieties like all other minority languages as a result of being the official language of the People’s Republic of China and the language of the vast majority. On the other hand Tibetan pressurizes Mongolian varieties mainly with religious reasons besides demographic ones. In spite of the pressure felt from Chinese, Tibetan and Southern Mongol, some minor Mongolian varieties are pressurizing some Turkic and Tungusic varieties.
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