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History of Mongolic Writing System
Catalog Number CEUS-U 520 
György Kara

The origins, functions, and classifications of writing systems.
Their relation to religion, ethnic identity, and political power. Written vs. spoken language.
Graphemes and allographs. Free and bound graphemes. Diacritics. Punctuation. Orthography.
Allography: positional, historical, territorial, social, professional, individual varieties.
Graphical style (calligraphy, cursive, shorthand, ornamental forms).
Parallel usage of more than one systems (digraphy. multigraphy).
Transliteration and transcription.
 
The pre-thirteenth-century writing systems used for Mongolic languages.
The Tabgach bitekchin. The lost writing system of the Northern Wei.
The two Siniform scripts of the Kitan: the linear and the composite; their epigraphical monuments; their complex structure: ideograms, syllabograms, phonograms; the state of decipherment.
The Sogdian-Uygur alphabet applied to Middle Mongolian. Influence of Uygur orthography. Graphematics. The nom-un kele, the language of the Buddhist scriptures. Middle Mongolian and New Mongolian developments.
Emperor Kubilai’s "Square Script" or ‘Phags-pa script: an Indo-Tibetan ‘alphasyllabic’ system with Brahmi and Uygur elements, its free and bound graphemes, transliteration and transcription.. Its monuments in Mongolian, Chinese, Turkic and Tibetan.
Ayushi’s Galik script: the Uygur alphabet extended in order to represent Indian and Tibetan sounds. New graphemes. The trigraph waw+yod+aleph.
Zaya Pandita’s Oirat or "Clear Script." Most ambiguities of the Uygur script eliminated. Positional allography partially eliminated, Diphthongs and long vowels.
A new "book language" and its chancellory version. The Galik of the Clear Script..
J ânavajra’s alphabets: the Soyombo Script and the Horizontal Square Script.
Agvan Dorzhiev’s Buriat alphabet without positional allography.
Mongolian in Tibetan script.
Mongolian and Daur in Manchu script.
Mongolian texts in Arabic, Chinese, and Korean script. Mogholi in Arabic
Mongolian glossaries in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Armenian script.
Kalmyk, Buriat, Khalkha and Daur in Cyrillic and in Latin alphabets. Reforms.
Daur, Monguor and Santa (Dongxiang) in Pinyin Romanization.

Recommended literature: Ts. Shagdarsüren, Mongolchuudiin üseg bichigiin towchoon (Ulaanbaatar, 2001); W. Bright & P. T. Daniels, eds., The World’s Writing Systems (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996); J. Bosson, "Scripts and Literacy in the Mongol World" in P. Berger & T. Tse Bartholomew, eds., Mongolia. The Legacy of Chinggis Khan (The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 1995), pp. 88-95; D. Kara, Knigi mongol’skikh kochevnikov (Moscow: Nauka, 1972); G. Kara, The Books of the Mongolian Nomads (Bloomington, IN: IU, 2005); N. Poppe, Introduction to Altaic Linguistics (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1965), etc.