Indiana University Bloomington
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U520  Mongolian Paleography:  The Writing Systems of the Mongols
Gy├Ârgy Kara

The origins of writing. Its functions. Pictographic, ideographic/logographic, syllabographic and phonetic/alphabetic systems. Autochthonous and borrowed scripts. Religion and political power. Writing and ethnic identity. Script and art. Chinese record about lost ancient Mongolic writing. The Tabgach language written in the Northern Wei. The Tuyuhun and other Xianbei peoples. The two Sinoform writing systems of the Kitans of the Liao Empire. The "big" and the "small" characters, the state of decipherment, the type and structure of these distinct systems, their influence on other medieval writing systems of Inner Asia. The Uygur alphabet used for Mongolian. Its Aramaic origin, graphical and orthographical characteristics. Graphical elements, graphemes, allographs. Historical, territorial, functional and individual allography. Changes during its uninterrupted use from the early 13th century up to now. Emperor Qubilai's imperial alphabet, the square script of Pakpa, his Tibetan priest. Its Tibetan, Indian, Uygur and Uygur Brahmi elements. Mongol, Chinese, Turkic and Tibetan texts in this square script. Hor yig: its late Tibetan version. Ayushi's late 16th-century alphabet: exact transcription of Indian and Tibetan words. Later versions of this system of transliteration. The "Clear Script" of the Oirat Zaya Pandita. His innovations for the elimination of polyvalent graphemes. His new written language. Later changes in the orthography. The soyombo alphabet and the horizontal square script in Mongolia. The Tibetan script for Mongolian. The Manchu alphabet. Its Mongol origin, its innovations and influence on Mongol writing. Mongol and Daur texts written in Manchu script. The Buryat alphabet of 1905. Russian Cyrillic alphabet for Daur, Baltic type Latin orthography for Buryat at the beginning of the 20th century. Various Russian and Latin alphabets and orthographies for the Kalmyk, Buryat and Mongol languages after 1917. Merse's Latin based Daur alphabet. The 1957 attempt of Cyrillic written Daur. Pinyin for Daur and Monguor. Arabic alphabet used by the Mogols in Afganistan. Writing systems used for Mongolian by other peoples: Chinese, Arabic, Old Church Slavonic, Korean.

Requirement: The goal is to to recognize these systems, to get acquainted with their history, structure.  For students majoring in Mongolian Studies,  to read at least two alphabetical scripts used by Mongols other than the Uygur "vertical" or any of the Cyrillic alphabets.

Days and Time: Arranged.