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буряад хэлэн buryaad xelen
Native to "Russia ("Buryat Republic, "Ust-Orda Buryatia, "Aga Buryatia), northern "Mongolia, "China ("Hulunbuir)
Ethnicity "Buryats, "Barga Mongols
Native speakers
(265,000 in Russia and Mongolia (2010 census); 65,000 in China cited 1982 census)[1]
  • Central Mongolic
    • Buryat
"Cyrillic, "Mongolian script, "Vagindra script, "Latin
Official status
Official language in
"Buryatia ("Russia)
Language codes
"ISO 639-2 bua Buriat
"ISO 639-3 bua – "inclusive code Buriat
Individual codes:
bxu – China Buriat
bxm – Mongolia Buriat
bxr – Russia Buriat
"Glottolog buri1258  Buriat[2]
"Linguasphere part of 44-BAA-b
This article contains "IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper "rendering support, you may see "question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of "Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see "Help:IPA.

Buryat or Buriat[1][2] ("/ˈbʊriæt/;[3] "Buryat Cyrillic: буряад хэлэн, buryaad xelen) is a variety of "Mongolic spoken by the "Buryats that is classified either as a "language or as a major dialect group of "Mongolian.


Geographic distribution[edit]

Buryat language - Geographic distribution

The majority of Buryat speakers live in "Russia along the northern border of "Mongolia where it is an official language in the "Buryat Republic, "Ust-Orda Buryatia and "Aga Buryatia.[4] In the Russian census of 2002, 353,113 people out of an ethnic population of 445,175 reported speaking Buryat (72.3%). Some other 15,694 can also speak Buryat, mostly ethnic Russians.[5] There are at least 100,000 ethnic Buryats in "Mongolia and the "People's Republic of China as well.[6] Buryats in Russia have a separate "literary standard, written in a "Cyrillic alphabet.[7] It is based on the Russian alphabet with three additional letters: Ү/ү, Ө/ө and Һ/һ.


The delimitation of Buryat mostly concerns its relationship to its immediate neighbors, Mongolian proper and Khamnigan. While Khamnigan is sometimes regarded as a dialect of Buryat, this is not supported by "isoglosses. The same holds for Tsongol and Sartul dialects, which rather group with "Khalkha Mongolian to which they historically belong. Buryat dialects are:

Based on loan vocabulary, a division might be drawn between Russia Buriat, Mongolia Buriat and China Buriat.[9] However, as the influence of Russian is much stronger in the dialects traditionally spoken west of Lake Baikal, a division might rather be drawn between the Khori and Bargut group on the one hand and the other three groups on the other hand.[10]


Buryat has the "vowel "phonemes /i, ɯ, e, a, u, ʊ, o, ɔ/ (plus a few diphthongs),[11] short /e/ being realized as [ɯ], and the "consonant phonemes /b, g, d, tʰ, m, n, x, l, r/ (each with a corresponding "palatalized phoneme) and /s, ʃ, z, ʒ, h, j/.[12][13] These vowels are restricted in their occurrence according to "vowel harmony.[14] The basic syllable structure is (C)V(C) in careful articulation, but word-final CC clusters may occur in more rapid speech if short vowels of non-initial syllables get dropped.[15]


Lexical "stress (word accent) falls on the last "heavy nonfinal "syllable when one exists. Otherwise, it falls on the word-final heavy syllable when one exists. If there are no heavy syllables, then the initial syllable is stressed. Heavy syllables without primary stress receive "secondary stress:[16]

ˌHˈHL [ˌøːɡˈʃøːxe] "to act encouragingly"
LˌHˈHL [naˌmaːˈtuːlxa] "to cause to be covered with leaves"
ˌHLˌHˈHL [ˌbuːzaˌnuːˈdiːje] "steamed dumplings (accusative)"
ˌHˈHLLL [ˌtaːˈruːlaɡdaxa] "to be adapted to"
ˈHˌH [ˈboːˌsoː] "bet"
HˌH [daˈlaiˌɡaːr] "by sea"
HLˌH [xuˈdaːliŋɡˌdaː] "to the husband's parents"
LˌHˈHˌH [daˌlaiˈɡaːˌraː] "by one's own sea"
ˌHLˈHˌH [ˌxyːxenˈɡeːˌreː] "by one's own girl"
LˈH [xaˈdaːr] "through the mountain"
ˈLL [ˈxada] "mountain"[17]

Secondary stress may also occur on word-initial "light syllables without primary stress, but further research is required. The stress pattern is the same as in "Khalkha Mongolian.[18]

Writing systems[edit]

Buryat newspaper (1925)

Buryat (Latin) alphabet between 1931 and 1939

A a B b C c Ç ç D d E e F f G g
H h I i J j K k L l M m N n O o
Ө ө P p R r S s Ş ş T t U u V v
X x[19] Y y Z z Ƶ ƶ ь[19]

Buryat alphabet (Cyrillic)

А а Б б В в Г г Д д Е е Ё ё Ж ж
З з И и Й й К к Л л М м Н н О о
Ө ө П п Р р С с Т т У у Ү ү Ф ф
Х х Һ һ Ц ц Ч ч Ш ш Щ щ Ъ ъ Ы ы
Ь ь Э э Ю ю Я я


Buryat is an "SOV language that makes exclusive use of "postpositions. Buryat is equipped with eight grammatical cases: "nominative, "accusative, "genitive, "instrumental, "ablative, "comitative, "dative-"locative and a particular oblique form of the stem.[20]


English Classical Mongolian Buryat
1 One Nigen Negen
2 Two Hoyor Xoyor
3 Three Gurban Gurban
4 Four Durben Dürben
5 Five Tabun Taban
6 Six Jirug-a Zurgaan
7 Seven Dolug-a Doloon
8 Eight Naiman Nayman
9 Nine Yisen Yühen
10 Ten Arban Arban


  1. ^ a b Buriat at "Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
    China Buriat at "Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
    Mongolia Buriat at "Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
    Russia Buriat at "Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
  2. ^ a b Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Buriat". "Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh
  4. ^ Skribnik 2003: 102, 105
  5. ^ "Russian Census (2002)
  6. ^ Skribnik 2003: 102
  7. ^ Skribnik 2003: 105
  8. ^ Skribnik 2003: 104
  9. ^ Gordon (ed.) 2005
  10. ^ Skribnik 2003: 102, 104
  11. ^ Poppe 1960: 8
  12. ^ Svantesson, Tsendina and Karlsson 2008, p. 146.
  13. ^ Svantesson et al. 2005: 146; the status of [ŋ] is problematic, see Skribnik 2003: 107. In Poppe 1960's description, places of vowel articulation are somewhat more fronted.
  14. ^ Skribnik 2003: 107
  15. ^ Poppe 1960: 13-14
  16. ^ Walker 1997
  17. ^ Walker 1997: 27-28
  18. ^ Walker 1997
  19. ^ a b Letter established in 1937
  20. ^ "Overview of the Buriat Language". Learn the Buriat Language & Culture. Transparent Language. Retrieved 4 Nov 2011. 


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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