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ÚJCAMongolistika a tibetanistikaMongolica PragensiaMongolo-Tibetica Pragensia ´14, vol. 7/1

Mongolo-Tibetica Pragensia ’14 Linguistics, Ethnolinguistics, Religion and Culture Volume 7, No. 1 (2014)

Editors-in-chief: Jaroslav Vacek and Alena Oberfalzerová

Editorial Board:

Daniel Berounský (Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic)

Agata Bareja-Starzyńska (University of Warsaw, Poland)

Katia Buff etrille (École pratique des Hautes-Études, Paris, France)

J. Lubsangdorji (Charles University Prague, Czech Republic)

Marie-Dominique Even (Centre National des Recherches Scientifi ques, Paris, France)

Marek Mejor (University of Warsaw, Poland)

Tsevel Shagdarsurung (National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia)

Domiin Tömörtogoo (National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia)

English correction: Dr. Mark Corner (HUB University, Brussels)

Institute of South and Central Asia, Seminar of Mongolian and Tibetan Studies

Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague

Publisher: Stanislav Juhaňák – TRITON


Vykáňská 5, 100 00 Praha 10

Publication periodicity: twice a year

Registration number of MK ČR E 18436

ISSN 1803-5647

For acqisition contact


J. Lubsangdorji (Charles University in Prague)

Some questions concerning the Chinese transcription of the SHM III1

When we analyse in the Chinese transcription of the SHM the orthographic rules of the source text in Uighur-Mongolian script, we can see mistakes made by the scribes regarding the Chinese characters and by the copyist(s) of the Uighur-Mongolian original. In this paper I divide the Uighur-Mongolian words that have been incorrectly interpreted into three groups:

1) Words divided at the end of the line that have been read and transcribed as two words due to ignorance of the rule for dividing words in Uighur-Mongolian script.

2) Words where letters in the medial position were omitted and the omission repeated by successive Mongolian copyists.

3) Words where letters were mistaken for one another because of their graphic similarity in bamboo pen script. For each category, I give examples of mistakes concerning the transcription and the interpretation.

Alena Oberfalzerová (Charles University in Prague)

Unpleasantness and contentment as experienced by the Mongolian nomads III. Fear of humans and their activities, Part 1

This paper continues the topic fi rst considered in my paper in Mongolo-Tibetica ’08 (Oberfalzerová 2008a), which discussed the sources of contentment among Mongolian nomads, particularly in relation to the homeland, the place which is permanently linked with every individual. The topic was further discussed in two papers in Mongolo-Tibetica ’12, ’13, which were devoted to the most elementary cause of unpleasantness to the nomads, namely the fear of ‘living Nature’ (Oberfalzerová 2012), and the fear of animals, especially wild animals (Oberfalzerová 2013). In the following paper I will discuss the fear of humans and their activities. Th e fi rst part deals with the fear of the magic power of the uttered word, be it in the form of abuse or curses. All this is refl ected in the use of language.

Rachel Mikos (Charles University in Prague)

Ruined words, evasive referents, and emic phonemes in Mongolian riddles, Part 1

Examining two major corpuses of Mongolian riddles, references continually arose to a particular word category. Termed evdersen u’g (literally: ‘ruined words’), these words were semantically evasive, their meaning far from obvious, particularly joined to the other ‘obfuscating techniques’ of Mongolian riddles, such as ellipsis. Th is paper, presented in two parts, examines these ‘ruined words’ from several diff erent viewpoints. Th e relatively high frequency of such words in the Mongolian riddle corpus also seems related to a degree of phonetic lability in these riddles – and perhaps in spoken Mongolian as a whole – resulting in variations of riddles that are phonetically very close, yet nonetheless manifesting subtle shift s of meaning. In addition, frequent occurrence of the words known as iconopoeia (du’rsleh u’g, literally, ‘imagemaking words’, ‘depicting words’) is found, as these words are also subject to distortion in riddles. In the fi rst part of this paper, a preliminary attempt is made at categorizing these ‘ruined’ words, and distorted loan words are examined.

E. Purevjav (Mongolian Academy of Science, Ulaanbaatar)

Abbreviations in Mongolian

This paper deals with a very specifi c and very productive phenomenon observed in Mongolian – that is to say abbreviations. It provides a description of various instances of abbreviations starting with the brief introduction into the forms of abbreviation applied by pre-modern Mongols and thus fi xed in the Mongolian script. Present-day Mongolian contains multiple examples of abbreviations some of which turn into independent lexical units in the course of time and give rise to further derivations. So-called “language economy”, i.e. skipping some parts of the compound in favour of one that becomes the “meaning holder”, is also briefl y described and presented as driven by the same force that makes Mongolians use abbreviations so oft en.

Klára Kočková (Charles University in Prague)

The depiction of battles in the Mongolian heroic epic “Old Dragon Wise Khan”

(translation of selected extracts and their linguistic analysis with an emphasis on poetic devices of the text) II.1

The previous part of this paper, published in Mongolo-Tibetica Pragensia ’11, contains an extensive introduction dealing with the character of the heroic epic and its universal genre features and with the formulaic bases of epic language as stated by the Parry-Lord Theory of Oral Composition. It also discusses the specifi cs of Mongolian epic language and summarizes the basic poetic devices of the studied text. Th e aim of the second part is to broaden the illustrative material. It provides three extracts from the epic depicting the battle scenes, their English translation and notes on their language specifi cs and means of artistic expression. My English translation is not supposed to be artistic and it does not refl ect fully all the poetic devices, e.g. alliteration, metrum, euphony etc. It will provide an illustration of the problem under consideration, whereas the poetic devices and epic language characteristics are the subject of the analysis.

Branislav Makúch (Charles University in Prague)

Mongolian ethnopedagogy – A preliminary study

This article presents some of the results of fi eld research undertaken in the Mongolian steppe regions of the Hangai mountains. Th e author presents a brief outline of the ethnopedagogic approach to studying Mongolian culture, supplemented by examples of this approach. Using examples of field research the author discusses three main pillars of the life of children in Mongolia: the community as tutor, nature as teacher, playmate and game, and cattle a form of children’s activity. Th e examples are derived from interviews taken from herdsmen during fi eld research, which have been transcribed and translated. Th ey provide a survey of their viewpoint concerning modern processes that are changing traditional society and their world-view. All examples are accompanied by the author’s commentary which is based on knowledge acquired from detailed observation and the relevant literature.

Jaroslav Vacek (Charles University in Prague)

Dravidian and Altaic ‘fear, timidity, worry’ II.

This paper continues the topic of the semantic ‘nests’ with the abstract meaning ‘fear’ etc. (cf. Vacek 2012b) and off ers a few more lexical parallels with this meaning and with an occasional semantic extension to ‘ghost, good or bad spirit’ etc. to be found in both Dravidian and Altaic. These lexical ‘nests’ further document the possible transmission of lexemes with other than concrete meanings in the course of the intensive early contact of the ancestors of the relevant languages as suggested in the fi rst part of this paper (Vacek 2012b).

Zuzana Vokurková (Charles University in Prague)

Expressing permission, possibility, ability and preparedness in spoken Tibetan with special attention to the secondary verb chog

The present paper deals with the diff erent uses and meanings of the verb chog (“be allowed”, “can”, “be ready”) in spoken Tibetan. As a modal verb, it is mainly used for expressing permission, and sometimes possibility. As an aspectual verb, it is used to express preparedness. It will be discussed from a syntactic and a semantic point of view. Furthermore, it will be compared to other verbs or verbal endings that have a similar meaning, such as nyan, thub, ’grig, rgyu.byung or rtsis byed.

Review section

Luvsandorz’, Z’. (Лувсандорж, Ж.), 2014, Мoнгoлын Нууц Тoвчooн(Монгол улсын нууц түүх) [Th e Secret History of the Mongols (Th e Secret History of Mongolia)]. АНТООН МОСТАЕРТ Монгол Судлалын Төв, Улаанбаатар, 571 pp.; Price not specifi ed; ISBN 978-99962-3-278-7 – Reviewed by Rachel Mikos

Сусеева, Д.А., Котяева, Е.С., Олядыкова, Л.Б., Ярмаркина, Г.М., 2013, Русские переводы XVIII века деловых писем калмыцких ханов и их современников: тексты и исследования (The Russian Translations of Offi cial Letters by Kalmyk Khans and their Contemporaries: Texts and Examinations). Издательство ФГБО УВПО “Калмыцкий государственный университет”, Элиста, 743 pp. Paperback, price not specifi ed; ISBN 978-5-94587-550-0 – Annotated by Ondřej Srba

Кузьмин, Ю.В., 2014, П.А. Бадмаев – ученый, дипломат, предприниматель. (P.A.Badmayev – scholar, diplomat, enterpreneur). Издательство КМК, Москва, 181 pp.; ISBN 978-5-87317-979-4 -Annotated by Veronika Zikmundova