Daur

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A language of China

Alternate Names
Daguor, Dagur, Dawar, Dawo’er, Tahuerh, Tahur
Population

96,100 in China (1999 D. Ying), decreasing. 35,000 Buteha dialect, 35,000 Qiqiha’er dialect, 15,500 Haila’er dialect, 4500 Ili dialect. 24,300 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 132,000 (2000 census).

Location

Nei Mongol Province, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Hulun Buir league, Hailar prefecture, Morin Dawa (Molidawa) Daur autonomous banner, Oroqen autonomous banner and Ewenki autonomous banner; Heilongjiang Province, Nenjiang prefecture, Fuyu and Nehe counties; Qiqihar prefecture, Qiqihar city; northwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Tacheng prefecture (Ili dialect).

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting). Statutory language of provincial identity in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Hulun Buir League (1984, Ethnic Regional Autonomy Act, Articles 10 and 21). Language of recognized nationality: Daur.

Dialects

Buteha (Aihui, Bataxan, Butah, Darbin, Mergen, Nawen, Nemor), Haila’er (Hailar, Mokertu, Nantun), Ili, Qiqiha’er (Fularji, Jiangdong, Jingxi, Qiqihar, Tsitsikhar). Definitely distinct from other Mongolian languages (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977). Some identify Haila’er dialect as a dialect of Evenki [evn].

Typology

SOV; grammatical function marked mainly by suffixes; some vowel harmony; many consonant clusters; palatalized and labialized consonants; loans from Chinese, Manchu, Evenki.

Language Use

In Hulun Buir the language is being retained well; in Heilongjiang not transmitted to children among most groups (Bradley 2007). All domains. Mainly adults. Neutral attitudes. Also use Evenki [evn], Kazakh [kaz], Manchu [mnc], Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Oroqen [orh], Peripheral Mongolian [mvf]. Used as L2 by Evenki [evn], Oroqen [orh].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 97% (2000 census, Daur nationality). Some literacy in Mongolian among those 30 to 50 years of age in Hala’er. Poetry. Radio programs. Films. Dictionary. Grammar.
Writing

Cyrillic script [Cyrl], 1916–?, 1957–1958. Han script, Simplified variant [Hans]. Latin script [Latn], used from 1920 to some time after 1928, then from 1981. Mongolian script [Mong], Manchu style, used since the Qing dynasty.

Other Comments

Traditional religion.

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