Tu

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A language of China

Alternate Names
Mongor, Mongour, Monguor
Population

152,000 (2000 census). Very few monolinguals. Ethnic population: 190,000.

Location

East Qinghai Province, Huzhu Tu, Minhe Tu, and Hui autonomous counties; Gansu Province.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting).

Dialects

Huzhu (Halchighol, Mongghul, Naringhol), Minhe (Mangghuer). Reportedly most divergent of all Mongolian languages. Dialects reported not inherently mutually intelligible. Huzhu: 150,000 people, 50,000 speakers; Minhe: 25,000. Dongren Huzhu considered standard. Dialects of Huzhu: Halchi, Karlong (18,000), and Naringhol.

Typology

SOV; postpositions; genitives, adjectives, numerals, and relative clauses precede head noun; question word appears in the position of the thing being questioned; verbs may bear up to 3 or 4 suffixes; word order distinguishes subject and direct object; topicalized noun phrases are often fronted; case is marked by enclitic postpositions; verbs are marked for the pragmatic category of perspective (a binary distinction between the perspective of the speaker and that of anyone else); causatives are extremely common; syllables (C)(C)V(C) (clusters must involve a glide in Mangghuer, while Mongghul allows a wider range of onset clusters); stress falls on the final syllable of a phonological word; no vowel harmony (in Mangghuer)

Language Use

Varies with location. Positive attitudes. Most also use Chinese [cmn] or Tibetan [bod]. Written Chinese or Tibetan are used. 30,000 people have shifted to Chinese.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: About 2,000 can read, 200 can write. Literacy rate in L2: 77% literate in any language (2000 census, Tu nationality). Poetry. Magazines. Films. Dictionary. Grammar.
Writing
Latin script, Pinyin-based.
Other Comments

Officially classified within Tu nationality. Buddhist (Lamaist), traditional religion.