A language of China

Alternate Names
Mongor, Mongour, Monguor, Qighaan Mongghul

152,000 (2000 census), decreasing. Very few monolinguals. Ethnic population: 290,000 (2010 census).


Gansu province; Qinghai province: Hui, Huzhu Tu, and Minhe Tu autonomous counties.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting). Language of recognized nationality: Tu.


Huzhu (Halchighol, Mongghul, Naringhol), Minhe (Mangghuer), Niandhu (Baoan, Nianduhu), Wutun. 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.


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; 26 consonants and 11 vowels, including phonemic length on 5 vowels); stress falls on the final syllable of a phonological word; no vowel harmony (in Mangghuer).

Language Use

Varies with location. Positive attitudes. Also use Central Tibetan [bod], Mandarin Chinese [cmn].

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). Literature. Periodicals. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts.


Latin script [Latn], pinyin-based.

Other Comments

Buddhist, traditional religion.

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