Mongolian Language and Literature Courses

This course is the first installment in a two-year curriculum in Mongolian language, that is, specifically, the Khalkha Mongolian dialect spoken as the standard language of Mongolia. As typical of any language class, the course regularly exercises the four language functions, listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Its express purpose is to provide fundamental elements necessary to build fluency. To this end, this course covers basic grammar, phonology, the Cyrillic alphabet, core vocabulary, and basic syntax. As given by its peculiar difficulty special emphasis is placed on correct spelling. Prerequisites: None.

This course introduces students to Literary Mongolian, its phonetics, grammar, vertical writing system and its relation to living spoken language. The course is dedicated to reading texts in the Mongol vertical script. As foundation, students learn the Mongol vertical script writing system and a standard system of transcription and receive a basic introduction to Mongolian phonology and grammar. After a brief period of introduction students immerse in reading texts. Class time is devoted to reading comprehension, translation, and analysis. Although texts may be drawn to suit student interest, the standard course repertoire consists of works of Mongolian Buddhist literature and history. Prerequisites: None.

This course examines the modern history of Mongolia. Beginning with the Mongols' heritage as imperial nomads who uphold a dual custom, the Buddhist religion and the Manchu Qing dynastic state, it discusses how this order came to be threatened by, and ultimately dissolve under, political pressures imposed by governments espousing "modern" thought. The course focuses on how, navigating the political turmoil that ensued from the falls of the Russian Empire and Qing Dynasty, the Mongols were able to found a sovereign government of their own. Readings for the course are of primary sources in translation. Prerequisites: None.