A Study on the Lexical Frequency in Primary Sources (13th-14th century)

Enkhsuvd Bayarsaikhan

A Study on the Lexical Frequency in Primary Sources (13th–14th century)

(66th Annual Meeting of the PIAC Göttingen, 2024)

Lexicology is the most flexible and inconsistent part of language formation. It reflects developments of language, mutual influences between languages, as well as social and cultural changes. Exploring those developments is not only the concern for linguistic research, but is also of great importance for the study of history, cultural relations, and the history of literature. The aim of our research is to determine interconnections and external relationships of the Mongol Languages. Examining the lexicology from the 13th–14th centuries, we identified vocabulary frequencies while creating lexical classifications based on over 270 primary sources in Mongolian, Square Script, Chinese and Arabian-Persian languages covering the period. Hereafter, we determined word frequencies and semantical comparisons proposing types of historical relations the Mongols had. Interestingly, when comparing the lexicon of the primary sources in Mongolian and Arabic-Persian, the most common vocabulary is related to everyday life, such as goods or personal emotions, whereas vocabulary related to religion has not been found. This indicates that the Mongols’ relations with the Islamic World were not concerning religion, but rather trade and business.

Furthermore, in terms of frequency, vocabulary found in the Arabic-Persian sources are the most common words in contemporary Mongolian Language, whereas in terms of origin, we have a considerable number of loan words of Turkic origin. Thus, our research allows us also to see to what degree those words have been retained in the contemporary Mongolian Language.