Basic vocabularies of three groups of Khamnigans
(64th Meeting Budapest, 2022)
Khamnigans are Mongolic people living in three different countries, namely China, Mongolia and Russia. Khamnigan language is an endangered language, its speakers are mostly elderly people. It is under heavy influence of Russian and Buriad in Russia, Chinese and Mongolian in China, and Khalkha Mongolian and Buriad in Mongolia. During our expeditions to Chinese Khamnigans (Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia; 2013) and Mongolian Khamnigans (Töv, Dornod and Khentii provinces of Mongolia; 2019) we collected the 110 words lists for these groups of Khamnigans (100-word Swadesh list plus 10 words from the Yakhontov list). Besides, we extracted the 110-word list of Khamnigans living in Russia from the Khamnigan-Russian dictionary of D.G.Damdinov and E.V. Sundueva, who thoroughly studied the language of Onon Khamnigans in Russia.
We present the comparison of these three word-lists taking into account the basic vocabularies of the other Mongolic languages as a background. The basic vocabularies of Khamnigans are of special interest because on the one hand the Khamnigans speak a very archaic Mongolic language, preserving several ancient features, but on the other hand ethnically the core of Khamnigans are clans of Tungusic origin (although Mongolic and Turkic clans also took part in Khamnigan ethnogenesis).