Kobayashi Yoko (Ehime, Japan)
How is a language of a minority surrounded by an overwhelming majority
A case study of Mongolian spoken in Inner Mongolia and Liaoning
(57th Annual Meeting of the PIAC Vladivostok, 2014)
Language contacts between a large community and a small community have been found in various areas. In China, especially, Chinese as language of the far largest community has been exceeded any other languages of minorities. Mongolian is no exception to this phenomenon not only in Inner Mongolia but also in the other areas where Mongolic languages are spoken. Mongolian in China can be regarded as among endangered languages. We witness various stages of intervention of Chinese on Mongolian; for example, according to Bao Lianqun’s report (2011) as for the present state of arts in Dorbed Mongolian in Heilongjiang Province, many of the Mongols usually speak ‘Dorbed Mongolian Community Language’ (DMCL), which is a mixed language of Mongolian and Chinese. It leads us to suppose that they may abandon Mongolian and use Chinese as their first language in future. To be focused in this presentation are three Mongolian students studying in our university; one is from Fusing Mongolian Community, Liaoning Province, another two students are from Inner Mongolia. They are all Mongolian in ethnicity but are different one another in their performance of Mongolian as communicative tools; they represent different stages of language loss. This study will be of much value in view of Mongolian linguistics as well as general linguistics.