Noun cases in the language of the Sino-Mongol glossary Dada yu/Beilu yiyu from the late Ming period
Pavel Rykin, Institute for Linguistic Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
(60th Annual Meeting of the PIAC 2017, Székesvehérvár)
The paper deals with the noun case system of the Dada yu/Beilu yiyu, a little known Sino-Mongol glossary dated between 1567 and 1603. Of seven grammatical cases commonly distinguished in Proto-Mongolic, only four are attested in the Mongol language material of the glossary: nominative (the unmarked basic stem), genitive, accusative, and dative. The forms, functions and grammatical meanings of these cases are thoroughly discussed in the paper. Some features may be considered to be linguistic archaisms, e.g. formal coincidence of the accusative marker +i with one of the morphonological allomorphs of the genitive, or the variant ending +in ~ +Un used after consonant stems. However, there are a number of clearly innovative developments, e.g. the dative ending shape +DU < *+DU/r or the reflexive genitive marker +yĀn < *+yA’A/n < *+yAhA/n < *+yUhA/n. In addition, some idiosyncratic features of the glossary can be distinguished as well, e.g. no overt morphosyntactic marking on the dependent in possessive phrases. A conclusion can be made that the case system of the language variety as attested in the Dada yu/Beilu yiyu may have reflected a transitional stage between Middle Mongol and Modern Mongolian.