Sounds and Scripts of Modernity: Language Ideologies and Practices in Contemporary Mongolia

Sounds and Scripts of Modernity: Language Ideologies and Practices in Contemporary Mongolia Sounds and Scripts of Modernity: Language Ideologies and Practices in Contemporary Mongolia FRANCK BILLÉ University of Cambridge franck.bille@gmail.com ABSTRACT The change of script from the traditional bichig to Cyrillic that took place in Mongolia in the 1940s brought Mongols closer to the rest of the Soviet world and effected a break with ethnically and linguistically identical populations beyond the borders. While the political ramifications of this transition have been exam- ined at length, much less attention has been given to the impact that the introduction of a new script has had on Mongolian phonology. This paper exam- ines some of the language ideologies currently prevalent in Mongolia as well as the new language practices that have emerged in the last two decades around the use of Latin. Keywords: Mongolia, linguistics, scripts, language ideologies, modernity, popular culture Mongolia’s transition from Socialism to a market economy in 1990 marked a rupture not only on a political and economic plane, it also signalled the possibility to take a certain distance from the Soviet cultural prism. One of the first measures envisaged was to revert to the Mongol bichig , the traditional vertical script intro- duced in the thirteenth century. Originally adapted http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Inner Asia Brill

Sounds and Scripts of Modernity: Language Ideologies and Practices in Contemporary Mongolia

Inner Asia, Volume 12 (2): 231 – Jan 1, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1464-8172
eISSN
2210-5018
DOI
10.1163/000000010794983522
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Sounds and Scripts of Modernity: Language Ideologies and Practices in Contemporary Mongolia FRANCK BILLÉ University of Cambridge franck.bille@gmail.com ABSTRACT The change of script from the traditional bichig to Cyrillic that took place in Mongolia in the 1940s brought Mongols closer to the rest of the Soviet world and effected a break with ethnically and linguistically identical populations beyond the borders. While the political ramifications of this transition have been exam- ined at length, much less attention has been given to the impact that the introduction of a new script has had on Mongolian phonology. This paper exam- ines some of the language ideologies currently prevalent in Mongolia as well as the new language practices that have emerged in the last two decades around the use of Latin. Keywords: Mongolia, linguistics, scripts, language ideologies, modernity, popular culture Mongolia’s transition from Socialism to a market economy in 1990 marked a rupture not only on a political and economic plane, it also signalled the possibility to take a certain distance from the Soviet cultural prism. One of the first measures envisaged was to revert to the Mongol bichig , the traditional vertical script intro- duced in the thirteenth century. Originally adapted

Journal

Inner AsiaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2010

Keywords: MODERNITY; POPULAR CULTURE; MONGOLIA; SCRIPTS; LINGUISTICS; LANGUAGE IDEOLOGIES

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