So in our last lesson we talked about the alphabet pronunciation, so in today’s lesson we will learn in detail about the pronunciation and harmony of Mongolian language vowels.
Depending on how long you hold a vowel and subtle pronunciation differences, specific words can mean completely different things.
Take for example:
тэр (ter) – Means it
тээр (te er) – Means nuisance.
ур (ur) – Means talent
урь (uri) – Means invite
Masculine Vowels: а, о, у, ё, ы, ю, я
Feminine Vowels: э, ө, ү, е
Neutral Vowels: и, й
Vowel softener: ь
Vowel hardener: ъ
While conjugations in the Mongolian language has no masculine and feminine differences, there are still masculine and feminine words, so a word with masculine vowels can only have masculine and neutral vowels.
A feminine word, can only have feminine and neutral vowels.
UNLESS in rare situations where they word is a loan word or a name, the rules sometimes don’t apply, but very rarely.
**Neutral vowels can go with both masculine and feminine vowels.
How to pronounce longer vowels vs shorter vowels
While the pronunciation of longer vowels sound pretty much the same, it just sounds a bit longer and held a bit longer than short vowels.
long vowels: уу, үү, оо, ээ, аа, өө, ий, ы
examples – уураг, дүүр, боол, хээр, таар, төөр, хийл, талын
short vowels: у, ү, о, э, а, ө, я, ё, е, и, ю
examples – ураг, дүр, бол, хэр, тар, төр, яр, ёр, ерөөл, хил
How to pronounce Diphthongs, what’s the difference
A Diphthong is a combination of differenct sounding vowels that make a unique sound of its own. If you remember, masculine and feminine vowels can never mix, but neutral vowels can mix with both, so you get few interesting sounds from the combination:
ай, эй, ёо, яа, юу, юү
examples – айраг, хэлтэй, ёотон, яарах, юутай, юүлүүр
Dipthong pronunciations are held a bit longer like the longer vowels.
What is a vowel softener
Vowel softener themselves have no sound and is silent, but when it’s added into a word, it makes the word a bit softer and elegant. It’s like adding a subtle and very short и letter into the word.
examples – харь, тарь, барь
What is a vowel hardener
Like vowel softeners, vowel hardeners don’t have a sound sound and is silent, but when it’s added to a word, it makes the word a bit harsh and aggressive sounding.
examples – харъя, таръя
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