ELTE University (Budapest), Department of Inner Asian Studies
Darkhats live in Khöwsgöl, the northernmost county of Mongolia, in the districts of Rinchenlkhümbe, Ulaan uul, Bayandzürkh. Their origin has not been cleared so far, it is not even to be easily decided whether they are descendants of Turks or Mongols, it seems very likely by all means that they were living together with tribes of Turkic origin: this can be inferred from several linguistic phenomena. Since they have been nomadising quite isolated in the high mountains far from the centre, traditional culture and shamanism could survive among them.
Darkhat is considered as a dialect of the Khalkha, but bears the features of the Oirat, Buryat and Khalkha, as well. It resembles Oirat for the labial attraction, both the Oirat and Buryat concerning the affixation and verbal inflexions, and its vocabulary contains numerous typical Oirat words, too. G. Sanzheyev, one of the few linguists, who has given an outline of Darkhats’ language, said, “[…] Darkhat can be regarded as a modern form of Oirat.”
Peculiar distinguishing feature of the Darkhat is its peculiar intonation, tune, some phonetic and morphological properties, and its special vocabulary.
The author's object is to give a comprehensive description of Darkhat dialect, using the results of earlier researches as well as the newest materials collected on the expeditions of the Inner Asian Department of ELTE University Budapest since 1991 up to now.
ISBN 9783895866968. Languages of the World/Materials 419. 60pp. 2005.