Western Mongolian (Oirat-Kalmyk) loanwords in Kyrgyz


  • Rysbek Alimov Institute of Slavic, Turkic and Circum-Baltic Studies, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany




Kyrgyz, Turkic, Mongolian, language contact, loanword


The Kyrgyz are one of the Turkic peoples that have had extensive contact with Mongolian tribes throughout history, and their language has one of the largest numbers of loanwords of Mongolian origin. Careful analysis shows that these words were borrowed from several historical Mongolian idioms at various times. Western Mongolian loanwords make up the most recent stratum in terms of chronology. They were acquired in the 16th–18th centuries from Western Mongolian idioms, whose living successors are Oirat and Kalmyk. This article is the first attempt to deal specifically with loanwords from Western Mongolian languages to a particular Turkic language.

The author of the paper offers numerous, especially phonological, criteria, for identifying Western Mongolian loanwords in Kyrgyz, and provides examples that meet these criteria.

The fact that Mongolian loanwords from the late period are more prevalent than those from earlier layers, and that they also include examples related to Lamaism, Mongolian culture and ethnography, suggests that the Oirat-Kalmyk and Kyrgyz tribes had more intensive interaction than is often recognized.




How to Cite

Alimov, R. (2024). Western Mongolian (Oirat-Kalmyk) loanwords in Kyrgyz. Orientalia Suecana, 73, 5–27. https://doi.org/10.33063/os.v73.501



Research articles