2022, Volume 19, Issue 2

Back to the Table of Contents

Ekaterina V. Sundueva
Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies of the Siberian Branch of the RAS
Ulan-Ude, Russia

Toponymic Space of the Written Monument True Records of the Mongols of the Qing Empire

Voprosy onomastiki, 2022, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp. 164–176 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2022.19.2.021

Received on 4 October 2021

Abstract: The author considers the layer of the 17th — early 18th centuries Mongolian place names presented in the written monument Dayičing ulus-un mongɣul-un maɣad qauli (True Records of the Mongols of the Qing Empire), published in the old-written Mongolian language in six volumes in Hohhot (China) in 2013. The considered monument of written culture contains a colossal amount of information of various kinds and touches upon a wide range of ethnic, cultural, linguistic, political, social, and religious aspects of the life of the Mongols. The study of such works is valuable in that they represent ancient material reflecting the history, peculiarities of language and literary thought, and the mindset of the peoples of the past. The semantic study of the Mongolian place names attested in the studied document indicates that a developed system of geographic terms which has come down to our days, has already been present in the 17th — early 18th centuries. It was largely motivated by the physical and geographical characteristics of the area. A particular feature of the toponymy of that period is the absence of memorial names that appeared in Mongolia in the first half of the 20th century and reflect the trends of new views on public life. In terms of structure, these toponyms are notable for almost complete absence of verb stems, including iterative and Present-Past participle forms that serve as attributes in the modern Mongolian toponymy. Analyzing the ways of rendering Mongolian complex toponyms in Chinese, the author notes that the use of transcription shows the established character of the toponym, while the use of Manchu geographical terms testifies to its optional character. The system of place names the work contains, holds significant cultural meanings and associations that are characteristic of the national worldview.

Keywords: old-written Mongolian language, Chinese language, Qing Empire, Mongols, Manchus, toponym, geographical term, semantics, naming.


The research was carried out within the State assignment (project Man’s World in Mongolian Languages: Analysis of Expressive Means of Emotional Breadth, No. 121031000258-9).


Chimitdorzhieva, G. N. (2018). Obzor nekotorykh man’chzhurskikh etnonimov v pamiatnike “Pravdivye zapisi o mongolakh Tsinskoi imperii” [Review of Some Manchu Ethnonyms in the Monument “True Records of the Mongols of the Qing Empire”]. Kul’tura Tsentral’noi Azii: pis’mennye istochniki, 11(2), 125–137.

Dambuev, I. A. (2017). Evoliutsiia kontseptsii toponima v Rossii v XVII–XIX vv. [The Evolution of the Toponym Concept in Russia in the 18th–20th Centuries]. Filologicheskie nauki. Voprosy teorii i praktiki, 1, 113–116.

Nikolaeva, N. N., & Otgontuul, T. (2018). Ornitomorfnaia simvolika v letopisnykh pamiatnikakh mongolov i proizvedenii “Pravdivye zapisi o mongolakh Tsinskoi imperii” (Dayičing ulus-un mongɣol-un maɣad qauli) [Ornithomorphic Symbolism in the Written Monuments of the Mongols and in “True Records of the Mongols of the Qing Empire”]. Kul’tura Tsentral’noi Azii: pis’mennye istochniki, 11(2), 107–124.

Shulunova, L. V. (1995). Onomastika Pribaikal’ia [Onomastics of the Baikal Region]. Ulan-Ude: Buriat. kn. izd-vo.

Sundueva, E. V. (2020). Sochetaemost’ mongol’skikh antroponimov v pis’mennom pamiatnike “Pravdivye zapisi o mongolakh Tsinskoi imperii” [Cooccurrence of Mongolian Personal Names in the Written Monument “True Records of the Mongols of the Qing Empire”]. Vestnik Buriatskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Ser. “Iazyk. Literatura. Kul’tura”, 2, 12‒16.

Sundueva, E. V. (2021). Osobennosti antroponimii v tekste pamiatnika “Pravdivye zapisi o mongolakh Tsinskoi imperii” [Features of Personal Names in the Text of the Monument “True Records of the Mongols of the Qing Empire”]. Vestnik Buriatskogo nauchnogo tsentra Sibirskogo otdeleniia Rossiiskoi akademii nauk, 3(43), 68–73.

Superanskaya, A. V. (1985). Chto takoe toponimika? [What is Toponymics?]. Moscow: Nauka.

Vasilyev, V. L. (2005). Arkhaicheskaia toponimiia Novgorodskoi zemli (Drevneslavianskie deantroponimnye obrazovaniia) [Archaic Toponymy of the Novgorod Land (Old Slavic Deanthroponymic Formations)]. Veliky Novgorod: Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University.