Kinga Dévényi (ed.) — Budapest, 2009. — xxxiv, 222 p. — (Budapest Oriental prints Series B3) — ISBN 9789637451195.The aim of the present volume is to publish the facsimile of the manuscript of the comparative grammar of the Eastern and Western Mongolian languages and its supplementary chrestomathy compiled by Gábor Bálint of Szentkatolna (Hung. Szentkatolnai Bálint Gábor). To reiterate the introductory words to the Grammar it must be emphasised that this work is inseparable from two other manuscripts containing the results of Bálint’s fieldwork, two bulky text collections recorded among the Kalmyks and the Khalkha Mongols during his study trip (1871–1874). My idea of publishing the three unedited manuscripts successively follows obviously their collector-author’s conception and logic. Bálint collected materials systematically, paying attention to both the vernacular idioms and the folklore material. Two large manuscripts of transcribed Mongolian (Kalmyk and Khalkha) texts survive without their author’s critical elaboration. It seems, however, certain that on the basis of his field experiences and the collected material he intended to create a comparative grammar of Eastern and Western Mongolian languages in English, which was a novel attempt to compile a Mongolian grammar based chiefly on the spoken languages. 19th century scholars produced several descriptive grammars of Written Mongolian and Written Kalmyk languages before and after Bálint’s effort. Undoubtedly, he drew on his predecessors’ work (the main researchers cf. below) for his grammar as well. Nonetheless Bálint’s Grammar and his text collection remain one of the first attempts focusing primarily on the spoken language.
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