Crystallising Mongolian Grammar

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Modal particles: юм уу, юм бэ?

15 December 2016

This is part of a series on Modal particles based on textbooks and grammar references that I have to hand.

Coverage of the question forms юм уу, юм бэ is poor in the sources I have. The best coverage is in Bayarmaa's Mongolian Language for Beginners.

(There is better coverage of юм as an "intensifying copula", that is, in a non-interrogative sense).


1. Mongolian Language for Beginners
2. Mongolian Grammar
3. 蒙古语语法
4. Dictionaries

1. Bayarmaa Khalzaa (Mongolian Language for Beginners) 2012

Bayarmaa is particularly valuable for including notes on the pronunciation of юм бэ / юм уу.

Question particles

Question particle "юм бэ" is used in everyday speech, when asking people about themselves or things that they definitely know. It sounds like [ii]. For example:

Та хэдэн цагт ирэх юм бэ? [irhii]
What time will you come?
Энэ юу юм бэ? [yuii]
What is this?

When people pronounce every word it gives emphasis to the question. For example:

Та хэдэн цагт ирэх юм бэ? [ireh yum be]
WHAT TIME WILL YOU COME?
Энэ миний ном уу?
Is this my book? (regular question)
Энэ миний ном юм уу? [iimuu]
Is this my book? (regular question)
Энэ миний ном юм уу? [yum uu]
IS THIS MY BOOK?
-сан юм бэ? [-sii] -ж байгаа юм бэ? [-jaigaaii]
-сан юм уу? [-siimuu] -ж байгаа юм уу? [-jaigaamuu]
-х юм бэ? [-hii] дуртай юм бэ? [durtaiii]
-х юм уу? [-hiimuu] дуртай юм уу? [durtaimuu]
-даг юм бэ? [-dii] хэрэгтэй юм бэ? [heregteiii]
-даг юм уу? [-diimuu] хэрэгтэй юм уу? [heregteimuu]

Examples:

Энэ хэд юм бэ? [-hedii]
Энэ ямар үнэтэй юм бэ? [üneteiii]
Чамайг хэн гэдэг юм бэ? [-gedii]
Чи юу хийж байгаа юм бэ? [-jaigaaii]
Хичээл хийж байгаа юм уу? [-jaigaamuu]
Чи хаашаа явж байгаа юм бэ? [-jaigaaii]
Сургууль руугаа явж байгаа юм уу? [-jaigaamuu]
Чи хаана байсан юм бэ? [-sii]
Гэртээ байсан юм уу? [-siimuu]
Та юу уух юм бэ? [-hii]
Кофе уух юм уу, цай уух юм уу? [-hiimuu]
Та юу идэх юм бэ? [-hii]
Бууз идэх юм уу, хуушуур идэх юм уу [-hiimuu]

Takeaways:


2. Kullman and Tserenpil (Mongolian Grammar) 2005

Mongolian Grammar treats юм уу? together with other uses of юм. There is little explanation of the meaning.

Examples from Kullman and Tserenpil in the Mongolian traditional script can be found here.

Modal Particle "юм"

This particle is widely used as a particle after a verb with a Noun-Determining Suffix in Tense-Bound Terminating Suffix function:

Танд талх байгаа юм уу?
Do you have bread, then? (surprised)
Тэр монголоор заадаг юм уу?
Does he teach in Mongolian, then? (surprised)

3. Chingeltei (蒙古语语法) 1991

Chingeltei treats юм уу and юм бэ as interrogative particles. He gives spoken pronounciations for the various particles but very little guidance as to usage.

Examples from Chingeltei in the Mongolian traditional script can be found here.

疑问语气词ᠥ᠋ᠥ uu, ᠪᠣᠢ bui, üü, ᠶᠣᠮ yum, ᠶᠣᠮ ᠪᠣᠢ yum bui, ᠪᠠ ba, ᠪᠢᠵᠡ biǰe, ᠪᠢᠰᠢᠦ bišiü, ᠭᠡᠵᠢ ᠣ᠋ᠣ geǰi üü.

Table (here showing only юм, юм уу, and юм бэ):

  一般疑问语气词(不用疑问代词)
General interrogative particles (without interrogative pronouns)
特殊疑问语气词(用疑问代词)
Special interrogative particles (with interrogative pronouns)
书面语 (Written) ᠶᠣᠮ ᠣ᠋ᠣ yum uu ᠶᠣᠮ yum
ᠶᠣᠮ ᠪᠣᠢ yum bui
口语 (Spoken) [imʊ:]
[imu:]
[imbe:]
[im]
(某些土语)(Certain dialects) [imi: (ime:)]
[i: (æ:, e:)]
[ime:] [i:]
Та сурагч юм уу? Ажилчин юм уу?
您是学生?还是工人?
(Are you a student or a worker?)
Тэр чинь таны багш юм уу?
他是您的老师吗?
(Is he/she your teacher?)
Тэр чинь хэний ном юм бэ?
那是谁的书呀?
(Whose book is that?)
Чиний тэр номоо хаана тавсан юм бэ?
你的那本书放在哪里了?
(Where did you put that book of yours?)
Таны нэр чинь хэн гэдэг юм?
您的名字叫什么呀?
(What is your name?)
Таний нутаг чинь хаана байх юм?
您的籍贯是哪里呀?
(Where is your native place?)

4. Dictionaries

新蒙汉词典 / Шинэ Монгол-Хятад Толь compiled by the 新蒙汉词典编委会 (2007) has:

юм ᠶᠣᠮ ❲小❳ 2. (在疑问句中,做加强语气词)

хэн чамд хэлсэн юм бэ? 谁告诉你的?

яагаад тэгсэн юм бэ? 为什么会那样了呢?