Crystallising Mongolian Grammar

Монгол хэлний хэлзүй

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]
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]
-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]


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]


2. Kullmann and Tserenpil (Mongolian Grammar) 2005

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

Modal Particle "юм"

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

ᠲᠠᠨ ᠳᠦ ᠲᠠᠯᠬ᠎ᠠ ᠪᠠᠢᠭ᠎ᠠ ᠶᠣᠮ ᠤᠤ?
Танд талх байгаа юм уу?
Do you have bread, then? (surprised)
ᠲᠡᠷᠡ ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠣᠯ ᠵᠢᠶᠠᠷ ᠵᠢᠭᠠᠳᠠᠭ ᠤᠤ?
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.

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

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

General interrogative particles (without interrogative pronouns)
Special interrogative particles (with interrogative pronouns)
书面语 (Written) ᠶᠣᠮ ᠤᠤ yum uu ᠶᠣᠮ yum
ᠶᠣᠮ ᠪᠣᠢ yum bui
口语 (Spoken) [imʊ:]
(某些土语)(Certain dialects) [imi: (ime:)]
[i: (æ:, e:)]
[ime:] [i:]
ᠲᠠ ᠰᠣᠷᠣᠭᠴᠢ ᠶᠣᠮ ᠤᠤ? ᠠᠵᠢᠯᠴᠢᠨ ᠶᠣᠮ ᠤᠤ?
Та сурагч юм уу? Ажилчин юм уу?
(Are you a student or a worker?)
ᠲᠡᠷᠡ ᠴᠢᠨᠢ ᠲᠠᠨ ᠦ ᠪᠠᠭᠰᠢ ᠶᠣᠮ ᠤᠤ?
Тэр чинь таны багш юм уу?
(Is he/she your teacher?)
ᠲᠡᠷᠡ ᠴᠢᠨᠢ ᠬᠡᠨ ᠦ ᠨᠣᠮ ᠶᠣᠮ ᠪᠣᠢ?
Тэр чинь хэний ном юм бэ?
(Whose book is that?)
ᠴᠢᠨᠣ ᠲᠡᠷᠡ ᠨᠣᠮ ᠵᠢᠠᠨ ᠬᠠᠮᠢᠭ᠎ᠠ ᠲᠠᠯᠪᠢᠭᠰᠠᠨ ᠶᠣᠮ ᠪᠣᠢ?
Чиний тэр номоо хаана тавсан юм бэ?
(Where did you put that book of yours?)
ᠲᠠᠨ ᠦ ᠨᠡᠷ᠎ᠡ ᠴᠢᠨᠢ ᠬᠡᠨ ᠭᠡᠳᠡᠭ ᠶᠣᠮ?
Таны нэр чинь хэн гэдэг юм?
(What is your name?)
ᠲᠠᠨ ᠦ ᠨᠣᠲᠣᠭ ᠴᠢᠨᠢ ᠬᠠᠮᠢᠭ᠎ᠠ ᠪᠠᠢᠬᠣ ᠶᠣᠮ?
Таний нутаг чинь хаана байх юм?
(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?

TTS: Tense-bound Terminating Suffix (traditionally known as an 'indicative suffix') is a category in the Kullman/Tserenpil grammar. The 'true' TTS's include the verb endings -жээ (-чээ), -в, -лаа (-лоо, -лээ, -лөө), and -на (-нэ, -но, -нө). They are known as 'terminating' because they can terminate sentences.

A TTS expresses real actions that have happened, are happening, or will happen, indicate a specific tense, can be followed by particles but not copulas. They do not modify following nouns and, depending on the suffix, are restricted in forming negatives or interrogatives.

In addition, the Noun-Determining Suffixes -сан (-сон, -сэн, -сөн), -даг (-дог, -дэг, -дөг), and -аа (-ээ, -оо, -өө) can also be used as TTS's, due to their ability to terminate sentences.
NDS: Noun Determining Suffix (traditionally known as a 'verbal noun suffix') is a category in the Kullman/Tserenpil grammar. It includes the verb endings -сан (-сон, -сэн, -сөн), -даг (-дог, -дэг, -дөг), -аа (-ээ, -оо, -өө), -х, and -гч.

An NDS can serve as a verbal adjective to a succeeding noun (явсан хүн), can take case endings (явсаныг), can be followed by the particle юм (явсан юм) or an auxiliary verb (явсан байна), and can form negatives (явсангүй) and interrogatives (явсан уу?)