|Native to||Rouran Khaganate|
|Region||Mongolia and northern China|
|Era||4th century CE – 6th century CE|
|ISO 639-3||None (|
Peter A. Boodberg claimed in 1935 that the Ruan-ruan language was Mongolic by analysing Chinese transcriptions of Ruan-ruan names. Alexander Vovin noted that Old Turkic had borrowed some words from an unknown non-Altaic language that may have been Ruan-ruan. arguing the If so, the language would be non-Altaic language, unrelated to its neighbours and possibly a language isolate, though evidence was scant. He had previously suggested Ruan-ruan could be related to the Yeniseian languages.[failed verification] In 2019, with the emergence of new evidence through the analysis of the Brāhmī Bugut and Khüis Tolgoi, Vovin changed his view, suggesting Ruan-ruan was, in fact a Mongolic language, close but not identical to Middle Mongolian. Pamela Kyle Crossley (2019) The Rouran language itself has remained a puzzle, and leading linguists consider it a possible isolate.
Features of Ruan-ruan included:
- no mid vowels
- initial l-
- final consonantal cluster -nd
Ruan-ruan had the feminine gender suffix -tu-.
Ruan-ruan vocabulary included:
- küskü – 'rat'
- ud – 'ox'
- luu – 'dragon' < Middle Chinese luŋ – 'dragon'
- yund – 'horse'
- laγzïn – 'pig'
- qaγan – 'emperor'
- qan – 'khan'
- qaγatun – 'empress'
- qatun – 'khan's wife'
- aq – 'dung'
- and – 'oath'
- Vovin, Alexander (3–5 December 2010). "Once Again on the Ruan-ruan Language". Ötüken’den İstanbul’a Türkçenin 1290 Yılı (720–2010) Sempozyumu From Ötüken to Istanbul, 1290 Years of Turkish (720–2010).CS1 maint: date and year (link)
- Vovin, Alexander (2004). "Some thoughts on the origins of the old Turkic 12-year animal cycle". Central Asiatic Journal. 48 (1): 118–132. ISSN 0008-9192.
- Vovin, Alexander (2000). "Did the Xiongnu speak a Yeniseian language?". Central Asiatic Journal. 44 (1): 87–104. ISSN 0008-9192.
- Vajda, Edward J. (2013). Yeniseian Peoples and Languages: A History of Yeniseian Studies with an Annotated Bibliography and a Source Guide. Oxford/New York: Routledge.
- Vovin, Alexander (2019). "A Sketch of the Earliest Mongolic Language: the Brāhmī Bugut and Khüis Tolgoi Inscriptions". International Journal of Eurasian Linguistics. 1 (1): 162–197. ISSN 2589-8825.
- Crossley, Pamela Kyle (2019). Hammer and Anvil: Nomad Rulers at the Forge of the Modern World. p. 49.