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Tristan Mc Leay wrote:

> I would be interested to hear anything. I'm just basing that on the
> Wikipedia article on the same, which is all I know about Mongolian, and
> which is rather thin and potentially of dubious quality. It only says
> that "all the vowels of the word" must be the same, and doesn't mention
> anything about vowel harmony in the minuscule section on grammar. (It
> does, however, observe that "short /o/ is phonetically [8]" (i.e.
> close-mid central rounded), but given that all vowels exist in
> length-distinguished pairs, and nothing is mentioned about the phonetics
> of /o:/, one assumes /o:/ is back, approx. [o:].)

That's a funny coincidence, I was just listening to the Routledge 
Mongolian tapes earlier today, and thought that the sound spelled with 
the Cyrillic letter that looks like "o" with a line through it sounded 
quite a bit like [8]. Considering that the IPA symbol for [8] looks like 
this Cyrillic letter, I wonder if there's some relation (one borrowed 
from the other). I do recall that the vowels they were calling "front" 
vowels didn't sound a bit like front vowels, and that the Cyrillic 
letter that looks like a capital Y moved downward was pronounced pretty 
much like /u/ in American English (not a fully back [u], but not far 
enough forward to be anywhere near [u\], either). I don't recall if 
there was any difference between short [8] and the long equivalent, but 
if anything, the long equivalent of [U] sounded a bit like [o:] (or 
perhaps [7:]).