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The Mongolian language is the best-known member of the Mongolic language family. It has about 5.7 million speakers, including over 90% of the residents of Mongolia and many of the Mongolian residents of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region of China. In Mongolia, the Khalkha dialect of Mongolian, written in Cyrillic, is predominant; in Inner Mongolia, the language is more dialectally diverse and written in the traditional Mongolian script. Mongolian has vowel harmony and a complex syllabic structure for a Mongolic language that allows up to three syllable-final consonants. It is a typical agglutinative language that relies on suffix chains in the verbal and nominal domains. While the basic word order is subject–object–predicate, the noun phrase order is relatively free, so functional roles are indicated by a system of about eight grammatical cases. There are five voices. Verbs are marked for voice, aspect, tense, and epistemic modality/evidentiality. In sentence linking, converbs play a special part. Modern Mongolian evolved from Middle Mongolian, the language spoken in the Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries. In the transition, a major shift in the vowel harmony paradigm occurred, long vowels developed, the case system was slightly reformed, and the verbal system was restructured.