We carried out an ab initio molecular dynamics simulation of liquid hydrogen. chloride (l-HCl) at a temperature of 313 K. Comparison with inelastic neutron scattering data shows that the simulation achieves an overall good description of the structural correlations, improving significantly upon a description based on classical interaction potentials. Despite some minor differences between theory and experiment in the H-H partial structure factor, the simulation gives a description of the hydrogen bonding in impressive agreement with experiment, for both. the amount and the bond-length distribution of the bonds. In the, simulation, 40% of the molecules are nonbonded, while the hydrogen-bonded chains are short, principally,consisting of dimers (25%) and trimers (15%). Neighboring molecules in the simulation are found to form L-shaped arrangements, like in the isolated (HCl)(2) dimer and in crystalline phases of HCl. The time correlation of the molecular-axis orientation is found to be characterized by a very short decay time (0.13 ps), consistent with the short length of the hydrogen-bonded chains. Other dynamical properties investigated in this work include the diffusion coefficient and the vibrational density of states. We evaluated the molecular dipole of the HCl molecule in the liquid using a definition based on the coupling of rotational modes to an external electric field. The average dipole moment (1.53 D) derived in this way is found to be considerably larger than for the isolated molecule (1.11 D). Our results show that the dipole moment in l-HCl undergoes large fluctuations, both in orientation and in modulus. Upon the onset of an external field, such dipole fluctuations concur-to reduce the fluctuations of the dielectric response. (c) 2005 American Institute of Physics.