In this survey the reader will find what is currently known about the Kitan language and scripts. This is the first nearly comprehensive book on the Kitan scripts as we understand them today, and that in itself is a great feat. While Kane still maintains his own views on the language and the decipherment of the scripts, he tries to stay as neutral as possible throughout the book, often remaining open to alternative analyses. In short, Kane's honest approach to the material is praiseworthy, and ultimately makes his study even more valuable. Over the past few decades, however, inscriptions from the tombs of the Liao emperors and the Kitan aristocracy have been at least partially deciphered, resulting in a significant increase of our knowledge of the Kitan lexicon, morphology and syntax. He served the Jin dynasty faithfully for twenty-five years, serving in various high positions and receiving numerous titles. Haralson Jenkins Jeannie Sargent Judge Daniel Kane Jim Keller Jack Kimball Nancy Kuhl Kimberly Lamm Benjamin S.
Because the numbers are represented using logograms it is not easy to reconstruct their pronunciations. Recent research has partially deciphered a number of Kitan inscriptions, reveal significantly more of its lexicon and morphology. This would have been on or just beyond the border of the Jin regime during which time the mirror was cast , and somewhat distant from the Khitan homeland of Liaoning and eastern Inner Mongolia, where large numbers of Khitan memorial tablets dating to the Liao and Jin dynasties have been found see. Most large script characters, however, cannot be directly related to any Chinese characters. The Khitan large script was considered to be relatively simple.
Ning Chia, for example, in her study of the Lifan Yuan or Court of Colonial Affairs, reiterated how that organization was the focus of government institutions that were unique in Chinese governmental history. If there were an odd number of characters in a block, the unpaired character would be centered below the preceding pair. I intend to work on this font further after the summer, and will make it available for free download at a future date. This is no small achievement. Sometimes were written with syllabograms, just as single syllables sometimes were written with three syllabograms with one each for the initial, medial, and final sounds of the syllable. The Khitan script was based on the idea of the Chinese script. I am not qualified in old forms of Chinese and have no prior experience in the nitty-gritty of Kitan decipherment.
The numbers one through nine exept seven occur in undotted and dotted forms, which may indicate grammatical gender, the undotted form used with feminine and neuter words, and the dotted form used with maculine words. Daniel Kane is the foremost expert on Kitan in the English-speaking world, or anywhere outside of China really, and this monograph published by Brill summarizes everything known about the language and script as of its 2008 publication date. In short, Kane's honest approach to the material is praiseworthy, and ultimately makes his study even more valuable. Daniel Kane has written a thorough and accessible guide to what is reliably known of the Kitan script. While there has long been controversy as to whether a particular monument belong to the large or small script, there are several monuments steles or fragments of stelae that the specialists at least tentatively identify as written in the Khitan large script. In any event, the total of about 830 different large-script characters are thought to have been identified, even without the problematic Gu taishi mingshi ji; including it, the character count rises to about 1000.
Many scholars recognize that the Khitan scripts have not been fully and that more research and discoveries would be necessary for a proficient understanding of them. While one may disagree with a certain few proposals contained in this work, commendably, the book was largely written in such a fashion as to promote constructive criticism and testable hypotheses, which will certainly provide for the further development of Kitan studies and better facilitate research on the Kitan language and scripts. Although there are several clues to its origins, which might point in different directions, the Khitan language shares an ancestor with the Mongolian languages but is not one. Kane's work is a significant step forward towards this goal. After the fall of the Liao Dynasty, the Khitan small-character script continued to be used by the Jurchen people for a few decades, until fully replaced with Jurchen script and, in 1191, suppressed by order. Who was the Prince of Yue? The two scripts are mutually exclusive never occurring together on the same monument , but it is not known why the Khitan people used two different scripts, or what determined the choice of which script to use. While one may disagree with a certain few proposals contained in this work, commendably, the book was largely written in such a fashion as to promoteconstructive criticism and testable hypotheses, which will certainly provide for the further development of Kitan studies and better facilitate research on the Kitan language and scripts.
The Kitan language and script have disappeared from history for more than 800 years. The Kitan script refers to two separate writing systems created in northern China during the Liao Dynasty 907—1125 to set down a still mysterious and not yet fully deciphered language. This chapter will be of great interest to anyone reading about reconstruction of Middle Chinese in general. It succeeds in making Khitan data available to a broader public, and presents an important number of original contributions. This, too, is a great merit, as many things are in fact poorly understood about Kitan. To tell you the truth, the Khitan script is becoming more and more incomprehensible.
Unfortunately, Kane does not dedicate any real space to discussing the case for Kitan as Para-Mongolic, though he occasionally compares Kitan reconstructions to Mongolic words. Produced during the Jurchen , it was originally before the discovery of other Khitan inscriptions in 1922 thought to be in. In the Chinese system the twelve earthly branches are associated with a zodiacal animal, and these animals have been adopted with some small modifications in all derivitive systems Tibetan, Mongolian, Manchu, etc. Uralic and Altaic Series, Vol. Martin David Mason Susan McCabe Janet McCann Mary A.
However, the Khitan terms corresponding to heavenly stems are generally thought to be colour names, which is also the case with Mongolian and Manchu. Kane is especially keen to present for an English-speaking audience the The Kitan script refers to two separate writing systems created in northern China during the Liao Dynasty 907—1125 to set down a still mysterious and not yet fully deciphered language. In short, Kane's honest approach to the material is praiseworthy, and ultimately makes his study even more valuable. Kane is especially keen to present for an English-speaking audience the publications of a Chinese team that has made major gains since the late 1970s, overturning most earlier and more readily accessible scholarship. Atwood The link between the Chinese realm and the Inner Asian realm constitutes one of the most important points in understanding the nature of the Qing imperium. A few generations after their state was defeated, almost all trace of the Kitan spoken and written languages disappeared, except a few words in Chinese texts.
The memorial tablet for Xiao Zhonggong is dated the 19th day of the 9th month of Tiande 2, the exact same date as the inscription on the mirror, and so it can reasonably be supposed that the mirror was cast in memory of Xiao Zhonggong at the time of his entombment. Past studies have highlighted how the institutions of rule in Mongolia, Tibet, and elsewhere in Inner Asia differed dramatically from those in the eighteen provinces of China. The Khitan scripts were the writing systems for the now-extinct used in the 10th-12th century by the who had established the in. After discussing the Kitan Small Script in great detail, he offers a chapter on Kitan morphology, namely an array of suffixes that can be identified as case markers, tense forms and converb markers. Liao and Jin Dynasty Era Names Both continued in use for at least fifty after the fall of the Liao dynasty in 1125, and memorial tablets dating to the 1170s are known in both the large and small scripts. However, we are able to work out the pronunciation of a few numbers based on the use of the logogram as a phonetic element in other words.