Khitan studies I. The graphs of the Khitan Small Script. 2. The vowels

Róna-Tas, András (2017) Khitan studies I. The graphs of the Khitan Small Script. 2. The vowels. Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 70 (2). pp. 135-188. ISSN 0001-6446


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In the second part of this series of papers the author investigates the way how the Khitan Small Script rendered the vowels of the Khitan language. The graphic system was tailored to the contemporary Chinese language, nevertheless, it is possible to make conclusions concerning the system of vowels. Three illabial vowels /a/, /e/ and /i/ can be identified, the back vocalic /ï/ can only be supposed. The vowel /o/ is dominant, for traces of /ö/ no sure data can be given. The phoneme /u/ can be clearly detected, the phoneme /ü/ can be supposed. The former opinion that the Khitan had a front:back vowel harmony can be confirmed. The paper presents a few newly deciphered Khitan words. The system of the Khitan word formation is emerging and a few earlier readings have been corrected.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World / történelem > D0 History (General) / történelem általában
P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom
Depositing User: Ágnes Sallai
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 08:18
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2019 23:15

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