Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Preliminary Analysis of a Newly-Discovered Tangut Wordbook

This post provides my preliminary analysis of a newly-discovered Tangut wordbook which was sold at auction in November 2014, and was recently displayed at an exhibition of rare and precious books owned by private collectors at the National Library of China in Beijing. The provenance of this text is unknown, but I believe it to be genuine. See my previous blog post for further background information on this and other Tangut texts sold at the 2014 auction.

This book, now widely known by the Chinese title Zéyào Chángchuán Tóngmíng Zázì 擇要常傳同名雜字 "Essential Selection of Often Transmitted Homonyms and Mixed Characters" (this Chinese title was apparently first used in the catalogue of the 2015 exhibition), is a hitherto unknown reference work on Tangut characters and words, and should be considered an important new source for the study of Tangut script and language. According to the catalogue of the July 2015 exhibition, the work comprises 14 folios in butterfly binding in a single fascicle, but only low resolution images of the front cover and two and a half folios of text that have so far been made public. I hope (without any great expectation) that images of the entire text will be published in the near future, but in the meantime I have had to base my analysis of this text on the incomplete and imperfect images that are available.

First Image : Front Cover [Rewritten 2015-09-05]

The first image shows the front cover. The cover appears to be made from paper and yellow silk, and although it is rather tattered in its current state, it must have been very fine in pristine condition.

Image of the Front Cover

There is a printed title label with Tangut text, but unfortunately most of the text is obscured or damaged. The frame of the label is large enough to accommodate seven full-size Tangut characters, but only the first five characters are visible, and only one character is completely unobscured, so the readings given in the table below are provisional.

Table 1. Title Label on Front Cover
Character Ref. Transcription Meaning
L4751 ¹se₁ "clear" (Chinese )
"pure, clean" (Chinese )
"still, quiet" (Chinese )
L3613 ? ²dwewr₁ "to enlighten; enlightenment" (Chinese )
L5604 jy "skill, art" (Chinese )
"acts, deeds" (Chinese )
L1824 ? ²nwo₄ "words, speech" (Chinese )
L4681 ? ¹nu₄ "ear" (Chinese )

As we shall see later, none of the characters on the title slip are found in the end title for the main body of the book ("Essential Selection of Often Transmitted Homonyms and Mixed Characters"), and the title does not seem to have any relevance to the subject matter of the text discussed below. Indeed, this title appears to be Buddhist in nature rather than lexicographic. I strongly suspect that the title on the cover has nothing whatsoever to do with the text inside, and the cover of a Buddhist work has simply been borrowed to protect the Tangut wordbook. Nevertheless, this title is rather interesting in its own right.

The first two characters in the title may be a translation of the Chinese Buddhist term, "pure enlightenment" (淨覺), but here I interpret them as being a translation of the Chinese Buddhist name Jingjue 淨覺 "Pure Enlightenment" or Qingjue 清覺 "Clear Enlightenment" (Chinese religious names are in most cases translated into Tangut semantically rather than transcribed phonetically, as ordinary Chinese names are). I take the next two characters as meaning "acts and words" or "words and deeds". The fifth character is the least certain, as only the top and right parts can be made out, but it may be the character meaning "ear", in which case it and the following two hidden characters may be a translation of Chinese 耳傳記 "account transmitted by ear" (i.e. an account heard firsthand by the author). This phrase is attested in the Tangut title of Tang. 187 (Chinese 亥母耳傳記文) listed in the 1963 catalogue of the Tangut collection at the Institute of Oriental Studies (but not in Kychanov's 1999 catalogue of Buddhists texts). We can thus provisionally reconstruct the title as "Account transmitted by ear of the acts and words of Jingjue or Qingjue" (Chinese 淨/清覺言行耳傳記).

I cannot find any evidence for a work of this title in Chinese or in Tangut, so if the above hypothesis is correct this must be the title of an unknown or lost Buddhist biography, and this title slip is the only extant evidence for the Tangut translation of this text. Although a text with this title is not recorded, I think that it is a very plausible title. There are two famous Chinese Buddhist monks called Jingjue, and one famous Chinese Buddhist monk called Qingjue:

Any of these three monks could conceivably be the subject of a biographical text, but without any context it is difficult to be certain which one them is referred to on the title slip. Kirill Solonin ("The Chán Teaching of Nányáng Huìzhōng (–775) in Tangut Translation" in Medieval Tibeto-Burman Languages IV (Brill, 2012) pp. 267–345) notes that the Chan and Tiantai schools of Buddhism, which were prominent in the Song empire, are poorly represented in the extant corpus of Tangut Buddhist texts, which suggests that neither the Chan Juejing or the Tiantai Juejing would have been obvious subjects for translation into Tangut. On the other hand, Solonin notes that Tangut Buddhism was influenced by White Cloud teachings, which would seem to make Qingjue the most probable candidate.

But before deciding on Qingjue as the person referred to in the title, it is necessary to consider whether Qingjue's name was actually translated into Tangut using the character rather than L1638 which also means "clear". According to Sun Bojun 孫伯君, an illustration to Guifeng Zongmi's Chan Preface 諸説禪源集都序 (IOM Tang. 227 No. 323) depicts Chengguan 澄觀 (738–839), Zongmi 宗密 (780–841), and Qingjue anachronistically debating together (see Solonin p. 271 note 9). This implies that Qingjue's name is written on the illustration, and can be used to verify whether the name on the title slip could be that of Qingjue or not. If the name of Qingjue on the illustration to Zongmi's Chan Preface is written as then I think it highly likely that the title slip does indicate a lost biography of Qingjue.

Second Image : Example Characters for Radicals

This is an image of a single folio from the book, folded in the middle for "butterfly" binding. No pagination is present, so we do not know what its actual position in the book is, but the catalogue of the July 2015 exhibition states that the first two folios after the prefaces consist of explanations on the structure and radicals of Tangut characters. This image presumably shows the first of these two folios, forming an introductory section of the book.

Image from the Introductory Section of the Book

This folio is divided into three parts, with intaglio headings.

First Part

The first part (side A lines 1–3) is headed ¹soq₁ ²ghaq₁ ²di₄ ¹ma₄ "thirty letters" (Chinese 三十字母) preceded by two uncertain characters.

The first character may be ²khew₁ "opening, crossing" [as in a mountain pass or a river ford], a loan from Chinese kǒu 口 "mouth", with the fifth stroke written as a vertical line instead of a dot. Or it may be ¹ta₄, a topic-marking particle similar to Classical Chinese zhě 者, with the component miswritten as .

The second character may be ¹shwy₃ "time" [usually occurring reduplicated to mean "frequently"], a loan from Chinese shí 時. Or it may be ²vi₁ "to cut" and by extension "rhyme" (a rhyme is the cut off end of a syllable).

Neither of each of these two characters' possible readings makes any immediately obvious sense when put together, but I think that the most likely reading is ¹ta₄ ²vi₁ "(topic-marker) rhyme" (Chinese zhě yùn 者韻). The great difficulty with this reading is that does not occur initially, and must be placed after another word to indicate it is the topic. Perhaps in the context here the two characters are being used adjectively to mean something like "the thirty letters with '(topic-marker) rhyme'", i.e. the thirty letters that "(topic-marker) rhyme" may be attached to. In this sense, each of the thirty listed letters may represent a particular rhyme, and it is possible to define "Letter A, it has the rhyme X" etc.

Then there is the question of what the "thirty letters" refer to. The Tangut word for "letter" ²di₄ ¹ma₄ is a calque of Chinese zìmǔ 字母, literally "character mother", and usually refers to Sanskrit letters or letters of other non-ideographic scripts. Notably, the Tibetan script has thirty letters. But although this heading is followed by thirty signs, they are not letters of Tibetan or any other alphabet, but are mostly strokes, elements or components used in writing Tangut characters.

These thirty signs are the most puzzling element of the book, comprising a mix of common Tangut components and un-Tangut-like groups of horizontal and vertical strokes. Signs 1–4 (one to four short horizontal strokes), signs 5–8 (one to four long horizontal strokes), and signs 9–11 (one to three vertical strokes) cannot easily be recognized as Tangut components. Likewise, only the last of signs 16–18 (one to three diagonal strokes) is an independent Tangut component. The remaining signs are components or elements in Tangut characters. The listed signs include some very common Tangut components, but they are only a small fraction of the components used to write Tangut characters, and there seems to be little logic in their choice. And yet there is some logic in their order as signs 19–22, 23–24, 27–28, and 29–30 form sets of components showing incremental stroke complexity.

Table 2. The Thirty Letters
No. Sign Notes
1 Not intended as Tangut character components?
5 Not intended as Tangut character components?
9 Not intended as Tangut character components?
12 Perhaps the uncommon left side component of .
13 Occurs as an element in more complex Tangut components; and rarely as a left hand side component.
14 Occurs as an element in more complex Tangut components.
15 Occurs as an element in more complex Tangut components.
16 Occurs as an element in more complex Tangut components.
17 Occurs as an element in more complex Tangut components.
18 Uncommon left hand side component in Tangut characters.
19 Occurs as an element in more complex Tangut components.
20 Common left hand side component in Tangut characters; also a common element in more complex Tangut components. Cf. No. 29.
21 Extremely common left hand side, medial and right hand side component in Tangut characters.
22 Not so common left hand side and right hand side component in Tangut characters.
23 Common left hand side and right hand side component in Tangut characters.
24 Common left hand side and right hand side component in Tangut characters.
25 Common element in Tangut components, but does not occur by itself as a lateral component in Tangut characters.
26 Common left hand side or medial component in Tangut characters; also a common element in more complex Tangut components.
27 Common element in Tangut components, but does not occur by itself as a lateral component in Tangut characters.
28 Common right hand side component in Tangut characters.
29 Common left hand side component in Tangut characters; also a common element in more complex Tangut components. Looks the same as No. 20, but this may be intended to represent a high version, and No. 20 a low version of the component.
30 Common left hand side component in Tangut characters.

One might expect that these thirty signs are related to the list of example characters for Tangut radicals on the remainder of this folio, but that appears not to be the case, and indeed, none of the components listed above are listed as radicals on this folio (although some may be in the following unpublished folio). At present it is a mystery to me as to what these thirty "letters" are intended to represent, and whether they represent rhymes in Tangut or some other language. This mystery may only be solved if the whole text of this book is published.

Addendum [2015-09-05]

Since I published the first version of this post, Marc Miyake has pointed out that the first eleven signs resemble tally marks (see Tangut 'Tally Marks' and Pahawh Khmu). I would go even further, and suggest that all of the signs resemble tally marks, in the following nine series:

1. 1–4
2. 5–8
3. 9–11
4. 12–15
5. 16–18
6. 19–22
7. 23–24
8. 25–28
9. 29–30

In each of these nine series, each sign increases in complexity by one or two strokes. In this way they resemble tally marks, used for counting or accounting purposes. But that does not mean they cannot be letters in a script, as some scripts are also constructed from tally-like marks. Notably, the Ogham script comprises four sets of five tally-like letters, and within each set each letter increases in complexity by one stroke (so, for example, the vowels a, o, u, e, and i are represented by the signs , , , , and respectively). It is therefore quite possible that the thirty signs in the above table do represent letters, either for use in representing some non-Tangut language, or (more likely in my opinion) for phonetic glossing of Tangut characters.

Assuming that these thirty signs are letters, then each series presumably represents a set of phonetically related sounds. Tangut has nine series of initials, which modern scholars reconstruct as between 29 and 35 consonants, so it is tempting to try to match the nine series of thirty signs with the nine series of Tangut initials However, they do not easily fit, at least using the standard order of initial classes found in the Homophones, and I will leave that as an exercise for the reader.

An alternative approach would be to look for a correspondence between the thirty signs and the thirty base letters of the Tibetan script. Although it is an imperfect match, I think that it is more convincing than matching against the nine initial classes of Tangut.

  1. 1–4 = ka, kha, ga, nga (ཀ ཁ ག ང)
  2. 5–8 = ca, cha, ja, nya (ཅ ཆ ཇ ཉ)
  3. 9–11 = ta, tha, da, na (ཏ ཐ ད ན) [only three of these four; perhaps not needing both ta and tha]
  4. 12–15 = pa, pha, ba, ma (པ ཕ བ མ)
  5. 16–18 = tsa, tsha, dza (ཙ ཚ ཛ)
  6. 19–22 = wa, zha, za, 'a (ཝ ཞ ཟ འ)
  7. 23–24 = ya, ra (ཡ ར)
  8. 25–28 = la, sha, sa (ལ ཤ ས) [plus one more, maybe lha ལྷ after la]
  9. 29–30 = ha, a (ཧ ཨ)

Whether these thirty signs correspond to Tangut initials or to Tibetan base letters, they probably only represent consonants, and vowels may be indicated by some other mechanism (such as diacritical marks). But without any examples of these thirty "letters" in actual use it is impossible to know for sure what they represent, and what their purpose was.

Second and Third Parts

The second part (side A lines 4–7) is headed ²di₄ ¹ghu₂ "character heads" (Chinese 字頭), and lists thirty-one Tangut radicals that occur at the top of a character (designated A-01 through A-31). In five cases (A-02, A-21, A-26, A-27, and A-31), the example character chosen shows the component on the top left rather than entirely at the top.

The third part (side A lines 8–9 and side B lines 1–9) is headed ²di₄ ¹pha₁ "character sides" (Chinese 字旁), and lists seventy-four Tangut radicals that occur on the left or right side of a character (designated B-01 through B-74).

In total, 105 radicals (or components) are listed on this folio, and probably a similar number are listed on the following folio that we do not currently have access to, giving an estimated total of about 200 radicals. This is less than a third of the number of Tangut radicals and components proposed for encoding in Unicode. Each radical is followed by an example character for the radical and the cursive form of the example character. Including the cursive character forms is utterly unexpected, and I have never before seen cursive characters given in woodblock (or moveable type) printings of Tangut texts.

In the table below, the cursive form of the character in the Tangut manuscript of the Classic of Filial Piety (Chinese Xiàojīng 孝經), as published in V. S. Kolokolov and E. I. Kyčanov, Китайская классика в тангутском переводе [Chinese Classics in Tangut Translation] (Moscow, 1966), and identified by Eric Grinstead in his Analysis of the Tangut Script (Lund, 1972), is provided for comparison purposes where possible. Cursive forms from other Tangut manuscripts are also given for numbers.

Table 3. Example Characters for Radicals
Entry Position
on Page
Radical Character Cursive Form Character Data
Text Xiaojing Ref. Transcription Meaning
A-01 * A41 L4797 ²wyr₄ "writing"
A-02 A42
L1084 ²ghaq₁ "ten"
A-03 A43 L1074 ¹luq₁ "stone"
A-04 A44 L0987 ²giq₄ "to depend on"
A-05 A45 L4063 ¹vir₂ "to cherish"
A-06 A46 L1345 or L1531 ? (but bottom left component does not match either character)
A-07 A47 L4889 ¹jwy₄ auxiliary particle
A-08 A51 L4995 ¹shon₃ "iron"
A-09 A52 L4050 ²zur₁ "message"
A-10 A53 L4250 ¹si₄ "tree"
A-11 A54 L4481 ¹shy₃ "to go toward"
A-12 A55 L0002 ¹lo₁ "filter"
A-13 A56 L0046 ²le₄ "to see"
A-14 A57 L3401 ²gha₃ "umbrella of a carriage"
A-15 A58 L1888 ²by₁ "insect"
A-16 A61 L2585 ¹sar'₁ "to shake"
A-17 A62 L3017 ¹deq₄ "kind"
A-18 A63 L0993 ¹lhew₁ "to herd"
A-19 A64 L4069 ¹pwyr'₄ "to advise"
A-20 A65 L4068 ²me₁ "to fete"
A-21 A66 L3004 ¹byq₄ "tear"
A-22 A67 L4871 ¹ngyr₁ "hill"
A-23 A68 L5811 ²rir₄ "juice"
A-24 A71 L4875 ²bu₄ "ox"
A-25 A72 L4772 ²yr₄ "silk"
A-26 A73 L5869 ²zew'₁ "to supervise"
A-27 A74 L5286 ¹vi₁ "to realize"
A-28 A75 L0989 ²pen₂ "to flee"
A-29 A76 Blank space instead of a character.
A-30 A77 L1546 ²luq₃ "body"
A-31 * A78 L3916 ²si₄ auxiliary particle
B-01 A81 L2627 ²lyq₃ "land"
B-02 A82 L3058 ²zyr'₄ "water"
B-03 A83 L4408 ¹my'₁ "fire"
B-04 A84 L2302 ¹ly₃ "wind"
B-05 A85 L5746 ¹gwy₄ "to cut"
B-06 A86 L5222 ¹hi₄ "happy"
B-07 A91 L5298 ¹no'₁ "finger"
B-08 A92 L3485 ¹laq₁ "hand"
B-09 A93 L2888 ²my₁ "surname"
B-10 A94 L0443 ¹jo₃ "long"
B-11 A95 L5354 ²thy₄ "this"
B-12 A96 L3744 ²je₂ "faith"
B-13 A97 L1259 ¹chon₂ "to gather"
B-14 B11 L2194 ¹me₄ "not"
B-15 B12 L1586 ²ghiq₂ "sound"
B-16 B13 L3551 ²non₂ "evil"
B-17 B14 L5113 ¹vi₃ "to do"
B-18 B15 L2246 ²la'₃ "mouth"
B-19 B16 L2541 ²dzwo₄ "person"
B-20 B17 L2716 ¹rer₄ "skilful"
B-21 B21 L0585 ²shiq₃ "cogongrass"
B-22 B22 L2539 ¹kaq₄ "to fear"
B-23 B23
B-24 B24 L2402 ¹lwyq₃ "to run"
B-25 B25 L5593 ¹bo'₂ "to look"
B-26 B26

L5865 ¹soq₁ "three"
B-27 B31 L5905 ²shi₃ "corn"
B-28 B32 L0748 ¹py₄ "today"
B-29 B33 L5314 ²a₄ transliteration
B-30 B34 L5870 ¹tshy'₄ "rank"
B-31 B35 L1606 ²su₄ "livestock"
B-32 B36 L4008 ²pha'₂ "to divide"
B-33 B37
L4027 ¹ny'₄ "two"
B-34 B41 L0590 ²zoq₄ "longevity"
B-35 B42 L0169 ¹shwi₃ "tooth"
B-36 B43 L1139 ¹e₄ genitive particle
B-37 B44 L1567 ²gi₄ "son"
B-38 B45 L5531 ¹ge₄ "special"
B-39 B46 L0981 ²var₁ "wealth"
B-40 B47 L5498 ¹e₄ "appearance"
B-41 B51 L0500 ¹tsuq₄ "to beat"
B-42 B52 L1242 ²dzwy₄ "wing"
B-43 B53 L4630 ²di₁ "happy"
B-44 B54 L5856 ²gha₁ preposition
B-45 B55 L5252 ¹luq₁ "door"
B-46 B56 L5766 ²sha'₂ "at will"
B-47 B61 L5243 ²se₄ "man"
B-48 B62 L5979 ¹be₁ "to tie"
B-49 B63 L5545 ²kur₄ "will"
B-50 B64 L5346 ²u₃ "to seek"
B-51 B65 L5566 ¹chiq₃ "bitter"
B-52 B66 L3543 ¹dzwy₁ "chapter"
B-53 B67 L1836 ¹chen₃ "correct"
B-54 B71 L0632 ¹vi₁ "ripe"
B-55 B72 L4015 ²be'₄ "roadside"
B-56 B73 L0322 ¹chhwo₃ modal auxiliary
B-57 B74 L2961 ¹gwyr₄ "to rise"
B-58 B75 L2705 ²beq₄ "to help"
B-59 B76 L2569 ¹chyq₃ "to encircle"
B-60 B77 L2392 ¹swen₄ "(Buddhist) effect"
B-61 B81 L4045 ¹swa₁ "hair"
B-62 B82 L5018 ²na'₁ "vegetable"
B-63 B83 L1332 ¹de'₁ "to pass on"
B-64 B84 L0190 ¹by₄ "to overflow"
B-65 B85 L0783 ¹khwy₁ "coma"
B-66 B86 L0762 ²je₂ "wheel"
B-67 B87 L3073 ¹noq₄ "lubrication"
B-68 B91 L3095 ²lwu₁ "to hide"
B-69 B92 L5171 ¹sy₁ "full"
B-70 B93 L5091 ²ga₄ "I"
B-71 B94 L2082 ¹yr₄ "to ask"
B-72 B95 L2948 ¹tew₁ "to pound with a pestle"
B-73 B96 L5233 ¹phy₁ "Tibetan"
B-74 * B97 L5598 ²gwi₄ "clothing"


A-01. This radical may be a mistake for .

A-31. The cursive form of the character is to the right of the standard character, and a Tangut character (L2246 "mouth" ?) is written below, where the cursive form character would be expected. I have no idea what "mouth" is intended to mean here.

B-74. This is the only component in this table that is not included in the proposal to encode Tangut radicals in Unicode.

There is no obvious educational value in listing a single Tangut character for each radical, so I think that the main purpose of this section must be to illustrate the cursive forms of characters. Presumably the characters are ordered by radical or component so that the cursive form of any particular component can be easily found.

Given the difficulty of accurately carving cursive form characters at small scale (and bearing in mind that this is probably not the original first edition, but a reprint with recarved printing blocks), most of the cursive example characters are reasonably accurate, and many of them closely match the corresponding cursive forms in the Classic of Filial Piety (e.g. A-01, A-13, A-17, B-11, B-15, B-18, B-22, B-25, B-43, B-52, B-56, B-68, and B-69). A few of the cursive forms are not close matches, but that may be because there are different cursive forms for the same character. So, although B-33 "two" does not match the cursive form of the character in the Classic of Filial Piety, it does match the cursive form of the character in a Buddhist manuscript (Tang. 334/248).

Third Image : Homophone Groups

This is an image of a single folio from the main body of the book, folded in the middle for "butterfly" binding. No pagination is present, so we do not know what its actual position in the book is, but it is presumably part of the main text, following after the two folios of radical examples. Whereas the previous section focuses on the graphic form of Tangut characters, this section focuses on the phonetics of Tangut characters, listing groups of homophone characters, with the head character for each homophone group followed by a number of small-sized characters that are homophonous with the head character (the head characters on this folio each have between zero and thirteen small-sized characters). The catalogue of the July 2015 exhibition states that the main text consists of phonetic readings and explanatory glosses for frequently-used Tangut characters and words, but at least on this folio there are no explanatory glosses.

This folio comprises 107 entries, plus the last part of an entry from the previous page. A total of 343 Tangut characters (107 large-sized head characters, and 236 small-sized characters) are listed. As this fascicle consists of 14 folios, of which five folios are reportedly occupied by the prefaces and the radical examples, and half of the final folio is not occupied with this text (see fourth image below), the main body of the book can be no longer than eight and a half folios in length; in which case we can estimate the maximum total number of entries as approximately 900, and the maximum total number of Tangut characters as approximately 3,000, which is about half the total number of known Tangut characters.

Image from the Main Section of the Book

The only available image of this page is very low resolution, and only the large-sized characters can be easily identified. Some of the less complex small-sized characters can also be clearly recognized, but most of the small-sized characters are very hard to make out, and in some cases my readings are only an educated guess (some of them are certainly misidentifications, so the readings of the small-sized characters should be treated with caution).

The last two lines of the homophones section (covering 21 entries, but only four of which have small-character homophones listed), are shown in the fourth image from this book, and these are appended at the end of the table below.

Table 4. Entries for Homophones
Entry Character Ref. Tongyin Initial / Rhyme* Transcrip-tion** Tibetan Meaning
L5909 ? A:32B42 B:33A54 VI 1.30 (31) ¹tshy₄ "evening"
L5832 A:33B11 B:34A12 VI 1.32 (33) ¹tshy'₄ "secondary rainbow"
A11 L3365 A:30B77 B:31B38 VI 2.54 (64) ²seq₄ "to write"
L5243 ? A:31B52 B:32A76 VI 2.33 (37) ²se₄ "(common) people"
A12 L1542 A:28B14 B:29A18 V 1.1 (1) ¹ku₁ b.ku བཀུ "so, then"
A13 L2162 A:06A27 B:07A14 I 2.8 (9) ²bi₂ "to untie"
A14 L3835 A:48A27 B:48B16 IX 2.38 (44) ²lhew₁ "to extricate"
L0993 A:48A22 B:48B18 IX 1.43 (44) ¹lhew₁ "to herd"
L3834 A:48A28 B:48B17 IX 2.38 (44) ²lhew₁ "to catch fire"
A15 L3015 A:54A57 IX 2.52 (62) ²lhuq₄ lhu ལྷུ "to capture"
A16 L0023 A:50B26 B:51A28 IX 1.90 (96) ¹ror₄ "to get"
L0098 A:50B35 B:51A18 IX 2.81 (96) ²ror₄ "to get"
L2044 A:50B31 B:51A23 IX 2.81 (96) ²ror₄ "saliva"
L5992 A:50B33 B:51A25 IX 2.81 (96) ²ror₄ "presently"
A17 L4684 A:05B57 B:06B44 I 1.33 (34) ¹me₁ d.mi དམི "eyes"
L2563 A:04B11 B:05A75 I 2.30 (34) ²me₁ "hair"
L2586 A:04A75 B:05A65 I 2.7 (8) ²mi₁ "dust"
L4825 A:08A11 B:05A74 I 2.7 (8) ²mi₁ "to sleep"
L0708 ? A:04A72 B:10A73 I 2.71 (82) ²mir₁ "pocket"
L4295 A:05B64 B:06B51 I 1.33 (34) ¹me₁ "hole"
A21 L4681 A:16A52 B:17A28 III 1.3 (3) ¹nu₄ "ears"
L3252 A:12A65 B:13A62 III 2.3 (3) ²nu₄ "many"
L4614 A:12A68 B:13A55 III 2.3 (3) ²nu₄ "to breast-feed"
L4849 A:16A53 B:17A33 III 1.3 (3) ¹nu₄ a surname
A22 L5700 A:12B51 B:13B34 III 2.12 (14) ²ni'₄ "nose"
L4353 A:19A31 B:19B46 III ni "bag"
L3591 A:12B46 B:13B33 III 2.12 (14) ²ni'₄ g.niɦ གནིའ "to unite"
A23 L3190 A:54B15 IX 1.20 (20) ¹lhwa₄ "tongue"
A24 L1546 A:47A68 B:47B58 IX 2.52 (62) ²luq₃ lu ལུ "body"
L0124 A:47A66 B:47B61 IX 2.52 (62) ²luq₃ "brain"
L5664 A:54A75 IX 1.59 (62) ¹luq₃ "mongolian gazelle"
L2229 A:47A75 B:47B54 IX 2.52 (62) ²luq₃ "physique"
A25 L0797 A:04A22 B:05A14 I 1.11 (11) ¹phi₄ phi ཕི "scheme, idea"
L0749 A:04A24 B:05A16 I 1.11 (11) ¹phi₄ "to make"
L1427 A:04A18 B:10A56 I 2.10 (11) ²phi₄ "to lose"
L1250 A:04A25 B:05A17 I 1.11 (11) ¹phi₄ "house"
L2923 A:09A34 B:09B58 I 1.11 (11) ¹phi₄ "dustpan"
L0962 A:08B54 B:09B13 I 1.16 (16) ¹phin₄ transliteration
A26 L0139 A:17B18 B:18A52 III 2.30 (34) ²ne₁ "safe, peaceful"
L2587 A:18A35 B:18B57 III 1.73 (77) ¹ner₁ "lubrication"
L4301 A:15B56 B:16B36 III 2.53 (63) ²neq₂ "seedling"
A27 L5464 A:53A28 B:53A66 IX 2.67 (78) ²zher₂ "to live"
L1437 A:53A27 B:53A67 IX 2.67 (78) ²zher₂ "incomplete"
A31 L2342 A:53B52 IX 1.51 (53) ¹lo₃ "good fortune"
L2447 A:49A51 B:49B44 IX 2.44 (53) ²lo₃ "elder brother"
L3189 A:49A52 B:49B43 IX 2.44 (53) ²lo₃ "to spread"
A32 L5621 A:55A35 IX 1.1 (1) ¹lhu₁ b.lhuɦ བལྷུའ "to increase"
A33 L5149 A:14B13 B:15A71 III 1.5 (5) ¹du'₁ "to save, store"
L1051 A:14B17 B:15A75 III 2.5 (5) ²du'₁ "to crawl"
A34 L1941 A:32B48 B:33A63 VI 2.61 (72) ²dzyq₄ "to gather"
L5422 A:29A32 B:29B66 VI 1.67 (70) ¹dziq₄ "claw"
L2772 A:29A33 B:29B53 VI 2.60 (70) ²dziq₄ "to stand up"
L3865 A:32B53 B:33A65 VI 2.61 (72) ²dzyq₄ "official title"
A35 L1202 A:43A61 B:43B78 VIII 2.13 (15) ²hwin₁ "devil"
A36 L1172 A:06B11 B:07A62 I 2.11 (12) ²bi'₁ "ghost"
L1171 A:06A78 B:07A58 I 2.11 (12) ²bi'₁ "eyebrow"
A37 L3162 A:45B66 B:46A57 VIII 2.62 (73) ²hoq₁ "calamity, disaster"
A38 L0925 A:27B38 B:28A54 V 1.22 (22) ¹khwa'₁ "to curse"
A39 L3753 ? A:22A15 B:22B67 V 2.47 (56) ²kon₁ "government official"
L5119 A:08B46 B:09A75 I 1.86 (92) ¹pyr₄ "to compare"
A41 L2512 A:40A55 B:40B35 VII 2.20 (23) ²cha'₂ "suffering"
A42 L3404 A:39B27 B:39B78 VII 1.14 (14) ¹shi'₃ "doubt"
A43 L1639 A:28A45 B:28B52 V 1.63 (66) ¹khwaq₁ "far; to distance"
A44 L5757 A:55A31 IX 1.64 (67) ¹zhaq₃ "between"
A45 L1527 A:08B17 B:09A47 I 1.23 (24) ¹pha'₄ "to forbid"
A46 L5326 A:39B63 B:40A37 VII 1.29 (30) ¹chy₃ "to destroy"
L3828 A:39B54 B:40A31 VII 1.29 (30) ¹chy₃ "to present (a gift)"
L3820 A:39B56 B:40A33 VII 1.29 (30) ¹chy₃ "presently"
L5343 A:39B53 B:40A28 VII 1.29 (30) ¹chy₃ "to drag"
A47 L2393 A:53A14 B:53A53 IX 2.35 (40) ²le'₃ "to destroy"
L2398 A:53A15 B:53A54 IX 2.35 (40) ²le'₃ "devil"
L4616 A:53A16 B:53A52 IX 2.35 (40) ²le'₃ "tasty"
A48 L5163 A:35A47 B:36A12 VII 1.56 (58) ¹jon₃ "to separate"
L2263 A:35A43 B:36A14 VII 1.56 (58) ¹jon₃ "circle"
L2784 A:37B11 B:38A27 VII 1.48 (50) ¹jwo₃ "bright"
L2207 A:37B13 B:38A31 VII 2.44 (53) ²jwo₃ "cave"
L5586 B:38A32 VII 2.44 (53) ²jwo₃ "to throw"
L3977 A:35A46 B:35B78 VII 1.56 (58) ¹jon₃ "to play"
L1955 A:37B12 B:38A28 VII 1.48 (50) ¹jwo₃ "to drill"
A51 L1160 A:20B47 B:21B31 V 2.14 (17) ²ka₁ "to separate"
L4480 A:28A14 B:28B23 V 2.73 (85) ²kar₁ "to separate"
A52 L2590 A:10B43 B:11B43 II 2.27 (30) ²vy₃ perfective prefix
L5392 A:10B45 B:11B44 II 2.27 (30) ²vy₃ "right now"
L4893 A:10B42 B:12B55 II 1.29 (30) ¹vy₃ "mother-in-law"
A53 L4222 A:06A75 B:10A51 I 2.34 (38) ²phe'₁ "to divide"
A54 L5714 A:49A41 B:49B34 IX 1.19 (19) ¹la₃ "special"
L3377 A:49A43 B:49B35 IX 2.16 (19) ²la₃ "auspicious"
L2551 A:49A37 B:49B31 IX 1.19 (19) ¹la₃ "to conceal"
A55 L2797 IX (51) lho₁ lho ལྷོ "to go out"
L3090 A:48B27 IX 2.62 (73) ²lhoq₁ "ugly"
A56 L5351 A:22B64 B:23B48 V 1.39 (40) ¹ge'₄ "to surpass"
L1719 A:22B65 B:23B47 V 1.39 (40) ¹ge'₄ "to tease"
L2203 A:22B62 B:23B45 V 1.39 (40) ¹ge'₄ "stunned"
A57 L1640 A:31A68 B:32A28 VI 1.61 (64) ¹dzeq₄ "to cross"
L0760 A:29A48 B:30A17 VI 2.37 (43) ²dzen₄ "to judge"
L0455 A:29A51 B:30A15 VI 2.37 (43) ²dzen₄ "to suit"
L4179 A:31A67 B:32A27 VI 2.54 (64) ²dzeq₄ "boat"
A58 L1906 A:17B36 B:18A68 III 1.57 (59) ¹non'₂ g.nu གནུ conjunction
L2484 A:17B37 B:18A71 III 1.57 (59) ¹non'₂ nu ནུ "cause"
L3551 A:20A27 B:21A15 IV 2.48 (57) ²non₂ "evil"
L3125 A:17B38 B:18A72 III 1.57 (59) ¹non'₂ "fair"
L5804 A:17B45 B:18A76 III 1.1 (1) ¹nu₁ "mud"
A61 L5815 A:31B47 B:32A73 VI 1.30 (31) ¹tsy₄ tsi ཙི "also"
L0553 A:30A15 B:30B48 VI 2.10 (11) ²tsi₄ "fly and mosquito"
L3574 A:28B71 B:29B41 VI 2.33 (37) ²tse₄ tse ཙེ "to know"
A62 * L5643 A:03B24 B:04B24 I 1.30 (31) ¹my₄ "without"
L5077 A:03B33 B:04B27 I 1.30 (31) ¹my₄ "to puzzle"
L5382 A:03B25 B:04B17 I 2.28 (31) ²my₄ "footprint"
A63 L2984 A:07B67 B:08B28 I 1.59 (62) ¹puq₄ "measure"
A64 L2798 A:43A66 B:44A16 VIII 2.72 (84) ²ir₄ "hundred"
L2082 A:45A12 B:46B55 VIII 1.86 (92) ¹yr₄ "to ask"
L0592 A:41B37 B:42A56 VIII 2.77 (92) ²yr₄ "a necklace of precious stones"
L1571 A:41B35 B:42A55 VIII 2.77 (92) ²yr₄ "platform"
A65 L0359 A:17A36 B:17B77 III 1.58 (61) ¹tuq₁ "thousand"
L2787 A:17A35 B:17B76 III 1.58 (61) ¹tuq₁ "net"
A71 L1484 A:26B57 B:27B13 V 1.3 (3) ¹ku₄ transliteration
A72 L0081 A:35A73 B:36A41 VII 2.9 (10) ²chi₃ transliteration
L2749 A:35A68 B:36A32 VII 1.10 (10) ¹chi₃ "to know"
L4207 A:35A71 B:36A28 VII 1.10 (10) ¹chi₃ "branch"
A73 L1204 A:18A56 B:18B74 III 2.68 (79) ²ner₄ r.ne རྣེ "face"
L5851 A:18A62 B:18B77 III 2.68 (79) ²ner₄ "all"
L0558 A:18A64 B:19A15 III 1.74 (79) ¹ner₄ "wild animal"
A74 L3068 A:18A16 B:20B56 III 2.55 (65) ²nenq₄ "overcast sky"
A75 L5314 A:42B13 B:43A37 VIII 2.17 (20) ²a₄ transliteration
L4660 A:43B75 B:46B38 VIII 1.26 (27) ¹an₄ transliteration
L0494 A:45A71 B:45B65 VIII 1.16 (16) ¹in₄ a surname
L1767 A:45B22 B:43A36 VIII 1.20 (20) ¹a₄ "cat"
A76 L3667 A:36B43 B:37A73 VII 1.18 (18) ¹chha₂ "fork"
L5311 A:36B45 B:37A75 VII 1.18 (18) ¹chha₂ "surprised"
A77 L3379 A:43B28 B:46B34 VIII 1.43 (44) ¹hew₁ "a kind of grass"
A78 L4003 A:25B36 B:26A78 V 2.17 (20) ²kha₄ "to draw water"
L4823 A:28B25 B:29A31 V 1.21 (21) ¹kha'₃ kha transliteration
L2004 A:25B35 B:26A77 V 2.17 (20) ²kha₄ "well"
L0162 A:22B61 B:23B44 V 1.26 (27) ¹khan₄ transliteration
B11 L0152 A:27B76 B:28B16 V 1.66 (69) ¹kiq₂ "gold"
B12 L4735 A:38A67 B:38B71 VII 2.16 (19) ²ja₃ "hard"
B13 L2546 A:17B11 B:20B46 III 1.64 (67) ¹naq₄ "god, spirit"
B14 L5353 A:26B31 B:29B13 V 2.43 (52) ²kho₂ "skilful"
L1057 A:27B24 B:28A42 V 1.55 (57) ¹khon₂ "body"
B15 L2620 A:18A44 B:18B65 III 2.10 (11) ²nwi₄ "able, good"
L0619 A:18A46 B:19A14 III 1.11 (11) ¹nwi₄ "kindness"
B16 L2520 B:33B45 VI 1.86 (92) ¹dzyr₄ "quick"
L0528 A:33A35 B:33B44 VI 1.86 (92) ¹dzyr₄ "to chop"
B17 L1762 A:55B18 IX 2.58 (68) ²lwiq₁ "slow"
B18 L1959 A:26A11 B:26B47 V 1.79 (84) ¹kir₄ r.kyi རྐྱི "bold, sudden"
L1617 A:26A13 B:26B51 V 2.72 (84) ²kir₄ "to dare"
L1141 A:26A12 B:26B48 V 2.72 (84) ²kir₄ "waist"
L0058 A:25B78 B:26B46 V 1.79 (84) ¹kir₄ "to observe"
B19 L0155 A:27B68 B:28B11 V 1.23 (24) ¹ga'₄ "to jump"
L1478 A:27B32 B:28A48 V 1.16 (16) ¹gin₄ transliteration
B21 L3368 A:19A55 B:19B67 III 1.67 (70) ¹thwiq₄ "young"
B22 L0611 A:06B21 B:07A68 I 1.86 (92) ¹myr₄ "strong"
L0607 A:06B23 B:07A72 I 1.86 (92) ¹myr₄ "people"
B23 L0542 A:50B76 B:51A72 VII 2.44 (53) ²shwo₃ "beautiful"
B24 L3228 A:19A52 B:19B64 III 1.53 (55) ¹tho'₄ ɦ.tho འཐོ "beautiful"
B25 L3798 A:33B57 B:34A63 VI 1.40 (41) ¹tsen₁ "small"
B26 L2893 A:27B21 B:28A41 V 2.30 (34) ²khwe₁ "big"
B27 L2549 B:34A22 VI 1.17 (17) ¹dza₁ "miscellaneous, mixed"
L2492 A:33B58 B:34A64 VI 2.14 (17) ²dza₁ "to survey"
L5691 A:30B66 B:31B25 VI 1.80 (85) ¹dzar₁ "to survey"
L5350 A:30B67 B:31B26 VI 1.80 (85) ¹dzar₁ "to change"
B28 L3078 IX 1.1 (1) ¹lwu₁ "to mix"
B29 L2649 A:35A42 B:35B71 VII 1.56 (58) ¹chon₃ a surname
L2105 A:35A37 B:35B67 VII 1.56 (58) ¹chon₃ "the first month"
B210 L3628 A:45A56 B:45B54 VIII 1.26 (27) ¹ghwan₄ a surname
B211 L2153 A:40B54 B:41A28 VII 2.31 (35) ²chhe₂ "stockaded village"
B31 L1408 A:48B34 B:49A42 IX 1.94 (102) ¹lhor'₁ "market"
L1126 A:48B35 B:49A43 IX 1.94 (102) ¹lhor'₁ a unit of length
L4247 A:48B28 B:49A38 IX 1.94 (102) ¹lhor'₁ a unit of measurement
L4317 A:48B33 B:49A41 IX 1.94 (102) ¹lhor'₁ "table"
B32 L3372 A:21A58 B:22A37 V 2.51 (61) ²kuq₁ "inner [palace]"
L3027 A:21A57 B:22A38 V 2.51 (61) ²kuq₁ b.kuɦ བཀུའ "lining"
L4204 A:21A55 B:22A35 V 2.51 (61) ²kuq₁ "central room"
L5876 A:21A61 B:22A41 V 2.51 (61) ²kuq₁ "to tie"
B33 L3592 A:41B76 B:42B27 VIII 1.86 (92) ¹ghyr₄ "we" (as used by the emperor)
B34 L3654 ? A:44A26 B:44B31 VIII a kinship prefix
B35 L3622 A:24A14 B:24B65 V 2.85 (100) ²kyr'₄ "house, room"
L0270 A:27A17 B:27B37 V 1.92 (100) ¹kyr'₄ "to gather"
L2609 A:24A15 B:24B72 V 2.85 (100) ²kyr'₄ "mallet"
B36 L2357 A:26A64 B:27A27 V 2.60 (70) ²giq₄ "wide"
L2035 A:26A66 B:29A76 V 1.67 (70) ¹giq₄ "to groan"
B37 L5399 A:26A18 B:29A71 V 1.3 (3) ¹khu₄ d.gyu དགྱུ "below"
L2561 A:26A14 B:26B55 V 2.3 (3) ²khu₄ "penis"
B41 L1616 A:44B31 B:45A21 VIII 2.42 (51) ²o₁ wo ཝོ "to enter, to contain, to hold"
L5670 A:44B52 B:45A42 VIII 1.49 (51) ¹o₁ "to hang"
L3736 A:44B32 B:45A24 VIII 2.42 (51) ²o₁ "pleasure"
L2045 A:44B36 B:45A26 VIII 2.42 (51) ²o₁ "wine"
L0546 A:44B24 B:45A17 VIII 2.1 (1) ²u₁ a surname
B42 L4922 A:19A27 B:19B44 III 2.5 (5) ²dwu'₁ "secret"
B43 L3095 A:53B43 IX 2.1 (1) ²lwu₁ "to hide"
B44 L2258 A:27B55 B:28A66 V 2.6 (7) ²khu'₄ "to watch"
B45 L3268 A:39A55 B:39B42 VII 1.42 (43) ¹chhwen₃ "to prohibit"
B46 L1354 A:40B47 B:41A23 VII 1.59 (62) ¹chuq₃ "to guard"
B47 L4976 A:43A44 B:44A11 VIII 2.66 (77) ²wer₁ "to guard"
L0149 A:43A45 B:44A12 VIII 2.66 (77) ²wer₁ "to protect"
B48 L5688 A:11B38 B:12B33 II 2.14 (17) ²va₁ wa "how, what"
L5156 A:10B66 B:11B66 II 1.17 (17) ¹va₁ transliteration
B51 L1338 A:33B45 B:34A55 VI 1.1 (1) ¹dzu₁ "to love"
L0460 A:32B24 B:33A41 VI 2.1 (1) ²dzu₁ "a long narrow piece"
B52 L1277 A:28A55 B:28B62 V 1.8 (8) ¹ngwi₁ "to be willing"
L0395 A:25A47 B:26A21 V 2.7 (8) ²ngwi₁ "ox"
B53 L4868 A:22A34 B:23A13 V 2.12 (14) ²gi'₄ "hope"
L1238 A:22A33 B:23A12 V 2.12 (14) ²gi'₄ "full"
L1598 A:22A31 B:22B77 V 1.14 (14) ¹gi'₄ "clear"
L3541 A:22B74 B:23B56 V 1.11 (11) ¹gi₄ "honest"
B54 L5766 A:40A38 B:40B18 VII 2.20 (23) ²sha'₂ "at will; target [for archery]"
B55 L4776 A:06B33 B:07B12 I 1.68 (71) ¹pyq₁ "to hit"
B56 L2436 A:04B66 B:05B61 I 1.23 (24) ¹ma'₄ "fruit"
L1780 A:04B71 B:05B64 I 1.23 (24) ¹ma'₄ "to seek"
L4449 A:04B74 B:05B67 I 2.21 (24) ²ma'₄ "big"
L3762 A:04B68 B:05B63 I 1.23 (24) ¹ma'₄ "big"
L0747 A:04B75 B:05B68 I 2.21 (24) ²ma'₄ "many"
B57 L1100 A:31A56 B:32A17 VI 2.17 (20) ²tsha₄ tsha "to repay a debt"
B58 L1602 A:21A78 B:22A57 V 2.82 (97) ²ngorn₁ "whole"
B59 L4700 A:16A47 B:17A23 III 1.59 (62) ¹duq₄ "to meet"
L1865 A:16A46 B:17A26 III 1.59 (62) ¹duq₄ "leg"
L1152 A:16A44 B:17A18 III 1.59 (62) ¹duq₄ "centre"
B61 L5171 A:33B41 B:34A51 VI 1.27 (28) ¹sy₁ "full"
B62 L3194 A:54B46 IX (28) lhy₁ "full"
L1793 A:55B47 IX 2.10 (11) ²lhi₄ "to fear"
B63 L5379 B:38B34 VII 1.32 (33) ¹chy'₃ g.ciɦ གཅིའ "order, sequence"
B64 L3513 A:03A23 B:04A22 I 1.27 (28) ¹my₁ "sky, heaven"
L5932 A:02B64 B:03B57 I 2.25 (28) ²my₁ mu མུ "kind"
L2823 A:02B63 B:03B62 I 2.25 (28) ²my₁ "to give birth"
L2244 A:02B65 B:03B63 I 2.25 (28) ²my₁ "fly and mosquito"
L3011 A:02B74 B:03B74 I 2.25 (28) ²my₁ "fountainhead"
L2002 A:02B75 B:03B75 I 2.25 (28) ²my₁ "boring"
L4831 A:02B73 B:03B73 I 2.25 (28) ²my₁ "honest"
B65 L2449 A:04B77 B:05B72 I 2.7 (8) ²bi₁ d.bwiɦ དབྭིའ "the sun"
L5979 A:07B44 B:08A74 I 1.33 (34) ¹be₁ "to tie"
L5472 A:07B42 B:10A36 I 2.30 (34) ²be₁ "rope"
B66 L2814 A:51B13 B:51B75 IX 2.60 (70) ²lhiq₄ "the moon"
L5591 A:51B15 B:51B74 IX 2.60 (70) ²lhiq₄ "to bear (a burden)"
L0394 A:51A78 B:51B71 IX 2.60 (70) ²lhiq₄ "down"
B71 L0108 A:25B11 B:26A53 V 2.61 (72) ²gyq₄ "stars"
L0102 A:22A42 B:23A21 V 2.28 (31) ²gy₄ "night"
L0448 A:22A38 B:23A16 V 2.28 (31) ²gy₄ "one"
L3387 A:22A43 B:23A22 V 2.28 (31) ²gy₄ "cave"
L3279 A:27B51 B:28A63 V 1.30 (31) ¹gy₄ "children"
L3062 A:24B36 B:25B14 V 2.40 (46) ²gew₄ "to burst"
L5888 A:27A53 B:29B22 V 1.45 (46) ¹gew₄ "broad"
B72 L0109 A:26A62 B:27A26 V 1.61 (64) ¹geq₄ "constellation"
L4999 A:21B21 B:22A68 V 1.61 (64) ¹geq₄ "to cut"
L2557 A:26A61 B:27A24 V 1.61 (64) ¹geq₄ "inferior"
B73 L5725 A:10B58 B:11B62 II 2.61 (72) ²vyq₃ "east"
L5215 A:10B64 B:11B64 II 1.69 (72) ¹vyq₃ d.wa དཝ "to change"
L5089 A:10B62 B:11B63 II 2.61 (72) ²vyq₃ "to send"
B74 L4796 A:52A47 B:52B32 IX 1.86 (92) ¹zyr₄ "south"
L2858 A:47A57 B:47B48 IX 2.72 (84) ²zir₄ "long"
L4898 A:47A58 B:47B52 IX 2.72 (84) ²zir₄ "armor"
L0845 A:47A62 B:47B51 IX 2.72 (84) ²zir₄ "back"
B75 L2945 A:54B54 IX 2.10 (11) ²li₃ "west"
L4518 A:49A73 B:49B78 IX 2.9 (10) ²li₃ "fragrant"
(missing pages)
B11 L5595 A:45B45 B:46A36 VIII 2.42 (51) ²hwo₁ transliteration for Chinese characters, including huó 活, 和, and huáng 黄/皇.
L1402 A:49A73 B:49B78 VIII 1.96 (104) ¹hun₁ "red"
L1601 A:43A55 B:43B74 VIII 1.54 (56) ¹hon₁ transliteration for Chinese characters, including 和 and huáng 黄/皇.
B12 L3364 A:09A27 B:09B53 I 1.16 (16) ¹bin₄ transliteration
B13 L5925 A:34B37 B:35A36 VI 1.27 (28) ¹tsy₁ transliteration
B14 L5036 A:52A64 B:35A36 IX 1.8 (8) ¹zi₁ "baby"
B15 L0184 A:19B28 B:20A42 III 1.17 (17) ¹twa₁ transliteration
B17 L5783 A:18A21 B:18B42 III 2.41 (48) ²dew'₁ "frivolous; respectful"
L1001 ? A:16B37 B:17B11 III 2.11 (12) ²di'₁ "dirt"
B18 L4649 A:19B64 B:20A71 III 2.17 (20) ²tha₄ transliteration
B19 L0898 A:46A15 B:46A75 VIII 2.20 (23) ²a'₂ transliteration
B110 L1652 A:19B45 B:20A55 III 2.17 (20) ²ta₄ transliteration
B111 L2936 ? A:19A58 B:19B72 III 1.21 (21) ¹ta'₃ onomatopoeia (sound of water dripping)
B21 L5793 A:43A77 B:44A32 VIII 1.69 (72) ¹ghwyq₄ "to ripple, to move"
B22 L3135 A:11B22 B:12A75 II 2.23 (26) ²van₂ a surname, transliteration
L1360 ? A:11A64 B:12A58 II 1.17 (17) ¹va₁ "to conceal"
B23 L5792 A:19B31 B:20A43 III 1.23 (24) ¹da'₄ transliteration
B24 L1796 A:40B31 B:33B36 VII 1.59 (62) ¹chhuq₃ "to entice"
B25 L2426 A:33A26 B:44A32 VI 1.3 (3) ¹tsu₄ "anger"
B26 L4509 A:24A12 B:24B63 V 1.27 (28) ¹khy₁ "meat filling"
B27 L3193 A:34B23 B:35A22 VI 1.16 (16) ¹tshin₄ a surname
B28 L0131 A:34A43 B:34B42 VI 1.16 (16) ¹tswin₄ a surname
B29 L4002 A:28B34 B:29A38 V 2.17 (20) ²kha₄ transliteration

* The Initial/Rhyme column gives the Initial class (I–IX), tone number (1 or 2), rhyme group within the tone (1–97 for tone 1, and 1–86 for tone 2), and in parentheses the unified rhyme group (1–105).

** The transcription used on this page is Marc Miyake's complex phonetic transcription. This is not a phonetic reconstruction, but a transcription where "letters and numbers symbolize phonetic distinctions but do not necessarily precisely represent them". In particular, note that final -q, -r and -n are not consonants, but respectively indicate tension, retroflexion and nasalization of the preceding vowel. The final apostrophe indicates an unknown phonetic quality. The 'y' represents a schwa [ə].


A62. The head character for this entry has been almost completely lost due to damage to the page, but Romain Lefebvre has pointed out to me (personal communication, 2015-08-21) that it must be L5643 "without", which very frequently precedes L2984 "measure" (the head character for A63) in Buddhist texts, and is homophonous with the legible small characters in this entry.

Vocabulary List

The large characters on this folio are not ordered on graphic or phonetic principles, but appear to represent a list of lexical entities, with the head characters for between two and four adjacent entries forming a word or phrase, as shown in Table 5 below. Not all characters form attested words or phrases, but it is possible that in some cases this may be a reflection of our lack of knowledge of Tangut lexicology. Certainly some pairs of characters could plausibly form words or phrases, although I have been unable to find them attested, and in these cases I have provisionally indicated them as a lexical entity (marked with an asterisk).

The overall logic for ordering these lexical entities is not clear (they cannot be read as running text), but some related words and phrases are grouped together, for example A71–B12 are all Sanskrit Buddhist terms; and B64–B75 are terms related to heaven and earth. This listing of words and phrases is highly reminiscent of the Tangut wordbook, Mixed Characters, which lists Tangut words in semantic categories.

The large characters on the last two lines of the fourth image do not obviously form lexical items, and are omitted from the table below. These 21 characters are mostly characters used for transliteration, mixed with a few characters with concrete meaning (such as "to entice", "anger" and "meat filling"), but which cannot easily form words or phrases. Perhaps these are miscellaneous characters appended at the end of the section because there is nowhere better to put them.

Table 5. Vocabulary List
Entries Characters Meaning Attestation
A11 "to write"
A12 "so, then"
A13 and A14 "to release" Homophones A:06A27 B:07A14
A15 and A16 * "to capture" (unattested)
A17, A21, A22, A23 "eyes, ears, nose, and tongue" Homophones A:16A52 B:17A28 "ears and nose"
A24 "body"
A25 "scheme, idea"
A26 and A27 "to live in peace" Sea of Characters Mixed 4.231
A31 and A32 * "to increase in good fortune" (unattested)
A33 and A34 "to save up" XHZD p. 814
A35 and A36 "demon" Homophones A:43A61 B:43B78
A37 and A38 * "to curse someone with a calamity" (unattested)
A39 "government official"
A41 "suffering"
A42 "doubt"
A43 "far; to distance"
A44 "between"
A45 "to forbid"
A46 and A47 "to destroy" XHZD p. 840
A48 and A51 "to separate" Homophones A:35A47 B:36A12
A52 perfective prefix
A53 "to divide"
A54 and A55 "extraordinary" Homophones A:49A41 B:49B34
A56 and A57 "to surpass" XHZD p. 844
A58 and A61 XHZD p. 317
A62 and A63 "without measure; unmeasurable" (Buddhist term) XHZD p. 488
A64 and A65 "hundreds and thousands" XHZD p. 460
A71 and A72 "koṭi (Sanskrit "ten million") [koṭi kalpa = Chinese jùzhī dàjié 俱胝大劫] XHZD p. 248
A73, A74, A75, A76 "yakṣa with a wrathful expression" (Chinese pínméi yàochā 顰眉藥叉) XHZD p. 501
A77 and A78 Sanskrit transliteration, cf. = mahoraga (Chinese mó hóu luó jiā 摩睺羅伽) XHZD p. 548
B11 and B12 "vajra" (Chinese jīn gāng 金剛) XHZD p. 750
B13 "god, spirit" (B11 + B12 + B13 = "vajra god" ?)
B14 and B15 "skilful and good at" Homophones A:26B31 B:29B13
B16 and B17 "quick and slow" = "speed" Kychanov #0025.3
B18 * "to jump out suddenly" (unattested)
B21 and B22 "young and strong" Homophones B:19B67
Mixed Characters 15A86
B23 and B24 "beautiful" Homophones A:19A52 B:19B64 gives the two characters swapped
B25 and B26 "small and large" (= "size" ?) Homophones B:34A63
Grains of Gold line 16b
B27 and B28 "mixed up" XHZD p. 420
B29 and B210 Chinese transliteration ? (unattested)
B211 "stockaded village"
B31 "market" (B211 + B31 = "village market" ?)
B32 "inner [palace]"
B33 "we" (as used by the emperor)
B34 kinship prefix
B35 "house, room"
B36 "wide"
B37 "below"
B41 "to enter, to contain, to hold"
B42 and B43 * "to hide in secret" (unattested)
B44 "to watch"
B45 "to prohibit"
B46 and B47 "to guard" Homophones A:40B47 B:41A23
Grains of Gold line 100b
B48 "how, what" (B48 + B51 + B52 = "how delightful!" ?)
B51 and B52 "delight" XHZD p. 214
B53 "hope"
B54 and B55 "to hit the target [in archery]" (cf. "a hundred hits with a hundred shots") XHZD p. 756
B56 and B57 "fruits of retribution" (Buddhist term, calque of Chinese bào guǒ 報果) Kychanov #5754.1
B58 "whole"
B59 "to meet"
B61 and B62 "full, complete" Avataṃsakasūtra ch. 41 (col. 296)
(Attestation provided by Romain Lefebvre)
B63 and B64 * "order of the heavens" (unattested)
B65 and B66 "sun and moon" Homophones A:04B77 B:05B72
Pearl in the Palm 04.6A
Grains of Gold line 1b
B71 and B72 "stars and constellations" Homophones A:25B11 B:26A53
Pearl in the Palm 04.6E
B73, B74, B75, [A11] "east, south, west [and north]" Pearl in the Palm 11.3D

69 of the 107 large characters on this folio are followed by one or more small characters which are homophones or homoeophones of the large character, with identical or very similar reconstructed readings ignoring tonal distinctions. However, 38 large characters are not followed by any small characters, even though they are not unique pronunciations. Many of the lexical entities listed in Table 5 have small-character homophones listed after each of the constituent characters, but some lexical entities have no small-character homophones for any of the constituent characters (e.g. B11–B12), so whether a character has homophones listed or not does not appear to be directly related to the vocabulary items formed by the large characters. Possibly the reason why some large characters have no listed homophones is that their homophones have already been listed in a previous entry (on a previous folio), but there is no evidence that this is the case from the single folio we have an image of.


The main function of this section of text would seem to be the listing of homophones for most of the large characters. Listing of homophones is the defining feature of Homophones, and is a subsidiary feature of Sea of Characters, but whereas the homophones in these two works are ordered according to initial class and rhyme, the homophones here are listed for lexical entities, and thus are not in any phonetic order. Significantly, many of the entries in this section include characters which are in two or more different homophone groups in Sea of Characters and Homophones, and even when most or all the homophone characters in a single entry correspond to the same homophone group in these two works, the order of characters does not closely match. We can therefore conclude that neither Homophones or Sea of Characters is the direct source for the homophones in this section.

The homophones on this folio exhibit the following phonetic features:

  • No entries show any differences in the initial consonant.
  • Several entries show a difference in vowels, e.g. me~mi (A17), tsy~tsi~tse (A61), ir~yr (A64), an~in (A75), o~u (B41), bi~be (B65), and zyr~zir (B74).
  • A number of entries show a difference in the presence or absence of -q, -r, -n, -w or -' (in Marc Miyake's transcription), e.g. phi~phin (A25), ne~ner~neq (A26), jon~jwo (A48), ka~kar (A51), lho~lhoq (A55), dzeq~dzen (A57), non'~non (A58), a~an (A75), kha~kha'~khan (A78), dza~dzar (B27), and gyq~gy~gew (B71).
  • Almost all entries have the same grade (the final [subscript] number in Marc Miyake's transcription), regardless of other differences in vowel or final -q, -r, -n, -w or -' (A78 is an exception, with grade 3 and 4 syllables).
  • Many entries include characters that differ only by tone (the initial [superscript] number in Marc Miyake's transcription).

For some entries a small circle separates either the large character from the following small characters, or the first few small characters from the remaining small characters, but no entry has more than one separating circle mark. This circle separator is represented in the table above by a dotted line between entries. However, there is no consistent phonetic or tonal differences between characters before and after the separating circle.

A relatively few characters, both large and small, are marked with a small circle on their right side. In fourteen cases the circle is placed centrally to the right, but in one case only (A44) the circle is placed at the bottom right, although this may not be significant. There is no common feature shared by the characters marked with a circle, and it is not obvious to me what this circle signifies.

This all suggests that this text does not represent the same version of the Tangut language as Homophones or Sea of Characters, but may represent a different dialect or a later historical stage in the evolution of the language, in which certain phonetic qualities (such as tension, retroflexion and nasalization) were not distinguished. Perhaps Homophones and Sea of Characters did not accurately reflect spoken Tangut even at the time they were written, and rather represented an idealized phonetic standard with artificial phonetic distinctions; which would help explain why Tibetan transcriptions of Tangut do not seem to reflect the phonetic complexity of modern reconstructions of Tangut. The homophones in this book may represent a more pragmatic phonetic standard, intended to reflect the speech of contemporary Tangut speakers.

Fourth Image : Last Page

This image of half a folio appears to show the last page of the book.

Image of the Final Page of the Main Section

The first two lines (on the right of the page) appear to be the end of the homophones section discussed above, and are listed in Table 4 above.

The next line gives the end title of the book, or at least the title of the homophones section of the book, as shown in the table below.

Table 6. End Title
Character Ref. Transcription Meaning Chinese
L1319 ¹tshi₄ "essential, important" "essential selection" zéyào 擇要
L5742 ¹tsir'₄ "to select"
L2513 ²u₃ "often, frequent" "often transmitted" chángchuán 常傳
L1332 ¹de'₁ "to transmit, pass on"
L2639 ²me'₄ "name" "homonyms" tóngmíng 同名
L1608 ²lew₁ "same"
L2403 ²di₄ "written character" "mixed characters" zázì 雜字
L2549 ¹dza₁ "mixed, miscellaneous"
L5085 ¹bu₁ "preface"
L5981 a "one" "one category" yīlèi 一類
L3017 ¹deq₄ "type, kind, category"

This can be translated as "Essential Selection of Often Transmitted Homonyms and Mixed Characters [with] preface in one category". This title has been translated into Chinese as Zéyào Chángchuán Tóngmíng Zázì 擇要常傳同名雜字 for the July 2015 exhibition at the National Library of China. It is worthwhile analysing each component of this title in order to better understand what it means.

Essential selection suggests that this book is an abridgement of a longer and more comprehensive work, or maybe an abridgement of two longer works. I estimate that the homophones section of this book only covers about 3,000 Tangut characters, less than half the number of known Tangut characters, so it is quite possible that this text is an abridgement of a source text that covers all 6,000+ Tangut characters.

Often transmitted suggests that the process of abridgement selected the most frequently-used Tangut characters. This is corroborated by the available part of the homophones section, which does seem in general to list more common Tangut characters, and omits Tangut characters that are only used in the ritual Tangut language.

Homonyms (literally "same name") parallels the title of the Tangut printed text Homophones (literally "same sound"), and it is probable that the small-character homophones listed in the homophones section were abridged from a lost book entitled Homonyms. I think that "homonyms" here refers to the homophone characters sharing the same homophone group name. Presumably each homophone group was named after a particular character (e.g. Entry A21 would be the "ear" homophone group), and so all characters that are homophones would share the same homophone group name (e.g. all homophones of "ear" would be in the "ear" group), and would be considered to be "homonyms" (sharing the same group name).

Mixed characters is the same as the title of the Tangut wordbook Mixed Characters (Chinese Zázì 雜字), which lists Tangut vocabulary in semantic categories but without any glosses. As the large characters in the homophones section form a vocabulary list it seems highly likely that the large characters were derived by abridgement from a lost text entitled Mixed Characters, although it does not seem to have been the same text as the extent printed book by that title.

Preface at first sight seems out of place, as this page does not include a preface. However, the word "preface" is included in the end title of some other Tangut texts (e.g. Grains of Gold), and in these cases I take it to mean simply that the text includes a preface. The catalogue of the 2015 exhibition does indeed note that this book has two prefaces, so it is not unreasonable to include the word "preface" in the end title.

One category indicates that this text is complete in one category. The end titles of Tangut texts that are complete in a single volume are often suffixed by the expression "one volume" using this character for "one" but various characters meaning "volume" (e.g. Grains of Gold has "one volume" in one copy, and "one volume" in another copy; and the Odes each have "one volume"). The word "category" is used at the end of the preface to Homophones, where the nine classes of initials are headed "Homophone categories" (even though the individual categories are called "classes" ). The homophones section in this book includes characters from all nine initial classes, so "one category" in the end title cannot mean that it only covers one initial class, but I think it may mean that characters from all nine initial classes are included in a single category.

We would expect to see the word "end" after a gap following the end title, but the page seems to be damaged at this point, and it is not clear whether "end" is present or not.

In summary, this title tells us that the text of the homophones section of this book was created by extracting frequently-used lexical entities from a book called Mixed Characters, and listing homophone characters derived from a book called Homonyms for those characters that are homophone group names. Because the homophones are listed against characters ordered by vocabulary rather than being ordered by initial and rhyme as is the case in Homophones, the homophones are all in a single [mixed] category.

The picture of a bird or phoenix flying off the page is wonderful finishing touch, but I do not know whether it has any specific meaning here or whether it is just a random doodle made by the woodblock carver to fill the blank space at the end of the page. In stark contrast to Chinese books, Tangut woodblock printed books frequently include whimsical drawings of people, animals, flowers, Buddhist symbols, or geometric designs, engraved in any available free space on the woodblock (see Tangut Text Decoration for some examples), so the image of a flying bird here is not that bizarre.

Handwritten Characters

The final thing to consider are the four short columns of text, in total twelve characters, written at the top left hand corner of this page. From the light colour of the ink and the scruffy strokes of some of the characters it looks like these characters are not printed, but have been written in by hand, presumably by the book's owner. These characters, as far as I have been able to identify them, are listed in Table 7 below.

Table 7. Handwritten Characters
No. Character Ref. Transcription Meaning
A1 ?
A2 L3992 ? ¹tan₁ "to bear (a burden)"
A3 L1453 ²ryr₄ "direction"
B1 ?
B2 L4690 ? ¹gu'₁ "treasure"
B3 L3146 ¹gwiq₄ "to wear (clothes)"
C1 L4691 ? ¹ghyq₄ "to spread rumours"
C2 L5163 ? ¹jon₃ "to separate"
C3 L1977 ¹my₁ "supernatural being"
C4 L2092 ¹ghyq₁ "pleased"
D1 ?
D2 L2895 ¹ly₃ "a cold" (illness)

These characters do not make any sense when read as running text, and so cannot be an owner's note or any other meaningful text. The characters seem to be a random list, with no obvious graphic, semantic or phonetic relationship linking them, and so are probably just practice characters written on a blank space in the book.

Tangut Sources

Classic of Filial Piety (Chinese Xiàojīng 孝經).

Grains of Gold ¹kiq₂ ¹dyq₄ ¹paq₄ ¹tiq₄ ²wyr₄ ¹paq₄ ¹tiq₄ ²wyr₄ (Chinese Suìjīn Zhìzhǎngwén 碎金置掌文).

Homophones ²ghiq₂ ²lew₁ (Chinese Tóngyīn 同音).

Mixed Characters ²di₄ ¹dza₁ (Chinese Zázì 雜字).

Odes ²dzo₄ (Chinese Shī 詩).

Pearl in the Palm ²mi₄ ¹zar₁ ¹ngwu'₁ ¹dzen₄ ¹bu₄ (Chinese Fān-Hàn Héshí Zhǎngzhōngzhū 番漢合時掌中珠).

Sea of Characters ²wyr₄ ²ngon₂ (Chinese Wénhǎi 文海).




杜羽,《册府千华 与人共享》;《光明日报》2015年07月22日 第9版。

《民间珍籍汇聚国图 公藏私藏共促保护》;《 中国文化报》2015年07月17日 第4版。


XHZD. Li Fanwen, Xià-Hàn Zìdiǎn [Tangut-Chinese Dictionary]. Beijing, 2008. 李范文編著,《夏漢字典》。中國社會科學出版社,2008年。

Kychanov, E. I. (Е. И. Кычанов), Словарь тангутского (Си Ся) языка [Tangut-Russian-English-Chinese Dictionary]. St. Petersburg and Kyoto, 2006.


My thanks to Tai Chung-pui 戴忠沛 for first bringing this text to my attention, and for providing source material. I am also indebted to Viacheslav Zaytsev for providing feedback and suggestions on a draft version of this post, and giving me information on the exhibition at the National Library of China.

I am also grateful for the helpful feedback and suggestions from Romain Lefebrve andMarc Miyake that have been offered after I published the first version of this post.

Last modified: 2015-09-06.