An inquiry into čïn bitig in Uyghur contract with 亲契 as Its Chinese Version

Liu Ge (Shaanxi, China )

An inquiry into čïn bitig in Uyghur contract with 亲契 as Its Chinese Version

(57th Annual Meeting of the PIAC Vladivostok, 2014)

I. Literature Review: čïn bitig as 真契 (genuine contract)

Čïn bitig in this paper appears in a document numbered Mi 21 by Nobuo Yamada about land lease issues from a book “A collection of Uyghur Documents of Contract” compiled by Hisanori Takada, etc. Yamada defined čïn as genuine which stemmed from the Chinese 真(zhen), and as Japanese version “(<chin.真)真の,真 正の” meaning the genuine lease.

Dr. Clark, an American, presented a rather detailed introduction of renowned scholars’ views on the issue in his dotorial dissertation “Introduction to the Uyghur Civil Documents of East Turkestan (13th-14th cc.)”.

First he introduced B. B. Radloff’s discussion on document transcription and some relavant notes from “A Dictionary of Ancient Turkstan” compiled by the Soviet scholars. čïn bitig means “the original, supplementary document”, These are finally, all genuine documents”, which is taken from the DTS editors’ citation 73:3 based on Radloff’s wording.

Clark introduced some other scholars’ views. For instance, the Turkish scholar Arat interpretes the phrase in Clark’s 99:13 as “a genuine basic deed or contract.” G. Clausen in “Etymological Dictionary of Turkish Pre-13th Century” defined čïn as “true or genuine, a Chinese borrowing 真 ( chen ) which appeared early in Manichean, Buddhist and Qaraxanid texts”.

II. 亲契, the Chinese equivalent for čïn bitig in Uyghur.

3.1 čïn as transliteration for the medieval Chinese 真(zhen),The correlation between čïn and 真 can be traced in the phonology of ancient Chinese.

3.2 Čïn collocated with bitig to form a new word, Čïn bitig is a well-collocated word. Čïn (true) as an adjective qualifies the noun bitig (document). The collocation and qualification occurred frequently in ancient Turkish.

3.3 Čïn baš bitig as a phrase.In other words, baš is an adjective and čïn baš bitig is a phrase which means the true, original and first contract-真元契.

3.4 The semantic extension of čïn corresponding to other Chinese words

3.41 亲契 found in the contracts of the Yuan Dynasty.真契 is not hard to understand in Chinese, but can hardly be found in the ancient Chinese documents. Instead, 亲契 (pro-lease) as a proper noun has been found in the text of a land deed in the Yuan Dynasty.亲契 refers to the contract signed by the seller himself.

3.42 亲契 associated with 真契 in a sense, Therefore, both in structure and in sense, 亲契 and 真契 are closely associated with each other.

3.43 In ancient Chinese 亲 and 新 were semantically linked,Both 新 and 真 are adjectives, and 亲契 and 新契 share the same grammatical structure and meaning. That is why 亲契 and 新契 are interlinked.

3.44 Different pronunciations for 真,亲,新 in ancient Chinese.

3.45 The same pronunciation foe 真,亲,新 in Uyghur .

3.46 Relationship between written form and pronunciation in Uyghur language.

3.47 Possible Semantic extension of čïn in the Mongolia-Yuan period

IV. Supplementary evidence for čïn bitig as 亲契 in Mi21

V. Conclusion

Čïn in the ancient Turkish language expressing the idea of true or genuine was derived from the Chinese language, which serves as a substantial reflection of the influence that Chinese culture exercised on the subculture of the Northwest ethnic groups. čïn bitig is a proper noun in Uyghur contracts. In both sound and sense it coincides with 亲契. It can be a case of the semantic extension in Uyghur document without changing the pronunciation of the Chinese borrowing on the circumstance of the unified Yuan Dynasty.