Deciphering some demonstrative pronouns in Khitan Small Script
(53rd Annual Meeting of the PIAC, St. Petersburg 2010)
During more than 80 years of study, the academic world has been able to decipher most of the Chinese borrowings among the material in the Khitan Small Script. Consequently, based on the Chinese loanwords in Khitan, scholars were able to read a number of native Khitan words, even with extreme difficulty. These words include nouns, numerals, adjectives, verbs and particles etc. However, there was up to now no researcher telling us which Khitan characters denote Khitan pronouns. This paper will deal with the reading of some Khitan demonstrative pronouns relying on the rules of vowel attachment and number agreement in the Khitan Small Script, introduced in my earlier research. I consider the Khitan demonstrative pronouns to be cognate of Mongolic ede ‘these’ and tede ‘those’ and Manchu [ərə] ‘this’ and [tərə] ‘that’. The pronunciation, meaning and declension of the Khitan pronouns still remain to be explored, creating a completely new area of research within Khitan studies.