Crossroads of Languages: Old Uyghur interpretation of a Chinese colophon in the Berlin Turfan collection
(64th Meeting Budapest, 2022)
Turfan was one of the crossroads of divergent languages and scripts on the ancient Northern Sild Road. Manuscripts discovered by the German Turfan expeditions in Turfan and adjacent regions show more than twenty languages and scripts, and use of different scripts and languages demonstrates very complicated setting. This paper tries to illustrate this point through the investigation of a colophon of the Qianziwen “Thousand Characters Essay” written in Chinese by a Uyghur called 勝泉都统 Šingsön Tutong of Yarkhoto in the 13ᵗʰ year of Tianxi 天禧, year Xinwei 辛未, which actually was read in Old Uyghur, or reflect clear traces of the Old Uyghur language.