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Xiyu tongwen zhi 西域同文志

Oct 6, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

(Qinding) Xiyu tongwen zhi (欽定)西域同文志 "(Imperially endorsed) Dictionary of languages in the Western Territories" is a dictionary of languages used in the "Western Territories" (an old name for Eastern Turkestan or Xinjiang), Qinghai and Tibet compiled on imperial order under the supervision of Fuheng 傅恒 (1720-1770), and presented to the throne in 1763.

The 24-juan long book is arranged thematically and divided into the four parts geography, mountains, rivers and human affairs. It is divided into 15 chapters and included 3,111 entries. Each entry is headed by the Manchurian word, followed by the Chinese translation, the transcription according to the sanhe qieyin 三合切音 system ("unified cut-sound system for the languages Chinese, Manchu and Monglian") that operates with Chinese characters that are used phonetically, partially in syllables, and partially in lexemes: U[l+u]mu[tɕ+i] 烏[嚕+烏]穆[緀+伊], like the fanqie system, then the Mongolian, Tibetan, "Tangutan" (Tuote 托忒, i.e. the local tongue of Mongolian in the western regions) and Turki (today known as Uyghurian).

For each of these languages, a phonetic transcription into Manchurian is provided. This text can be called a preliminary study to the "Five-Fold Mirror of Languages" Wuti qingwen jian 五體清文鑒. It is included in the imperial series Siku quanshu 四庫全書 and was reprinted in 1962 in Japan as part of the series Tōyō bunko sōkan 東洋文庫叢刊.

The entry or lemma "Ürümqi (Urumchi)". It begins (to the right side) with the name of the city written in Manchu language, then in Chinese. The mu 木 in Wulumuqi 烏魯木齊 is written smaller to signify that the vowel [u] is not pronounced. Then follows an explanation about the city and its history, beginning with the Han-period site Pulei 蒲類. The next transcription is the sanhe qieyin 三合切音 system: U[l+u]mu[tɕ+i] 烏[嚕+烏]穆[緀+伊]. Then follow the Monglian, the Tibetan, the Tangutan (i.e. Western Mongolian), and finally the Uyghurian transcription.
Sources:
Danzhu Angbeng 丹珠昂奔, ed. (2003). Xizang da cidian 藏族大辭典 (Lanzhou: Gansu renmin chubanshe), 822.
Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 1430.
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 750.
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, ed. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 125.
Wu Feng 吳楓, ed. (1987). Jianming Zhongguo guji cidian 簡明中國古籍辭典 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 630.
Zhou Weizhou 周偉洲, Ding Jingtai 丁景泰, ed. (2006). Sichou zhi lu da cidian 絲綢之路大辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 786.