Morphological Aspects of the Language of the Jurchen Script
AbstractThe present paper deals with the morphological (both derivational and
grammatical) elements conserved in the language remains written in the
so-called Smaller Jurchen script (SJS) as compared with the morphology
of Classical Manchu. The discussion has two principal objectives. On the
one hand, we shall examine the morphological similarities and possible
dissimilarities as well as the phonological correspondences between the
two idioms, which are conventionally regarded as separate languages,
though close to each other. On the other hand, we shall try to use the data
provided by the morphological and phonological analysis in order to
appreciate the results of the work done so far in the decipherment and
reconstruction of the "Jurchen language", as preserved in the written
sources. On this occasion we shall also review critically some recent
work, which, to our understanding, has tended to mystify the language of
the Jurchen script and present it as a solution to major problems at the
level of general Altaic comparisons.
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