Khitan script


Khitan script

Infobox Writing system
name=Khitan
type=Large script is Logographic, small script logographic, syllabary and possibly some phonograms.
languages=Khitan language
time=
fam1=Chinese
fam2=Oracle Bone Script
fam3=Seal Script
fam4=Clerical Script
fam5=Chinese characters
sisters=Simplified Chinese, Kanji, Hanja, Chữ Nôm, Zhuyin
children=Jurchen script
iso15924 =
sample=
imagesize=

Khitan script was the writing system of Khitan people. AfraidFacts|date=September 2007 that the popularity of Chinese language and writing would blur their distinct identity, the Khitan people of the 10th century devised their own alphabet. There were two writing systems for the Khitan language, known as the large script and the small script; they were functionally independent. The former was derived from Chinese (Han characters), and the latter was reportedly created by the scholar Diela ca. 925 AD, and is said to have been inspired by the Uyghur alphabet. However, both scripts have only been decoded to a small extend.

Although there are several clues to its origins, which might point to different origins, the Khitan language is most probably a descendant of Pre-Proto-Mongolic (and thus related to the Mongolic languages), and its agglutinizing nature is not particularly suited to purely monosyllabic logographs. The small script had logographs as well as characters which were completely phonemic. The Jurchen (ancestors of the Manchu people) derived their large script in part from Khitan.

External links

* [http://www.omniglot.com/writing/khitan.htm Khitan script on Omniglot]
* [http://linguistlist.org/forms/langs/LLDescription.cfm?code=zkt Linguist List - Description of Kitan]


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