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0383 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 383 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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161. CIORCIA   367

I have interpreted this as representing Jürcät, because the initial of the original name must have been j-, not c- (the ms. does not distinguish between c and j, nor does it mark the palatalization of -u after palatal consonants). But there was no J in true Uighur words (although the Uighurs could pronounce it), and BANG and RACHMATI (Die Legende von Oyuz Qayan, in SPA W, 1932, 698281) may have been right when they retained (urcät; an initial e" in Uighur finds some support in a Tibetan transcription which will be mentioned farther on. At a later date, the SinoUighur Vocabulary of the Board of Translators, 46 b, seems to give Cüréük (cf. also TERRIEN DE LACOUPERIE in JRAS, 1889, 438; F. W. K. MÜLLER, Zwei Pfahlinschriften, 33; not « Cürcür » as was proposed as a second « possible » reading by BI, II, 446), so that Cürcük has been entered in

RADLOV's Dictionary (III, 2197, where it is so transcribed, but miswritten « ( urcuq » in Uighur writing). But there is certainly a mistake in the text, due primarily to the misplacement of a

hook, and the Chinese phonetic transcription jj W,   Chu-êrh-ch'ê requires the name to be

YULE has said (Y, I, 231) that the Mongol form of the name was « Churché », i. e. Curcä,

although CORDIER, quoting PALLADIUS, elsewhere gives « Churchin », i. e. Curtin (Y, I, 344). But this is not correct. The name occurs several times in the Secret History (§§ 247, 248, 253, 274), always as Jürcät, and the derived adjectival form, used as a proper name, is always Jürcädäi (_ *Jürcä[n] dai; §§ 130, 171, 176, etc.; but the biography in YS, 120, 3-4, gives )1-,

Shu-ch'ih-t'ai, *Ju[r]éitai). «Sanang Setsen» writes Jur it (cf. SCHMIDT's Index, 496), which is also given in the Altan tobei (GoMBOEV, 22', although the translation, p. 133, gives «Jur ut»; I shall come back to this « JurCut » farther on).

A Tibetan text, translated in the middle ages from Chinese into Uighur, and from Uighur

into Tibetan, speaks of the bCur-ci dynasty (cf. P. CORDIER, Catal. du fonds tibétain, Index du Tanjur, p. 247), which would tend to show that, in the Mongol period, the name was pronounced in Uighur with an initial e"-, not j. A more recent author 'Jigs-med nam-mkha speaks of the « Man-ju Jur-chid » and of the « Jur-chid Dynasty gSer » (-- Golden; cf. HUTH, Gesch. des Buddhismus, II, 20, 29) ; but, although writing in Tibetan, the author was a Mongol, and he merely writes in Tibetan letters the same Mongol form which we have met with in « Sanang Setsen » and in the Altan tobci.

The various transcriptions in Persian, Uighur, and Mongolian, with an alternation of -ä- and

-i- in the second syllable, suggest an original form *Jurcen, with a quiescent -n, on which a Mongol (not Jaen) regular plural in -t was formed, to wit *Jurced > *Jurcid. The palatalization of the first vowel (-ii-) may have been less marked in the Tungus original form than in Uighur and Mongolian. The Chinese transcriptions, however, raise new difficulties.

It is from the Chinese transcriptions that the form « Jucen », now in general use, has been adopted since GRUBE published his Die Sprache and Schrift der Juden in 1896. This adoption is unfortunate. The initial j of «Jucen» has been sometimes wrongly supposed to have the German value of j = y, and consequently, perhaps also under the influence of the « Yuché » which was probably a slip or a misprint for «Juché» in Y, I, 231, we find «Yucen» twice in BANG and RACHMATI, lot. cit. 709, and also «Iucen» in BENEDETTO (B1, 441). But the main objection is that «Jaen », in spite of its scientific appearance, represents neither the Chinese transcriptions