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Introducing New Staff 18

Khitan Grammar from the Viewpoint of New Material in the Khitan Scripts

WU, Yingzhe
(Visiting Associate professor, September 2011)

I am an Associate Professor at the School of Mongolian Studies, Inner Mongolia University, China. I have specialized in Khitan studies since the early 1990s and have been active both locating previously unknown inscriptions and studying them from the linguistic and philological points of view. Although the documents preserved in both the Khitan Large and the Khitan Small Script constitute by far the largest corpus of information on the Khitan language, this corpus has long remained difficult to use since both the scripts themselves and the underlying language are imperfectly known. A primary goal of Khitan Script studies is therefore to decipher the unknown inscriptions and documents.

I obtained both my MA thesis and my PhD thesis on the Khitan scripts and language at Inner Mongolia University under the supervision of prof. Chingeltei and prof. Wu Hugjiltu. I have also worked as an editorial assistant to prof. Chingeltei on a number of publication projects carried out during the last few years. From October 2007 to May 2009, I was staying as a visiting postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Asian and African Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland, initially as a participant in the bilateral exchange program between our two universities. During my time in Helsinki, I completed a draft version for a publication of new materials in the Khitan Small Script, which was worked and edited by prof. Juha Janhunen during the academic year 2009-2010.

Many precious epitaphs and certain documents in the Khitan Scripts have been discovered from China, Mongolia and Russia in the last few years. Based on these new materials, my current research focuses on Khitan grammar including nominal case, gender and number as well as the verbal conjugation.

Selected Publications :


1. Chingeltei & Wu Yingzhe: Problems of Decipherment of Khitan Small Script, Tokyo: Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, 2002.
2. Wu Yingzhe: Research on the Grammatical Categories of Nominals in the Khitan Language, Huhehaote: Inner Mongolia University Press, 2007.
3. Wu Yingzhe & Juha Janhunen: New Materials on the Khitan Small Scripit: A Critical Edition of Xiao Dilu and Yelü Xiangwen, England: Global Oriental, 2010.


1. Discussion of the grammatical category of “gender” in the Khitan Small Script with a view on dotted and non-dotted characters (in Chinese), Journal of Central University for Nationalities (China) 2006, No.6.
2. Present State of Khitan Small Script studies (in Japanese), Ryoukoku Shitan (Japan), 2007, vol.127.
3. An explanation of the expression “morning dew, night moon” in the Khitan Small Script (in Mongolian), Journal of Inner Mongolia University (China), 2007, No.3.
4. Traces of Chinese rhymes with the entering tone in the Khitan Script (in Chinese), Chinese Character Culture (China), 2007, No.4.
5. A brief discussion on the vowel attachment in the Khitan Small Script (in English), Journal of Philology Ural-Altaic Studies (Russia), No.1/ UA (1). 2009.
6. Deciphering some demonstrative pronouns in Khitan Small Script (in English), Altai Hakpo (Korea), 2011, vol.21.
7. Deciphering some Mongolic words in the materials of the Khitan Small Script (in Mongolian), Festschrift for Juha Janhunen (Finland), 2012.

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