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Document Details :
Title: The Earliest Attested Turkic Language
Subtitle: The Chieh (*Kir) Language of the Fourth Century A.D.
Author(s): SHIMUNEK, Andrew , BECKWITH, Christopher I. , NORTH WASHINGTON, Jonathan , KONTOVAS, Nicholas , NIYAZ, Kurban
Journal: Journal Asiatique
Volume: 303 Issue: 1 Date: 2015
The recent revival by Étienne de la Vaissière of the idea that the Huns of European history are to be identified with the Hsiung-nu of Chinese history is based partly on Chinese and Sogdian accounts of the sacking of the cities Yeh and Loyang in the early fourth century AD. One of the key pieces of evidence not discussed by de la Vaissière is a prophecy recorded in Chinese transcription, which has been interpreted variously by previous scholars, who have proposed to identify the text linguistically with one or another language. Close reexamination based on a more accurate reconstruction of the Chinese and on careful attention to the Central Eurasian linguistic evidence allows the text to be accurately read and precisely identified as an archaic form of Turkic close to the earliest attested texts in Old Turkic.