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Sabine TREBINJAC : The Uyghurs in Chinese Turkestan: Geographic, Historical, and Linguistic Overview

Sabine Trebinjac speaks about the Uyghurs, their habitat - in Chinese Turkestan -, and presents a historical overview of their origins. She then discusses the basic principles of the Uyghur language, which is Turkish in origin.
The Uyghurs are one of China’s 56 ethnic groups. This ethnicity located in Chinese Turkestan (China’s extreme North-Western corner), which borders several countries: Turkmenistan, Kirghizstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, as well as Tibet and interior Mongolia found above the Chinese region of Qinhai. So it is a region with diverse surroundings that has belonged to the Chinese State for quite some time. The first historical mention of the Uyghur people was found on a stele from 460. The Uyghurs descended from Mongolia and moved into Chinese Turkestan. Between 745-840, the Uyghurs formed an extremely powerful Empire that civilized most of Central Asia with their writing - that they transmitted to the Mongols - and their legislative code. Uyghur is a Turk-Mongolian language. It is an agglutinate language that originally possessed its own alphabet and writing. Today, very few still read it. France did have an eminent expert on the language, Hamilton, but he recently passed away. This language has gradually begun to disappear. Under the Russian and then Soviet influence, the language was written in Cyrillic characters. Under the Chinese influence, it was written in Latin characters but used the Pinyin transcription system of the Chinese language. Since 1987, people have had the right to once again write it in an adapted Arabic alphabet while still writing out all vowels unlike in classic Arabic.

Extract from the folder :
"An Ethnosociological Look at Chinese and Uyghur Music"

Musicology -- Sociology of music -- Cultural anthropology --

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