Tangut Language and Manuscripts: An Introduction


This book is the first comprehensive introduction to the Tangut script and grammar, materials and manuscripts, and the historiography of Western Xia in any language. Five of the fifteen chapters survey the history of the Tangut Empire, the historiography of Tangut Studies, as well as new advancements in the field, notably research on the recently decoded Tangut cursive writings found in Khara-Khoto social, economic and military documents. The other ten chapters formally introduce the Tangut language: its linguistic origins, characters, grammars, translations, textual and contextual readings. In this synthesis of historical narratives and linguistic analysis, renowned Tangutologist Shi Jinbo offers specialists and general audience alike a guided access to the mysterious civilisation of the ‘Great State White and High’.

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Biographical Note

Shi, Jinbo is Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. A renowned linguist, Shi has published widely on Tangutology, including Study of the Sea of Characters (1983), Western Xia Publishing (2004), and Economic Records of Western Xia (2017).

Li, Hansong, B.A. University of Chicago, M.Phil. University of Cambridge, is a scholar of intellectual and international history.


Tangutologists, scholars of East Asia & Inner Asia, especially medieval China, ethnology and linguistics, medieval Eurasia and Tibet, history of Steppe regimes.

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