Daniel Kane, Marc Hideo Miyake

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Jurchen is the Tungusic language once spoken by the historical Jurchen, a mediaeval ethnic group in southern Manchuria who in 1115 established a regional empire known in Chinese as the Great Jin (Da Jin) dynasty, which fell as a result of Mongol invasions in 1234. As a Manchurian polity, the Jin dynasty succeeded the Liao dynasty (907-1125), which had been founded by the Para-Mongolic-speaking Khitan, and which had comprised also substantial parts of the Jurchen ethnic territory. As a language, Jurchen may be seen as a more or less direct ancestor of Manchu, and the ethnonym “Jurchen”, in the Manchu form jušen, was still used as the endonym of the historical Manchu until the introduction of the new name “Manchu” in 1635. In the shape Nüzhen ~ Ruzhen *[zytsin], or alternatively, allegedly for reasons of secondary naming taboo, Nüzhi ~ Ruzhi, it was also the name by which the Jurchen were known to the contemporary Chinese. The modern international spelling “Jurchen” (also Jürchen) is based on the Mongolic form *jürcin ~ *jörcin (PL jürci-d ~ jörci-d). As a regional ethnonym, “Jurchen” may or may not be connected with several earlier ethnic and tribal names of the Manchurian sphere, including Sushen, known from Chinese sources since the latter half of the last millennium BZ, and Chaoxian, attested since the last centuries BZ and later used to refer to Korea and the Koreans.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Tungusic languages
EditorsAlexander Vovin, José Andrés Alonso de la Fuente, Juha Janhunen
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781317542797, 9781315728391
ISBN (Print)9781138845039, 9781032463940
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameRoutledge Language Family Series


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