I mourn the passing of Russia's leading Tangutologist EI Kychanov. I am at a loss for words to express the vast breadth of his work - scholarly and popular - which encompasses Tibetan, Khitan, Jurchen, Mongol, Manchu, and Chinese studies as well as Tangut studies. Within the field of Tangut alone his publications cover history, politics, religion, linguistics, and lexicography. Last year Viacheslav Zaytsev compiled a 338-item bibliography of Kychanov's writings from 1955 to 2011. Kychanov was productive up to the very end. He wrote at least one paper last year. In 1969 he was one of the translators of the Tangraphic Sea dictionary. Here is an entry from its first volume for a word describing my reaction to his departure:

1thəəu: 2thiə̣ 1pha 1təu 2biẹ

'to sigh sorrowfully': 'coffin left 1təu right'

1thəəu 'to sigh sorrowfully' = 'left of 2thiə̣ (coffin; semantic) + right of 1təu (phonetic)'

1thəəu 1tia 1tshəu 1lɨə

'to sigh sorrowfully TOPIC sad is'

'To sigh sorrowfully is to be sad.'

2tsiiʳ 1ɣa 1mə 1tshõ

'nature sorrowful sky desolate'

2riəʳ 2ʔɨu 1ʔie 1ʔiə


'It is how one speaks of having looked at the desolate sky of sorrowful nature'

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