Talk:Western Xia

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the article is still a draft Ktsquare June 20 2002

Why an empire[edit]

1)The survival of the Western Xia dynasty of Tangut among Mongol, Jin, Liao, Song for such a long time from 11 century to 13 century is just a miracle. How come the empire? 2) it is said to be populated by Tangut? has to be clarified. Simple cases are Yuan Empire and Jin dynasty, we can not say that they are populated by Mongol and Jurchen. 3) people in Western Xia call themself Da Xia or "Great Xia", so it may not be good idea artificially put the name "Tangut Empire" on it. Whatever the name, it should contain "Xia". So I would recommend "The Western Xia Dynasty of Tangut", or "The Great Xia Dynasty of Tangut", or "The Xia Dynasty of Tangut", or "The Great Xia Dynasty". Mon Aug 29 14:34:16 EDT 2005

Crediting political history to "miracles" seems unwise. The Tangut Empire, survived the same way the Mongols, the Kitans and the Jurchens, and for that matter all other political entities -- war, trade, diplomacy, taxes.
If we call the Jurchens, the Mongols, the Tibetans, empires than we have to call the Tanguts an empire too. It was a multi-national polity as you point out in #2, this is usually the criterion by which things are called empires. Although Japan fails this criterion as do many of the early chinese dynasties. The fact that the Song paid the Tanguts tribute should suffice for establishing them as an empire.
The Tanguts did not call themselves "Da Xia" that is quite obviously a Chinese title. The autonym for their ethnicity is Miniah, and the name of their polity is discussed in the article.
Why the name contain "Xia"?
The Tanguts were not a Chinese dynasty any more than the Tibetans, the Japanese, or the USA.

Effective military organisation[edit]

Do we really seriously consider the possibility that the Xia/Tangut/other name of your preference used chariots in the 11th-13th centuries CE? Carts and wagons to build laagers and perhaps carry artillery, OK, but the term chariot must either come from a mistranslation or a historicising source. (talk) 14:42, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

Tangut versus Western Xia[edit]

I have moved the article to Tangut Empire, because some Wikipedia articles were citing it both that way and as Western Xia. Tangut is the accepted English translation, in particular among Tangutologists. (Sinologists may call it Western Xia, but they probably call America Meiguo too). I have added a link to the Tangut Language page, and corrected the mistake that the Tanguts spoke Tibetan. Article still needs much work though.--Nathan hill 11:56, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I have removed this article from the Category 'Chinese History' because the Tangut Empire is no more a part of Chinese History than it is Mongolian History, or Tibetan History. I have also removed it from Eurasian Nomads because the Tanguts were city-folk. --Nathan hill 12:26, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Uh, wait, what's wrong with "Western Xia"? After all, "Xia" was the official name of the empire, while "Tangut" was simply a designation of its dominant ethnicity. "Western Xia" itself is an overwhelmingly common name, and the province (well, autonomous region) of Ningxia is named after it. What's wrong with using both names, as is often used with the Manchu Empire / Qing Dynasty, Jurchen Empire / Jin Dynasty, and Khitan Empire / Liao Dynasty?

The "Meiguo" example is a bit of a false analogy. America is not part of the field of study of Sinologists. "Meiguo" is not usually used in English. However, the provinces of Gansu, Ningxia, and Shaanxi do belong to the field of study of Sinologists, and Western Xia is part of the history of those provinces.

Also, why isn't the history of Western Xia part of Chinese history? The history of the Iroquois, for example, is part of American history and Canadian history. Gauls, Romans, Franks, all are parts of French history. And the Visigoths and Moors are a part of Spanish history. -- ran (talk) 20:57, Jun 15, 2005 (UTC)

Well, I am not goint to stay, it simply to much of a waste of time, maybe I will check back in in a few years, and I would be happy to provide reading recommendations for anyone who asks me. (It would not be hard to find my real e-mail address using the information about me you already know). But I will take up this last discussion because of your specific invitation.
The Tangut did not speak Chinese, they spoke their own language. The official name of their land in their own language has been written about by Ksenia Kepping and is available on a link from the Tangut Language page. In no case was Xia there autonym. It was something like Minyag which is waht they are called in Tibetan.
In general I have a big chip on my sholder about Sinologists becomming confucian literati. The Yuan, and Qing were no more Chinese than I am. To use Chinese names for these political entities is to take for granted the medieval Chinese worldview. While now it is indeed true that the PRC owns a big chunk of Asia how much of it is actually historically China?
The Jurchen's, Kitans, Tangut, Mongols, Tibetans, Nanchao, Azha (Tüyühün) were their own countries with their own languages and customs. Tangut history is relevant to Chinese history in the way that French history is relevant to English history, but also vice versa.
To have a thing on the article saying 'this article is part of the section Chinese History' reinforces the view that the Tangut's don't deserve their own history.
There is a sociological fact about Western academia that Sinology is big and well funded, while Tangutology, Nanchaology, Kitanology etc. are all virtually nonexistant. But this is a fact about us, and not about the history of Central/East Asia.
I don't know about the Tangut general population, but the Tangut leadership certainly did speak Chinese and was regarded no less Chinese (as Dingnan jiedushi) than, say, the rulers of Later Tang Dynasty, who, despite their non-Han background, would certainly not be regarded as non-Chinese. Dingnan was able to break away because of its remote location and the incompetence of the Five Dynasties and Song regimes, not because it was more distinctly non-Chinese than other parts of the Tang empire. --Nlu 22:38, 25 September 2005 (UTC)
The rulers of much of Africa speak English or French, however this is no reason to regard these areas as part of England or France respectively. (Of course in a sense they were at one time.) The Polish and Russian aristocracy had at one time very high competence in French, but these areas too were not a part of France. The fact that the Tanguts used their own language in government and religion (as opposed say to the Mongours who used classical Chinese) is strong reason to credit them as having preceived of themselves as not Chinese.
Once again, just having language or religion is not enough. I can list many counter examples to the list above, I believe that Ran had already done so already in previous discussion. The Tangut Empire is in an area where the Han Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty had established itself, and Tangut Empire had been infleunced by Chinese culture. Olorin28 13:02, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Having a language and religion is not enough to establish what, and by whoes standards? Surely you must admit that the Tanguts were aware that they were not Chinese. I am not trying to be a splitist here, simply arguing that calling the Tangut empire Xia is Sinocentric. Korea is on territory where the Japanese had established themselves, and is highly influenced by Japanese culture, but is Korea a part of Japan? --Nathan Hill

A perfect Example[edit]

The section on the name of Tibet now reads:

The English word Tibet like the word for Tibet in most European languages, ultimately derives (via Arabic and Persian) from a Turkic word Tüböd (pl. Tübön) meaning "the hights". The Middle Chinese word for Tibet, tufan has the same origin. However, some esuggest that Tibet is derived from the Sanskrit word trivistapa ("heaven").

The first etymology was mine (and is correct) the second I had never heard of before reading the Wikipedia article, and seems very unlikely because in Sanskrit there is a word for Tibet bhoTa. My etymology was cited with a reference to an article by Wolfgang Behr, now I see that the citation has been removed, and the other etymology reinserted. This means that someone didn't bother to read the article, didn't want others to read it, and that the trivistapa idea has equal merit because at least one person thinks its right. What can you say, some people think the world is flat.


To sum up succinctly to say 'Western Xia' expresses a biased POV. First of all it is in the west (of China), second it is called the Xia (i.e. a Chinese Name and indeed transliterated according to the 20th century pronunciation of Beijing). The Mongols would have seen them as to the south, the Tibetans as to the north. To say 'Tangut Empire' expresses less of a POV. --Nathan hill 12:02, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)


There is no NPOV problem using the title "(West-) Xia". The Tangut leadership itself, which was once under Sung's suzerainty with style name Duke of Xia, formally adopted the official title Xia [not mj-njaa-khj-dwuu-lhji.j or phiow-bjij-lhji.j-lji.j] and declared emperorship on 11-10-1038. Its just like the Mongols and the Manchu court when they adopted respectively the titles of "Yuan" and "Qing".

Who are you and how do you know. Have you read Ksenia Keppings article which discusses the Tangut Autonym (her bibliography is accessible through a link on the Tangut language page). My understanding is that the Tanguts used Tangut as their language of administration. I am not sure what to make of your parallel to the Yuan and Qing, but I doubt that the Qing referred to themselves as Qing when they wrote in Manchu. Perhaps Xia was the official Chinese term for the empire, but Meiguo is the official Chinese term for American, and no one suggests Wikipedia articles refer to the US as Mediguo. --Nathan Hill

But who are we to judge that? The Xia called itself the Xia; it did not call itself the Tangut Empire. Why should their own usage not be respected? --Nlu (talk) 18:06, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

No, you are wrong. Xia is a Chinese word, not a Tangut word. The Tanguts may have called themselvs Xia when they spoke Chinese, an American also calls himself Meiguoren when he speaks Chinese. You are right in as far as Tangut is a Russian/Mongolian word. Ideally, we would call them by their autonym Miniah, and why not. I suggest this article be moved to 'Miniah Empire' for the sake of argument. --Nathan Hill

You have records of any single document issued by a Xia emperor indicating that the name of the state is not Xia? --Nlu (talk) 17:08, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
The official Chinese name for America is a direct translation of the United States of America. Meiguo is merely an unofficial term. Thus, your relating to Meiguo is very irrelevant. A google search of Miniah Empire currently turns out 12 results. Western Xia remains as the most prominent name the kingdom is known for, and Western Xia did refer to itself as Da Xia.
Please be specific about what you mean by 'Western XIa did refer to itself as Da Xia.' In what texts? In what language? A number of official Tangut historical texts have been published in the Tangut language and there is no doubt in my mind that the records of the empire were kept in the Tangut language, they may have also written in Chinese (much as the US government surely publishes documents in Chinese). However, what I suspect you are citing are chinese historical compilations, which in any event are hardly 'official' from the Tangut perspective. It is little surprize to me that Miniah only got 12 hits since Tangutology happens mainly in Chinese, Japanese and Russian. All told it is a very small discipline. If you want to look at some documents including historical and governmental documents in Tangut just consult the bibliography of the Tangut Language article. In particular Ksenia Kepping has studied indigenous texts, while others such as Gong Hwang Cherng and Tatsuo Nishida generally deal with translations.

It seems hardly viable to dismiss the scholarship of a number of professional academics who have devoted years of study to these subjects by simply citing google hits. --Nathan Hill

You're evading the question. The question is not whether the Xia officials documents were in Tangut as well as Chinese (they clearly were); the question is, what name did Xia refer to itself as? There is no evidence that you provided, and there is much evidence countering your argument, that the state referred to itself as anything but Xia or Daxia ("Great Xia"). --Nlu (talk) 16:21, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

A request for comment has been filed on this issue. --Nlu (talk) 16:30, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Also, after rereading your response above, I believe you're failing to answer my key question: is there an official document (in Chinese or Tangut) that you can cite, in which the state referred to itself as Tangut or Miniah? If so, please provide a verifiable cite to the document. --Nlu (talk) 16:33, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

In 890, Li Sigong was bestowed title of Duke of Xia for his efforts in An Lushan rebellion. In 997, Li Deming installed himself as the King of DaXia (or Great Xia). Li Yuanhao created a Tangut script based on the Chinese writing, and later proclaimed himself as Emperor of Xia. (Bangniding or Baishanguo). Da Xia is a dynastic title. Olorin28 16:23, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

From Wikipedia Naming Convention: Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature. It is obvious that most people recognize Western Xia more than Tangut Empire. Olorin28 04:14, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

The term "Tangut Empire" seems novel; in all sources I've read the empire is referred to as Western Xia ("Hsi Hsia" or "Xi Xia" usually), and only the ruling peoples as the Tangut(s). This is the same as is used in reference to the Jin Dynasty, which was led by the Jurched. Whether or not this was a common term used by the Empire in self-reference is not relevant for the naming of the article per Wikipedia:Naming Conventions; the common name is preferred. Note also the google test on this one "Tangut Empire" yields 415 results (4 of the ten that pop up on the first page being copies of this article), and "Western Xia" returns 43,700 results. siafu 04:11, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Since we had an apparent consensus on the name, as well as no reason put forward to contravene the naming conventions, I've moved the article back to "Western Xia". siafu 04:17, 15 March 2006 (UTC)
I leave for a few days, and look what happends. I do not feel like anyone is willing to give me any kind of benefit of the doubt. I argued above that Western Xia, by using a Chinese title is a Sino-Centric POV. No one seems to have cogently argued against this.
Nobody has argued against this because it's irrelevant. Maybe it will make it easier if I quote from Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) instead of just referring to it: "Convention: Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things." Unless there is a good reason to go against this, especially since the term "Tangut Empire" is extremely rare in comparison to "Western Xia", as noted above. siafu 03:32, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
Also, although it has been insisted that Xi Xia was the official name for the country. No one has given any evidence of this. No one has taken me up on the offer of reading the works of Ksenia Kepping, for example "Mi-nia (Tangut) Self-appellation and Self-portraiture in Khara-Khoto Materials" Manuscripta Orientalia. 2001. Vol. 7, No. 4. P. 37-47. "The Name of The Tangut Empire"

T'oung Pao, LXXX, fasc. 4-5. (1994). "The Official Name of the Tangut Empire as reflected in native Tangut Texts" Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol 1. No. 3. P. 22-32.

Please note from the first article mentioned "during the time of existence of the Tangut state, the word ndzwe 'summer' (Chin. Xia) was never used in Tangut texts as the name of the people or the state " (p. 111). I rest my case.
The reason why Xi Xia gets more google hits is because there are a lot of Sinologists out there. But Xi Xia is a POV, and therefore against a Wikipedia policy. As Prof. Kepping discusses the indigenous name for the country is (rather obviously) not a Chinese word. If Myanmar happend to get more google hits than Burman that would hardly solve the question of whether it expressed a POV.
In summary. 1. Xi Xia is a Chinese term, no evidence has been presented that it was used by the Tanguts. In fact one of the premier Tangutologist of the 20th century explicitly rejects it. To use it in English expresses a Sino-centric POV. 2. Tangut is a Mongolian/Russian term it is used by English speaking Tangutology. 3. Minia is the Tangut term, it is not widely used today but was the autonmy of the people in question (the name of their country is also discussed in Prof. Keppings article).
I ask, that if anyone continue to disagree with me he read the aforementioned articles. Otherwise his recalcitrance is irresponsible. --Nathan Hill

These are disingenous arguments; of course you're not going to have Tangut references to "summer"; that's not the name of the state, and no one has seriously argued that "Xia" (as applied to Xia Dynasty and Xia (Sixteen Kingdoms)) were intended to have the secondary meaning of "summer". It is clear that Xia was an official name for the state (in Chinese, yes); the question is whether "Tangut" or "Miniah" also was, and you have not shown a single piece of evidence that either was. In particular, the Jin Shi (the history of Jin, with data compiled by non-Chinese Jin and completed by non-Chinese Mongols) described the state as nothing but Xia. --Nlu (talk) 01:55, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Upon second reading of what I wrote, I believe I used unjustified language, and I apologize for it. However, again, please note the substance of my argument. --Nlu (talk) 05:50, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
I've moved the article back again. Nathan Hill, currently the consensus is favoring "Western Xia", and until that changes, you should argue your case first and pagemove second. siafu 03:35, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Let me quote from myself again from my earlier passage: "In 890, Li Sigong was bestowed title of Duke of Xia for his efforts in An Lushan rebellion. In 997, Li Deming installed himself as the King of DaXia (or Great Xia). Li Yuanhao created a Tangut script based on the Chinese writing, and later proclaimed himself as Emperor of Xia. (Bangniding or Baishanguo). Da Xia is a dynastic title." Correct, Western Xia would be a POV if you are being really picky, but Xia was an official name of the Da Xia Dynasty, and perhaps Nathan, you should also read Jin Shi, as mentioned by Nlu above. Olorin28 03:36, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

"Western Xia" is POV only in the most trivial sense; the same sense in which "China" is a POV name (i.e., in place of Zhōnguó). Since "Tangut" is not an autonym either, it's POV in the same sense - there's no reason to favor it, and quite a bit of reason not to. siafu 04:21, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
First off, I did not move the page. I don't even have an account. Second 'Western Xia' is a POV in a whay that 'China' is not. Because it chooses a Chinese name over the indigenous name, and the name used by most English speaking Tangutologists. Also, using the adjective 'Western' implies in relation ship to something, in relationship to what? Well, to China. Calling it Xixia is better than 'Western Xia'.
But the important point is that I cited three articles which discuss the matter in detail, and my various detractors are simply to lazy to take my perspective seriously, and instead miscontrue the single phrase I quoted from one article. This miscontrual also potrays Prof. Kepping as something of an idiot. She is not. (she mentioned 'summer' to identify the symbol)
That someone is given a Chinese title proves only that his country had commericial relations with China. I have no doubt that Xia is the name used in Chinese historical texts, the qustion is of when, and by who (Jin and Mongol are not Tangut). Later historical compilations in Chinese do not seem to prove anything about Tangut self appelation or identity. In particular I would note that the Tangut script is widely considered to be based more directly on the Kitan script that the Chinese script.
I reiterate, I ask, that if anyone continue to disagree with me he read the aforementioned articles. Otherwise his recalcitrance is irresponsible. --Nathan
And? The fact that the "summer" symbol is not used is not at all relevant. But if you object to "Western Xia," I'd live with "Xia (Tangut)." It avoids the issue of disambiguation, and in any case the Jin Shi referred to it as Xia.
But another major issue with calling the state Tangut Empire is that, again, there is no evidence that that is a valid self-identification. The Qing Dynasty was initially entirely Manchurian in character, but I think the Qing rulers (as Later Jin at that point) would have been very offended if their state were referred to as the Manchurian Empire. The Xia rulers referred to their state as Xia for a reason -- to claim legitimacy -- the same reason why Xia (Sixteen Kingdoms) was named as such as well. Calling it something other than Xia misses the point. --Nlu (talk) 18:19, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Not to rain on your parade, but the "Xi" (西) in "XiXia" means Western. And the point is that your point is irrelevant, but thanks for calling us lazy. And irresponsible. It's sure to convince us. Perhaps you should read the policy on naming conventions that I've referred to twice before simply repeating the same argument again? siafu 18:24, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Some people can be a little mean it seems. One must admit that the self appelation was neither Xixia nor Tangut empire. The political and ethnic self appellation of this ethnicity and polity is discussed in the three articles by professor Kepping. She has shown in any event that in indigenous texts no name approximating the Chinese Xixia is used. Contra Mr. Siafu I do not see why this is irrelevant. In fact, it seems more relevant to me than what the polity may have been called in later Chinese historiography. I continue to feel as if some of my detractors have yet to realize that the Tanguts had a script, language, and literary culture seperate from the Chinese. Unlike the Qing the Tanguts never were properly a Chinese dynasty (in this way similar to the Tibetans and Mongols). Even the King of Nepal accepted Chinese titles, but few seem to argue that this is reason for using a Chinese name for Nepal in English, or for considering descriptions of Nepal in Chinese historical texts as relevant for Nepalese self identitiy. Reiternating contra Niu, I have seen no evidence that the Tanguts called their state Xia, but instead (having read the articles of Prof. Kepping) see ample evidence on the contrary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
And there you go again, arguing in circles. You are not disputing that the Xia state referred to itself as Xia in Chinese, as well-attested as that is in historical sources, are you? If not, then the question becomes -- is there evidence that "Tangut" is the name that it referred to itself in Tangut or another language? If there is insufficient information, then we have to go with the one name that we do know that the state referred to itself as: Xia.
I also find it curious that you are continually refusing to attribute your own comments by signing them. I have to believe it is an indication you are unwilling to be responsible for your comments. --Nlu (talk) 15:40, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
You don't see it as irrelevant because you still have yet to read the policy involved. siafu 16:28, 5 April 2006 (UTC)


All expansion I did today came from translating the Chinese Wikipedia. Olorin28 04:36, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Request for Comment? Better solution[edit]

If this dispute is only about which name the article should be under, you should primarily use the Wikipedia:Requested moves and not Wikipedia:Request for comment. / Fred-Chess 20:47, 20 March 2006 (UTC)


Shouldn't the Western Xia's city of Lingzhou be discussed? It is discussed in the Genghis Khan article. Badagnani 03:44, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Religion and spiritual traditions[edit]

Does anybody have any information about religious texts, traditions or people within Western Xia? I am endeavouring to chart the influence of Korean Buddhism upon the Dzogchen of the Nyingmapa. I intuit that Western Xia and Rongzompa are somehow related. Any direction would be appreciated.
Blessings in the Mindstream
B9 hummingbird hovering (talkcontribs) 09:04, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Suppression of Western Xia history in China[edit]

Is there a source to verify the "suppression"? As it is, the passage provides no evidence of Xixia being suppressed in China aside from saying they've "vanished" and is treated as a foreign state. Saying that this is "suppression of history" seems very POV/biased, unless it can be properly documented. Astro Droid (talk) 20:49, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

What is all this about the Tuyuhun[edit]

A section under 'interpretation of names' seems to badly confuse the Tangut and the Tuyuhun and confuse both of these with the Mongours. The Tanguts are Tibeto-Burman speakers, the Tuyuhun are turks, and the Mongours are Mongols. Making the Tanguts into Mongols seems like a bitter pill to swollow indeed. I am going to remove the section. I realize it is cited, and perhaps much of it should stay. But right now it is terribly confused. Tibetologist (talk) 18:44, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Western Hsia[edit]

Tangut people were brave warriors following the karma kargu clan or ningmapa buddhism they followed karmapas.the then dalailama of tibet with the help of mongol army invaded the tangut empire defeating them and persecuting them all. in course of time the tribal chiefs and princes escaped or migrated to various places from their homelands due to persecutions by the yellow hat sects of dalailamas, some group of tribal chiefs made to bhutan and sikkim(now in india). In bhutan they are known as ngalops or the earliest converts (see ngalops of bhutan) and in sikkim they are known as denzongpas.The history of sikkim tells us that a tribal chief by the name of khyebhumsar in came from minyak in the eastern part of kham and settled in sikkim whose decendent became the kings of sikkim. Just wanna tell that the history of tangut people is not lost but still breathing and thriving . should redirect here.-- (talk) 15:27, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

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____________________________________ ____________________________________

Walt 45805 9/14/11 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Walt 45805 (talkcontribs) 19:07, 14 September 2011 (UTC) Just checked this after reading the turgid and not very reliable article on "Tangut." Here is another Dunnell-free entry! Even if for some reason the author does not feel like consulting or crediting the best-known authority (in English) on Western Xia history, readers certainly deserve to know about her book. This is another eccentric entry on Tanggut/Western Xia topics. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Walt 45805 (talkcontribs) 19:04, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Ruth W. Dunnell's works on the Xixia[edit]

Other authors

Rajmaan (talk) 06:47, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

page 288,+for+many+years+a+Sung+captive+at+the+Chin+court,+wrote+of&dq=Hung+Hao+(1088-1155),+for+many+years+a+Sung+captive+at+the+Chin+court,+wrote+of&hl=en&sa=X&ei=FeStU7y8H4G1yATV3oG4Cw&ved=0CBQQ6AEwAA

Title Tanguts and the Tangut State of Ta Hsia Author Ruth W. Dunnell Edition reprint Publisher Princeton University, 1983

松漠纪闻 洪皓撰

Song mo ji wen by Hong Hao (Hung Hao)


Tangut remnants[edit]

Are we sure that this book is correct about the "Yarlung" river, which the Wikipedia author has probably expanded to "Yarlung Tsangpo"? I think it's more likely to be the Yalong tributary of the Yangzi, the upper valley of which is known in Tibetan as "Minyak", which contains Karma Kargyupa monasteries, and above all Qiangic (non-Tibetan) Sino-Tibetan languages probably closely related to Tangut if not descended from it, including a poorly described one called Muya (of which "Minyak" is a synonym). UnknownSage (talk) 03:41, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

That would fit in more with the surrounding geography described in the book. I'm not familiar at all with the geography of that area of the world, so thank you for catching that.--3family6 (Talk to me | See what I have done) 04:16, 8 August 2016 (UTC)

Tangut language transcription[edit]

Can we start using Mark Miyake's "simplified notation suitable for lay publications" to transcribe the Tangut language? He presents it here: ... when I first saw this page a while ago, knowing nothing of Tangut, I found transcriptions like /*phiow¹-bjij²-lhjij-lhjij²/ so odd to look at that I had a hard time believing it was not a typo. Now, having learned a slight bit about the language, that does not seem to have been necessary. There's a lot we don't know about the specifics of how Tangut was pronounced, especially as far as how the different rime grades were pronounced, that it seems pointless to try to be so specific. Miyake represents the grades with numbers. He suggests that lay publications use a simplified form with no numbers for grades, no tone marks, and no letters for phonation other than n for nasalisation. In the example I mentioned above, /io/ is Gong's grade II (I believe) of "o" and /jij/ is grade III of "e". So, Miyake's reconstruction would be, I believe, phow-be-lhe-lhe. Much easier on the eyes.

On second thought, I don't see how we can switch without finding a specific source for Miyake's transcription of each character in question, or, at least, an authoritative key for translating between the two transcriptions. – Greg Pandatshang (talk) 05:23, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

As the person who probably added most of the odd looking Tangut transcriptions (Gong Hwang-cherng's reconstructions as given in Li Fanwen's 2008 Tangut-Chinese dictionary), I support your suggestion in principle. I don't like the overly complex and often impossible to pronounce reconstructions given in either Li Fanwen's 2008 dictionary or Kychanov's 2006 dictionary, and have long admired Marc Miyake's attempts to create a simpler and more rational system of transcription. But as you say, the main problem is that there is currently no source available for Wikipedia editors to go to in order to get the transcription for any given Tangut character. BabelStone (talk) 10:36, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Marc Miyake has now published a database of his transcriptions for 6,074 Tangut characters (linked to from this blog post), which would be ideal for our purposes. BabelStone (talk) 18:26, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Fantastic! However, I don't know how to find tangraphs in the index that Miyake provides, so I don’t how to actually translate tangraphs & existing transcriptions into his romanisations. Do you know how to find them? – Greg Pandatshang (talk) 17:53, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Page move redux[edit]

Any thoughts on reopening discussions about moving this page to Tangut Empire? In principle, other possible titles include Xixia, Xixia Empire, Western Xia dynasty, Western Hsia, and many other permutations.

Personally, the title of this article sticks out to me in a bad way because the Tangutologists that I’m familiar with use the term “Tangut” rather than some variation on Hsia, and also because it seems to natural to me that, for example, if someone were describing the destruction of this state by the Mongols, I would expect it to be referred to as “the Tanguts”. However, I can understand the contrary argument that the conventional name of the imperial people is “Tanguts” but the conventional name of the state is the Chinese “etc. Xia”.

Additionally, “Western” seems odd in this title because in English it seems to imply that there is also an “Eastern Xia”, etc., whereas in Chinese it implies something more like “Xia, which is in the west” (much as the Chinese word for Tibet is “Xizang”, i.e. “Tsang, which is in the west”). If we decide to keep this article at some variant of the Chinese name, perhaps we could consider moving it to Xixia. – Greg Pandatshang (talk) 18:10, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

It seems that according to Google Books Ngram Viewer "Western Xia" is much more common than "Tangut Empire" (see [1]). Furthermore, there was indeed an "Eastern Xia" as established by Puxian Wannu, although it was a relatively short-lived kingdom. --Cartakes (talk) 21:53, 13 August 2015 (UTC)