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a Tocharian theory (was Re: Kentum/satem)

From:J Y S Czhang <czhang23@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 30, 2002, 2:12
In a message dated 04/29/2002 07.24.45 AM, Muke
(alrivera@ALUMNI.SOUTHERN.EDU) writes:

> [ . . . ] Originally, this division seemed to correspond with a division
>>north-western (kentum) and south-eastern (satem) languages. But then >>Tocharian was discovered, clearly a kentum language but spoken in a >>north-western region of China <SNiP>
Talking of Tocharian, I have a theory that the character of Sun Wu Kong, "Monkey," in _Journey to the West_ (a Chinese picaresque "tail" ;) was originally a Tocharian soldier (or even several) hired by the Chinese Buddhists to protect them on their journey into India to acquire the Buddhist sutras. I can imagine that the Chinese nicknamed this Tocharian/these Tocharians "monkey(s)" due to their Caucasian "hairiness" and the age-old Chinese ethnocentric habit of viewing all non-Chinese as "barbarians." If I am right in thinking Sun Wu Kong was a Tocharian, the Chinese have ironically made a "hero" out of a "barbarian" and may not realize it. The Tocharians were Buddhists before the Chinese were, right? Also, the Chinese word for "dog" is originally a Tocharian word, yes? The Tocharians introduced dogs or dog-breeding to China, yes? In recent years the Uyghurs (Uighurs) have been claiming that they are descendants of the Tocharians. Personally I find this highly doubtful. If anything, the Uyghurs' ancestors were Turkic and if these Turkic people had any thing at all to do with the Tocharians, it maybe that they wiped them out as a people - either by genocide or by interbreeding... or some combination thereof. Hanuman Zhang {HANoomaan JAHng}/'hanuma~n dZahN/ Avatar of Sun WuKong, a.k.a. "Monkey," a.k.a. "TricksterGod of Chinese Boxers" ~ om hung hanumatay rudratmakai hung phat ~ mantra to Hanuman the Hindu Monkey TricksterGod ~§~ thee Prizc ov Existenz iz Ætern'l Warfær 'n' Creativ Playf'llniz ~§~


John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>