Chen Sanping’s article on the Tuoba language (Tabghatch) is very much speculative, resting on a number of conjectures.  The question of the Tabghatch language is important as they represented “China” in the eyes of the early Türks.  If they were ultimately of Turkic origin, as Chen contends, this might put a different coloration on their relations, or at least those of part of the Tuoba/Tabghatch (the Western Wei in this instance) with the Türks as they were preparing to topple the Joujan in Inner Asia.  Given the absence of substantial linguistic data (Ligeti gave the best evaluation of the available evidence in his 1970 article—and concluded that they or at least their ruling grouping spoke some kind of Mongolic language), this is an interesting but still inconclusive article.  Moreover, the Tabghatch not only ruled over a poly-ethnic state (in which Chinese predominated), but their Inner Asian nomadic forces were hardly ethnically homogeneous.

Peter B. Golden, Rutgers University, Newark NJ
CER: I-6.3.A-562