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0443 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 443 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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183. COTTON   427

word küdän occurs in the Quta;'yu bilig (RADLOv ed., II, 212), and RADLOV renders it «cotton stuff», but, at the same time, in his Dictionary (Ii, 1486), refers the reader to kädän, a dialectical form of kätän (_ kätän), which is not cotton, but linen; moreover, küdän, in the said passage, is not the name of a textile, but means « guest » (BANG retained RADLOV'S erroneous translation). It is kätän, not qoton as DULAURIER says, which is transcribed hthan and translated tella (= tela, «linen», not « cotton stuff» as in DULAURIER) in an Armenian document of 1288 (Rec. Hist. des Croisades, Arm., I, 750). The chetan of the Codex Cumanicus, always rendering Latin « tella » (tela), does not represent the Ar. qutun as is said in KUUN'S edition, p. 270, but kätän, as already corrected by RADLOV (Das türk. Sprachmaterial des Codex Comanicus, 31). The same mistranslation « cotton » of Mad occurs in A. GRAY, Pyrard of Laval, II, 416. A Chinese term ku-chung, formerly, though erroneously, derived from qutnn, will be dealt with later. Only in Persian, a derivative form qutuni, qutni (hence late Osm. qutni, qutnu, Russ. kutnya) has been adopted, as a designation of a mixed textile of silk and cotton (cf. VULLERS, II, 730; BERNEKER, Slay. Etym. Wörterbuch, I, 653). From Persian qutuni, and not from kättân as doubtfully proposed by YULE (Hobson-Jobson2, 289), are derived Anglo-Indian « cuttanee », Port. cotonia, French cotoni (in TAVERNIER), Dutch plur. cotonias and cotonyen (in KERN, Linschoten, I, 42, 153), Konkani and Mahrati kutni (cf. DALGADO, In8uência do Vocabuldrio Português, 65).

BAMBACE. — The word generally used for cotton in Polo's mss. is «bambace» in French (spelt in different ways), and «bumbatium », « bombax » or « bonbix » (gen. « bonbicis ») in Latin. Its history is of some interest (cf. LOKOTSCH, No. 1617). Low Latin bambagium and bambatium (~ bambatium), like Greek 7râ~.ßa , NrxfZ,31xcov are borrowed from Middle Pers. pänbäk (pämbäk), « cotton ». The latter word occurs also as bambak in Ossetian and Armenian (cf. HÜBSCHMANN, Arm. Grammatik, I, 116; Rec. Hist. des Croisades, Arm., i, 750). The modern Persian pänbä (~ pänbäk) seems to be the basis of Osm. pämbä, meaning « pink ». Under the influence of the preceding labial consonant, in many forms the -ä- has been changed into -u- in the second syllable : such are, in Turkish, Uiy. pamuq (; uzz dialect; BROCKELMANN, 138), Türkm. banbuq (HouTSMA, Ein Türk.-Arab. Glossar, 64), Corn. mamuy (Cod. Cum. 41 a, KUUN ed., 92 [where « magugh » is a copyist's error], 139), mamïq (HouTSMA, 101), cay. pamuq and mamuq (PoPPE, Mongol'skii slovar' Mukaddimat al-Adab, 218), Osm. pamuq and pambuq ( Serb.pamuk). But, in another group of forms, the action of the labial consonant has been retrogressive : hence Rouman. bumbac, Buig. bubak, Russ. bumaga (now meaning « paper », but the adjectival form bumaznyï is still used in the sense of «of cotton»), Lat. bumbacium, bombacium, bombax, French (originally adjectival) bombasin (cf. GAY, Glossaire archéologique, I, 173; HUGUET, Diet. de la langue française du xvr' siècle, I, 618; W. VON WARTBURG, Franz. Etym. Wörterbuch, II, 229; > basin [but the bansin of F, in B, 3835, seems to be an instance of haplography, for ban(ba)sin, given in B, 203, 212] ; French beige is highly hypothetical), Engl. bombasine, etc. Bombax is now the botanical name of the silk-cotton tree; so the « cloth of bombax » of ROCKHILL, Rubruck, 44, is misleading, not to speak of the « cloth of Bombay » of his index, 286. As for « bonbix », this word is the result of a confusion with Greek /3d zßu7, «cocoon of the silkworm ». But, curiously enough, this Greek word too must have been borrowed from the Persian at an early date, and was so adopted on