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0453 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 453 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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183. COTTON   437

Peninsula, II, 566 : Témbi kabu, Mai kabu' [kabuk] ; but Marathi kapùs, Guzrati Opus, Singhalese kapu are attached to karpdsa in BLOCH, loc. cit., and so is Maldiv. « capa » [PYRARD DE LAVAL, GRAY transi. II, 416] now kafa). Apart from the fact that the hypothesis of a *6ds root is arbitrary, my main objections to PRZYLUSKI'S theory are that the cultivation of cotton began more probably in India than in Indo-China, and that all the forms of the kdipas type can easily be accounted for by starting from the Pali kappdsa, the -pp- of which is regularly the outcome of the -rp- in the Skr. karpdsa. As to another word, karpata, which PRZYLUSKI introduces by the side of karpdsa, and which he says means « cotton stuff», the only meaning known for Skr. karpata, Pali kappata, is « tattered rag », and it is perhaps satisfactorily explained from the Indo-European root *krrp-, « to cut » (cf. UHLENBECK, loc. cit., 46).

To decide whether the Chinese term represents a form with or without -r- depends on the choice we are to make between chi-pei and ku-pei, since in chi-pei (*ki.êt pudi) the final -t (-- - ) of the first character would regularly render the -r- of the karpdsa type, whereas there is nothing

similar in ku-pei. It seems evident that one of the two forms   chi-pei and &   ku-pei is
a graphic corruption of the other ; taken in themselves, each of them is possible, since both chi and ku occur before the T'ang period in the transcriptions of words or names of Indo-China and Indonesia. About the end of the 16th century, Li Shih-chên considered (Pen-ts'ao kang-mu, 36, 12 b) that it was ku-pei which had been altered to chi-pei, and this may be the reason why LAUFER spoke of ku-pei only. But the Chêng-.tzû t'ung of 1570-1572 (s. v. fi% mien) is in favour

of chi-pei against Li Shih-chên, and k   YO Chêng-hsieh (1775-1840), in his   e
Kuei-ssû lei-kao (Ch'iu jih-i-chai ed., 7, 21 a; 14, 4-5), declares that ku-pei is nothing more than a misprint in the Sung editions for chi-pei. WATTERS, Essays on the Chinese language, 440, started from chi-pei, just as I did in TP, 1933, 332.

LI Shih-chên, in his turn, may have based his opinion on a passage of a Sung work

completed in 1085, the   tit f Wên-ch'ang tsa-lu of riE7G     P'ang Yüan-ying. Our texts
of the iiVên-ch'ang tsa-lu are not satisfactory, and the passage in question does not occur in the complete edition, in six chapters, of the Hsüeh-chin t'ao-yüan. I have found it, however, among the extracts included in ch. 47 of the Shuo fu in 120 chs., and it seems evident that this has been the source of the quotation in the T'u-shu chi•ch'eng, ts'ao-mu tien, 303, tsa-lu, I b. It is a matter of surprise that neither the Commissioners of the Ssû-k'u ... , 120, 14 b-16 a, nor the editor of the Hsüeh.-chin t'ao-yüan should say anything about this paragraph, or about others which are only to be found in the Shuo fu extracts ; the reason may be that the Wench'ang tsa-lu is given by mistake in the Shuo fu as the work of a man other than P'ang Yüanying ; it seems, however, that neither the authorship of the book, nor the authenticity of the present passage can be doubted. It says that in Fu-chien, Kuang-tung, and south of these regions the people make cotton (mu-mien) goods, which they call chi-pei; but that, reading the Nan shih, P'ang Yüan-ying found there the description of the ku-pei plant, which certainly was the same as chi-pei; his conclusion is that « it must be that ku was vulgarly pronounced as chi » (this is of course an error; the case is one of graphic, not phonetic corruption). But, while the Nan shih (ch. 78) speaks of ku-pei, the earlier Liang shu (ch. 54) always gives chi-pei. Chi-pei

alone was heard in southern China by P'ang Ylian-ying. and also evidently by 4 j   Ch'êng