Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/89694
Title: The etymology of Korean ssal ‘uncooked grain’ and pap ‘cooked grain’
Authors: Joo, I 
Issue Date: Apr-2021
Source: Cahiers de linguistique. Asie orientale (東亞語言學報), Apr. 2021, v. 50, no.1, p. 94-110
Abstract: In this paper, I will provide etymological explanations for the two Korean words for ‘grain’: ssal ‘uncooked grain’ and pap ‘cooked grain.’ The word ssal ‘uncooked grain’ is a loanword from Middle Chinese bu-sat ‘Bodhisattva,’ linking the Buddhist holy figure to the type of food that has a sacred status in Korean culture. The support for this claim comes from the fact that (i) grains were sometimes associated with the Buddha’s body in Korea, and (ii) certain dialects of Japanese have also referred to rice—undoubtedly the most favored type of grain—as bosatsu ‘Bodhisattva’ or buppō-sama ‘Lord Buddha Dharma.’ Moreover, pap ‘cooked grain’ is most likely derived from the baby-talk term for ‘food,’ because cross-linguistically, baby-talk terms for ‘food’ or ‘to eat’ tend to be similar to /papa/ or /mama/, some of which shifted into the adult-talk term for food or a common type of food.
Keywords: Korean
Etymology
Theophagy
Baby-talk
Sound symbolism
Buddhism
Agriculture
Publisher: Centre de Recherches Linguistiques sur l'Asie Orientale
Journal: Cahiers de linguistique. Asie orientale (東亞語言學報) 
ISSN: 0153-3320
DOI: 10.1163/19606028-bja10013
Rights: © KONINKLIJKE BRILL NV. LEIDEN, 2021
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Article

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