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tinct, independent languages, we find two different names for this corn, it being cruineached for the first, and gwenith for the last. The trigo of the Spanish and Portuguese is but a corruption of the triticum of the Latin ; while the French froment and the Italian frumento are taken from a synonym of the same language. But in the Basque, which, according to competent judges, differs not only from all other European languages, but from all other tongues whatever, ancient or modern, we have two names for wheat wholly different from those of any other tongue, namely gariu and ocava. Having alluded to this singular language, the Basque, I think the names of cultivated plants in it may be safely referred to as evidence of the comparative antiquity of their culture by the people speaking it. Thus the names for wheat, barley, and oats, are purely Basque, while those for rye (cecalea), for rice (avroza), for maize (maiza), and for the bean (baba) are Spanish. The inference is that the first-named plants were immemorially cultivated by the Basques, and the last only introduced into their country after the Roman conquest of Spain ; indeed, after the Spanish language had assumed its present form.
If we look into the Oriental languages, we shall find in them evidence of the same tendency. In Sanskrit the name for Wheat is godhum, and in Persian gandum, essentially the same word; but, as the people who spoke the Sanskrit language are believed to have emanated from a country forming part of Persia, it is not difficult to account for the agreement in this case. In Hindi the name is gehun, which seems to be an original word. In the Tamil we have the Sanskrit word in the corrupt form of gudumai ; but the people speaking this language occupy the extreme southern part of India, within from eight to twelve degrees of the equator, and where wheat will only bear fruit in a few elevated tracts; and hence, as an exotic, it bears a foreign name. In Turkish the name of wheat, baghdoi, is a native word. In Arabic we have two original and unborrowed ones, hantah and bar. From this, so far as etymology can be trusted, we infer that this corn is of indigenous culture both in the parent land of the Turks and in Arabia. In Java, within seven degrees of the equator, wheat will only yield grain at an elevation of 5000 feet above the sea-level, and here it is sometimes called by its Portuguese name of trigo, and sometimes by its Persian name of gandum,-pointing clearly enough to the parties who
introduced it, and even to the comparatively recent time in which it was introduced. An examination of the names for Barley point to similar results as in the case of wheat. This word itself, as it exists in our language, has not, that I am aware, been traced to its parent source; but the name of the hardy four-rowed barley, bere, belongs to the Teutonic family of languages, and it was probably the earliest, as the easiest variety cultivated in Britain. The French orge and the Italian orzo are but gross corruptions of the Latin hordeum. Tbe names for barley in Gaelic and in Welsh are different, the first being eorna, and the last haidd. The name for Oats is essentially the same in these two tongues, namely, core for the Gaelic, and ceirc for the Welsh; but for Rye the name in both languages, seagl, is evidently taken from the Latin secale, and we shall not err if we conclude that this corn was directly or indirectly introduced into our islands by the Romans. The Basque, again, furnishes an original name for this grain, namely, garagarra. The Oriental languages furnish us with similar evidence in the case of barley, as it does in that of wheat. In Sanskrit the name for it is yava, of which the Hindi jau and the Persian jo are certainly corruptions. In the language of the distant Tamils it is a widely different word, shali, which is probably but a common name for "corn.' In Arabic the name is shaer, and in Turkish arpa, terms which have no connection with each other, or with those of any languages of Asia or Europe, and so we come to the conclusion that this corn is indigenous, or, at least, that its culture was not borrowed from strangers in the countries in which these languages are spoken.
We cannot determine the native country or primitive locality of the first culture of Rice to any particular Oriental region by philological evidence. This corn was unknown to the Greeks and Romans, at least as an object of cultivation, and has no original name in their languages.
We may presume that it was equally unknown to the ancient Persians; for, had it been an object as well known to them as it now is to their descendants, it would hardly have failed to have attracted the notice, and to have been described by the Greeks, who had so much early intercourse with Persia. In Sanskrit the general name for Rice is dhanva, and in Hindi it is dhan, a mere abbreviation of the same word; in the Tamil the name is shali. In each of the monosyllabic languages which extend from Bengal eastward to China inclusive, Rice bears a different name. Thus we have it in the Peguan as ha, in
the Siamese as kao, in the Cambodian as ang-ka, and in the Anam, as lua. The many languages of the Malay and Philippine Archipelagoes are a signal exception to this diversity, for with them the general name is the same throughout, although the languages themselves often differ widely in words, in structure, and in sound. That name is padi, varied into pari, pali, pasi, and vari, according to national pronunciations, and it prevails not only from one extremity to the other of the two great archipelagoes, but extends even to the language of remote Madagascar. There is but one exception to this uniformity, and it is found in the recondite and dead language of Java, called the Slawi, which abounds in Sanskrit, and in which the term dana, an obvious corruption of the Sanskrit name already given.
The Persian name for rice is shali, which, as already stated, is that for it in the Tamil. This leads to the belief that the grain was most probably introduced into Persia from Southern India in the course of that maritime trade which is known to have been carried on for ages between the ports on the western coast of India, where the Tamil is the vernacular tongue, and those on the Persian Gulf. Had this cereal reached Persia from Northern India, its name, as in the case of wheat, would have been traceable to the Sanskrit, or one of its derivatives.
The name for rice in Arabic is arus, and this is obviously the source of the arros of the Spanish, the rizo of the Italian, the riz of the French, and the rice of the English,—the word increasing in corruption from Spain to Britain. It points to Spain as the country where the culture of this corn was first introduced into Europe by the Arabs. Rice, however, was known to the Greeks of the lower empire before the Arabian conquest of Spain ; but they too must have learnt it from the Arabs, for the name they gave it, aruza, seems to be equally of Arabic origin as the names which it bears in the modern languages of Europe. The Arabic name itself may be supposed an original native word, and rice itself the indigenous plant of a country, the greater part of which is tropical, and therefore congenial to its growth. The vast importance attached to rice by those of whom it is the chief bread-corn, and perhaps also the tendency of the Oriental languages to run into verbal redundance, is strikingly exemplified in the case of this corn. Rice sports into far more varieties than any of the corns familiar to Europeans, for some varieties grow in the water and some on dry land; some come to maturity in three months, while others take some some four and six
months to do so. The Hindus, however, are not content with terms for such broad distinctions as might be derived from these obvious sources, but have names for varieties, the distinctions between which are unappreciable by Europeans. In the north-western provinces of India, no fewer than sixty-six of these names have been enumerated ; and in Bengal, of which rice is nearly the sole bread-corn, the number is said to be still greater. But, besides terms for this corn, founded on variety, on season, and on mode of culture, the grain itself bears one name in the straw, another when threshed, one name when in the husk and another when freed from it, and a fifth when cooked. A similar redundance of terms is found in the languages of the Malay and Philippine Islands. Such minute nomenclatures seem to point to a great antiquity in the culture of this cereal with the people among whom they obtain.
Maize is, beyond all question, a native of America, and before the discovery of the New World was wholly unknown to the Old. The name as known to European nations is taken directly from the Spanish, and it is to be presumed that the conquerors of the New World borrowed it from one of the many languages of that continent. In some of the Oriental languages we have specific names for it, which seem entirely native,-such as bhutla in Hindi, jagyng in most of the languages of the Indian Archipelago, katsalva in the Madagascan. This would lead to the belief that the plant was indigenous where such names were given to it, but the probability is that they were taken from some native plant bearing a resemblance to maize. Thus, in the two principal languages of Southern India, maize is named after the chief millet cultivated in the peninsula, the cholu or ragi (Cynosurus Coracanus), to which an epithet implying its foreign origin is added. The Turks give it the name of boghdai Misr, or the wheat of Egypt, which is not more amiss than the names given by the French and English when they call it Indian and Turkey corn.
Philological evidence applied to plants yielding starch, or esculent farina, affords somewhat more satisfactory evidence than in the case of the cereals. One of the most important of the plants yielding this farina is the genus Dioscorea, in our language the Yam, and of which a dozen species, independent of varieties, have been enumerated. They are natives of Asia, Africa, and America, but of their tropical and subtropical parts only. The Spanish and Portuguese name of the Dioscorea is inhame, from which comes the French igname, and from that, with Anglo-Saxon brevity, yam. I presume the Spanish name to be taken from some American language. In Hindi, the general name given to all esculent bulbs and roots is alu. This, Professor Wilson tells, us was the name given by those who spoke the Sanskrit language to a species of cultivated Arum, and not to the yam, with which, as an extratropical people, they must have been unacquainted The generic name, alu, with the prefixes phul, a flower, or rath, a chariot, are the names by which the Hindus of the north distinguish the yam. Not so, however, with the Hindus of the south, in whose country the yam is indigenous. As an example, it has in Tamil the specific native name kalungku.
Like the word alu of the northern Hindus, the word ubi, especially applied to the yam, is used generically for all esculent roots and bulbs - by the Malayan nations. It is one of a very wide dissemination, for it prevails in not only all the many languages of the Malayan archipelago, but has been also extended to the Philippine tongues of a very different genius from the Malayan. It has done far more than this, for to the east it is found in the languages both of the lank-haired and woollyhaired races of the islands of the Pacific, while to the west it has reached as far as Madagascar. The original word is of such simple structure that it has undergone no other change than the substitution of one labial for another, or the elision of its single consonant. Among the insular languages there are but few exceptions to this general prevalence, but there are a few. In the principal language of the Philippines, and in the dialect of the Sandwich Islands, the only one of the Polynesian language beyond the northern tropic, we have native names for the yam. One species or other of the Dioscorea is, no doubt, indigenous in many of these islands of the Malay and Philippine archipelagoes, and in those of the Pacific. I saw myself wild yams dug up in the woods of an island off the Cape of Cambodia, which, probably from the frequency of the wild yam in it, takes its Malay name from it, for Pulo-ubi, the island in question, literally rendered, signifies “isle of Yams.” No doubt it would be long used as food in its wild state by savage man, and it was probably first cultivated by a people who had made the first steps in progress, who would naturally give it its now wide-spread name. Who that people was, it is impossible to be sure of, but the Malays, or Javanese, as the most advanced and most enterprising, are the most probable.