“In the Tune of the King of Khotan” The Name of Khotan in the Tarim Basin and Beyond

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Federico Dragoni

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Abstract




The name of Khotan (Old Khotanese hvatana-) is attested in Chinese, Niya Prakrit, Tibetan, Sogdian, and Old Uyghur. Strangely, the name has not previously been identified in Tocharian and Bactrian. This paper argues that a form of the name of Khotan is actually attested in Tocharian A and B and was borrowed from native speakers of Pre- or Old Khotanese. Moreover, the Bactrian documents may have preserved a form of the name of Khotan as well. The analysis of the newly identified forms enables a fresh examination of the borrowing directions of the name of Khotan in the Tarim Basin and beyond and allows several historical and linguistic conclusions.




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