PAGODA-TREE to PAILOO
PAGODA-TREE. A slang phrase once current, rather in England than in India, to express the openings to rapid fortune which at one time existed in India. [For the original meaning, see the quotation from Ryklof Van Goens under BO TREE. Mr. Skeat writes: It seems possible that the idea of a coin tree may have arisen from the practice, among some Oriental nations at least, of making cash in moulds, the design of which is based on the plan of a tree. On the E. coast of the Malay Peninsula the name cash-tree (poko pitis) is applied to cash cast in this form. Gold and silver tributary trees are sent to Siam by the tributary States: in these the leaves are in the shape of ordinary tree leaves.]
1877.India has been transferred from the regions of romance to the realms of fact the mines of Golconda no longer pay the cost of working, and the pagoda-tree has been stripped of all its golden fruit.Blackwoods Magazine, 575.
PAHLAVI, PEHLVI. The name applied to the ancient Persian language in that phase which prevailed
from the beginning of the Sassanian monarchy to the time when it became corrupted by the influence of
Arabic, and the adoption of numerous Arabic words and phrases. The name Pahlavi was adopted by
Europeans from the Parsi use. The language of Western Persia in the time of the Achaemenian kings,
as preserved in the cuneiform inscriptions of Persepolis, Behistun, and elsewhere, is nearly akin to the
dialects of the Zend-Avesta, and is cha
racterised by a number of inflections agreeing with those of the
Avesta and of Sanskrit. The dissolution
of inflectional terminations is already indicated as beginning
in the later Achaemenian inscriptions, a
nd in many parts of the Zend-Avesta; but its course cannot be
traced, as there are no inscriptions in Pe
rsian language during the time of the Arsacidae; and it is in the
inscriptions on rocks and coins of Ardak
hshir-i-Papakan (A.D. 226-240)the Ardashir Babagan of later Persianthat the language emerges in a form of that which is known as Pahlavi. But, strictly speaking, the medieval Persian language is called Pahlavi when it is written in one of the characters used before the invention of the modern Persian alphabet, and in the peculiarly enigmatical mode adopted in Pahlavi writings.
Like the Assyrians of old, the Persians of Parthian times appear to have borrowed their writing from a foreign race. But, whereas the Semitic Assyrians adopted a Turanian syllabary, these later Aryan
Persians accepted a Semitic alphabet. Besides the alphabet, however, which they could use for spelling
their own words, they transferred a certain number of complete Semitic words to their writings as representatives
of the corresponding words in their own language.
The use of such Semitic words, scattered about in
Persian sentences, gives Pahlavi the motley appearance of a compound language.
But there are good
reasons for supposing that the language was never spoken as it was written. The spoken language
appears to have been pure Persian; the Semitic words being merely used as written representatives, or
logograms, of the Persian words which were spoken. Thus, the Persians would write malkân malkâ, King
of Kings, but they would read shâhân shâh.
As the Semitic words were merely a Pahlavi mode of writing
their Persian equivalents (just as viz. is a mode of writing namely in English1 ), they disappeared with
the Pahlavi writing, and the Persians began at once to write all their words with their new alphabet, just
as they pronounced them (E. W. West, Introd. to Pahlavi Texts, p. xiii.; Sacred Books of the East, vol.
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