Punjabi: cotton

eskandar

Moderator
English (US)
I happened to come across the Punjabi (Shahmukhi) Wikipedia article on cotton, کپاع. It struck me as strange to see both پ (a non-Arabic letter) and ع (a non-Indic letter) in the same word. Doing a little more searching, I came across کپاہ as another spelling of the same word. کپاه came up in some Urdu results as well, though the Urdu Wikipedia gives کپاس as the word for cotton rather than کپاه .

Can anyone shed some light on this word? Is کپاع an erroneous spelling, or is the 3ayn used to represent some sound or tone in Punjabi? Which spelling is more common, and which is more prescriptively correct? Finally, how is this word pronounced?
 
  • Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I happened to come across the Punjabi (Shahmukhi) Wikipedia article on cotton, کپاع. It struck me as strange to see both پ (a non-Arabic letter) and ع (a non-Indic letter) in the same word. Doing a little more searching, I came across کپاہ as another spelling of the same word. کپاه came up in some Urdu results as well, though the Urdu Wikipedia gives کپاس as the word for cotton rather than کپاه .

    Can anyone shed some light on this word? Is کپاع an erroneous spelling, or is the 3ayn used to represent some sound or tone in Punjabi? Which spelling is more common, and which is more prescriptively correct? Finally, how is this word pronounced?

    Yes, kapaa3 is wrong. The "he" in "kapaah" gives the tone.
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    As per QP SaaHib, ''h'' gives the tone, otherwise is pronounced in some dialects. I believe it is a typo, otherwise someone tried to represent the tone with 3ayn. In many publications I read it is always the ''he'' that is used to represent the tone.

    A side question: while kapááh is the primary word for cotton, a cloth made of cotton is called suutii kapRaa. What does suut mean? Is it maybe an interesting alternative to kapááh?
     

    eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    What exactly is the tone being represented here? Rising?

    To add to the discussion, I also came across the word رُوں / ਰੂੰ which I think refers to cotton wool.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    As per QP SaaHib, ''h'' gives the tone, otherwise is pronounced in some dialects. I believe it is a typo, otherwise someone tried to represent the tone with 3ayn. In many publications I read it is always the ''he'' that is used to represent the tone.

    A side question: while kapááh is the primary word for cotton, a cloth made of cotton is called suutii kapRaa. What does suut mean? Is it maybe an interesting alternative to kapááh?

    suut/suutar is the finished material where as kapaah is the plant and ruuN is the cotton wool in the flower of the plant. I don't know if you have seen the plant but it is a dark plant and the brilliant white cotton bursting out of the flower is a sight to behold!
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    suut/suutar is the finished material where as kapaah is the plant and ruuN is the cotton wool in the flower of the plant. I don't know if you have seen the plant but it is a dark plant and the brilliant white cotton bursting out of the flower is a sight to behold!
    Yes, explained perfectly. suutar sounds certainly familiar, and it is true, the colours are beautiful in the sunshine.
     
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