In part 2 of "Precious Petros", I mentioned this set of names for a location in Paekche (Ryu Ryŏl #332; does anyone know its name in modern Korea?):

Sinographs Old Chinese Late Old Chinese Middle Chinese Modern Sino-Korean
丘斯珍兮 *khwə se tər gi *khu sie ʈɨən ɣej *khu sie ʈin ɣej kusajinhye
貴旦 *kuts tans *kus tanh *kuyh tanh kwidan
珍原 *tər ŋwan *ʈɨən ŋwɨan *ʈin ŋuon chinwŏn

The first two names are Paekche; the last name dates from Shilla and is still current today.

If one only knew how to read the names in modern Sino-Korean, one might think the first two had nothing to do with each other. However, the Late Old Chinese readings share *Kus...T...n in common. Since Paekche apparently had no aspirates or retroflexes, I would reconstruct that core as *kusetƏr. (See part 2 of "Precious Petros" for the reasoning behind interpreting 珍 as *tƏr.)

珍原 might be a redundant compound 'field-field' if 珍 *tƏr was cognate to Middle Korean tɯrɯh 'field'.

Vovin (2010: 59) derived Japanese ta 'rice field' from an earlier *tara (is there any Japanese-internal evidence for an earlier disyllabic form with *-r-?) and related this to MK tɯrɯh. Since Vovin rejects a genetic relationship between Japonic and Koreanic, I assume he regards ta as a loanword from Koreanic. The correspondence of J a and MK ɯ is unusual. Perhaps Japonic borrowed the word from a Koreanic language with *a instead of *ɯ. Could LOC/MC 旦 *tanh be a transcription of a Paekche dialect word *tar(a)* as opposed to the *tƏr written as 珍? In any case, I suspect that the complex correspondences between Japonic and Koreanic vowels orignate from layers of borrowings from different Koreanic sources.

The final -兮 of the first spelling may represent a *-ke or *-he (after intervocalic *-k- lenition?) corresponding to the -h of MK tɯrɯh. So the Paekche word for 'field' might have been *tƏr(V)ke. If one projected MK vowels into Paekche, the word might have been *tɯrɯke.

The first half of the Paekche place name (*kuse) written as 丘斯 'hill this' ~ 貴 'valuable, expensive' has no uncontroversial semantographic spelling, so it is impossible to know for sure what it meant. Ryu (1983: 360) identified it as a cognate of MK kusɯr 'precious stone'. However, that word should go back to a Proto-Koreanic *kuCsɯr with a *-C- that blocked the intervocalic lenition of *-s- to -z-, and there is no evidence for a cluster in Paekche *kuse.

(Even if 貴 were still read as *kuts in a Chinese dialect known to the Paekche, the Paekche word could not have been *kutse, since a medial *-ts- would not have been written with the *s-graph 斯. Moreover, Proto-Koreanic intervocalic *-ts-  would also have lenited to Middle Korean -z-.)

貴 'valuable' could have been doing double duty as a semantogram for *kuse 'precious (?)'.

(2.6.3:13: Could Paekche *kuse simply be a borrowing from Late Old Chinese 貴 *kus 'valuable'?)

Paekche *kuse could be the source of Old Japanese kusi in kusi mi-tama 'precious stone' (mi- is an exalting prefix added to tama 'jewel'). Normally I would expect final *-e to become -i in Old Japanese, but kusi never occurs by itself, so its *e would not have been final and hence would have been raised to -i.

I presume that OJ kusirə 'bracelet' may be from a Paekche *kuse-rə 'precious thing' (?) with a suffix *-rə. The -r of MK kusɯr could be the remnant of this suffix in the Shilla (i.e., Korean) line.

*2.6.1:46: Japanese 百濟 Kudara < Old Japanese Kundara 'Paekche' could be from a Paekche *kon 'hundred' (cf. Middle Korean on 'id.') plus *tara 'field'. This highly speculative etymology has several problems:

1. There is no guarantee that the morpheme(s) in OJ Kundara meant 百 'hundred' and/or 濟 'to go across' - or 殘 'injure; cruel; remnant'. (The earliest attested spelling of 'Paekche' is 百殘.)

2. There is no guarantee that OJ Kundara was the Paekche reading of 百濟 or 百殘.

3. There are no other known instances of P *k- corresponding to MK zero.

(I was thinking that P *k- and MK zero could be from a Proto-Koreanic *q-. Could rare k- ~ zero alternations in Japanese like ka- ~ a- 'that (distal)' and ko- ~ wo- < ?*o- 'small' have involved a Proto-Japonic *q-?)

4. There is no guarantee that the u of OJ Kundara is from *o rather than *u.

5. There is no evidence suggesting that the second half of 'Paekche' meant 'field': e.g., no spellings like 百田 'hundred fields'.

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