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Kakenus arabice cignus.


Kakenus ABC jp | kakemus f {not rubricated} | Kachenus ms. e
cignus | cignus or agnus? ms. e


Kakenus is Arabic for Latin cignus {"swan"}.


Simon's often quoted source, the liber de doctrina arabica, has so far not been identified, but cf., what must be a similar glossary/dictionary - Vocabulista - ed. Schiaparelli (1871: 158) [[1]]: ﻗﺎﻗﻨﺺ /qāqanaṣ/ Cignus; (1871: 291)[[2]]: CIGNUS ﻗﺎﻗﻨﺺﺍﺕ /qāqanaṣṣ {sic!} ~āt/. The word is listed in Dozy (1877-81: II.296): ﻗﺎﻗﻨﺺ /qāqanaṣ/ (κύκνος {/kýknos/}, cycnus) cygnet {i.e. "swan"} with Vocabulista mentioned as one of his sources.

Dozy derives ﻗﺎﻗﻨﺺ /qāqanaṣ/ cygnet {i.e. "swan"} from Greek κύκνος {/kýknos/}.
Corriente (1997: 436), s.v. *(QQNṢ) is of the same opinion; He thinks it is a book word that entered through Syriac transmission: qūqnūs < κύκνος /kýknos/.

κύκνος /kýknos/:
Greek κύκνος /kýknos/ was adopted into Latin as cycnus, in medieval Latin cygnus, cignus and many other variants.

Ornithological remarks:

Dozy's and Corriente's explanation of Arabic ﻗﺎﻗﻨﺺ /qāqanaṣ/ being loaned from Greek κύκνος /kýknos/ is made more likely by the fact that birds of the genus Cignus [[3]] do not occur in the Arabian Peninsula or Northern Africa except for the occasional straglers.
The most probable candidate is Cygnus olor Gmelin, the "mute swan" [[4]]. As a migratory bird it does winter sometimes as far south as the Mediterranean and Northern Africa.

WilfGunther 10:30, 12 July 2014 (BST)

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