Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies


Tibetan Par, Par, Dpar, Spar, and Cognate Words

Walter Simon

In a recent article on ‘Words for “printing block” and the origin of printing’, Mr. R. Shafer rejected B. Laufer's derivation of Tibetan par from Chinese baan ‘printing block’, which the latter had proposed in his article ‘Loan-words in Tibetan’, though, in fairness to Laufer, it must be added that he qualified his etymology by the adverb ‘presumably’. While I fully agree with Mr. Shafer's rejection of Laufer's suggestion, I feel bound to say that he reached his conclusion from premises which are open to serious objections and indeed lend little support to the hypothesis on the origin of printing which he advances as a corollary.