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Re: Law[-]Abiding New Papers
David Marjanovic a Ãcrit :
That's what it says in the English one, and what it also says in the
Turkish one ("'Al', TÃrk [...] 'altÄn' [...]. Altay daÄÄnÄn [...]
Al=altÄn, tay=taÄ/daÄ [...] Al-tay=altÄn daÄ" -- "golden mountain"),
but even Kazakh and Uyghur treat _Altay_ as a meaningless name and put
"mountain(s)" behind it: transcribed into Turkish spelling
has _Altay tau(larÄ)_, and Uyghur
has _Altay taÄ_ (...what a coincidence... these are just those Arabic
letters that I can read!). Kazakh is actually spoken in at least part
of the mountain range, and Uyghur is at least close geographically.
We shall not overlook that "Altai Mountains" and its litteral
translations may represent a tautological (or pleonastic) toponym which
would be easily explained by the contraction you gave in detail, David.
Such toponyms are quite frequent in English, French, and many other
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toponyme_pl%C3%A9onastique) because the
former meaning of a river, a mount or any place was forgotten. Or just
because the word was borrowed from another language and its original
meaning was not known (that's the case of many Europeanized topographic
names). For instance, many people say incorrectly 'Fujiyama Moutain'
instead of either 'Fujiyama' or 'Mount Fuji'.
None of the other Turkic languages (except Chuvash, which doesn't
count) seem to have a Wikipedia article on the Altay, unfortunately.
Especially the Altay language
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altay_language) would be interesting in
Most of the Altay is in Mongolia, and the meaning "gold" reportedly
extends into Mongolian. Well...
Interestingly, the Altai was formerly known in Chinese as Kin-Chan
(forgive me, Chinese native speakers, this is an old English/French
transcription) meaning 'Gold Mount'.
Just a wild guess: is there a link between the Latin 'aurum' and the
Altaic 'alta'/'altin' ?