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0151 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 151 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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100. CALACIAN   135

surname of Wei times (there are, under the Wei, more than half a dozen double surnames beginning with ho [*, â] ; if I am right, all must represent Altaic words beginning with a-). The

T'o-pa Wei, in spite of the current opinion, were not Tungus, but Turco-Mongols, more probably real Turks, and a Turkish name for the present Alashan may imply that a Turkish-speaking clan had settled there at the beginning of the T'o-pa Wei domination.

Such a name is no surprise, as we meet it elsewhere. In the T'ang period, Chinese texts

speak of a Turkish tribe or «kingdom» which they call   , ~ Po-ma, « Piebald Horses », in north-

western Mongolia towards Siberia (cf. CHAVANNES, Doc. sur les Tou-kiue, 28, 29, 56, 307).

J. NÉMETH (Ungar. Jahrbücher, x, 32) has already noticed that this Chinese name is equivalent with the Turkish name of an 0yuz tribe, the Ala-yondlu, lit. «Those with piebald horses », and

that down to the 16th cent. there was in Siberia, near Narym (on the Ob), a Pégaya Orda, «Piebald Horde » (cf. the Alagcin of Rasidu-'d-Din, quoted by VALIDI in ZDMG, 1936, 47, and, in Mongolian, the Alagcit [plural form] of «Sanang Setsen », in SCHMIDT, Gesch. der Ost-Mongolen, 179). I may add that in Ka?ari (BROCKELMANN, 251) «Uia jonduluy » is a misreading for Alayondluy and gives the proper Uighur form of the O) uz tribal name. In the Tibetan translation I found at Tun-huang of an Uighur geographical report of about the 9th cent., mention is made of the « Dru-gu Ha-la yun-log », i.e. the Turks (0} uz) Ala-yondluy. As a matter of fact, the native name of the Po-ma tribe has also been preserved in Chinese texts, but sometimes in a corrupt or incomplete form; it is to be read i 4(1] 0-la (*qt-lât) and ig ~,` . A O-lo-chih (*.:tit-lâ-t'sie); cf. CHAVANNES, Doc. sur les Tou-kiue, 29; T'ai-p'ing huan-yü chi, 200, 2 a, where it is said that o-la is the native word for « piebald ». There can be no doubt that these transcriptions represent a word connected with Turk. ala, «motley », but which does not seem to be ala; they suggest *alac, unattested as such, although it probably survives in Leb. alas, Sag. Koib. alas, «spotted woodpecker» (RADLOV, I, 364, 365, with a wrong etymology by ala --r- qui), and possibly in the Kirghiz clan-name Ala; the developed form alaca exists in many dialectical forms, with which I propose to deal now.

Coman, Kaz., Jay. (Ilaca, Kir. alaia (< alaca), Bar. alazaq ( alacaq) all mean « motley », « variegated ». The same etymology probably holds good for Uiy. alacu (BROCKELMANN, Kai; ari, 6), Jay. alacuq, Kkir., Kir., Kac., Kaz., Krm. alaciq, Tel. alaneiq, Küär. alanziy, all meaning a kind of tent, hence Russian lacuga; the meaning « tent of motley material » survives in Türkm. alaja; moreover, Kumd. alanciq, a kind of « woodpecker », is fundamentally the same as the above-mentioned alas, alas, of other dialects.

The problem is not so clear when we come to the dialectical forms applied to horses. Turk. alaia means « gelding » in Kazan and the Crimea, but « any animal trained to carry a saddle or pack-saddle » in Osmanli, and one is tempted to connect with this last meaning Jay. alasa, « the back ». From alasa (or from the Cuvas form laza of the word) is derived the common Russian word for «horse », loiad', appearing in a Russian chronicle s.a. 1103 (for fall of a- in Russian, cf. alacuq j lacuga [although la uq < alacuq occurs also in Arabic; cf. QUATREMÉRE, Hist. des

Sultans mamlouks, I, I, 192]; `alafa   lafa) ; other connected forms are Russ. losak, Pol. losz,
loszak; cf. M. MELIORANSKIÎ, id Izv. Otd. R. yaz. i slov. I. Ak. N. 1905 g., x, 4, 122-124; E. BERNEKER, Slay. etym. Wörterbuch, s. v. losz, etc.; the apparent resemblance between Russ.