Sunday, December 29, 2013

On the contemporary tasks of semantic-motivational reconstruction of folk toponymy

A new article in the Vorposy yazykoznaniya (Questions of Linguistics), Nr. 1, 2014, pp. 100-120

written by Prof. Elena Berezovich

Abstract in English:

The article comments on the urgent tasks of semantic-motivational reconstruction of folk toponymy. The research is based on the Russian materials extracted mainly from unpublished field card indexes of toponymic expedition of the Ural University in the territories of the Russian North, the Upper Volga region, the Middle Urals. The features of semantic reconstruction of familiar words (especially multiple-meaning) are viewed relying on toponymy; the study of toponymic pragmatics and situations of interaction between realia and nominator is discussed; the issues of interpretation of specific toponymic models that are not supported by common nouns are addressed; the need for new ways to conceptualize mutual transitions in the areas of proper and apellative names is argued. Attention is given to the auxiliary methods helping to implement semantic reconstruction of place names, to linguostatistical analysis in particular.