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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:44:53 EDT by admin, 86700 views
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
Language and Literature paper by N. Fodor, János (all papers)
Interlingual Characteristics of the Family Names Found in the Carpathian Basin in the 18th Century
In Europe, contemporary research of family names places great emphasis on the importance of digital atlases, sources that render information about the spatial extension of names and allonyms, their localization and dialectal differences. The past five years has witnessed the emergence of Hungarian geonomastics, resulting in genuine achievements in the synchronic as well as the diachronic analysis of this field.
In order to start these historical examinations, a homogeneous corpus was needed that would best represent the regional distribution of surnames. The first country-wide census of Hungarian Kingdom in 1715 is the earliest record to suit this purpose. The second part of the database consists of the census from 1720. The two censuses yield a total of 344 thousand names, an amount of data that provides a significant base source for the analysis.
An advantage of the The Atlas of Historical Hungarian Surnames (AHHS 1715–1720) is among others, that the organic “unity” of personal names of the Carpathian Basin could be represented on maps in the way how name-systems of different languages took effect on each other. The corpus of personal names of different languages appears free from external influences (e. g. changing or “Hungarianisation” of names) reflecting the natural language contacts of centuries. When sorted by language, the collected names found in the database provide a reliable indication of the percent of minority populations in this era. According to our estimates, roughly half of this corpus is comprised of Hungarian names. Researchers from neighboring countries have yet to exploit the linguistic and onomastic possibilities offered by digitalized national censuses, even though at least one-fourth of the personal names gathered are Slavic in origin (mostly Slovak, Ruthenian, with smatterings of Czech or Polish), while one-fifth is either Romanian or Southern Slavic.
In the multilingual Carpathian Basin, the meeting and mingling of languages affects not only language, but names as well. The name systems utilized by different languages influence name-giving, resulting in the emergence of interferential properties in name usage. These characteristics are found where languages come in contact, appear on language borders and therefore provide an ample source of study. My paper’s main focus will concentrate on an examination of name-contact phenomena emerging from Hungarian and Slavic connections.
Brief Professional Bio:
János N. Fodor, PhD, is senior lecturer in the Department of Hungarian Historical Linguistics, Sociolinguistics and Dialectology of Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. His main research interests are historical onomastics, mainly anthroponymy, and Hungarian dialects. He researches the linguistic geography characteristics of the Hungarian dialect islands. He has published papers on historical name studies (mainly on the origin and history of Hungarian family names) and on the dialectology.