2013 №2 (15)

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Nadezhda V. Kabinina
Ural Federal University
Ekaterinburg, Russia

Popular Toponymic Geometry (With Reference to Lake Names of Arkhangelsk Region)

Voprosy onomastiki (Problems of Onomastics), 2013, Issue 2 (15), pp 60–90 (in Russian)

Received May 23 2013

Abstract: With reference to the toponymy of Arkhangelsk region, the article analyzes lake names (limnonyms) of Russian and Finno-Ugric (substrate) origin designating lakes according to their shape. The author offers a semantic classification of those names and describes the means and mechanisms of linguistic realization of each semantic class. The article focuses considerable attention on the relations within the microsystems of lake names, which enables to verify existing etymologies of substrate toponyms as well as to suggest new etymologies for some toponymic stems which have not received a satisfying explanation as yet. Putting forward arguments for new etymologies, the author largely uses the data from topographic maps which help bring the linguistic hypotheses into correlation with the real physical and geographic characteristics of the lakes. The many-sided analysis of the material leads to conclusions about new perspectives in the study of Russian North substrate toponymy. The article also discusses the historical role of lake names in the formation of toponymic landscape, the limnonymic calquing processes that occurred in the past, the specificity of linguistic viewing of lakes by Russians and Finno-Ugric peoples and the imagery features of limnonyms of Russian and Finno-Ugric origin. The author presents a series of newly discovered Sami and Balto-Fennic ethno-differentiating toponymic stems and gives some remarks on the disputable problems of etymologization of the names of the largest Northern Russian lakes — Kenozero, Lacha, and Vozhe.

Key words: Russian language, Finno-Ugric languages, toponymy, substrate toponymy, lake names, onomasiology, semantic reconstruction, semantic microsystem, calquing, language contacts, Russian North


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