2017, Volume 14, Issue 3

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Maya Vlahova-Angelova
Institute for the Bulgarian Language of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Sofia, Bulgaria

Current Trends in Name Giving among Bulgarians: A Study of the Names of Newborns in the Sofia Region

Voprosy onomastiki, 2017, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp. 52–71 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2017.14.3.022

Translated from Bulgarian by A. A. Fomin
Received 17 November 2016

Abstract: The article showcases a large-scale study of the modern Bulgarian anthroponymic system conducted by the Applied Onomastics section of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Institute for the Bulgarian Language (IBL) with the aim of revealing the current trends in the choice of personal names by the Bulgarians at the beginning of the 21st century. The study focuses on personal names of Bulgarians born in 2010 in the Sofia region, as extracted from the Unified System of Civil Registration and Administrative Services of the Population of the Republic of Bulgaria. The total number of births this year was 1,005, of which 51.5% were boys, 48.5% were girls. Statistical and linguistic analysis of names allowed to measure the popularity of both individual personal names and different name types. It shows the quantitative ratio between most commonly chosen names and those of a singular use in relation to the total number of anthroponyms in the corpus, and proves that the male names are more sustainable in terms of usage than female. The derivational and etymological analysis of personal names helped to identify the productive word-formation types of names and the so-called “unisex names,” to distinguish between the native Bulgarian and the borrowed foreign names, as well as to classify graphic and phonetic variants of the same anthroponym. A number of quantitative comparisons were made between certain categories of names, for example, between compound (two-stem) personal names (such as Miroslav) and simple names (such as Biser), showing the ratio of the two-component personal names (such as Anna-Maria) to the rest of the anthroponyms. It was found that the Bulgarian anthroponymic system in the beginning of the 21st century is more open to the non-adapted foreign names (like Mishel, Nancy), shows wider usage of diminutive “unisex names” (Moni, Stephy, Toni), as well as the growing popularity of shortened forms used as official names (Alex, Boni, Pepi), and the increasing number of double personal names (Violet Avril, Alexander Ahmet) and more complex name sets, which indicates the general trend towards globalization.

Keywords: Bulgarian anthroponymy, personal names, name usage ratio, dynamics of popularity of names, calendar names, “unisex names”, two-stem names, two-component names, current tendencies in the development of anthroponymic system


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