2019, Volume 16, Issue 2

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Nikolai V. Shimkevich
independent researcher
Ekaterinburg, Russia

Evolution of Russian Politonymy in Post-Soviet Era

Voprosy onomastiki, 2019, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp. 178–198 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2019.16.2.021

Received 11 January 2018

Abstract: The article discusses specific naming patterns among Russian political associations (parties, unions, factions, groups, etc.) under the contemporary Russian multiparty system (perestroika and post-perestroika periods). The author suggests that these proper names are referred to as politonyms (< ancient Greek πολιτική ‘social activity, policy’ + ’όνυμ ‘name’), the term that was previously used in relation to “the residents of a given country; citizens of that or another state,” but seems more appropriate to the proposed meaning in its internal form. In the given sense, the author considers politonyms as a specific type of ergonyms (names of business associations, such as unions, organizations, institutions, corporations, enterprises, societies, institutions, groups) sharing the same functions, i.e. nominative, informative, attractive. It is noted that the specific nature of this subclass of ergonyms has not yet received detailed coverage in onomastic studies. The present publication aims to describe the development of these naming patterns in the Russian politonymy of the last three decades. It is found that politonyms tend to preserve their transparent motivation, which seems to be the upstream feature of this subclass. However, it is still possible to isolate a group of desemanticized polytonyms, although they happen to be very few in number. Among the names that retain the motivational sense, four patterns are defined: the ideological (the names refl ect the program ideology of a political association), the representative (pointing to the social class the party relies on), the manifestational (pointing to the program goal), and the conceptual (reflection of the ideal concept). It is also typical that the title refl ects two or even three motivational patterns at a time. When taken separately, the dynamics of their usage under the Russian modern multi-party system shows that the correlation between the models is relatively stable, however, it can be noted that the manifestation pattern is getting more prominent, which testifies to the increase in the advertising function of political names, typical of ergonyms in general.

Keywords: ergonymy, political naming, political parties names, naming patterns, desemanticized political names, political linguistics, Russian language.


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