2020, Volume 17, Issue 1

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Anna A. Plotnikova
Institute of Slavic Studies of the RAS
Moscow, Russia

Old Believers’ Personal Names in a Foreign Language Environment.
Review of the book: Ziółkowska-Mówka, M. (2018). System antroponimiczny staroobrzędowców mieszkających w Polsce [Anthroponymic System of Old Believers Living in Poland]. Toruń: Eikon. 469 s.

Voprosy onomastiki, 2020, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp. 253–261 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2020.17.1.015

Received 16 January 2020

Abstract: The article provides an overview of the book Anthroponymic System of Old Believers Living in Poland by the Polish researcher M. Ziółkowska-Mówka. This 5-chapter book includes an outline of the history of the Old Believer’ movement and its general features (Chapter 1), a description of the language situation of Old Believers living in Poland (Chapter 2), an analysis of their personal names (Chapter 3), a study of Old Believers’ surnames, Russian and Polish (Chapter 4), present-day unofficial anthroponyms, including historical and modern nicknames (chapter 5). An extensive appendix contains a list of Old Believers’ names (male and female), a list of “additional definitions” used in the 19th century, modern surnames and a list of modern nicknames. The review notes the importance of the collected corpus of Russian names and surnames in Poland and gives high account of the comprehensive analysis of the material (principles of selection of Old Believers’ personal names from documents and oral narratives; phonetic and morphological analysis of names, surnames and nicknames; motivation for nicknames pointing at different characteristics of people and their speech and referring to other anthroponyms). Synchronic and diachronic analysis of Old Believers’ names and surnames reveals a picture of historical and modern language processes against the sociolinguistic background of Old Believers’ interaction with non-Slavic and non-Old Belief communities. Of particular value to the study is the analysis of Polish and German names (which are also involved in Old Believers’ naming in various aspects), as it emphasizes the cross-linguistic and cross-cultural nature of the entire peer-reviewed work.

Keywords: anthroponymy, Old Believers, Russian, Polish, German, semantics, motivation, personal names, surnames, nicknames.


Plotnikova, A. A. (2019). Zametki o regional’noi antroponimii staroverov Latgalii [Notes on the Regional Anthroponymy of the Old Believers of Latgale]. Voprosy onomastiki, 16(3), 28–40. http://doi.org/10.15826/vopr_onom.2019.16.3.030

Uzeneva, E. S. (2019). O traditsionnoi narodnoi kul’ture staroverov Pol’shi [On the Traditional Culture of the Old Believers of Poland]. In A. A. Plotnikova (Ed.), Russkii iazyk i narodnaia traditsiia staroobriadtsev zarubezh’ia [Russian Language and Folk Tradition of Old Believers Abroad] (pp. 278–279). Moscow: In-t slavianovedeniia RAN.