2020, Volume 17, Issue 2

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Roman V. Razumov*
Sergey O. Goryaev**

*Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University
Yaroslavl, Russia
**Ural Federal University
Ekaterinburg, Russia

Manifestations of Regional Identity in Contemporary Russian Urbanonymy

Voprosy onomastiki, 2020, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp. 201–219 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2020.17.2.024

Received on 20 February 2020

Abstract: The paper develops approaches to reveal manifestations of regional identity in modern urbanonymic systems based on the data of three Russian cities: Ekaterinburg, Rybinsk, and Yaroslavl, and to analyse them from the onomasiological perspective. As noted by the authors, the methods for identifying regional features are well developed in related humanities, but largely unexplored in onomastics. This remains a relevant task for working out the principles of onomastic policy in urbanonymic systems. The authors argue that the idea of an all-Russian (all-union) identity (ideological, regional, local) is anchored in the urbanonymy of large cities by the established tradition. The study looks to identify the urbanonyms marked by regional identity. These are understood as names conveying linguistic and cultural information about the region and reflecting common views the residents have on its features, notable historical events and people, as well as on the local socio-cultural and economic sphere. Historically, the majority of such urbanonyms emerged in the second half of the 20th century. The authors distinguish three main lines of regional identity manifestations in an urbanonymic system: by reference to a territory, to a person, or the image of the place. In its final part, the article discusses the examples of translating regional identity into official urbanonymy. The authors conclude that, contrary to the widespread notion about the similarity and uniformity of urban naming, there are substantial disparities in both geographically distanced and neighbouring onymic systems.

Keywords: street names, urbanonymic space, regional identity, official urbanonym, hodonym, commemorative place name, naming theme, name motivation.


The study was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation of Basic Research in the framework of the research project 18-012-00586 “Urbanonyms as Part of the Linguistic Landscape of the City: Traditions and Perspectives for Rational Development”.


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