2021, Volume 18, Issue 2

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Anatoly A. Fomin
Ural Federal University
Ekaterinburg, Russia

Onomastics in Pushkin Studies: The Names Larin, Larina, Lariny in Eugene Onegin

Voprosy onomastiki, 2021, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp. 156–176 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2021.18.2.024

Received on 10 March 2021

Abstract: The paper discusses the literary proper names Larin, Larina, Lariny (the Larins) from Pushkin’s novel Eugene Onegin, aiming to identify the most important factors behind the choice of this surname. To this end, the researcher establishes a reference for each of the poetonyms, considers their distribution in the text, examines the contexts of the primary and repeated character naming, and explores the semantic potential of these names for characterization and revealing the author’s attitude to his characters. The study has identified six factors that determined the relevance of poetonyms in the given work and, respectively, explain their choice by the writer. The first factor is the commonality of usage which adds to the realism and credibility of the literary image. Another significant factor is the word-formation pattern the name follows. The surname Larin comes from the folk anthroponymic forms Larya, Lara, which, in turn, are derived from the personal name Larion that goes back to the anthroponym Ilarion (from ancient Greek ἱλαρός, ‘cheerful, joyful’). The third factor is related to using the etymological meaning of the personal name Ilarion for characterization purposes. The fourth factor is its associative flow, that is, the ability to trigger associations that describe the surname bearers in the general context of the work. This associative background of the poetonyms evolves in two possible directions: Larin (-a, -y) lar’ and lary. Both of these perform characterization functions, affecting the reader’s understanding of the poetonym. The fifth factor is the syllabic structure of the surname. The male form Larin is a choreic foot, the female and collective forms of Larina / Lariny form a dactylic foot. Both easily fit into the iambic tetrameter used in Pushkin’s novel. The sixth factor is the phonetic aspect of the surname. The phonosemantic analysis of the poetonyms provides convincing evidence that their exponents have positive ratings across a number of scales. The positive axiological coloring of these poetic names contrasts with the negative coloring of the names of other landowners, which is consistent with the author’s assessment of the characters.

Keywords: literary onomastics, poetic onomastics, literary name, poetonym, proper name in a literary text, poetics of name, phonosemantics, associative background of the poetonym, Pushkin, Eugene Onegin.


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