2022, Volume 19, Issue 1

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Igor A. Dambuev
Institute for Mongolian, Buddhist and Tibetan Studies, Siberian Branch of the RAS
Ulan-Ude, Russia

Numeral Adjectives in Russian Toponymy: Variation and Standardization

Voprosy onomastiki, 2022, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp. 117–138 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2022.19.1.006

Received on 30 March 2021

Abstract: The paper deals with the use of adjective numerals in Russian toponymy retrieved from the State Catalogue of Geographical Names, normative legal acts, reference books of administrative-territorial divisions and topographic maps. The object of the study is toponyms with ordinal numerals that perform the function of numbering differentiation. The purpose of the study is to identify the features of standardization of toponyms with numerals. Numerous examples of variation in the spelling of toponyms with ordinal numerals have been found. Ordinal numbers in toponyms can be expressed in Arabic numerals, Roman numerals, verbal way, alphanumeric way. The following models of writing toponyms with ordinal numbers are identified: Kamenka II, Kamenka-2, Vtoraya Kamenka, Kamenka Vtoraya, Kamenka-Vtoraya, 2-ya Kamenka, Kamenka 2-ya. The article presents the results of a linguo-statistical study that showed the usage frequency for the models of writing numerals in toponyms both on a national scale and for each region separately. The State Catalogue of Geographical Names showcases that the most frequent models of writing toponyms with numerals are Kamenka 2-ya and Vtoraya Kamenka. Other models are much less common. The author substantiates the use of a particular model for writing numerals based on their representation in texts of various types, the guides for writing geographical names on maps, current spelling rules, and linguistic features of proper names. Despite the recent trend for standardization, the study results show the lack of common approaches to writing toponyms with numerals in different territorial bodies. The revealed discrepancies in the use of Roman and Arabic numerals in toponyms, the neglect for the recommended norms of writing toponyms with numerals require improving the spelling rules of writing geographical names.

Keywords: toponyms, toponymy of Russia, official toponyms, ordinal numeral, spelling variation, standardization of toponyms, spelling rules, State catalogue of geographical names.


The article was prepared within the framework of the State assignment (project The World of Man in the Mongolian Languages: Analysis of the Means of Expressing Emotiveness, No. 121031000258-9).


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