2022, Volume 19, Issue 3

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Daria Yu. Vashchenko
Anna A. Plotnikova

Institute of Slavic Studies of the RAS
Moscow, Russia

The Slavic Toponymy of Early 20th Century Austria-Hungary in Epistolary Intercourse

Voprosy onomastiki, 2022, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp. 102–125 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2022.19.3.032

Received on 9 April 2022

Abstract: The paper attempts to interpret phonetic, lexical, and graphic features of toponyms mentioned in the letters of the Gradiscan Croats, residents of the Chunovo village (presently, the outskirts of Bratislava in Slovakia on the border with Hungary and Austria). These placenames appear in three languages: German, Croatian, and Hungarian and provide an insight on the whole system of local toponyms (names of villages and towns) in the oral speech of the Chunovo inhabitants of the early the 20th century (1908–1918). About a hundred items are drawn from the correspondence published by local historians in the book of letters from members of the Yandrovich family. The analysis shows that Gradishian-Croatian and German elements predominate over Hungarian ones, even though Chunovo was part of the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary, and the locals studied the Hungarian language at school and used it in official communication. Particular attention is paid to the specific use of prepositions with toponyms which is an influence of local foreign speech. A significant number of toponymic forms show the traits of Slavic speech rendered in writing, while in some instances the name of the village appears only in the Croatian version. Examples are noted when the Croatian version co-exists with the German or Hungarian. The toponyms with the formant -hof (from German das Hof ‘yard’), which denote parts of villages that have a different proper name, are considered separately. Sometimes the placenames designations in letters can be classified as microtoponyms known only to the correspondents themselves. It is also typical that the names of wealthy employers become the designation of a particular place. The considered epistolary material showcases the specificity of the rural life of Croats at the beginning of the 20th century.

Keywords: vocabulary; toponymy; Hungarian; German; Gradiscan Croatian; etymology; historical language contacts.


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