2023, Volume 20, Issue 1

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Tamara G. Basangova
B. B. Gorodovikov Kalmyk State University
Elista, Russia

Toponymic Dictionary of Kalmykia
Review of the book: Gedeeva, D. B., Ubushieva, B. E., Lidzhieva, L. A., & Barinova, B. V. (Eds.). (2019). Slovar’ toponimov Respubliki Kalmykiia [Toponymic Dictionary of the Republic of Kalmykia]. Elista: KalmNTs RAS. 344 p.

Voprosy onomastiki, 2023, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp. 223–228 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2023.20.1.013

Received on 23 February 2022
Accepted on 11 November 2022

Abstract: The paper reviews the “Dictionary of Place Names of the Republic of Kalmykia” compiled by scientists of the Kalmyk State University and published in 2019. It is primarily focused on toponyms collected during the expeditions of 2013–2017 but also includes the names extracted from other sources (maps, works of Kalmyk writers, scientific works). The book comprises more than 2,400 entries and today is the most complete bilingual (Russian and Kalmyk) on the toponymy of the Republic. The etymologies provided for the majority of names make the dictionary a rich source of information about the material and spiritual culture of the Kalmyks and their vision of the surrounding geographical space. The toponymy recorded in the dictionary builds a larger picture of Kalmyk generic sub-ethnonyms and personal names corpus, including archaic ones. In this vein, apart from discussing the “formal” features of the dictionary, the review analyzes the culturally significant layers of Kalmyk toponyms presented there (names of steppe burial mounds, water bodies, sacred places, etc.). Considering the prospects of making a new, even more complete version of the dictionary, the reviewer gives her recommendations on advancing the etymological research and the improvement of the reference part of this edition.

Keywords: toponymy; hydronymy; microtoponymy; geographical terminology; toponymic dictionary; Kalmyk language; Kalmykia.


Gedeeva, D. B. (2013). Buddiiskaia leksika v kalmytskikh mikrotoponimakh [Buddhist Vocabulary in Kalmyk Microtoponyms]. In E. E. Khabunova (Ed.), Baaza-bagshi i ego dukhovnoe nasledie [Baaza-bagshi and his Spiritual Heritage] (pp. 52–54). Elista: Dzhangar.

Korsunkiev, Ts. K. (1983). Toponimiia Yashkul’skogo raiona [Toponymy of the Yashkul Region]. In E. Ch. Bardaev (Ed.), Onomastika Kalmykii [Onomastics of Kalmykia] (pp. 57–72). Elista: KalmNII IFE.