2023, Volume 20, Issue 1

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Iya V. Nechaeva
V. V. Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the RAS
Moscow, Russia

Anthroponyms in Russian Written Speech

Voprosy onomastiki, 2023, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp. 111–139 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2023.20.1.007

Received on 1 April 2022
Accepted on 11 November 2022

Abstract: The paper deals with the spelling of proper names and designations related to the field of anthroponymy. This includes a common problem of the use of an uppercase letter, as well as the spelling alterations between “hyphen — contact — space”, particularly the cases marked with spelling ambiguity. The latter may be caused by: a) controversial onymic-appellative status of the name, b) multicomponent structure of the name, c) combination with common words (including generic terms acting as an identifiers), d) foreign origin of the name, e) transitional status of the name between the proper name and the appellative. It is well illustrated by names with nickname component that retain conceptual information (Nikolai the Wonderworker and Nicholas the Pleasant, Muraviev-the-Hangman, etc.), as well as metaphoric designations (the Iron Lady, the Yellow Emperor, the Russian Rocket, the Father of Nations, the Sun of the Nation, etc.) and expressive Internet nicknames (White crow ~ White Crow, Good man ~ Good Man, etc.). The difference in spelling may reflect the opposition between individual and categorical, negative connotations, instability of norm, stylistic coloring. The study also covers the problem of spelling the names with prefixes (anti-, false-, neo-, pseudo-), postpositive components (older, younger, father, son), names of foreign origin, names with auxiliary elements. A separate section is devoted to the names of fictional characters (literary, folklore, film, etc.) which include common nouns or consist of them totally. In this case the spelling depends on which of these components retain their status and which are onymized. Attention is also paid to the problem of using proper names in the common noun function (playing Stradivari, Faberge collection, etc.). Ultimately, the author outlines some general principles of names spelling regulation, such as the principle of economy in the use of a capital letter (first formulated by Yakov K. Grot), consideration of the name’s transitional status, conditional use of variants. These are exemplified by draft rules for spelling the proper names of people and anthropomorphic creatures, provided in appendix.

Keywords: anthroponym; appellative; spelling; spelling rules; uppercase letter; lowercase letter; variability.


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