2023, Volume 20, Issue 2

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Marina V. Golomidova
Anastasia V. Dmitrieva

Ural Federal University
Ekaterinburg, Russia

Reflection of Territorial Identity in the Toponymic Landscape of Small Ural Towns

Voprosy onomastiki, 2023, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp. 144–173 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2023.20.2.019

Received on 15 January 2023
Accepted on 18 March 2023

Abstract: The paper discusses specific manifestations of territorial identity in urban toponymy. The authors consider the role of the cultural landscape in the formation, maintenance and transformation of territorial identity and the importance of the toponymic landscape in these processes. The novel approach of the research consists in broadening the explanatory framework and combining proper linguistic research methods with semiotic and culturological interpretation of urban toponymy. An original version of a complex multi-vector structure of the toponymic landscape is proposed, including spatial-topographic, semantic, linguo-cultural, sociolinguistic, and memorative aspects. Applying a modeling method to the structure of the toponymic landscape, the authors identify the main components of the semantic field of territorial identity verbalized in urban toponymy. The first (linguistic) level of components suggests the types of motivational semantics that are relevant to render the social and cultural experience of a place. The second level, semiotics of space, explicates the semantic effects of urban objects’ location, their juxtaposition and co-location. The model is validated using the language material of Nevyansk and Kyshtym, two small towns whose history relates to the development of the Ural mining industry. Hence, the research highlights both common and specific local features in the toponymic reflection of the Ural identity. The Nevyansk toponymic landscape maintains the unity of the semantic field of local identity; its core is the remote history of the city. Contrastingly, the toponymic landscape of Kyshtym attests to the polycentricity of regional identity and multiple differential characteristics that form it. The results obtained allow improving the municipal toponymic policy of small towns towards a deeper and more consistent exhibition of their identity.

Keywords: urbanonyms; toponyms; territorial identity; urban toponymic landscape; small towns of the Urals; Nevyansk; Kyshtym

The research was supported by Russian Science Foundation (project No. 23-28-01523, Toponymic Landscape of a City in the Aspect of Reflecting Regional and Local Identity (Based on the Linguistic Material of the Cities of the Ural Federal District), https://rscf.ru/en/project/23-28-01523.


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