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Old Hungarian River Names in the Multilingual Carpathian Basin

Old Hungarian River Names in the Multilingual Carpathian Basin

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Title: Old Hungarian River Names in the Multilingual Carpathian Basin
Author: Győrffy, Erzsébet
Abstract: When analysing the etymological layers of Hungarian river names, it soon becomes clear that loan names
make up a much larger group than in the group of settlement names, for instance. This fact can be due to
the phenomenon that in the case of hydronyms, name-giving and name-usage is driven mainly by
communicative needs, while other (e.g., socio-cultural or political) factors only rarely influence namegiving.
In my paper, it is my aim to provide an etymological typology of Hungarian hydronyms from the
Árpád-era, for this is the group among Hungarian hydronyms which can be dated the most precisely. The
Árpád-era is a period stretching from the Hungarian conquest (896) to the end of the reign of the Árpád dynasty
(1301). From a linguistic point of view, this period, somewhat extended, is termed the era of Old
Hungarian. It seems to be justified to choose the Hungarian hydronyms of the Árpád-era as the corpus of
my investigation, for the country was strongly multilingual and multiethnic at this period (Hungarian,
Slavic, German, Turkish), which also had an effect on the system of water names.
I explore the panchronic characteristics of name-giving by looking at elements of the Hungarian
hydronymic system which come from different languages. Thus, it is the semantic content expressed in the
individual names which is my focus, as they are based on human cognitive processes and as such are more
or less universal. At the same time, I place a smaller emphasis on the description of language-specific
name-formation processes.
Subject: Old Hungarian River Names
River Names
Names in Carpathian Basin
Type: Article
Rights: The following articles are © 2009 with the individual authors. They are made available free of charge from this page as a service to the community under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivative Works license version 3.0. For full details go to http://creativecommons.org.licenses/ny-nd.3.0
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/3980
Published: York University
Citation: Proceedings of the 23rd International Congress of Onomastic Sciences
ISBN: 978-1-55014-521-2
Date: 2009

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