Human Evaluation in Russian Appellative Anthroponymy (on Zauralye Archival Sources of the 16th–19th Centuries)
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This paper deals with research on Russian anthroponyms using an analysis based on the linguocultural concept of “human evaluation”. The original handwritten records created in the Zauralye territory during the 16th–19th centuries were used as documentary sources. The Russian people’s mentality during this particular period of development was reflected in these anthroponyms, as were the perception of the world and the reflection of Russian inner life during the 16th–19th centuries. Nowadays interest in this particular topic has increased: Russians are trying to discover their origins and history, while foreigners attempt to learn “the secrets of the Russian soul.” Appellative anthroponyms are a large group of names that express an emotional evaluation of a human being. At the moment of naming, nicknames performed a characterizing function, they named a person and evaluated a person’s personality on the basis of the most obvious distinguishing features. Later on, family names, derived from nicknames, became non-semantic and began to carry out only the identification function typical for a proper name. Nicknames, and Russian family names derived from them, fixed the evaluation of different human qualities and characteristics: emotionality, open display of feelings, extroversion, talkativeness, collectivism, superstition and a belief in fate. The cultural component of proper names is indirectly reflected in the semantics of appellative anthroponyms and provides an opportunity to understand the history of Russian culture and the psychology and mentality of Russians.