Observations on the geographical distribution of toponymic endings in Estonia

  • Peeter Päll


The article looks at the geographical distribution of toponymic endings with the aim of discovering significant patterns. The corpus includes ca. 9,000 oikonyms, of which 24% are those that have the analysed endings. Endings are recognized if names have at least 3 syllables or have 2 syllables and the Q3 degree of quantity; in these cases the existence of a toponymic suffix is most likely. In the case of endings that have multiple origins there are seemingly no specific distribution patterns, with the exception of some borrowed endings (e.g. -na or -va). In the case of typical toponymic suffixes -la, -ste and -vere each of these are often concentrated into certain areas based on which the whole are of Estonia might be divided into regions: -vere-region (northern Tartumaa and northern Viljandimaa), -ste-region (Võrumaa, southern Tartumaa, southern Viljandimaa and southern Pärnumaa), -la-region (Virumaa, Järvamaa, Harjumaa) and a mixed region (Läänemaa, northern Pärnumaa). The island of Saaremaa is dominated by -la-endings, Hiiumaa is either a mixed region or a -ste-region


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How to Cite
Päll, P. (2012). Observations on the geographical distribution of toponymic endings in Estonia. Eesti Ja Soome-Ugri Keeleteaduse Ajakiri. Journal of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics, 3(1), 155-172. https://doi.org/10.12697/jeful.2012.3.1.05

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