Observations on the geographical distribution of toponymic endings in Estonia

  • Peeter Päll

Abstract

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

Published
2019-06-18