Geographical terms of Finnic substrate origin in the toponymy of Eastern Obonezh’e

  • Ekaterina Zakharova Institute of Language, Literature and History Karelian Research Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences, 11 Pushkinskaya St., 185910 Petrozavodsk, Karelia
Keywords: Eastern Obonezh’e, Finnic languages, toponymic substrate, geographical terms, ethnic history

Abstract

The paper offers an analysis of one of the best represented groups of substrate appellative lexis fixed in the toponymy of Eastern Obonezh’e – the landscape term, which is found in all structural types of the Finnic toponymic substrate in the study area. This group of terms from the toponymy of the region portrays the characteristic features and varieties of the landscape people use to build settlements, and practice industries and trades. Hence, through analysis and identification of structural and lexical-semantic models typical of specific time periods and ethnic groups one can reconstruct the main stages and pathways of colonisation of the land, determine the nature of contacts between cultures and languages, and form conjectures about land use, since the models of naming geographical objects are transferred to new territories as the population moves.
Published
2015-06-09