The problems of studying the Baltic origins of hydronyms on the territory of Russia

  • Валерий Л. Васильев Новгородский гос. университет им. Ярослава Мудрого
Keywords: Old Baltic hydronymy, Russian regions, ethnic history of the Balts, areal


The article raises a wide range of issues related to the ancient presence of Balts in Russian hydronymy. The entire eastern half of the vast Old Baltic ethno-historical area overlapped with regions of European Russia. The names of rivers and lakes are the main source that allows to ascertain the extent of their ancient settlement as well as some features of their language. This paper provides an overview of the history of the study of hydronyms of Baltic origin on the territory of Russia, including the criticism of certain previous works, and briefly highlights a number of issues, among which are: 1) the refinement of the South-eastern, Eastern and especially North-eastern borders of the Old Baltic range, 2) the correlation of the Baltic linguistic elements with the Finnish and the Iranian elements, 3) the relationship of Baltic hydronymy to archaeological cultures, localizable in European Russia, 4) the relative density of the Baltic stratum in different Russian regions, 5) the optimization of techniques related to searching and confirmation of Baltic water names. Maps are provided to show the North-eastern flank of the Baltic hydronymic areal and the maximum geographical extent of Eastern Baltic hydronymy.


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How to Cite
ВасильевВ. Л. (2015). The problems of studying the Baltic origins of hydronyms on the territory of Russia. Linguistica, 55(1), 173-186.