Problems in the study of the finno-ugric substrate toponymy of the Russian north

  • Н. В. Кабинина Уральский федеральный университет
Keywords: Russian North, toponymy, Finno-Ugric substrate, ethno-linguistic map, Ural toponymic school

Abstract

The article highlights some of the most important issues related to the study of the rich heritage represented in the Finno-Ugric substrate toponymy of the Russian North – the territory including modern Arkhangelsk and Vologda regions of Russia. The author gives an overview of the almost two-hundred-year history of studies on the subject as well as a detailed description of the current state of research. Emphasis is placed on the research method developed by the Ural toponymic school, which – among other Russian communities dealing with historical toponymy – is the largest and most authoritative research centre. While the article uses the traditional, time-tested methodical positions of the scientific school which have been verified by the results of numerous studies, it also presents some relatively new techniques which are currently being developed and tested: in particular, the method of semantic modelling and the method of toponymic microsystem relations’ analysis. The article gives examples of linguistic maps illustrating the research results of the Ural toponymic school’s representatives and schematic drawings associated with the application of toponymic microsystem relations’ analysis. One of the maps shows the ethno-linguistic division of the whole Russian North during the period which immediately preceded the complete Russification of Finno-Ugric population. In the final section of the article the author presents a generalized overview of the research results of the toponymic studies on the Russian North. It is emphasized that the linguo-ethnical picture identified for the region up to the present moment chronologically correlates only with the last millennium, since the more ancient position cannot yet be reconstructed.

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Published
2015-12-31
How to Cite
Кабинина, Н. В. (2015). Problems in the study of the finno-ugric substrate toponymy of the Russian north. Linguistica, 55(1), 207-228. https://doi.org/10.4312/linguistica.55.1.207-228