Modern challenges of the semantic and motivational reconstruction of folk toponymy.

2014. №2, 89-109

Elena L. Berezovič (E. L. Berezovich)
Ural Federal University, Ekaterinburg, 620002, Russia;


The article addresses the urgent need of semantic-motivational reconstruction of folk toponymy. The research is based on Russian materials extracted mainly from unpublished fi eld card indexes of toponymic expedition of the Ural university in the territories of the Russian North, the Upper Volga region, the Middle Urals. The features of semantic reconstruction of familiar words (especially polysemous) are considered from the point of view of toponymy; the study of toponymic pragmatics and situations of interaction between realia and nominator is discussed; the issues of interpretation of specifi c toponymic models that are not supported by common nouns are addressed; the need for new ways to conceptualize mutual transitions in the areas of proper and apellative names is argued for. Attention is given to the auxiliary methods helping to implement semantic reconstruction of place names, to linguostatistical analysis in particular.