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Emakeele Seltsi aastaraamat
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society
ISSN 2228-1215 (electronic)   ISSN 0206-3735 (print)

Emakeele Seltsi aastaraamat
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society
ISSN 2228-1215 (electronic)   ISSN 0206-3735 (print)

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Vol. 59, Issue 1
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KOHANIMEDE ERIARENGUTEST KOSE KIHELKONNA ASUSTUSNIMEDE PÕHJAL; pp. 127–138

(Full article in PDF format) doi:10.3176/esa59.06


Authors

Tiina Laansalu

Abstract

Specific developments in the settlement names of Kose parish
In time, language evolves, as do place names, similarly to the rest of the vocabulary. Place names are often more enduring, although they undergo some changes that differ from the general vocabulary. The differences may have been caused by the fact that place names do not need understandable apellative meanings to function. The specific developments can be traced only when earlier documentation exists.
Several parallel forms of a place name can exist simultaneously. The parallel forms may emerge due to economic reasons, dialectal differences, language change or ambiguities in the name shape. It cannot always be determined whether a parallel form will lead to an actual change in the place name or variations in the forms are only incidental. Nowadays, name changes can be prevented by the written language in which the unshortened name form, which is considered to be more correct, is preferred.
The types of specific developments include irregular shortening, group transition, folk etymology and adaptation. Irregular shortening, which is distinctive to place names, occurs over time and cannot be explained by the phonetic rules of the general vocabulary. It occurs mostly in the second component of compound names, but can also occur in the first component. Group transition is a phenomenon whereby parts of a name with similar phonetic shapes can replace each other during variation – the most common example is -mäe ~ -ma(a). Folk etymology means the reinterpretation of a name. During adaptation, foreign names are made to conform to the phonetic structure of the target language.
In this paper a selection of settlement names from Kose Parish is presented in the form of name entries that contain the specific developments. The material for the study comes from the Place Names Archive at the Institute of the Estonian Language and it has been compared with some earlier and later documentation. Examples of all the different types of developments can be found in the settlement names of Kose Parish.

Keywords

onomastics, place names, settlement names, farm names, etymology, irregular shortening, group transition, folk etymology, adaptation

References

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