Navngivningsprinsipper og språkutvikling
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHaslum, V. (2012) Navngivningsprinsipper og språkutvikling. Namn og Nemne : Tidsskrift for norsk namnegransking, 29, pp. 31-45
Place-name semantics have been discussed in many ways. In this article the author discusses the reasons behind naming, and how to classify place-names in this respect. One question which can be raised, is: When we consider the most basic foundations for naming, do they represent stable elements in the language system, or do we find changes throughout the language history? Accordingly, reasons for naming place-names can be divided into two very different types. Thefirst, which includes the great majority ofplace-names, originatedfrom a description of the local ity,for example characteristics of the topography or cultural func tion (e.g. Long Island, Churchill). The second originated from a person's relationship to the locality, for example ownership/use or an event, often an accident. The formal structure is above all a compound noun containing a personal name followed by a generic feature word (e.g. Debbie's garden). With respect to semantic properties , compounds with a p ersonal name are very unlike other place-names. What also seems to be a fact, is that use of personal names in naming places has not been as frequent or as usual in Germanic languages in pre-historical times. It can be suggested that this form for linguistic innovation developed some time before the Viking period. However, what makes this hypothesis uncertain, is that place-names containing personal names seem to occur in languages all over the world, but evidence from comparative linguistic research is in this field deficient.