2017_10_04_03 - XLinguae

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Principles of place names classifications
Aleksandra V. Urazmetova – Julia Kh. Shamsutdinova
DOI: 10.18355/XL.2017.10.04.03

Toponyms (place names) represent language units denoting elements of topographic environment. The relevance of the study is caused by the need to develop the theory of toponymy and to systematize all the existing toponymic classifications. Place names have a complicated (multidimensional) nature, which should be taken into account while classifying them. This research is an attempt to highlight various principles according to which it is possible to group the place names. The research is based on 15000 British and 17000 American toponyms, received from toponymic dictionaries, reference books and electronic toponymic search systems GNIS (Geographic Names Information System) and Get-a-map. Toponyms can be classified according to the following principles: 1) parametric characteristics of an object, 2) ontological characteristics of an object, 3) type of toponymic basis, 4) etymological characteristics of place names, 5) motivational characteristics of place names, 6) chronological characteristics of place names, 7) structural characteristics of toponyms, 8) toponymic polysemy, 9) degree of toponymic nomination, 10) variety of toponymic nomination, 11) localization of an object. It is obvious that it is impossible to create a unified classification of place names, which would reflect the entire multidimensional nature of the toponymic vocabulary. Classifying toponymic nominations, one must consider the multifaceted (intra- and extra-linguistic) principles of allocation of toponymic units.

Key words: toponym, place name, toponymy, classification, principle, nickname

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