2015 №2 (19)

Back to the Table of Contents

Aleksander I. Falileyev
Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Saint Petersburg, Russia

A New Book on Welsh Toponymy
Review of the book: Parsons, D. N. (2013). Martyrs and memorials. Merthyr place-names and the church in early Wales. Aberystwyth: Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltaidd Profysgol Cymru.

Voprosy onomastiki (Problems of Onomastics), 2015, Issue 2, pp. 197–200 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2015.2.010

Received 31 March 2015

Abstract: The paper reviews the new book by D. N. Parsons focusing on Welsh place names containing merthyr, a loan from Latin martyrium which, however, has a debatable meaning in toponymy. The study is based on the analysis of all known attestations of relevant place names and their geographical distribution. The author also pays particular attention to place names with the element merthyr replaced by semantically close words llan or eglwys ‘church’ and extends his analysis outside Wales, considering similar place names from other areas. The reviewer discusses the methodological features of the book which can be interesting not only for specialists in toponymy, but also for celtologists and historians of European Christianity.

Key words: Welsh language, Celtic languages, place names, toponymy, medieval Wales, motivation of place names, Christianity in Britain, historical toponomastics