2016, Volume 13, Issue 1

Back to the Table of Contents

Marina V. Golomidova
Ural Federal University
Ekaterinburg, Russia

Urban Everyday Life in the Mirror of Unofficial Oikonymy
Review of the book: Akhmetova, M. V. (2015). Ot A-Ata do Iarska: slovar’ neofitsial’nykh nazvanii naselennykh punktov [From A-At to Yarsk: A Dictionary of Unofficial Settlement Names]. Moscow: FORUM

Voprosy onomastiki, 2016, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp. 241–249 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2016.13.1.014

Received 3 May 2016

Abstract: The paper provides a review of the content and structure of the dictionary of Russian unofficial oikonymy published by Maria Akhmetova. The reviewer points out the author’s ability to make a high-quality presentation of a large number of lexical units: more than 2 200 names and non-standard abbreviations for more than 800 settlements of Russia and neighbouring countries. The material was retrieved from a wide array of sources which include both traditional written texts (toponymic and regional dictionaries, dictionaries of slang, scholarly, journalistic and literary texts) and relatively new practices of contemporary Internet communications (blogs, Internet forums, social networks, etc.) The reviewer emphasizes the correct and adequate manner of lexicographic processing of unofficial settlement names, as well as the author’s theoretical reasoning on their functional specificity. A particular attention is paid to the ideas articulated in the introduction to the dictionary in which the author attempts to define the status of unofficial oikonyms within the toponymic system of a language, qualifying such names as a particular case of toponymic variability, the latter being the basis of a systemicfunctional approach to the interpretation of unofficial names. The reviewer concludes that Maria Akhmetova’s dictionary enlarges our view of sociolinguistic parameters of the functioning of unofficial oikonyms, which is reflected in an extremely detailed system of labels referring to hitchhikers’ slang, military and naval jargon, obsolete vocabulary, journalistic discourse, nonce words, and others. The dictionary contains rich data that can be used in lexicological, morphological, onomastic, sociolinguistic, anthropological research, but also in studies of urban folklore and urban everyday life.

Key words: Russian language, unofficial settlement names, oikonyms, toponymic variation, functioning of unconventional oikonyms, urban communication culture, onomastic lexicography, sociolinguistics