2018, Volume 15, Issue 1

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Tatiana P. Sokolova
Kutafin Moscow State Law University
Moscow, Russia

The Problems of Urban Place Names Description.
Review of the books: Shmeleva, T. V. (2014). Onomastikon rossiiskogo goroda [Onomasticon of a Russian City]. Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing; Shmeleva, T. V. (2016). Novgorodskaya slovesnost’: ucheb. posobie [Novgorod Philology: A Handbook]. Veliky Novgorod: Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University.

Voprosy onomastiki, 2018, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp. 196–206 (in Russian)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2018.15.1.011

Received 3 November 2017

Abstract: The review provides a critical evaluation of two books by T. V. Shmeleva, both devoted to one of the pressing problems of onomastics. The first is a monograph that presents the author’s vision of the structure of Russian urban toponymy, based on an extensive and diverse record of place names from different regions, and proposes new approaches to its study. The second is a textbook that showcases the use of these approaches by looking at existing place names of Veliky Novgorod. T V. Shmeleva is given credit for identifying general patterns of place names attribution in modern Russian cities, for developing the typology of linguistic experimenting and puns cases found in visual public signs, as well as for drawing the onomasticians’ attention to the problems of urban terminology and the classification of urban place names. Particular attention in the review is given to the author’s comprehensive analysis of ergonyms which is a successful combination of cultural linguistics, communicative and sociolinguistic approaches. The idea of presenting urban place names as part of literary tradition, by which the toponymy of Veliky Novgorod becomes a source of historical evidence, is also highly appreciated. The textbook moves away from the matter-of-fact academic style towards that of popular science and journalism which makes the presentation of onomastic material more accessible and interesting not only for students and specialists, but also for a wider public. The reviewer emphasizes the impact of T. V. Shmeleva’s works on the development of urbanonymy as a new branch of onomastics, while also polemicizing some of her views on current issues in urban place names studies to encourage a broad discussion.

Keywords: urban place names, urbanonymy, ergonymy, urban philology, urban language


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