2021, Volume 18, Issue 1

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Karlheinz Hengst
University of Leipzig
Leipzig, Germany

Proper Names as Evidence in the History of the Slavs in Eastern Germany
Review of the book: Wenzel W. Die slawische Besiedlung des Landes zwischen Elbe und Saale. Namenkundliche Studien / Hrsg. von A. Brendler & S. Brendler. Hamburg : Baar, 2019. 333 S.

Voprosy onomastiki, 2021, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp. 251–264 (in German)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2021.18.1.013

Received on 18 March 2020

Abstract: This book is an important contribution to the study of the early history of the Slavs in southern East Germany. As a professor at the University of Leipzig, the author spent more than 60 years at the core of the Leipzig Onomastic School which is internationally recognised for the works of its founders, Ernst Eichler and Hans Walter. As a language historian and Slavist, Walter Wenzel has authored numerous works on Slavic personal and place names in the area of distribution of Sorbian in the Middle Ages. For several years he has been the senior and the most influential figure in Slavic onomastic research in Leipzig. His endeavour is always directed towards an in-depth and exact evaluation of the sources of genuinely Slavic language forms, the historical works, and documents written in Latin from the 7th to the 14th century. The findings on Slavic-German language contact accumulated over many years of research allow to revisit and refine the results of the earlier publications of the Leipzig school, as well as to introduce new etymologies. With the new book, a further supplement to previously existing reference works is now available. A register of names also reveals the author’s new linguistic historical findings and their significance in understanding immigration and settlement history of the Slavs between the rivers Elbe and Saale in Central Germany.

Keywords: migrations of Slavs, onomastic typology, geographic distribution of proper names, onomastic stratigraphy, anthroponymy, toponymy, regional names, ethnonyms.


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