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Helységnévváltozások Köztes-Európában (1763—1995)

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Place-Name Changes in Europe Between

Place-Name Changes in Europe-Between

(1763—1995)

Europe-Between refers to the region containing mostly small states falling between two great powers, Russia and Germany. This area, stretching from Finland to Greece and from the Czech Republic to the Ukraine, has seen a competition between three expansionist and one declining empire during the last two yearhundreds. As a result of this conflict the independence of the states of Europe-Between was more often the exception than the rule.

Due to the lack of stable nation-state borders, the authority of states has been subject to sudden changes in the region since the 19th century. This fact, added to the great ethnic variety witnessed, has meant that local place-names have often been changed and that navigating oneself around these changes is not an easy task. This is especially so because the Latin, Cyrillic and Greek alphabets have all been used in the region. Therefore we need a dictionary with which one can identify all name changes of important localities. Up till now researchers have not edited an adequately detailed dictionary which covers the whole region.

A catalogue of the place-name changes is useful not only for identifying localities but also sheds light on some historical aspects. Firstly, I examined what was the meaning of the official name. What I found was that until the second half of the 19th century names could only be considered official in part. Prior to this, the names came into being, were changed or disappeared spontaneously. It is from the turn of the century that we witness a desire to systematise names, partially as a result of the increasing rail and postal traffic.

Pre-official place-name changes can be studied linguistically, using the science of onomatology. From a historic perspective it is the official changes of place-names which are of more importance. Such changes can be categorised as follows:

·      Change of the name as a result of a territorial swap (a change in the official language)

·      Change of the name for political reasons

·      Naming a locality after an individual

·      Name changes as a result of indirect causes (unification or division of settlements, giving differential names to localities with the same name, etc.)

·      Dual official naming (in the event of ethnic regional autonomy)

Name changes due to territorial changes

This is the most common cause of official name changes, and  therefore it is the most often cited case in the dictionary. Even at the border changes of the 19th century, names before they were even official appear with dates in the dictionary. It was necessary to illustrate every significant territorial change in the region since 1763; this is how the dates appearing in the dictionary could be figured out precisely (cf. appendix I and attached maps). These maps often depict a conquest which lasted for less than a year. In relation to the dates there were, of course, many difficulties. For example, the Balkan states won their independence step by step, as a result of a lengthy process. Difficulties were caused by the question of that one should pay attention to the years of the occupations or to the years of annexations. Some states already occupied by foreign armies annexed their neighbours' land. After the end of WWI, until the peace treaties were signed, there was a period of great uncertainty lasting for some years. Lastly, in the non-Russian republics of the Soviet Union, the local name was theoretically the official one, although the whole world used the Russian names. In some areas the name changes were small in number, mostly in areas of ethnic homogeneity, which were farther from the areas where the great powers were active (for example, Western Galicia, the Alföld, Wallachia, Central Serbia and Bosnia).

A special type of these territorial changes is the division of cities between two countries. These cases were caused mostly for strategic rather than ethnic reasons, e.g. for creating borderlines along rivers or railways. The dictionary contains 14 divisions of this kind, of which one was temporary. Most cities were cut into two in 191920, but also many in 1945 (especially at the Oder-Neisse boundary of Poland).

Politically motivated name changes

The ideological and political value of the place-names increased very much after the official naming of localities. Nations generally thought that if they controlled the name of a place, they also had the right to control the place itself. In many cases they worked out meanings in their own languages to those place-names which were alien to their ears; either by translation, or by distorting (etymologising) the foreign form of the name. This is more apparent in those areas where this method was used without having any ethnic justification for doing so. In such cases, the transmogrification of names was a simple attempt to shelter a conquest (Russia in the Königsberg region, Greece in Macedonia, etc.). But after a lengthy historical and/or ethnic presence in such an area, significant traces of foreign-sounding names can often be found there which were almost, without exception, renamed in the 20th century (e.g. in the ethnic regions of historical Hungary, in the German areas of Silesia and Eastern Prussia, in Transylvania under the Romanian rule, in the “returned regions” of Poland after 1945, and instead of the long-forgotten original Bulgarian names, the “cyrillicised” Turkish names were replaced by newly created Bulgarian names, etc.). In the USSR it was not only names which were created but also whole peoples in order to alienate residents of the conquered regions from their motherlands. These artificial peoples (the Karelians and Moldavians) of course also received their own new and official place-names.

Naming after individuals

Naming localities after famous people is not a new occurrence. However, in the era of  official naming, this process rather expanded receiving an ideological loading also. It was primarily favoured in dictatorial regimes, e.g. in the Nazi Germany, in the communist states after 1945 and especially in the USSR. Practically every communist country had a heavily-industrialised town named after Stalin (note that “stal” is the Russian word for steel). The powers-that-be resisted naming towns after local communist leaders only in Hungary and Poland. Usually there was absolutely no connection between the person supplying the name and the actual town or city. Another variation of this communist naming was the proliferation of words such as “Red” or “May 1st”, and the eradication of the prefix “Saint”.

Naming localities after individuals was a tool which greatly assisted those who were rechristening for ideological or political reasons, especially once they had run out of new ideas.  For example, Slovakia executed a mass-renaming of cities with Hungarian majority, giving many of them names of Slovakian persons.  In a similar fashion, several cities or towns were renamed after the same person in Bulgaria and Romania, already at the beginning of the 20th century.  Interestingly, the practice of naming localities after individuals varies significantly between peoples in Europe-Between. This phenomenon is most abundant in Romania and the countries using Cyrillic alphabets.

Users' guide to the Dictionary

Arrangement of word articles

The dictionary cites the names of more than 4,000 settlements, in approximately 11,000 name variations. Today’s official names appear in bold letters as independent word articles. Among these one will find certain names which are not independent localities today, but instead have been attached to larger cities. However, due to their importance it is necessary to mention them.  The footnotes always mention such cases. After today’s official name one can read the abbreviation for the country in which the locality can be found today.

The name changes of the city or community can be found in the same paragraph marked by indentation. If these other names were official, I indicated the dates of it. The large bulk of the dictionary is of this kind, containing name changes caused by territorial changes. In these cases the abbreviation found before the dates does not apply to the language but to the country and is therefore in capital letters. The mini-states existed ever in the region have received their own special abbreviation or are detailed in the footnotes. Other names occur without dates, e.g. the name used by the minority living in the locality, etc. Here the abbreviations are not capitalised since they apply to a language and not a state. All name changes occur as cross-references in the dictionary. The cross-references are not indented and the current name is once again printed in bold type. Cyrillic and Greek names are also listed at the end of the dictionary in a separate section.

Earlier official names are listed chronologically, except where a former name is in today’s official language. Old names for which there are no language abbreviations denote they are in today's official language. All old names are marked by a cross (†).

Alphabetic order

Place-names are listed in the order of today’s official name. The alphabetical order follows international regulations:

1. For those localities where the name has two or more parts, I have taken account of each part when placing them into order. E.g. Novigrad is before Novi Kneževac.

2. Hungarian double letters (cs, ly, ny, sz, ty, zs) do not represent separate units but are included in the normal alphabetic order as their parts do. E.g. cs is to be found between cr and ct.

3. This applies to all double letters found in other languages (e.g. the Czech and Slovak ch, although in the national alphabet occurs after h, in this dictionary is to be found between cg and ci; the Southern Slav lj, nj and the Albanian sh are all listed as their parts also, etc.). For obvious reasons, the German ß is treated “ss”.

4. When it comes to accented letters, only the base letter is considered. Therefore the alphabetical order is the following: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z.

5. If two words differ solely in accents then that word with the accent comes later. If both words carry accents, the word with “rear” accenting is found before the word with “forward” accenting. Lastly if the accent is found in both words at exactly the same point then it is the type of the accent which decides the order, as determined by the occurrence of vowel- or consonant-related diacritical symbols. A: a á ă â ā ä å ą.
C: c č ć ç.  D: d ď đ.  E: e ė é è ě ē ë ę. G: g ğ ģ.  I: ı i í î ī ï į. K: k ķ.  L: l ľ ł ļ.  N: n ň ń ņ. 
O: o ó ô õ ō ö ő.  R: r ř ŗ.  S: s š ś ş. T: t ť ţ. U: u ú ü ű ū  ů ų.  Y: y ý.  Z: z ž ź ż.

6. When it comes to Cyrillic and Greek letters all letters are treated as separate characters. The order for the Cyrillic alphabet is:  а б в г д ђ е ё є ж з ѕ и і ї й ј к ќ л љ м н њ о п р с т ћ у ў ф х ц ч џ ш щ ъ ы ь э ю я.

A görög betűk abc-rendje: a b g d e z h q i k l m n x o p r s (V) t u j c y w.

7. The Cyrillic transliterative symbols for soft and hard pronunciation (one or two apostrophes) are ignored when it comes to ordering. If the word articles differ only in apostrophes then it is the word with the apostrophe which is placed further back.


old name

~

political renaming

AL

Albania

al.

Albanian

Ĺl.

Ahvenanmaa (Ĺland-Islands)

an.

English

AU

Austria

BEL

Byelorussia (White Russia)

bel.

Byelorussian

BG

Bulgaria

bg.

Bulgarian

BH

Bosnia-Hercegovina

burg.

Burgenland

CG

Crna Gora  (Montenegro)

CP

Cyprus

CS

Czech Republic

cs.

Czech

ES

Estonia

es.

Estonian

F

Friuli-Venezia-Giulia

FN

Finland

fn.

Finnish

fr.

French

GR

Greece

gr.

Greek

HR

Croatia

hr.

Croatian

ji.

Yiddish

JU

Yugoslavia

K

Kosovo

KA

Karelian Autonomous Rep.

ld.

see

LEN

Poland

len.

Polish

LET

Latvia

let.

Latvian

LI

Lithuania

li.

Lithuanian

MA

Hungary

ma.

Hungarian

MC

Macedonia (FYROM)

mc.

Macedonian

MOL

Moldavia

mol.

Moldavian [1]

NM

Germany

nm.

German

NOR

Norvegia

OL

Italy

ol.

Italian

OR

Russia

or.

Russian

RG

Ragusan Republic

RO

Romania

ro.

Romanian

rut.

Ruthenian

SB

Serbia

sb.

Serbian

SLK

Slovakia

slk.

Slovakian

SLN

Slovenia

sln.

Slovenian

so.

Sorbian

SV

Sweden

sv.

Swedish

T

Trentino Alto Adige

(South-Tyrol)

TR

Turkey

tr.

Turkish

TS

Trieste Republic

UKR

Ukraine

ukr.

Ukrainian

V

Vojvodina

VE

Venice Republic


Remarks to the transliteration rules

Europe-Between displays a colourful variety of peoples, languages, and writing structures.  There are three completely distinct ways of writing found in the region: Latin, Greek and Cyrillic letters are equally widespread. Until the 1920s, Arabic script was also found in the region as Turkey moved to Latin letter usage only then. Generally it is not possible to write the names of the localities in the same way that the local residents do, it is therefore necessary to use some kind of transliterative process. Each country did its own transliteration ignoring any desires to create an internationally accepted system for transliteration. As a result we witness a complete chaos. The different transliterations of the same settlement often differ so much that it is impossible to recognise that they are indeed referring to one and the same place.

There is a generally accepted principle that words written with Latin letters are to be used in that form. Problems arise when it comes to the Greek and Cyrillic letters. We must employ an internationally applied phonetic system. If each country was to stay with its own form of transliteration, it would be impossible to navigate amongst the mass of names. For example, it is hard to find Bulgarian or Ukrainian city names in a foreign language encyclopaedia, even though the transliteration of Slavic names, after Polish, Czech, Croat examples is an easy and established tool The Polish, Croat and even Serb names are used in their Latin form all over the world. Therefore it should not at all be difficult to do likewise with Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Russian, etc.

The rules of the transliteration can be found in the Hungarian-language foreword. They are represented in an easily comprehensible chart also for the English-language readers.



[1] There is no Moldavian language , so this term is used for identifying the official form used in Moldavia between 1945 and 1991.


 
 
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