Substrate Toponymy of the Village Tornovoe Surroundings in the Samarskaya Luka
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toponymics substrate pseudosubstrate Mordovians limnonyms Moksha-Mordovian language Erzya-Mordovian language geographic vocabulary Samarskaya Luka Tornovoe

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1. Belenov N. Substrate Toponymy of the Village Tornovoe Surroundings in the Samarskaya Luka // Journal of Frontier Studies. 2020. № 4 (5). C. 85-105.


The paper discusses three limnonyms from the neighborhoods of the Moksha-Mordovian village Tornovoe in the Samarskaya Luka: Kal', Yelgushee and Obkan. For each of these geographical names, in accordance with the methods and principles of toponymic research, the likelihood of belonging to Toponymical substrate is checked. In the course of the study, special attention is paid to the forms of existence of toponyms among the local population, as well as to the presence or absence of their toponymic parallels in the other territories of Mordovian languages speakers’ settlements. The analysis involves the lexical composition and characteristic features of the Tornovsky dialect of the Moksha-Mordovian language, as well as of the other Moksha-Mordovian dialects of the Samara Luka. When evaluating etymological solutions, the phonetic laws of displaying foreign geographical names in the Mordovian languages confirmed by specific examples are taken into account. As a result of the research, it was found that of the three limnonyms under study, only the toponym “Kal'” has reliable parallels in Mordovian toponymy from other territories, which, taking into account the ethnic history of Samarskaya Luka, may have both Mordovian and Slavic origins. For the limnonym “Yelgushee”, we can assume a pseudosubstrate origin, due to the likely adaptation of the Baltic term in the Moksha-Mordovian environment. The article suggests a possible religious and cult semantics of the limnonym. The limnonym “Obkan”, with a high degree of probability, goes back to the Iranian languages; however, one should not exclude a pseudosubstratum origin, with semantically adapted borrowing from the Turkic languages in the Moksha-Mordovian dialects of Samarskaya Luka.

The research is largely based on the author’s field materials obtained during the 2017-2018 seasons.
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