Author Topic: Croatian toponyms  (Read 27314 times)

Offline FlatAssembler

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #90 on: April 14, 2019, 06:32:57 AM »
Slightly related to the topic, in my statistical calculations, I assumed that, in unrelated toponyms, we can expect all the consonants and all the vowels to be equally common, that the only relic of the relative frequencies of the letters we see in texts will be that the vowels will be more common than consonants (because that's what makes toponyms pronounceable). However, after doing a little more research, I am not so sure that's a valid assumption. You can read more about that here:
https://linguistics.stackexchange.com/questions/31164/what-causes-relative-frequency-of-consonants

Offline panini

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #91 on: April 14, 2019, 11:22:49 AM »
I don't understand your toponym argument, but theoretically you would be claiming that the rate at which certain consonants occur in toponyms in Croatia is significantly different from what you would expect based on the properties of proto-Slavic and relevant descendants. For example if k were a rare sound in Slavic, or r, but k...r is common in CTs, you have some evidence that CTs are not from Slavic. However you would need to also establish that CTs are not influenced by being compounds, where there is a single widely-used morpheme that happens to have a less-frequent consonant. For example, I think that v is a less-frequent consonant in Norwegian, but it turns out to be frequent in names of lakes (e.g. Juvvatnet, Prestvann) – because vatn~vann is the word for "water", commonly used to mean "small lake". This can skew your count.

Applied to CTs, the question is in part whether there exists a well-motivated source for some kr root. There is a poorly-attested root kʲer meaning something like "run", linked to horse, chariot and husar, but there are also similar roots meaning "increase; cherry; burn; hang; spoil" that have even less connection to rivers.

A lot of local place names are just seeming random sounds, except if you happen to know the language (now extinct) from which they originated. Tons of place name with ...mish, ...mie – because it means "people". Were it not for modern linguists, we would not know that fact.