Haszonállatok hívónevének kölcsönzése román, magyar és német anyanyelvű állattartók között a 20. század második feléig

  • ÁGOSTON BERECZ European University Institute


Borrowing of names for domestic animals among Romanian-, Hungarian- and German-speaking livestock farmers until the second half of the 20th century

The paper seeks to explain historical asymmetries in the mutual borrowing of animal names across the broad contact zone between Romanians, Hungarians and Germans. Data collected since the 1890s shows that vastly more names of Hungarian origin were given to horses and oxen in particular by Romanian and Transylvanian Saxon peasants than the other way around, to the extent that such names often accounted for the majority of the animal names in related inventories in villages far away from Hungarian-speaking areas. This tendency was less pronounced with cows, and cannot be attested with regards to dogs, while the reverse was the case with sheep, although as a general rule, sheep have usually not been given individual names. In addition, the whole scale of borrowing animal names has not been accompanied by a similarly disproportionate outpouring of cattle- and horse-related vocabulary from Hungarian dialects. The author identifies aristocratic manors rather than Hungarian-speaking peasant communities as the more likely donors; moreover, the prestige their animals enjoyed as the major driving force, which led to the adoption of Hungarian names.


Most read articles by the same author(s)