Terminology peculiarities among onomastic meta-names in French, English and Italian
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onomastic terminology
proper names
descriptive terms
synthetic terms


This article presents the results of a review of terminological peculiarities among onomastic metanames (“names of proper names”) that have been proposed by onomasticians or other language researchers, and have been accepted as naming terms within the scientific discourse or not. The analysis begins with an overview of the application of analytical model in the process of establishing the key phrases of onomastic terminology, formulated since the 1960s in the Slavic and international area. The historical analytical model consisted in the creation of descriptive terms according to the concept of a Czech onomastician Jan Svoboda, adapted to the Polish onomastics by Mieczysław Karaś. The descriptive formula of onomastic terms is reproduced in onomastic research currently conducted in Western Europe. At the same time, a tendency to create terms constructed in a synthetic way on the basis of combinations of elements from classical languages has developed (mainly a Greek or Latin prefixoid + the base onym). Proposals for such terms in the three linguistic areas of French, English and Italian were therefore reviewed, based on specific sources (among others H. Dorion & J. Poirier, 1975, “Lexique des termes utiles à l’étude des noms de lieux”; A. Room, 1996, “An Alphabetical Guide to the Language of Name Studies”; and contributions by Enzo Caffarelli and other Italianspeaking authors from the years 1990–2021). The terminological units and their definitions are considered in terms of their onomasiological motivation confronted with the perspective of semasiology.

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