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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

Restrictions against Alliteration and End Rhyme in the Swedish System of Personal Names

L Hagåsen
SOFI, Sweden

On the basis of a larger corpus than before (ICOS2005) I intend to demonstrate that the Swedish surname system is characterized by certain morphophonotactic restrictions, including reluctance to use end rhyme and alliteration in dithematic surnames, e.g., the following, actually existing names: Aldal (Al- + -dal), Engren (En- + -gren) and Linglöv (Ling- + -löv), Stenstedt (Sten- + -stedt). Restrictions of the latter type imply “full” alliteration. Combinations of elements with “half” alliteration, on the other hand, such as Karlkvist (Karl- + -kvist) and Spångstedt (Spång- + -stedt), are not avoided.
As for Swedish double-barrelled first names, it appears that many potential alliterating formations have not come into use, e.g., *Alf-Anders, *Bengt-Bertil, or have few bearers, Hans-Håkan, Lars-Lennart, etc., all of them men’s names. End rhyme is not found in this category of men’s names, as the accent throughout falls on the first syllable of the last element. In women’s double-barrelled names having another accentuation, Anna-Lisa, Britt-Louise, Inga-Maj, etc., besides alliteration, one could expect end rhyme as well. I intend to account for both surnames and double-barrelled first names in my paper.

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