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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

Denoting Non-Natives in 15th Century Stockholm

L Ryman
Institutet för språk och folkminnen, Sweden

When denoting an individual there are many possible choices. Apart from first names and nicknames, it is common to use non-proprial designations, which may in time develop into nicknames. Both designations and nicknames may reflect, among other things, a person´s social standing, appearance, place of living or origin.

In my paper, I intend to analyze the denotations of persons living in Stockholm in the 1480s and 1490s who were non-natives of the City. To some extent, their descendants will be studied as well. (The non-natives came from, for example, the surrounding countryside, Finland or German cities.) The main source material are the city records of the time.

I try to answer the following questions: To what extent is origin used to identify persons? How detailed is the geographical information given in the denotations (village/city, parish, province or country)? What is the role of origin, gender, social standing and the person's function in the given context in determining what denotation to use? Which parts of the denotations are names, and which are not?

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