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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

Czech Toponyms of Foreign Origin as Witnesses of Multicultural Contacts in Central Europe

Author(s):
M Harval­ík
Oddělení Onomastiky, Czech Republic

The territory of the present Czech Republic has always belonged to areas where members of various nations and ethnic groups have come into close contact. That fact is also reflected in the Czech toponymy where several layers of names of foreign origin can be distinguished. Besides the oldest toponyms (mostly hydronyms and oronyms) from the pre-Slavonic substrata (Morava, Odra, Labe, Jizera; Říp, Oškobrh), younger German names (adapted in various degrees into Czech – Varnsdorf, Frýdlant, Šluknov, Liberec, Kraslice) occur often in the whole Czech territory.
In the toponymy of the eastern part of the Czech Republic (especially in Eastern Moravia in the Carpathians) names of Romanian (or more precisely Balkan) origin can be found (Grúň), which have been introduced there with the so-called Wallachian colonisation. The names borrowed from other languages, e.g., from Italian or French, are less frequent among Czech toponyms.
The set of Czech toponyms has been considerably enriched with the geographical names borrowed from the Bible (Tábor, Oreb, Sión, Jordán) and with toponyms from remote regions (Temešvár, Amerika, Sibiř, Habeš, Kréta).
This paper analyses the above-mentioned groups of Czech toponyms in greater detail.

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