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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

Chronological Strata of Christian Names in Bulgarian Anthroponymy

Author(s):
L Selimski
Silesian University in Katowice (Uniwersytet Slas, Poland

There are two chronological/etymological strata of Christian names in Bulgarian anthroponymy: The Byzantine Orthodox one and Roman Catholic one.
I. The Byzantine Orthodox names come in with the Christianisation of Bulgaria (9th c.). As borrowed ones and unclear semantically, they undergo different changes in order to receive a Bulgarian appearance.
A part of these names was re-borrowed into Bulgarian in a different phonetic shape during several later periods, as:
1) names of Bulgarian Greeks, especially on the Black Sea littoral;
2) names of Bulgarian Walachians;
3) names of Russians in Bulgaria from several periods and/or names of other Slavs;
4) names of Armenians, which are wrongly explained as Bulgarian ones.
II. The Roman Catholic names appear in the Bulgarian language in the early 17th century, when a small group of Bulgarians converted from the Paulician heresy to Roman Catholicism. They were adopted at first in a Latin or Italian phonetic shape, and later – depending on the nationality of the missionaries – in a French, German or, very rarely, Flemish sound patterns. Also, these names undergo different changes for Bulgarian dialectal reasons, which cause them to be far removed from their original forms. Along with that comparatively early stratum of Catholic names, which can be found only among the Roman Catholic population, many other names from Western Europe penetrated the country in the 19th–20th centuries as fashionable among Bulgarians, regardless of their religious denomination.


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