Onomastics

Onomastics [ономастика; onomastyka]. The study of names. In Ukraine, the study of place-names (toponymy) continues to be the most developed branch of onomastics. In the less developed branch dealing with Ukrainian personal and family names (anthroponymy), the earliest contributions were articles by Andronyk Stepovych (1882), Mykola Sumtsov (1885), and Vladimir Yastrebov (1893) in Russian-ruled Ukraine; by Volodymyr Okhrymovych (1895), Ivan Franko (1906), Ivan Krypiakevych (1907), and Mykhailo Zubrytsky (1907) in Galicia; and by the Polish historian Antoni Józef Rolle (1889–92). A 16-page dictionary of Ukrainian baptismal names was appended to Borys Hrinchenko’s Ukrainian-Russian dictionary (vol 4, 1909). In the interwar period only a few articles in anthroponymy appeared, notably by M. Kornylovych (1926, 1930) in Kyiv, Vasyl Simovych (1929, 1930) in Prague, and Ivan Ohiienko (1935) in Warsaw. In 1937 Jaroslav Rudnyckyj began publishing a bibliography of Ukrainian onomastics in Zeitschrift für Namenforschung (Berlin).

After the Second World War onomastic studies have been written by Ukrainian scholars in the West, such as Jaroslav Rudnyckyj (in Onoma, Louvain 1952–), Elie Borschak, Mykhailo Borovsky, V. Hrabets, I. Gerus-Tarnawecky, Jacob Hursky, Anna Vlasenko-Bojcun, Wolodymyr Zyla, Yar Slavutych, John Pauls, S. Holutiak-Hallick, Jarolav Rozumnyj, and Bohdan Struminsky. Many of them were published in the series Onomastica (50 issues, Winnipeg, 1951–75), begun and edited by J. Rudnyckyj. The series included Rudnyckyj’s studies of the names ‘Ukraine,’ ‘Galicia,’ ‘Volhynia,’ and ‘Slav,’ I. Gerus-Tarnawecky’s study of anthoponymy in the 1484 Pomianyk of Horodyshche, and F. Bohdan’s dictionary of Ukrainian surnames in Canada (1974). Vasyl Simovych’s articles were reprinted in one volume in Ottawa in 1981. In Australia dictionaries appeared of Ukrainian Christian (R. Gauk, 1961) and family (Stepan Radion, 1981) names. Non-Ukrainian Western scholars who have done work in Ukrainian anthroponymy include Boris Unbegaun, A. de Vincenz (Traité d'anthroponymie houtzoule, 1970), R. Weischedel (Eine Untersuchung ukrainischer Personennamen des XVIII. Jahrhunderts: Kiever Regiment, 1974), and S. Luber (Die Herkunft von Zaporoger Kosaken des 17. Jahrhunderts nach Personennamen (1983). In postwar Poland, articles on Ukrainian anthroponymy have been written by Stefan Hrabec, Wiesław Witkowski, E. Wolnicz-Pawłowska, and Mykhailo Lesiv; books on the names of rural people in the 15th-century Sianik and Peremyshl land, by Janusz Rieger (1977); and books on 18th-century Ukrainian names in Rus’ voivodeship, by E. Wolnicz-Pawłowska (1978). At the International Committee of Onomastic Sciences in Louvain, Ukraine was represented in 1952–72 by J. Rudnyckyj and later by Yurii Karpenko and Kyrylo Tsiluiko.

Onomastics in Soviet Ukraine grew significantly under the influence of the work done by Ukrainian scholars abroad. This growth led to the establishment of the Ukrainian Onomastic Commission in 1959. After that time many works in Ukrainian toponymy appeared; and articles in Ukrainian anthroponymy by Lukiia Humetska, I. Varchenko, Yu. Redko, I. Sukhomlyn, Vasyl S. Vashchenko, Orest Tkachenko, R. Kersta, Mykhailo Khudash, Vasyl Nimchuk, A. Zalesky, O. Kupchynsky, O. Nedilko, N. Stets, V. Horpynych, Ivan Kovalyk, Z. Nikolaienko, P. Chuchka, Stepan Bevzenko, K. Lukianiuk, Yurii Karpenko, I. Zheliezniak, L. Krakaliia, L. Masenko, Yu. Tsymbaliuk, O. Palamarchuk, Yosyp Dzendzelivsky, H. Pivtorak, Vitalii Rusanivsky, and R. Ostash appeared in linguistic, historical, ethnographic, and archeological journals, several collections of onomastic studies, and Povidomlennia Ukraïns’koï onomastychnoï komisiï (15 issues, 1966–76). Viktor Petrov, Bronyslav Kobyliansky, Volodymyr Pokalchuk, Antin Gensorsky, O. Seniuk, O. Stryzhak, Mykhailo Khudash, and A. Nepokupny wrote on ethnonyms in Ukraine. Published separately (in addition to works in toponymy) was a Ukrainian-Russian dictionary of personal names by Serhii Levchenko, L. Skrypnyk, and N. Dziatkivska (1954; rev edns 1961, 1967, 1972, 1976); L. Humetska’s chapter on personal names in her book on the word-formation system of the language of 14th- and 15th-century Ukrainian charters (1958); V. Vynnyk’s book on the Ukrainian names of units of measurement and weight (1966); Yu. Redko’s study (1966) and handbook (1969) of Ukrainian surnames; I. Zheliezniak’s book on 12th- to 15th-century suffixes in Serbo-Croatian surnames (1969); O. Dei’s dictionary of Ukrainian pseudonyms and cryptonyms (1969); P. Chuchka’s book on the anthroponyms of Transcarpathia (1970); I. Sukhomlyn’s textbook on Ukrainian anthroponymy (1975); M. Khudash’s history of 14th- to 18th-century Ukrainian anthroponyms (1977); V. Horpynych, V. Loboda, and L. Masenko’s book on personal names and names formed from toponyms in the Inhul RiverBoh River watershed (1977); R. Kersta’s book on 16th-century Ukrainian male names (1984); and L. Skrypnyk and N. Dziatkivska’s dictionary-handbook of personal names (1986).

Roman Senkus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]




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