"Wychódźc", "Pcim" and "Rzgów". Consonant clusters in place names in the light of Polish phonotactics Cover Image
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"Wychódźc", "Pcim" i "Rzgów". Grupy spółgłoskowe w nazwach miejscowości w świetle fonotaktyki polskiej
"Wychódźc", "Pcim" and "Rzgów". Consonant clusters in place names in the light of Polish phonotactics

Author(s): Krzysztof Jaskuła, Jolanta Szpyra-Kozłowska
Subject(s): Theoretical Linguistics, Applied Linguistics
Published by: Towarzystwo Miłośników Języka Polskiego
Keywords: place names (toponyms); consonant clusters; Polish phonotactics

Summary/Abstract: The paper undertakes an interesting and largely under-researched issue of initial and final consonant clusters in many Polish place names which are either unattested in common words or occur only in isolated cases, as illustrated by the examples provided in the title. The presentation of the relevant language data is followed by a brief description of the historical sources of such clusters which involve sound changes (e.g. disappearance of weak vowels, palatalization and segment metathesis), as well as borrowings from other languages and local dialects. Next, the discussion focuses on the place the names in question should occupy in the Polish phonotactic system. The authors argue that equating phonotactic well-formedness with structures attested in language and ill-formedness with those which are unattested is too simplistic. A solid analysis of the aforementioned issues requires a substantial modification and introduction of several subtler distinctions. They claim, therefore, that phonotactic restrictions form a scale, with well-formed and ill-formed sound sequences appearing at its extremities and with rare consonant clusters and those found only in place names and some borrowings located in the middle.

  • Issue Year: 2020
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 43-57
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Polish