Motivation and semantics of the present-day Vilnius county toponym oppositions: the concept of the object’s position in space

  • Pavel Skorupa
Keywords: toponyms, synchronic and diachronic analysis, etymology, semantics, motivation, toponym lexical oppositions


    The article presents both synchronic and diachronic analysis of the motivation and semantics of the present-day Vilnius County lexical toponym oppositions based on the concept of position in space, esp. their relationship with other objects. The relative position of objects in space is characteristic of merely any class of toponyms: oikonyms, potamonyms, limnonyms, etc. At the lexical level, in both complete and incomplete lexical toponym oppositions, the ‘upper’ or ‘lower’ position of the objects is expressed by the antonymic correlation of pronominal adjectives Lith. aukštàsis ‘the high; higher’ – žemàsis ‘the low; lower’, simple adjectives Lith. áukštas ‘high’ – žẽmas ‘low’, and Lith. kalnnis ‘of the mountain/hill’ – klõninis ‘of the valley’.