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date: 09 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In socio-onomastics, names in society are examined. Socio-onomastics can be defined as a sociolinguistic study of names. Above all, it explores the use and variation of names. The socio-onomastic research method takes into account the social, cultural, and situational field in which names are used. In this chapter, the methodology and major advancements in socio-onomastics are presented and discussed. In addition, an overview of the epistemological background is presented, as well as a brief look at the state of the art. Name variation is the core concern in socio-onomastics. In this chapter, the synchronic and especially social variation are discussed in more detail. In addition to social (‘sociolect’) variation, situational (‘style lect’) variation is presented. Also folk onomastic research as a sub-category in socio-onomastics is presented. Folk onomastics studies people’s beliefs and perceptions of names and name use.

Keywords: socio-onomastics, folk onomastics, toponymic competence, first name fashion, place-names, personal names, commercial names

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