Anna Choleva-Dimitrova, Maya Vlahova-Angelova
Institute for Bulgarian Language Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Abstract. The article describes the challenges currently relevant to the Bulgarian anthroponymic system. It successively examines the three components of the contemporary anthroponymic system – personal, patronymic, and family names. First, we focus on the problems associated with personal names, by analyzing the latest choosing trends for newborn children’s names. We compare data from four cities: the capital Soﬁa, Blagoevgrad, Vidin, and Stara Zagora. We based our observations for Soﬁa on data from 2014, and used research from 2015 for the other cities. Special attention is given to the so-called “unique names”, e.g. names with single use, as they are indicative of the short-term development of the name system. The results show that there are similar tendencies in naming across the data from all four cities. Subsequently, we examine the present state of patronymic names. The latter are a characteristic of Bulgarian cultural tradition, as well as a signiﬁcant element of our national identity. The observation of modern naming practices reveals surprising results. Presently, more and more people abandon traditional forms of father names, ending in -ov/-ev – the share of such instances in Soﬁa is almost 10%. Finally, we discuss problems related to the family names of contemporary Bulgarians. Special emphasis is given to the relationship of family names with the traditional kin names, typical of Bulgarians prior to the establishment of the threecomponent personal name system. The results of the analysis also show that there is a strong tendency to abandon tradition. Inherited names are replaced with new, rather impersonal and uniﬁed family names, usually derived from the grandfather’s personal name.
Keywords: anthroponymic system; personal names; family names; kids names
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