Aspects of Identity and Alterity in the Names of Romanian Public Space. Ukrainian Community from Maramureş
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This paper regards the analysis of commercial names found in the north of Maramureș, a county with a multi-ethnic population, consisting of Romanians, Hungarians, and Ukrainians in the north of Romania, on the border with Ukraine, and where the percentage of people going abroad is big. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the relationship between ethnicity and the language used commercially, but also the causes behind the mother tongue abandonment in the onomastics of the public space in Maramureș. The corpus consists of names of businesses, shops, products seen on the field or on specialised websites. The analysis is done from a lexical-semantic, typological and socio-cultural viewpoint, emphasising the denominator’s mindset when he resorts to a language internationally used in order to name a new business, and also how the name reflects the identity of an ethnic group or the acceptance of alterity. Since the Romanian EU integration, there are no more linguistic boundaries to speak of, because in Maramureș, in areas with an active emigrant majority, names in English, Italian, and French or hybrid denominations formed with Romanian notions and foreign terms can be found on the frontispiece of firms. It is likewise in the villages belonging to minorities, but here a greater attachment to their mother tongue is noticed, due to the position individuals have in society. Thus, an interdependency relationship is established between language and society, especially between language and community.
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