Namen als Zeugen für ethnisch-kulturelle Kontakte an der Eger/Ohře
Names as witnesses of ethnic-cultural contacts on the river Ohře/Eger
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The article deals with proper names in the geographical belt reaching from the River Ohře/Eger to the foothills of the southern slopes of the Ore Mountains (Krušné hory). The interest in this area is not accidental, because from 1945 until the 1980s/1990s researchers from the eastern part of Germany could not deal with it. That, however, is already the past and it is therefore time for the theme of the linguistic and historical development on the southern side of the Ore Mountains to be revived again in Saxony. The analysis of the purposefully selected proper names led to the following findings: 1) the monitored territory is one of the distinctive and ancient language contact areas; 2) ethnic and cultural contacts in the pre-Slavic period can be proved not only archaeologically but also linguistically; 3) with some toponyms in northwest Bohemia, it is possible to prove their adoption from Celtic and Germanic language periods into Slavic and subsequently – in the High Middle Ages – also into the German language; 4) it is necessary to revise the earlier opinion, presented by E. Schwarz, that there are not geographic names of Germanic origin integrated into Slavic in northwest Bohemia; 5) the linguistic analysis of the names of towns in the River Ohře/Eger Basin and in the adjacent belt at the foothills of the Ore Mountains shows that especially from the 12th‒13th centuries it was a defined intercultural area, namely until 1945, when there were fundamental changes for political reasons. Nevertheless, the tradition of good neighbourhood has now been renewed thanks to the joint path to a unified Europe, and an expression of this is also the gradually revived interest in the linguistic evidence preserved in geographic names.
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