Przerośl - próba rekonstrukcji ewolucji znaczenia apelatywu topograficznego
Przerośl - an Attempt at Reconstructing the Evolution of the Semantics of a Topographical Term
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The paper discusses a set of likely related Polish geographical names: Przerośl(e) ~ Przyrośl(e). It is assumed that a topographic appellative, based evidently on the participle *perorslъ ʽovergrown’ underlies most of them, but the existing reconstructions of the semantics of the latter cannot be regarded as satisfactory. It is shown that przerośl(a), referring to an unspecified part of a lake near contemporary Złotów, is attested directly as an appellative in a North Polish source from the beginning of the 17th century, although unfortunately in a context which does not reveal its precise meaning. As a considerable percentage of these names refer to lakes or parts thereof, a new hypothesis is put forward, according to which the basic North Slavic meaning of the term was ʽlake bay of prolonged shape’ (Northern Poland) and ʽoxbow lake’ (Southern Poland). In South Slavic, on the contrary, reflexes of the same etymological structure *perorslь have developed the specific meaning ʽspecifically shaped rock, called natural bridge’.
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