Onomastics in Interaction With Other Branches of Science. Volume 2.

Phonetische Adaptionen fremder Namen in ausgewählten Sprachen

Robert Skoczek
Akademia Ekonomiczno-Humanistyczna w Warszawie

Sabine Strauß
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

Steffen Voigt
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Phonetic adaptations of foreign names in selected languages Abstract Foreign names frequently occur in public language use. The technical possibilities of information transmission and globalization both contribute to their rapid spread. The same events are reported on simultaneously in various countries. As a consequence, foreign names from the source languages appear in the national textual environment of the respective target languages. Observations in audio-visual mass media show that foreign names are adapted in different ways in various countries. On one hand, these names can be pronounced in a similar way as in the source language, on the other hand, they can also be brought into line with the target language to a greater degree. These adaptations are not arbitrary, but are determined by linguistic as well as extralinguistic factors, leading to the establishment of rule-based phonetic forms of foreign names.

This article presents the results of an explorative study. It aims to present different concepts of adaptation as well as to illustrate them using examples of foreign names in Spanish, Dutch, and Russian. Regarding this topic, it is necessary to consider, for example, the roles of phonological differences between the source and the target language, of the transliteration and inflection of a name as well as the role of codified pronunciation principles and of language policy. In Spanish, the principle of the national origin of foreign names is prevalent. Compensatory adaptations can be observed in foreign names or with foreign sound sequences. In Dutch, a graphemic-phonic adaptation concept can be established. This concept is mainly based on native Dutch grapheme-phoneme correspondences, but also on those of the better-known foreign languages. The Russification of foreign names is primarily shaped by the transliteration convention. Accordingly, the first step of adaptation is the phonic-graphemic one and the second the graphemic-phonic one.

Keywords phonetic adaptation, foreign name, Hispanicization, Russification, Netherlandization

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