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Hybrid toponyms of Panama as a reflection of toponymic bilingualism

I.A. Martynenko, O.S. Chesnokova

UDC 81`37.134.2    


Martynenko Irina A.,

Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor,

Associate Professor of the English Language Department

Kutafin Moscow State Law University


Chesnokova Olga S.,

Doctor of Philology, Professor,

Professor of the Foreign Languages Department

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia



The article presents evidence of a comprehensive linguistic analysis of the toponymy of Panama. The relevance of the topic is due to the fragmented research of Panamanian toponymy and the need for a comprehensive study of socio-historical and linguocultural factors in the formation of the Panamanian toponymicon. The hypothesis of the article is as follows: toponymy of Panama has a unique heterogeneous and polystrate character, semiotically determined by historical facts, ethnic composition of the population, natural conditions of the country and migration processes. Maps, GoogleMaps, GeoNames electronic systems were used as materials and tools. It was found that Hispanic geographic names make up the largest percentage in comparison with autochthonous toponyms and hybrid (blended) toponyms. The authors identified Spanish-Indian and Spanish-English blended place names. It is substantiated that Panama is a unique area of ​​functioning of the general Spanish toponymic vocabulary. Historical and cultural events in the country were reflected in toponymy, capturing the topographic relief, including metaphorically perceived, names of first settlers, names of famous Panamanian personalities, perception of topographic objects at various stages of the country's development, influence of English language, which together form the toponymic dominants of the Panamanian society, heterogeneity and unique hybrid Indian-Spanish-English character of toponymicon, on the basis of which the term “toponymic multilinguism” is proposed.

Key words: Panama, toponym, place names, Hispanic, autochthonous, hybrid, blended.



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