Gagauz onomastics: Mapping cultural hallmarks through names, surnames and Orthodoxy

Mitran Ilie Iulian

Abstract


Gagauzian onomastics presents us an intrequit structure which is characterized by various lingusitic layers that overlap, or at times, even blend in with each other. Unlike other Turcik groups, the Gagauzians pride themselves with their strong commitment to the Orthodox Church. Lexical layering is a defining characteristic of Gagauzian onomastics.As a result, the names and surnames that are found among these people are were,  to a certain exctent, transfered from the those groups that they heavly interacted with until the present. The layered layout of Gagauzian onomastics refects the different stage of the coming into being of this peoples, taking this in to consideration, it is important to note that certain surnames are of older date than others, this being the case of those that are of Greek origin. Nowadays, in Moldova, the state with the largest Gagauzian communities, first names are of Russian origin, and are directliany linked to strong russofilia that is present within Gagauz communities beginning with the second falf of the last century.The data that was used for this paper was collected from various soruces – scientific papers, journals, annals etc. Within this paper we are attempting to highlight the conservative character of Gagauzian name-giving practices and the way in which this corelates to the virtues that are central to these peoples.


Keywords


Mapping cultural hallmarks, Gagauzian onomastics, Orthodoxy, and Turcik groups

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