The hydronyms of Kamajai Valsčius

Dalia Sviderskienė

The present paper deals with hydronyms registered from a living language in the Žemės Vardai questionnaires during the interwar period in Kamajai Valsčius, Rokiškis County. The goal of the paper is to analyse and describe the hydronyms of this rural area from the viewpoint of word formation and origin, as well as to adjust the available hydronymy data after real use of water body names in live language in the then-Kamajai Valsčius is explored.

The paper analyses 104 names used in the Kamajai Valsčius, Rokiškis County, for water bodies: 30 lakes, 70 rivers and rivulets and 4 ditches. Representatives of the oldest layer of the place names have been investigated from the main viewpoints of the analysis of proper nouns: formation and origin. They are found to be most often formed as compound names (c. 33%), and less than a third (c. 29%) of the hydronyms studied are formed without the word formation means. Even less productive (c. 19%) are composite water body names. About one of ten hydronyms are derivatives of suffix (c. 10%) and ending (c. 9%) types, and there is one case of prefix type.

According to the origin, a bit more than two thirds of hydronyms studied are composed of common words (c. 70%). The rest hydronyms (c. 28%) originate from proper nouns: personal names (c. 9%) and other toponyms (c. 19%). Two river names are registered as potentially related to both appelative and/or onimic origin equally.

Moreover, the main part (93 of 104) of the hydronyms in the Kamajai area has been found to be attributed to the late layer of Lithuanian hydronyms, i.e. to explain their origin, it was enough to use Lithuanian words.

Beside the above-mentioned Lithuanian layer of origin, the general Baltic layer is distinguished in the hydronyms of the northeast area. The origin of representatives of this layer can be explained not only by the data of the Lithuanian, but also of other Baltic languages (Latvian. Prussian and Selonian). So the river names Čerčiupỹs, Serčiupỹs, Vazajà and most probably Šetekšnà should be attributed to the Selonian hydronyms. Another group of the general Baltic hydronyms comprise the river names Añtupis, Antupỹs, Maleišà, lake names Luolỹs, Vluolỹs, and, apparently, river names Žvỹgupis, Žvygupỹs.

The present paper pays attention to 29 (c. 28%) hydronyms put down in the area of Kamajai from the living language (1 lake name, 24 river names and 4 names of ditches), which had not been published, not included into official registers and not investigated yet: Ajer upeliùkas upl., Bẽdugnis ež., Jononškio upẽlis ‖ Senkelė upl., Kelos upẽlis upl., Kojãvietė upl., Kùnigo lnija grv., Lóbas ‖ Šveñto Jõno upẽlis upl., Luõlio rãvas grv., Mélnyčios upẽlis upl., Pagirs upẽlis upl., Pamendrinis upl., Pražuvỹs up., Prõčkio upẽlis upl., Sidabrnis upẽlis upl., Skardẽlis grv., upl., Skadžius upl., Skynimlio rãvas grv., Sraujà upl., Šeškùpis up., Trùmponių upẽlė up., Upẽlė 2 upl., Upẽliai 2 upl., Upẽlis upl., and Viksvỹnė upl. The formation type and origin source has been determined for each one in the present paper. Some of these names are added to the hydronym origin clusters already known. These are the river names Kojãvietė, Sidabrnis upẽlis, Skadžius, Šeškùpis, Upẽlė (2 upl.) and Upẽlis.

The data taken from the Žemės Vardai questionnaires filled in the Kamajai Valsčius show that Sidabrnis upẽlis (Silver Brook) is a tributary of Lminas, Skadžius falls into Lškupio, and Upẽlis into Dvragis. Moreover, the investigation done enabled to find 4 new relationship versions for already known hydronyms, i.e., Bẽdugnis (‖ Bedugnỹs of.), Pražuvỹs (‖ Prašuvỹs of.) up., Šeškùpis (‖ Šeškupỹs of.) and Trùmponių upẽlė (‖ Uosijà of.) up.

The paper ends with comments about those persons who provided and put down the place names.

It should be noted that the remained questionnaires filed before the WWII and their authentic data represent an important piece of heritage of that interwar period.

Investigations of such type on place names are thought to encourage further studies in the fields of regional toponymics, name formation and origin, as well as are useful in compiling a synthetic work of Lithuanian toponymics: Lietuvos vietovardžių žodynas (Dictionary of Lithuanian Place Names).