The hydronyms in Šeduva area

Laimutis Bilkis

In 1935 from the rural area of Šeduva, there were 187 hydronyms registered, including names of 13 lakes and their parts and even 174 rivers, rivulets, sources, ditches and their parts. The names collected from local people had been put down by teachers of primary schools.

According to their origin, the hydronyms of the Indo-European, Lithuanian layer as well as those of non-Lithuanian (Slavonic) or uncertain origin have been distinguished. The Indo-European origin should be attributed to the name of a rivulet Kíršinas, Ki»šinas. To explain the origin of the most hydronyms analysed it is enough to have the data of Lithuanian language. There were 2 hydronyms formed only of Slavonic words. The origin analysis showed that the majority of the hydronyms were authentic, i.e., formed in the soil of the Lithuanian language. Moreover, new hypotheses absent in the former investigations of the hydronyms–such as Bízdelis, Bỹzdelis, Karčiãmetis, Pagužº, Pãspitris, Sa»dupis, Švãtris, Švatrís–have been raised about their origin.

From word formation viewpoint, the hydronyms are primary, i.e., coinciding with common words, and secondary–those made using additional word building means. According to the way of word building, the majority goes to the compound hydronyms (63, or 33.7% of the total); then follow suffix derivatives (52, or 27.8%), composite (29, or 15.4%) primary (26, or 13.9%), inflexional ones (10, or 5.3%), as well as prefix derivatives (5, or 2.7%). Word-formation trends in Šeduva area differ slightly from that in the rest of Lithuania: more than a half of the Lithuanian hydronyms are suffix derivatives, while Šeduva water body names are most often compounds. The frequency of hydronyms built by other ways resembles that in the rest of Lithuania.

The semantics of hydronyms, or motivation of their origin is very diverse, but several most often motives can be distingjuished. The majoritty of water body names reflect peculiarties in flow, loaction, dependence, current, water surface, rive channel direction, water colour, odour, temperature and banks. More rarely the semantics or motivation of the hydronyms is related to the specificity of bottom of the water nodies, their purpose, names of animals and plants. Similar numbers of hydronyms are formed of comon water body names, and the least numbers are found of mythological or methaforic origin.