Bewegte deutsche Familiennamen in Ungarn

  • Anikó Szilágyi-Kósa


German proper names have a long history in Hungary: since the founding of the Hungarian state in the 10th century, the country has maintained lively linguistic and cultural contacts with the German-speaking area, resulting in a large, historically grown German-language proper name material in Hungary, in which above all anthroponyms and toponyms are represented. This article is devoted to German personal names in Hungary. This name material, which arose in language contact, is characterised by numerous spontaneous contact phenomena. They have been standardised since the end of the 19th century by the registers of civil status offices, but before that numerous spelling (and pronunciation) variants developed in the language triangle of the written German language, the spoken dialect and the official Hungarian language. These parallel forms of names testify to a phonematic-graphemic wealth of forms: e. g. the surnames Stahl/Stáhl/Stál, Westerkam/Westergam/Westergom. They are researched in the databases of the Central Office of Electronic and Administrative Services of Hungary (KEKKH).

On the other hand, German surnames have also been deliberately “hungarised”; this article will demonstrate, on the basis of selected cases of name changes, which linguistic strategies were pursued in the individual cases by the bearers of the names (who also gave the names).

Szilágyi-Kósa, A. (2023). Bewegte deutsche Familiennamen in Ungarn. Linguistik Online, 121(3), 27–41.