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Novation i norr: nya dopnamn och namngivningsmönster i Skelleftebygden 1791-1890
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Comparative Literature and Scandinavian Languages.
2002 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Innovation in the north : new Christian names and patterns of name-giving in Skellefteå and its surroundings 1791-1890 (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to examine and elucidate the introduction of new first names and the patterns of name giving from a social perspective based on material from baptismal registers. The region I have chosen to examine is Skellefteå and its surroundings 1791-1890. The point of departure is that the name giving may be considered a symbolic indication of the division between "us" and "them", based on constantly changing taste. During the period under examination, 1791-1890, 71 149 first names occur and 582 of which has been defined as new, i.e. first names that, as far as I know, did not exist in the area before the first example. Seen as the percentage of names occurring within different social groups the largest portion of new first names is introduced by the bourgeoisie and the smallest by the agrarian group.

The new first names have been categorised as either a name choice or a name formation, with the former category containing more names than the latter. As regards categories of new names the bourgeoisie predominantly utilize name choice while for the agrarian group name formation predominates.

The new pattern of name giving I have examined is the polyname system, which expands from the 18th Century onwards. The custom first grows in the name giving of girls, especially if born into the bourgeoisie. This social group also introduces the custom for the boys. When the custom of giving two names becomes too common in the region the bourgeoisie returns increasingly to one first name for the children, or to three or four names for each child. As regards the order of the new or old names, for boys the old name is generally placed first, especially among the agrarian group, if the two names are even in other respects e.g. have the same number of syllables.

Once a new first name has been introduced it has to spread to survive. Of the 582 new names 422 spread and 160 do not. To examine the initial diffusion process from both a social and a geographical perspective 23 names have been chosen as representatives of different patterns of diffusion. The diffusion is described in terms of influence spreading from district to district or influence in the immediate surroundings. These two geographical aspects have been treated from a social perspective, in terms of a heterogeneous or homogenous social diffusion respectively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för litteraturvetenskap och nordiska språk, Umeå universitet , 2002. , 300 p.
Kulturens frontlinjer : skrifter från forskningsprogrammet Kulturgräns norr, ISSN 1402-8506 ; 39
, Anthroponymica Suecana, ISSN 0402-5822 ; 12
Keyword [en]
Scandinavian languages, Swedish language, onomastics, socio-onomastics, name giving, name categories, personal names, first names, innovation and diffusion, demographic material, social taste
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-56801ISBN: 91-88466-50-7OAI: diva2:537616
Available from: 2012-06-27 Created: 2012-06-27 Last updated: 2012-09-21Bibliographically approved

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Gustafsson, Linnea
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