Pre-Slavic Minority Languages and Geographic Names in Northwest Russia

  • Kathleen BradenEmail author
Living reference work entry


Substrate toponyms of Finno-Ugric origin in northwest Russia demonstrate the proposition in critical toponymy theory that place names, especially in contested spaces, are expressions of power relations. Special attention is given to hydronyms – place names for water features. Non-Slavic ethnic groups in the region are a declining percent of the population and people speaking a Finno-Ugric language as their primary tongue are diminishing with urbanization, modernization, and continued Russification, even in the post-Soviet period. The employment of indigenous place names to attract Russian tourists creates commodification of place identity and presents itself a new form of hegemony.


Critical toponymy Hegemony Commodification Place construction 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business, Government, and EconomicsSeattle Pacific UniversitySeattleUSA

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