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Valentyn Stetsyuk (Lviv, Ukraine)

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Czech and Slovak Place Names in Ukraine

As the Urheimat of the Czechs was on the territory of Volyn, that is far from their present settlements, the parallels between the place names of Bohemia and Volyn are explained only by this fact and by nothing else. The town of Volyně is known in Czechia near by Strakonice, the Southern-Czech Region. And some settlements Duliby originated from the tribal name Dulebs which once occupied Volyn can be found in Czechia too. One can also see that a lot of settlements of the Czech’s Urheimat and modern Czechia have the same names: Dubne – Dubna, Ostrov – Ostriv, Rudná – Rudn’a, Hradec – Horodets. However similar names from the widespread appellatives of type an oak, a birch, an alder, apple-tree, black, white, city, field, stone, sand, island, etc. can be formed under the common laws independently on different places of Slavic settlements. One has to accept original names, at least such which have no several doubles. Also appeared, that there are very many parallels in names of settlements of Ukrainian Volyn and Czechia:

Duchcov (the Northern – Czech Region) - Dukhče (to the North from Rozhishcha, Rozhishchiv district in Volyn Region),

Jaroměř (on the north from Hradec-Kralove, the East-Czech Region) - Yaromel on the Northeast from Kivertsi, Kivertsi district in Volyn Region),

Jičin (the East-Czech Region) - Yučin (near Tuchyn, Hoshcha district in Rivne Region),

Krupa (the Middle-Czech Region) - Krupa (near to Lutsk),

Lipno (the Southern-Czech Region) - Lipno (in extreme East of Kivertsi district in Volyn Region),

Letovice (Southern-Moravian Region) - Litovišče (in extreme North of Shumsky district in Ternopil Region),

Ostroh (on the East from Brno, Southern-Moravian Region) – the Ostroh (Rivne Region),

Radomyšl (near Strakonice, Southern-Czech Region) - Radomyšl (on the South from Lutsk), though another Radomyšl is already on territory of Slovak Urheimat),

Telč (in the West of Southern-Moravian Region) – Telči (in extreme east of Manevychi district in Volyn Region).

However it is interesting, that there are names of settlements confirming by their form, that the Czeches came on places of the present settlements just from Volyn. It is known, that resettlement people give sometimes diminutive names of old settlements to new ones. We have such three examples for our case:

Horažd'ovice (in the South of the Western-Czech Region) is the diminutive name of Harazdža (on the south from Lutsk),

Pardubice (the East-Czech Region) – the diminutive name of Pariduby (on the West from Kovel in Starovyzhevsk district of Volyn Region),

Semčice (near Mlada Boleslav, the Middle-Czech Region) – the diminutive name of Semki (on the Styr, Manevychi district in Volyn Region).

Many parallels can be found also between Slovak toponymics and place names on the territory of Slovak Urheimat, though they have sometimes doublets in other places what can reflect a route of their migration. The examples of diminutive names on new places of settlements are such:

Malinec (Middle-Slovak Region, to the East of Zvolen) - Malin (the center of district in Zhitomir Region and the village in Mlyniv district of Rivne Region),

Malčice (East – Slovak Region), Malčici (Yavoriv district in Lviv Region) - Malci (Narovla district, Belorossia),

Lučenec (the South of Middle-Slovak Region), Lučenec’ (Murovani-Kurylivtsi district in Vinnitsa Region) - Lučyn (Popelnia district in Zhitomir Region),

Kremnica (Middle-Slovak Region) - Kremno (Luhiny district in Zhitomir Region).

There are also pairs of the names almost identical: Makovce (the North of East-Slovak Region) - Makovyci (Novohradvolynsk district in Zhitomir Region),

Prešov (East-Slovak Region) – Pr’aživ (a little to the South of Zhitomir),

Košice (East-Slovak Region) - Košečky (Ovruch district in Zhitomir Region),

Levoča (East-Slovak Region) - Levači (Berezneve district in Rivne Region).

There are also some pairs names, which similarity can be casual:

Humenne (East-Slovak Region) - Humennyky (Korostyshiv in Zhitomir Region),

Bardejov (East-Slovak Region) - Bardy (Korosten’ district in Zhitomir Region), etc.

When place names brought by Czechs and Slovaks were mapped, it was found that areas of their spreading are shared by the region free from both Czech and Slovak place names. This zone corresponds well to the ancient historical region of Moravia, whose population speaks a language very close to the Czech and which is considered to be its dialect. However, there is reason to believe that this dialect was not formed on the basis of Czech nut was arisen simultaneously with the primary Czech dialect just from Ancient Slavic. The fact that the area of the formation of the Czech language has been defined using the graphical method without of Moravian vocabulary. Meanwhile, this area is crossed by the quite large Styr and Gorin Rivers, which complicated language contacts of the local population and could therefore become frontiers between close dialects. Therefore, we can assume that the Moravian language began to emerge from a primary dialect in a small habitat between the Gorin' and Sluch Rivers.

This assumption is confirmed by the fact that in this habitat, or in close proximity to it exist place names which have good matches in Moravia. There are represented on the Google Map by different color Czech-Ukrainian place names matching (blue asterisks), Slovak, and Ukrainian (red asterisks) and marked by black Moravian-Ukrainian place names matches.

Matches in place names on the ancestral home of the Czechs, Moravians, and Slovaks and ones on their modern habitats

There are on the map place names are indicated by asterisks.
The ancestral home of the Czechs and their modern habitat are tinted by light blue.
The ancestral home of the Moravians and their modern habitat are tinted by grey
The ancestral home of the Slovaks and their modern habitat are tinted by rosa.