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A source within a source?: Using personal names as source material in the sagas of Icelanders
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9689-5800
2022 (English)In: Kulturella perspektiv - Svensk etnologisk tidskrift, ISSN 1102-7908, Vol. 31, p. 1-6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The sagas of Icelanders contain a great wealth of personal names both of historical and fictional nature. Personal names function both as identifiers for individuals but also evoke associations that supersede the name’s lexical or identifying meaning, for example, cultural or social associations such as age, ethnicity, and ideology. This article examines personal names as a source within a source and appraises the use of literary and socio-onomastics in the context of the Íslendingasögur using the example of the elusive difference between “Icelanders” and “Norwegians” in the sagas. The onomastic analysis is based on seven shorter tales and explores the differences in personal names in Icelandic and Norwegian individuals. Based on the onomastic data gathered, this article concludes that there are certain regional differences in name-giving visible in the sagas and that saga authors either had authentic onomastic material at hand or tried to emulate realistic personal names.

Abstract [sv]

Islänningasagorna innehåller en stor mängd personnamn av både historisk och fiktiv karaktär. Personnamn fungerar både som identifierare för individer men väcker också associationer som överskuggar namnets lexikala eller identifierande betydelse, såsom kulturella eller sociala associationer som ålder, etnicitet och ideologi. I den här artikeln behandlas personnamn som en källa inom en källa. Även användningen av litterär onomastik och socioonomastik på Islänningasagorna evalueras genom att analysera den svårfångade skillnaden mellan ”islänningar” och ”norrmän” i sagorna. Den onomastiska analysen baseras på sju tåtar och utforskar skillnaderna i personnamn hos isländska och norska individer. Utifrån den onomastiska datan som samlats in drar artikeln slutsatsen att det finns vissa regionala skillnader i namngivning som är synliga i Islänningasagorna och att sagaförfattarna antingen hade autentiskt onomastiskt material till hands eller att de försökte efterlikna autentiska personnamn.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 31, p. 1-6
Keywords [en]
onomastics, Old Norse literature, Íslendingasögur, sagas of Icelanders
Keywords [sv]
onomastik, fornnordisk litteratur, Íslendingasögur, islänningasagor
National Category
Specific Languages Specific Literatures
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages; Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-202050DOI: 10.54807/kp.v31.2302OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-202050DiVA, id: diva2:1722758
Available from: 2022-12-30 Created: 2022-12-30 Last updated: 2023-01-02Bibliographically approved

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Bollig, Solveig

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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