Precedent phenomenon in sport toponymy

PhD, Associate Professor G.Kh. Murtazina1
PhD, Associate Professor N.G. Boykova1
PhD N.Yu. Berdysheva1
PhD M.S. Golokova1
1Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Youth, St. Petersburg
 
Keywords: precedent toponymy, onomastics, commercial names, names of stadiums.
 
Background. Proper names in toponymy normally refer to some ideologems of the relevant historical period and/or social ideology [7, 8]. Names of new objects or renames of the existing ones are motivated by the popular/ elite desires to assert new ideas, new social systems or governance models. It was the definition by Y.N. Karaulov that was used as a basis for our study of the modern sports toponymy, with the precedential names/ texts defined as ‘meaningful for an individual in cognitive and emotional aspects’ and ‘well-known to the surrounding of the naming entity, including its predecessors and contemporaries, conditional on a broad-based appeal of the name’. Normally such texts become precedential upon being reduced to a strong statement (V.G. Kostomarov, N.D. Burvikova, 1994). Modern sports toponymy provides multiple examples of such reduced strong statements, with the sports facilities normally named by a single and rather symbolic word or short phrase like Olympus, Dynamo, Arsenal, Lokomotiv, Luzhniki etc. Sports toponyms often become precedential when they refer to well-known situations covered by the local mass media and deeply rooted in the social values and world outlooks (I.V. Zakharenko, V.V. Krasnykh, D. B. Gudkov, D. V. Bagaeva, 1997).
The art of naming/ nomination art and research of the naming culture is considered by the modern onomastics in the following sequence: name, name, title, and name of specific object [3, 5]. Names of the specific objects, in their turn, often refer to the higher-level name (cosmonym, astronym) – like Zenith, for instance, as well as the relevant geographic names including toponyms, e.g. Fisht, Luzhniki, Sokolniki. The S.M. Kirov Stadium’s name represents the popular personification tradition in the naming culture. There is also a wide range of commercial names such as Gazprom Arena, Tatneft Arena or Russian Railways Arena – that in onomastic vocabulary are referred to as ergonyms (i.e. the names referring to business, craft, activity, operation etc.). They may be defined as the proper names of business associations, unions, organizations, institutions, corporations, enterprises, societies, establishments etc. A special priority in the stadium naming tradition is given, among other things, to the target audience (supporting communities) as they are particularly sensitive to such names [2, 4].
Objective of the study was to analyze and classify the modern sport toponyms and public attitudes to the new commercial names of the Russian stadiums based on a questioning survey of a university student community.
Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the questionaire survey of the sport toponyms and public attitudes to the new commercial names of the Russian stadiums built or upgraded for the 2018 Russian Federation Football Championship were the first-year students (n=300) of Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Youth specialized in 49.03.01 Physical Education discipline. The survey run in November through December 2018 was timed to the Russian Language and Speaking Culture course. The students were offered to rate names of the stadiums on the following 10-point scales: harmony; ease of pronunciation; relevance to the stadium mission; and reference to the historical tradition.
Results and discussion. Subject to the survey were 11 stadiums built or upgraded for the 2018 Russian Federation Football Championship: see Figure 1 hereunder.
 
 
Figure 1. Football stadium names: toponyms survey
 
The survey ranked the name harmony on top of the other toponymic specifications (50% to 100 %). Ranked the highest on every scale including the historical tradition was Luzhniki Stadium (80-100%), and the lowest was the Opening Stadium (4-22%, with 88% on the ease of pronunciation scale); with the other stadium names found rather dispersed on the scales (with the rates varying within the range of 11-95%). Therefore, we would recommend the sport facilities being named with a special priority given both to the geographical location and the relevant toponymy including the harmony; ease of pronunciation; relevance to the stadium mission; and reference to the historical tradition. 
Conclusion. The modern governmental policies and public predispositions in the naming domain tend give a high priority to the national precedent values and senses as verified by the relevant toponymic projects including The Great Names of Russia. Policy goals of such projects are well perceived and widely supported as they are designed to establish and promote the national brand names, take pride in the Motherland that have given birth to great philosophers, scientists, artists and military commanders. To ensure a commercial success for the precedential naming practices in application to sports facilities, due consideration should be given to the local cultural and historical identity and phonetics. Regional toponyms need to be studied and systematized on a comprehensive basis to guarantee that the new proper names make an important contribution to the global linguistic landscape and well reflect the cultural codes of the local generations. 
 
References
  1. Karaulov Yu.N. Russkiy yazyk i yazykovaya lichnost [Russian language and language personality]. vol. 7. M.: LKI publ., 2010. 264 p. 
  2. Olenev D.S., Chernov A.V. K probleme sportivnogo diskursa: neyming otechestvennykh klubov kak indikator sotsialnykh transformatsiy [Sports discourse: naming of domestic clubs as indicator of social transformations]. ChGU Vestnik Cherepovetskogo GU. ChSU publ., 2010. pp. 59-64.
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Corresponding author: g.murtazina@lesgaft.spb.ru
 
Abstract
Proper names in toponymy normally refer to some ideologems of the relevant historical period and/or social ideology. The study was designed to analyze and classify the onomastic lexicon in the sport domain on the whole and overview the precedent phenomenon in the sport toponymy in particular. Proper names in the modern sport toponymy may often be referred to as the precedential phenomenon, with different social groups developing their own perceptions of the same sport-specific name under influence of different extra-linguistic factors, with the core role played by the mass media activity in the social imaging and stereotyping process. In the reform (perestroika) and post-reform periods in the modern Russian history, the flow of precedent phenomena in toponymy – with the new personified toponymic symbols being created and the old ones rejected – was rather situational and non-systemic due to the still contradictory and immature national Russian ideology. The ideological gap is being bridged, among other things, by the Soviet-time names of stadiums (Spartak, Krylya Sovetov, Labor, Tractor, Chemist, Metallurgist etc.) being commercialized. The corporate sponsors entering into the sport facility commercializing contract would strive to win loyalty of the supporting population via the local mass media and in the sport events, with the stadium space is effectively used for the corporate brand name promotion purposes. Objective of the study was to analyze and classify the modern sport toponyms and public attitudes to the new commercial names of the Russian stadiums.