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Title: Surnames in Finland on the Threshold of the New Millennium
Author(s): PAIKKALA, Sirkka
Journal: Onoma
Volume: 37    Date: 2002   
Pages: 267-277
DOI: 10.2143/ONO.37.0.519196

Abstract :
The purpose of this article is to describe, mainly through statistics, the current composition of surnames in Finland, the numbers of different name types and their distribution according to the holders of the names.
However, the specification of the linguistic structures of the names is not alone sufficient for the description of the most essential features of the Finnish surnames, since the surnames in Finland are composed of a few types of bynames and surnames, the origins and age of which differ considerably (more closely, cf. Paikkala 1995; 109 127, Mikkonen & Paikkula 2000: 13-30), the statistics should have a two-level structure. First, the names should be determined according to the contexts of their origins, i.e.. in the following manner:
a) old eastern Finnish hereditary surnames, b) non-Finnish upper-class. artisan or soldiers' names (of Swedish or foreign origin or modified into a foreign form), c) patronymics. d)Swedish names of houses, e) Finnish names of houses, f) the first western Finnish surnames of the national awakening of the 19th century, g) the so-called adopted names, mostly from the early 20th century, h) immigrant names from the late 20th century, and i) marital double names. These names could then, in the second phase, be further specified within the groups
by contents, structure and a more detailed description of their origins.
Since it has not been possible so far to specify the origins of the surnames of Fins in such a detailed manner, the statistical calculations remain inexact. Moreover, names with a similar form can belong to several groups; e.g. Niemi, Fi. niemi 'peninsula' is a house-based surname in certain cases, but it was also adopted as a model-based fashionable name at the time of the national awakening.
However, the statistical analysis provides as with a general overview of the entire pool of surnames in Finland.


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