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TitlePersonal Name Policy: From Theory to Practice
LanguageEnglish
File Size3.5 MB
Total Pages421
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Page 1

Dysertacje
Wydziału Neofilologii

UAM w Poznaniu 4








Justyna B. Walkowiak


Personal Name Policy:

From Theory to Practice














Wydział Neofilologii UAM w Poznaniu

Poznań 2016

Page 210

Personal name policy: from theory to practice 208

Names Act of 1985311 states: “A surname that has been entered

into the Finnish Population Register or a name that is

commonly known to have been established as the name of

a given Finnish or foreign family cannot be approved as a new

surname, unless there is a special reason for the approval”. In

Estonia, the 1934 Surnames Act specified in §11 that

“a requested new surname may not be a surname of a well-

known figure or of a generally known family or a surname

which has been entered into the protection register of

surnames” (Judgement 2001). It must be noted, though, that

the Finnish Population Register comprises the surnames of all

Finnish citizens, whereas Estonia's register – only the state-

protected ones. This means in practice that a Finnish citizen

seeking surname change must invent a new, hitherto unknown

surname. The same principle is operative in Sweden: surnames

in current use may be assumed only if the name-hanging

person can prove family relationship with their bearers.

Yet a different approach to the problem of surname

change has been adopted by Denmark, where law stipulates

that surnames borne by 2,000 individuals or less are protected

and cannot be assumed at surname change312. It other words, the

Danish authorities, protecting rare surnames, encourage the

adoption of popular ones. The same applies to Norway, except

for the fact that there protected are the surnames born by less

than 200 bearers. By contrast, under the Dutch legislation a

surname may be changed if it has become too common313.



4.6. The number and hyphenation of surnames


Many countries legally limit the permitted number of

surnames that an individual can bear. Germany may be a case


311 § 12, http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/1985/19850694 accessed

Dec. 4, 2016.
312 Fornavne, mellemnavne og efternavne. https://ast.dk/born-familie

/navne/fornavne-mellemnavne-og-efternavne, accessed Dec. 4, 2016.
313 https://www.justis.nl/producten/naamswijziging/achternaam-wijzigen

/index.aspx, accessed Dec. 4, 2016.

http://www.finlex.fi/fi/laki/alkup/1985/19850694
https://ast.dk/born-familie/navne/fornavne-mellemnavne-og-efternavne
https://ast.dk/born-familie/navne/fornavne-mellemnavne-og-efternavne

Page 211

Surnames



209

in point. On May 5, 2009, the Federal Constitutional Court of

Germany decided that limiting the number of surnames to two

is constitutional, thereby upholding the verdict of a lower

court in the case of Frieda Rosemarie Thalheim of Munich.

She had wished to marry a man with a double-barrelled

surname and combine her surname with his, thus creating

a triple surname but was not allowed to do so314. However, the

German law does not apply to German aristocracy, whose

members are exempt from it; a case in point may be a German

politician and Minister of Defence, Karl-Theodor zu

Guttenberg, whose full name is Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus

Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von

und zu Guttenberg 315 . This means that his surname is

composed of five words, in addition to his ten given names.

Polish law allows no more than two surnames, which must

be joined by a hyphen. Thus if a person with a double-

barrelled surname marries, she (or he) must choose if to retain

the birth name, assume the spouse's one, or hyphenate the

spouse's surname with only one part of the double-barrelled

one. Nevertheless, a multi-part surname may be the result of

a marriage to a foreigner. When Róża Maria Woźniakowska,

a politician and NGO activist, married in 1981 an Austrian

aristocrat Franz Graf von Thun und Hohenstein (and then lived

with him for 10 years in Germany), she became

Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein. The aristocratic background

visible in her five-part surname was believed by some to be

a handicap when in 2009 she decided to become a

parliamentary candidate and by a court verdict her full name


314 Kate Connolly 2009. “German woman loses triple-barrelled

surname battle”. The Guardian, 5 May.
315 Aristocratic titles are legal in documents in Germany, despite the

1919 constitution of the Weimar Republic and the 1949 Bonn constitution,

which formally ended the recognition of nobility. By contrast, Austria

abolished the official use of aristocratic titles in 1919 (to the effect that von

and similar nobiliary particles disappeared from the front of surnames) and

nowadays official documents such as IDs do not include titles. In Poland,

titles were abolished by the March Constitution of 1921.

Page 421

Justyna B. Walkowiak, absolwentka poznańskiej anglistyki
i podyplomowych studiów dziennikarskich oraz doktor języko-
znawstwa, jest adiunktem w Pracowni Polityki Językowej i Badań
nad Mniejszościami Katedry Orientalistyki UAM. Naukowo
zajmuje się onomastyką, szczególnie antroponomastyką w jej
aspekcie komparatystycznym i normatywnym. Jest autorką
dwudziestu artykułów i rozdziałów w monografiach, a także
dwóch podręczników do nauki języka angielskiego dla studentów
kierunków orientalnych. Od 2010 r. jest członkinią International
Congress of Onomastic Sciences, a od 2015 – Komisji Onomastycz-
nej przy Oddziale PAN w Poznaniu.



„Na wysoką ocenę zasługuje odwaga autorki, która
podejmuje temat w istocie uniwersalny. Wskazuje na istnienie
dziedziny ważnej dla każdego – każdy jest nosicielem swej nazwy
osobowej, nawet jeśli sobie tego nie życzy. Każdy jako nosiciel
imienia i nazwiska jest lub może być przedmiotem działań poli-
tycznych. Godna uznania jest wstrzemięźliwość autorki wobec
tendencji ideologicznych […].
Praca wskazuje ważną lukę w naszym obrazie zjawisk
językowych i udowadnia, że lukę tę wypełniać mogą studia inter-
dyscyplinarne […]. Zasługuje na miano nowatorskiej, dowodzi
erudycji i zdolności analitycznych autorki.”


dr hab. Witold Maciejewski, prof. Uniwersytetu Humanistycznospołecznego SWPS

(fragment recenzji wydawniczej)









*DOI: 10.14746/9788394601720*

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