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The Border Effect in Surname Structure: An Italian-Slovenian Case Study

ENZO LUCCHETTI, MIRO TASSO, IRENE AMORUSO and GIANUMBERTO CARAVELLO
Human Biology
Vol. 83, No. 3 (June 2011), pp. 393-404
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41466747
Page Count: 12
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The Border Effect in Surname Structure: An Italian-Slovenian Case Study
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Abstract

Population surname structure in northeastern Italy municipalities, in which small Slovenian-speaking groups are present, are compared with neighboring populations of both Italian and Slovenian nationality. In the early 20th century those municipalities were part of the Italian territory and underwent a massive Italianization process that led to the mutation of the original Slovenian surnames into a derived Italian form. In order to track surname relationships among the examined communities, two different similarity analyses were performed: the first using the surnames as they are recorded in the Italian and Slovenian official telephone directories, and the second restoring the Italianized Slovenian surnames to their original form and then recalculating the populations' similarity. Both comparisons evidence a separation that depends on nationality, which is less marked after restoring surnames to their original form. Geographical elements, older historical events, and socioeconomic traits allow interpretation of these results.

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