Gizella Szabómihály: About the problems of standardization of the Hungarian names of Slovakian landforms and settlements

Hungarian linguistics in Slovakia have yet to address the questions related to Hungarian geographical names. The main reason behind this was probably the fact that in the last decades, Hungarian place names could not be officially used, the laws and the related bill allowing their limited public use was drafted and passed in 1994 without the cooperation of Hungarian linguists. The names of landforms – especially those with lesser significance – are seldom used. They cannot be shown on maps published in Slovakia, moreover, their use in education (textbooks) was limited. These issues are not unique to Slovakia, the Hungarian minority in other succession states has also faced similar concerns in the two decades after the regime change, and the handling of this issue was similar as well. In my study, I wish to showcase the history of regulation regarding place names and point out that, in the overview of the current situation, today’s uncertainty and the existence of place name changes is the result of independent, state-centric standardizations with different ideologies and, in my opinion, can be only solved by a unified, departmental recodification procedure within the Carpathian-basin.