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Volga – The First River of Europe, by Václav Blažek, Acta Linguistica Lithuanica LXXXI.
The present study summarizes all designations of the Volga River and when it is possible, in wider context of primary texts, arranged in Appendix. The second task is a survey and discussion of existing etymologies. The third goal consists in offer of new solutions, if those existing are not convincing enough. Finally, some general conclusions are formulated.
With its 3,534 km of length (before the system of dam lakes it was 3,693 km) and basin 1,380,000 km2 the Volga River is the biggest watercourse in Europe, the westernmost big river of Eurasia and the biggest endorheic river in the world. For such long rivers it is typical that they bear several names in various languages. The following seven hydronyms, arranged in alphabetic order, will be analyzed in detail in both etymological perspective and from the point of view of semantic motivation.
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