Aleksandar Loma

Department of Classical StudiesFaculty of PhilosophyUniversity of Belgrade

Two Serbian Place Names Ending in ‑iş of Romanian Origin mriš and dešiška

The suffix - is among the most productive in Romanian toponymy, and is mostly used for deriving drymonyms (names of forests) with the name of a tree as their usual derivational stem. (Micro)toponyms of the kind are frequent in the parts of Serbia with a Romanian-speaking (Vlach) population, but they also occur where there have been no Vlachs for centuries.To the already recorded examples (Periš in Svrljig, documented since 1455, from Rom. periş, ‘pear grove’; Val(u)niš near Babušnica from Rom. aluniş,‘hazel grove’), further two are added here: Mriš, a hill in Zaglavak, probably from Rom. meriş,‘apple grove’, with a reduction and syncope of the pretonic vowel in Serbian or already in Romanian pronunciation; and Dešiška, or Desiš in the fifteenth century, a village in Toplica, from Rom. desiş, ‘thicket’, ‘bush’). In an additional overview of the origin of the Rom. suffix -the assumption is made that it goes back to the South Slavic -iš (< CSl *-yšь)in such a way that the Serbian word gustiš was used as a model for forming the appellative desiş (Rom. des < Lat. densus, ‘thick’, ‘dense’), whence it was abstracted in Romanian and used further on in this function, competing with the inherited -et < Lat. -ētum.