City name lego

City names in Hungary are like lego parts. You can put together two ore more words almost freely and get an existing city name. However one can easily discover some pattern of the names, i.e. their reasonable proportion ends with the same word. Our project aims to map the most frequent endings of the municipality names of Hungary.

The study focuses on those city names that are compounds, more precisely on those ones that are made up of two or more words. In order to make the analysis machine friendly, those character lines are excluded that are not only single words, but also simple strings.

The map below shows all the municipalities of Hungary, the last words of the compounds, and the number of their inhabitants. If the name of the municipality is not a compound or its ending is a meaningless character line, it was categorized as Other. The interactive map lets one type the name of the municipality or look it up in the list. By hitting the clear filter button, the original map appears. The stand alone map can be found here.

It was not an easy task to identify the last elements of the compounds of the city names, since we did not have a list of it. As a solution, we decided to generate our own list. This task was performed in the following steps. First we read through the names of the 3177 municipalities of Hungary and decided whether they are simple words or compounds. Then the last part of the compounds was cut off. As a result, we got a list of endings, which we read through and cleared. With this method we gained a list of 725 words. Finally, we counted how many municipalities ends with the identified words and how many citizens these cities have. The table below summarizes our results.

The following diagram presents the distribution of the top 40 endings. The winner is -háza (‘one’s house’) with 66 occurances, which is followed by -fa (‘tree’) and –falu (‘village’).

Finally, we studied the regional distribution of the endings. It was found that neither of the elements is limited to a specific region of Hungary. However there are words that are concentrated to particular parts of the country. For example more municipalities ends as –vár (‘castle’) in the wesern part of Hungary than in the eastern.


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