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The author of this article carries out an analysis of the evolution of the term ‘commemorative names’ in the aspect of municipal onomastics. She primarily researches how the scope of this term has changed and which name groups have been included with that term. Moreover, she researches how the commemorative names themselves have changed. She concludes that the names of symbolic motivation that refer to cultural competencies of their users do not form a homogenous group, but they differ in genetic and motivational terms. Thus, four such groups may be identified: 1. commemorative names bearing real meaning, 2. conventional discretionary names (honorifying), 3. commemorative-discretionary names referring to local heroes, places and events, 4. names resulting from the broadly understood ‘cultural memory’, commemorating ideas, values, literary and movie characters, titles, Slavonic mythology and Polish legends, faith in its various dimensions, literary trends, artistic styles, art, etc. All four groups have their dual functions in common: deictic and cultural.
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