In the Middle Ages, several name-formation processes played a role in the creation of the anthroponyms in Hungarian. The main name-formation mechanisms were:
1. Semantic name-formation. Within this mechanism, the anthroponym develops through the use of internal elements of the language in such a way that the anthroponymic meaning is created without any change in morphological structure. In Old Hungarian naming practices, the most frequent types of semantic name-formation were:
a. metaphoric name-giving (e.g. farkas ʽfarkas’ [wolf] > anthroponym Farkas),
b. metonymic name-giving (e.g. when an “instrument” of a profession becomes the name of the person practising the given profession; ökör ʽökör’ [ox] > anthroponym Ökör as the name of a butcher),
c. semantic split: e.g. ethnonyms, names of professions, etc., often become anthroponyms without the use of any morphological tool (kovács ʽkovács’ [smith] > anthroponym Kovács).
2. Morphematic construction. In the Old Hungarian period, several suffixes contributed to the creation of anthroponyms, among which the most common ones were: -d(i) ~ -t(i), -s, -a/-e etc. This morphological solution was the most important tool for adapting foreign names in the Middle Ages: Petrus in Latin > Petr-i, Pet-e, Pet-i, Pet-es in Hungarian.
3. Syntagmatic construction. This process, through the combination of two existing lexemes, creates an anthroponym composed of two constituents, in which both elements provide a certain information about the named person.
In this essay I provide an overview of the typical name-formation processes characterising the formation of anthroponyms in Old Hungarian.