LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||23/SET/2016 1:48 AM|
Indeed the naming of rivers is peculiar. Essentially we could say that:
-They tend to keep the names as 'it is" when it comes to names of rivers from other countries, mostly rivers with Spanish names and those of the Old World.
In other words, they keep the word order as well. But not always, as everything in life there are a few exceptions to the rule.
-Rivers named after someone follow the pattern name-river as in Hudson River.
-Rivers named after some geological feature generally get the "geological feature-River" structure as in Pea River (in Alabama) because the name of the river was because of the green color of the river (the color of pea).
OR if you wish, the Potomac river - named after the Potomac people.
AND Monongahela_River named "after" its instability.
Then the snake river, yada yada yada...
Anyway, there some cases that can be mentioned in both ways, as is the case of River Wriggle or Wrigle River.
Now going back to the your example, or back to square one...
River Jaxartes is named after the Greek description of it, that is, Jaxarts would be the same as the Greek corruption (corruptela de) of Yakhsha Arta ("Great Pearly") so we have "River Jaxartes".
Whereas the Syr Darya, its other name, would be in a loose translation "The river of Paradise" one of them, because it was four such rivers, they believed at the time.
So, ''Darya" meaning river if translated would mean "Syr river river", anyway if not translated (which is the case) it gets "Syr Darya River".
Summing up: to know how to write names of rivers comes with time, because in many stances it will be convention, not grammar per se.
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