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Category: Place Name News

Current news discussions regarding place names

Why do we not know what some places mean?

Why do we not know what some places mean?

As I wrote about in this post, previously given place names may continue to be used even by those who have no knowledge of the naming language or the original meaning. George R. Stewart attributes this phenomenon to the fact that “the giving of new names is an act of labor” (1975, p. 53) and it is often easier to use names that are already in place than it is to create new ones. Multiple groups of people using multiple…

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A Brief Background in Semiotics and Some Philosophy of Place Naming

A Brief Background in Semiotics and Some Philosophy of Place Naming

Place naming is a form of semiosis, which is the process of conveying meaning through symbols. We use language to represent our thoughts and to share those thoughts with other people; language, the collection of sounds and phrases that we put together to convey that meaning, is therefore a kind of symbol.  A place name uses language to create a symbol which expresses spatial information. This information can be expressed in different types of language: oral language (speaking and listening),…

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Thinking about Place and Place Naming

Thinking about Place and Place Naming

“To be at all— to exist in any way —is to be somewhere, and to be somewhere is to be in some kind of place. Place is as requisite as the air we breathe, the ground on which we stand, the bodies we have” (Casey, 2013). We are born into place and our lives are filled with it. From the time that we take our first breath, everyday life consists of place: our movements throughout the day (or night) are…

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What is the O’nonna? Explaining the Theory

What is the O’nonna? Explaining the Theory

With my PhD officially in hand, one of the biggest projects left to do is to make sure that the dissertation itself is accessible. While it can be found here, what I really means is that in this space I will take some time to “translate” it into non-technical terms. Because it is a rather lengthy document (around 250 pages), blog posts won’t necessarily match up with each chapter; rather I will take the main ideas and concepts and break…

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