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Exploring microtoponyms through linguistic and geographic perspectives


Villette, Julia; Purves, Ross S (2018). Exploring microtoponyms through linguistic and geographic perspectives. In: 21th AGILE Conference on Geographic Information Science, Lund, 12 June 2018 - 15 June 2018.

Abstract

Toponyms are an important part of our cultural heritage and are thus more than names, they also encode history. Flurnamen, or microtoponyms, are names given to natural features and they have been argued to be relatively closely linked to properties of landscape. In this paper we analyse a large databases of microtoponyms using a mix of linguistic information and simple text analysis to explore patterns of naming of natural features in the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland. We observe that meaningful elements grounded in descriptive cultural and natural readings of landscapes are common, and that usage of microtoponyms closely follows Zipf’s law.

Abstract

Toponyms are an important part of our cultural heritage and are thus more than names, they also encode history. Flurnamen, or microtoponyms, are names given to natural features and they have been argued to be relatively closely linked to properties of landscape. In this paper we analyse a large databases of microtoponyms using a mix of linguistic information and simple text analysis to explore patterns of naming of natural features in the canton of St. Gallen in Switzerland. We observe that meaningful elements grounded in descriptive cultural and natural readings of landscapes are common, and that usage of microtoponyms closely follows Zipf’s law.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Event End Date:15 June 2018
Deposited On:18 Jan 2019 09:39
Last Modified:18 Jan 2019 09:41
Publisher:AGILE
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://agile-online.org/conference_paper/cds/agile_2018/shortpapers/67%20AGILE_2018_Villette_Purves.pdf

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