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Toponymy

  • By: Stefano Vassere
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Toponymy is a discipline that developed in the linguistic sciences. It studies the proper names of places from different points of view and according to different perspectives. This research seeks to find the essence of proper names through their evolution from a single instance of a common name to a final proper name. In the final situation, the proper name is a classically opaque “sign” in which the sound (or the grapheme, in its written form) cannot be directly linked by the user to a meaning, inasmuch as the name has lost its direct link to the designated place. For this reason, the study moves in the direction of etymology, which investigates the semantic origins of names. Research into the etymological origins of a name ...

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