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Placenames in the Modern World - LINX130

This unit deals with the role placenames (formally known as "toponyms") play in human society. On every map we may find a wealth of historical, cultural and linguistic information frozen in the names that people have given to places. Placenames also form an integral part of cultural and linguistic heritage, and may encapsulate details about the geographic nature of a named feature, when it was named, and who bestowed it. Moreover, toponyms may offer insights into the belief and value systems of the name-givers, as well as political and social circumstances at the time of naming. In many regions, they also reveal the chronology of exploration and settlement - Australia is a prime example of this. Through analysis of various forms of toponymic data, students will be invited to explore some of the issues mentioned above. The main focus of this unit will be on Australian indigenous and introduced toponyms. However, data from other parts of the world (e.g. Europe, Asia, North America and the Pacific) will be offered for comparative purposes where relevant.

The unit will also cover general toponymic research principles, the research process, ethical issues in research, defining research questions, data gathering, presentation, analysis and interpretation of data; disseminating research, organising reports, presenting results, effects on practice.

When Offered:

S2 OUA - Session 2, offered through Open Universities Australia

Staff Contact(s): Dr Helen Slatyer, Dr Jan Tent



Unit Designation(s):
Unit Type: OUA
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Linguistics

Faculty of Human Sciences

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
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