2023, Volume 20, Issue 3

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Dmitry V. Spiridonov
Ural Federal University
Ekaterinburg, Russia

(Mis)Leading Approaches in Toponomastics.
Review of the book: Perono Cacciafoco, F., & Cavallaro, F. (2023). Place Names. Approaches and Perspectives in Toponymy and Toponomastics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. xxiii + 298 p.

Voprosy onomastiki, 2023, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp. 280–288 (in English)
DOI: 10.15826/vopr_onom.2023.20.3.042

Received on 5 September 2023
Accepted on 15 September 2023

Abstract: The paper provides a critical review of a ten-chapter volume dealing with various aspects of the study of place names. Conceived as a concise but comprehensive reference source for students in toponomastics, the book has two distinct focuses, namely historical toponomastics (i.e. the study of place names within the framework of historical linguistics and contact language theory) and social toponomastics, but also covers the study of toponymy in the context of historical geography, language documentation, and cartography. Despite the fact that the book presents a good survey of some topics and contains relevant references to scholarly publications, which may be useful for students, it displays numerous issues in the chapters related to etymology, language change, and historical linguistics, which may give the readers a distorted idea of the research practices normally used in the corresponding sub-fields of toponomastics. In some cases, the analysis proposed in the book lacks arguments and further explanations, while in others, it is simply based on an a priori fallacy.

Keywords: toponymy; historical linguistics; etymology; socio-onomastics; Indo-European; Celtic; textbooks in toponomastics


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