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Names and Naming People, Places, Perceptions and Power by Guy Puzey

Names and Naming People, Places, Perceptions and Power

Part of the Multilingual Matters Series


Names and Naming People, Places, Perceptions and Power by Guy Puzey

This book explores international trends in naming and contributes to the growing field of onomastic enquiry. Naming practices are viewed here through a critical lens, demonstrating a high level of political and social engagement in relation to how we name people and places. The contributors to this publication examine why names are not only symbols of a person or place, but also manifestations of cultural, linguistic and social heritage in their own right. Presenting analyses of geographically and culturally diverse perspectives and case studies, the book investigates how names can represent deeper kinds of identity, act as objects of attachment and dependence, and reflect community mores and social customs while functioning as powerful mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion. The book will be of interest to researchers in onomastics, sociology, human geography, linguistics and history.


This book is a welcome addition to the expanding field of onomastics. It joins the likes of Hough's (2016) edited volume to present a wealth of studies that would broaden our understanding of how naming practices affect people, places and of what images and attitudes their names conjure up. In fact, this book shares seven contributors with Hough's volume. The interdisciplinary nature of the field of onomastics makes this book a treasure for post-graduate students and researchers in cultural studies, historical linguistics, human geography and planning, lexicology, sociolinguistics, sociology, and urbanization. -- Paula Prescod, Universite de Picardie Jules Verne, France * LINGUIST List 27.5049 * This book describes very well the socio-linguistic diversity in each country, and it is also possible to see some similitude, such as the struggle of minority languages against hegemonies. It is without a doubt a promising field. -- Marc-Alexandre Beaulieu, Leiden University, Netherlands * Onomastica Canadiana, Vol. 95 (2016) * This volume forms an extraordinary contribution that clearly illuminates the relevance of critical onomastics. It has the ability to inspire scholars to conduct politically aware and socially engaged onomastic research. The volume deserves to be read by everyone interested in the roles of names and naming. -- Emilia Aldrin, Halmstad University, Sweden * Journal of the English Place-Name Society 48 (2016) * I have been working with place names for many years but the articles in this publication have continued my education of the role that names of all varieties play in helping us to find our place. This is not only in a spatial sense, but in cultural and personal aspects I had not previously considered. These papers allowed me to see this and I commend all for the work that has been undertaken in the investigation and preparation of the insights presented. * William Watt, Chair, United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names * Names and Naming: People, Places, Perceptions and Power is a great addition to the `critical turn
in naming studies. Guy Puzey and Laura Kostanski have brought together an excellent group of scholars to produce a diverse range of empirically rich and critically aware case studies of the politics of naming. This is an important book for anyone who wants to learn about the latest developments in socially engaged and critical approaches to onomastics

. * Lawrence D. Berg, University of British Columbia, Canada * This volume makes a key contribution to the rapidly-expanding field of critical onomastics, presenting new insights into the symbolic value of names in human society. Case studies from different parts of the world highlight the role of names as powerful symbols of identity, particularly in areas of language contact or conflict. The essays are both scholarly and accessible, and deserve to be widely read. * Carole Hough, University of Glasgow, UK *

About the Author

Guy Puzey is Lecturer in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Edinburgh, UK. His research interests include language policy, linguistic landscapes and geosemiotics, critical sociolinguistics and toponomastics, particularly in the contexts of Scotland and the Nordic countries. Laura Kostanski is Director at Geonaming Solutions Pty Ltd & Address Exchange Pty Ltd, and is based in Australia. Her research interests include toponymy, human geography, geospatial systems, crowd sourcing, government policy and Indigenous cultural heritage.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd February 2016


Guy Puzey

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Multilingual Matters an imprint of Channel View Publications Ltd


288 pages


Human geography
Place names & gazetteers



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