Abstracts are submitted online at http://linguistlist.org/easyabs/ISPN2021.


Abstract submissions open  30 November 2020
Abstracts deadline5 March 2021 
Adjudication available24 March 2021

Guidelines for abstracts

Word limit: 250
  • Problem statement and/or research questions
  • Show necessity of your study
Theoretical framework
  • Theoretical perspective
  • Convincing line of argument
  • Show clear connection between theory and/or literature and the problem statement/research questions
  • Describe research strategies
  • Justify methods
(Preliminary) Findings
  • Claim as to what you’ve found


Topographic features, both natural and made by humans, are often known by multiple names simultaneously, including official, conventionalised, informal as well as other alternative names. With the theme for this symposium we wish to explore the issues regarding multiple place names vis-à-vis processes of standardisation from the perspective of critical toponomy. Of course, there are practical implications for place names as points of reference. Beyond that, place naming is a process of claiming spaces and proclaiming or imposing identity. Viewing place names as linguistic and cultural heritage artefacts, we need to consider what it means to document and use these alternative names. Not only are we interested in how these names come into being, but also in their role in social dynamics.

Potential subtopics
  • Forms of multiples names – alternative, conventionalised, official, informal, replaced and restored names, as well as signed place names (i.e. place names in signed languages) and exonyms.
  • Processes that produce multiple names – official processes, grass-level practices, processes of conventionalisation, language contact, socio-political dynamics and the dialectic between linguistic communities and different social groups (for example, between established, incoming, transient and external communities).
  • Multilingualism and multiple names – translations, transliterations and adaptations; different orthographies, registers and dialects; as well as signed languages and spoken languages without written systems.
  • Collecting, recording, recognising, and using multiple, informal or alternative place names, including names in indigenous or minority languages (such as signed languages) and microtoponyms (names of fields, houses, neighbourhoods and small towns).
  • Standardisation processes and multiple names.
  • The implications of multiple names on cartography, geography, online mapping and the digitisation of place names.
  • Other dimensions of multiple place names: administrative, commercial and/or economic, cultural and historical/commemorative, physical, political, and linguistic.

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