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LINGUIST List 22.2789

Thu Jul 07 2011

Calls: Morphology, Syntax, Pragmatics, Socioling, Typology/France

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <alisonlinguistlist.org>

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        1.     Betina Schnabel-Le Corre , Challenges in Synchronic Toponymy: Structure, Context and Use

Message 1: Challenges in Synchronic Toponymy: Structure, Context and Use
Date: 06-Jul-2011
From: Betina Schnabel-Le Corre <betina.schnabeluniv-rennes2.fr>
Subject: Challenges in Synchronic Toponymy: Structure, Context and Use
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Full Title: Challenges in Synchronic Toponymy: Structure, Context and Use
Short Title: ToponymRennes

Date: 22-Mar-2012 - 23-Mar-2012
Location: Rennes (Brittany), France
Contact Person: Jonas Löfström & Betina Schnabel-Le Corre
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.sites.univ-rennes2.fr/lidile/

Linguistic Field(s): Morphology; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics; Syntax; Typology

Call Deadline: 10-Oct-2011

Meeting Description:

Challenges in Synchronic Toponymy: Structure, Context and Use
International Conference on March 22 - 23, 2012 at the University of Rennes
2, France
Toponymie Synchronique Multilingue (TopoLing) Equipe d'Accueil LIDILE (EA
3874) - Université Rennes 2

Perhaps more than any other word class proper names are situated at the
interface of languages and most researchers no longer consider them as mere
tags. On the contrary, synchronic approaches now arouse interest among
linguists as the increasing number of projects related to synchronic
toponymy shows.

Actually, although the relative textual frequency of proper names is not
very high, their relative lexical frequency appears to be significant.
Synchronic studies of proper names and mainly toponyms is therefore an
essential task, not only to determine the conditions of their use, but also
to describe their structure and lexical status as well as the
psychological, sociological and political implications of their use and
function in discourse. All these factors account for the great variety of
linguistic projects related to toponyms, i.e. grammatical and
morphosyntactical studies, modelisation, as well as the use of toponyms in
spoken and written contexts.

This conference will offer the opportunity to take stock of this question
and to identify the heuristic value of synchronic research in toponymy for
the descriptions of languages.

Call for Papers:

The existence of toponyms in a given language is a real challenge for
linguistic analysis. As a matter of fact, endonyms as well as exonyms
follow the linguistic rules of each language, but also the specific
constraints for proper names on the grammatical and phonological levels.
The challenge is even greater as toponym analysis has to describe not only
their internal structure, often quite complex, but also has to take into
account the presence of linguistic components belonging to different word
classes and/or of various origins.

Furthermore, the description has to consider that any written or spoken
text mentioning foreign places thus introduces, from the source language to
the target language, 'foreign' linguistic elements which more or less fit
the structure of the target language, thus introducing deviating forms into
its morphosyntactic system.

A functional analysis aiming at describing the nature of the constituents
and their internal relation of determination testifies of that complexity
on a general level. A morphological and morphosyntactical description
provides in turn a detailed formal classification of the types of toponyms
and gives an overview of their behaviour in context.

Results of those different analyses contribute to establishing linguistic
rules and eliciting criteria for normalisation. A modelisation based on
these rules facilitates the comparison between linguistic systems as well
as computer applications. Combining modelisation with large corpora targets
automatic recognition of toponyms in context, which represents a
theoretical and methodological challenge.

The study of toponyms in written contexts (press, school books, touristic
brochures, maps, etc.) and in spoken contexts (conversations, media, etc.)
as well as in various geographical, linguistic and social situations frames
their pragmatical behaviour. The use of allonyms and their different
functions in context is a recent field of investigation.

The treatment of detailed linguistic information about toponyms is another
challenge in lexicography. Actually, the roles of dictionaries and
encyclopaedia, be they uni- bi- or multilingual, are not clearly defined.
In the same way, carthography applied to atlases and gazetteers does not
seem to be based on a consensus of principles concerning the choice and
presentation of endo- and exonyms respectively. The constitution of data
bases increases the lexical and contextual knowledge thus contributing to
the elaboration of multilingual toponym dictionaries and grammars.

In the field of sociotoponymy, the attitude of speakers preferring to use
allonyms points out their sense of belonging to a community. The field of
microtoponymy is concerned with individual or local use of toponyms in a
small village or urban quarter, which may also reflect the social relations
of their inhabitants. On a community level, such an analysis implies
political concerns for example in bi- or multilingual societies.

These concerns are taken into account, on a regional or national level, in
the normalization of official forms of endonyms as well as exonyms. Another
concern is the legal status of geographical names and the compulsory use of
specific forms in different contexts, as well as their relation to brand
protection. Studies concerning spoken or written exonymisation lead to a
reflection upon normalization concerning, for example, problems of
transliteration (e.g. romanisation) and transcription.

Any contribution examining one or more of these challenges in synchronic
toponymy will be welcome. The conference languages are French and English.

Abstract Submission:

Abstracts, in English or in French, should be anonymous and maximum 3000
signs (not including spaces and references). For purposes of easy editing,
please make use of the MS Word template (Times 12 in one line spacing).
Abstracts should be sent by e-mail to
colloque-toponymrennesuniv-rennes2.fr, before October 10, 2011. Under
subject, please write 'ToponymRennes abstract'. Please name the attachment
as follows: 'ToponymRennes_yourlastname_yourfirstname.doc'.

Make sure to include in the email: author's or authors' name(s); title of
the contribution; affiliation; e-mail address(es); type of presentation
(talk or poster), and 3 to 5 keywords.

Submission deadline: October 10, 2011

Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by two members of the scientific
committee (see list below). You will be notified of the outcome of the
review process in December 2011.

After the conference, speakers are invited to submit a conference paper for
publication in a separate volume (with a publication committee).

Our conference web-site will be regularly updated to provide further
information at the following address:


Important Dates:

Abstract submission: October 10, 2011
Acceptance: December 2011
Conference: March 22 - 23, 2012

Scientific Committee:

Löfström, Jonas, Rennes 2 University, France
Schnabel-Le Corre, Betina, Rennes 2 University, France
Ainiala, Terhi, Research Institute for the Languages of Finland, Helsinki
Chiapusso, Maria Gabriella, University of Turin, Italie
Cislaru, Georgeta, Paris 3 University, France
De Stefani, Elwys, University of Berne, Switzerland
Delaroche, Bruno, Rennes 2 University, France
Gary-Prieur, Marie-Noëlle, Lille 3 University, France
Helmbrecht, Johannes, University of Regensburg, Germany
Jaillard, Pierre, Commission Nationale de Toponymie, Paris, France
Jordan, Peter, Institut für Stadt- und Regionalforschung, Austria
Le Bihan, Hervé, Rennes 2 University, France
Le Bot, Marie-Claude, Rennes 2 University, France
Leroy, Sarah, Paris 10 University, France
Noailly, Michèle, University of Brest, France
Pansini, Valeria, Rennes 2 University, France
Puzey, Guy, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Schmitt, Uta, Agrocampus Ouest, Rennes, France
Schuwer, Martine, Rennes 2 University, France
Stani-Fertl, Roman, University of Vienna, Austria
Theriault, Marie Aurélie, University of Montreal, Canada
Vuolteenaho, Jani, University of Helsinki, Finland

Organisation Committee:

Delaroche, Bruno
La Robertie (de), Pierre
Le Bot, Marie-Claude
Löfström, Jonas
Lomeña, María
Mandola, Małgorzata
Richard, Elisabeth
Schnabel-Le Corre, Betina

Contact Information:

E-mail: colloque-toponymrennesuniv-rennes2.fr
Postal address:

Secrétariat recherche UFR Langues
Université Rennes 2
Place du Recteur Henri Le Moal
CS 24307
F - 35043 Rennes cedex

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