LINGUIST List 32.480

Mon Feb 08 2021

Calls: Applied Ling, Gen Ling, Lexicography, Socioling/South Africa and Online

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 08-Feb-2021
From: Chrismi-Rinda Loth <>
Subject: Sixth International Symposium on Place Names 2021
E-mail this message to a friend

Full Title: Sixth International Symposium on Place Names 2021
Short Title: ISPN 2021

Date: 29-Sep-2021 - 01-Oct-2021
Location: Bloemfontein, South Africa
Contact Person: Chrismi Loth
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; General Linguistics; Lexicography; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 05-Mar-2021

Meeting Description:

Sixth International Symposium on Place Names 2021
Standardisation and the wealth of place names – aspects of a delicate relationship

The Department of South African Sign Language and Deaf Studies at the University of the Free State (RSA), in partnership with the Joint IGU/ICA Commission on Toponymy, is pleased to announce the next biennial international symposium on place names, directly preceded by a related virtual workshop.

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 the roles they perform in social dynamics.

Keynote speakers:
- Mr Pierre Jaillard (Chair: UNGEGN)
- Dr Tendai Mangena (Great Zimbabwe University)

Second Call for Papers:

Only a limited number of papers can be accommodated, as all sessions will be plenary. Abstracts (250 words) can be submitted online at in the following (but not limited to) categories of research by 5 March 2021:
- 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.

Virtual workshop (29 September morning session):
“Collecting and documenting informal and alternative place names”
Presenter: Dr Gerhard Rampl (Chair: Austrian Board of Geographical Names)

Language of the symposium and workshop: English, with professional South African Sign Language interpreting available.

Venue: If circumstances allow a hybrid virtual/in-person event, the symposium will be hosted on the Bloemfontein campus of the University of the Free State (RSA). Otherwise we will revert to hosting a virtual event.

Queries can be directed to Dr Chrismi Loth at

ISPN 2021 will be preceded by the Names Society of Southern Africa (NSSA) International Congress, hosted 21-23 September 2021 at the Durban University of Technology (RSA). Interested parties can contact Prof Nhlanhla Mathonsi at

Page Updated: 08-Feb-2021