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the branch of onomastics that studies toponyms (place names), their meaning, structure, origin, and area of distribution. The aggregate of toponyms for a given area constitutes its toponymy. Microtoponymy is the study of the names of such smaller geographical units as localities, springs, whirlpools, and farmlands. Toponymy is closely interrelated with geography, history, and ethnography.

Toponymy is an important research tool in historical lexicology, dialectology, and etymology. Some toponyms, particularly hydronyms, preserve archaisms and older dialectical features and often originate in the substrate languages of a given area. Toponymy aids in reconstructing the history of peoples and in defining the boundaries within which they lived. It also helps to determine the areas in which languages were once prevalent and to locate former cultural and economic centers and trade routes. The transcription of toponyms establishes their original spelling and the period of their introduction into other languages; this information is used in military cartography and in all types of communication.


Nikonov, V. A. Vvedenie v toponimiku. Moscow, 1965.
Popov, A. I. Geograficheskie nazvaniia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965.
Zhuchkevich, V. A. Obshchaia toponimika, 2nd ed. Minsk, 1968.
Pospelov, E. M. Toponimika i kartografiia. Moscow, 1971.
Murzaev, E. M. Ocherki toponimiki. Moscow, 1974.


References in periodicals archive ?
org, VISITORS wanting to learn more about the place names of Welsh beauty spots, communities, mountains and pubs can scan special codes to reveal their often fascinating histories.
He said: "This is the latest in a long series I've done on Huddersfield place names.
On December 21, 2007 place names that have not been registered will be returned to the general pool and can be registered by any eligible travel entity without restriction.
Place name detectives Trevor Fishlock and Nia Roberts are on the case and are searching for the history behind the names of Welsh towns and villages.
CIAM a place name at 7[degrees]32N, 37[degrees]57E in Ethiopia
They chose the new version because it has eight more letters than the official longest place name in the UK - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwchllantysiliogogogoch on Anglesey.
The declaration goes on to say that, "The geographic place names of wine regions are the sole birthright of the grapes that are grown there, and when these names appear on wines that do not contain fruit from that region, they lose their integrity and their relevance, becoming merely words.
Another place name that is regularly wrongly pronounced is Porthcawl; nearly always pronounced as "Porthcole".
Bedwyr, who works for Rondo Media says: "I like history, I like place names, I like Anglesey and I enjoy nothing more than mucking about in a boat - and I got to do quite a lot of that while we were filming this summer
The most popular place name was Dublin with 158 searches, followed by Dingle in Co Kerry with 103.
Eligibility for these released travel place names are restricted to bona fide travel and tourism organizations who can demonstrate actual use of the desired .
His research papers were left to the university, along with a vast quantity of slips relating to place names.