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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 ?
Both the placename and Line 52 have a similar grammatical structure, namely 'Where X did Y'.
Thus, Eagle Pass was not a recognized placename in 1846 at the time of Churchill's Rio Grande crossing.
Reconstructing Placename Systems' explores the resources that are at hand for developing meaningful lists of place names.
And then asks for a placename with all the verbal dexterity of Grandstand's Steve Ryder trying to pronounce the name of that Welsh premiership rugby club ``Flaneffli.
The placenaming, cartography, and community consultation which took place during the rabbit eradication programme and the proclamation of Phillip Island as a part of the Norfolk Island National Park during the late 1980s starkly depicts how several toponymic ideas have been at odds with each other and how their coming together, conflict, or clash have resulted in different placename maps.
The survival of these names, and particularly of Wednesfield, has always puzzled placename experts.
I]fread as a mnemonic for a history of the mind's responses to a mysterious marriage of sound and place, the placename can be a word of power--a password, perhaps" he writes (153).
THE chief claim to fame of Newtownmountkennedy used to be the fact that it had the longest placename in Ireland.
Benefiting from advanced placename database matching, the user is assisted in entering city and state information.
fn1 & 5; 1969, 306 & 318-319 fn33 & 36; Thomas 1969; Cook 1955, 388-389 (1) & 391 fn4), the history of the appearance and later disappearance of the Canadian placename has never been fully investigated.
Elmley Castle - both a military fortress and a placename - was constructed around 1080 by Urse D'Abitot, Sheriff of Worcestershire and buddy of William the Conqueror.