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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 ?
Usually, an ethnonym becomes a toponym over the intermediate status of a cognomen.
networks and toponyms. Historical geographers have noticed the
In the cases where only a toponym refers to a stronghold, locals may not have acknowledged the meaning of the place-name (as was the case with Rebase hill fort), but they still passed on the name of an archaeological site.
In particular I found the comparison between fishing ground toponyms in each location illuminating, particularly because, like most urban readers, fishing ground names are an area I am less familiar with than, for example, road names or house names.
(38) Cook's map has fewer toponyms; Lysaght, Joseph Banks, Plate 30.
Based on the logit value [L.sup.T] the probability of a toponym being Zang-Mian (NH = 1) is
Years of election to learned societies for persons honoured with toponyms assigned by Capt.
Dr Thomaz does not see this as excluding the possibility that it might have given rise to a toponym, however (personal communication, 11 Nov.
According to Hoffmeier, the growing consensus concerning the place name or toponym Pi-ha-hirot, is that it derives from the Hebrew letters het, resh and tof.
A word that derives from a place is a toponym. Timbuktu, for example, is an actual city in Africa, but we use the word to refer to any faraway or inaccessible spot: "I didn't know I would have to drive to Timbuktu to go to this party."