Call for papers: Centenary Conference of the Norwegian Place-Name Archive

The anniversary conference will be held on October 27-28, 2021 at the University of Bergen in the Natural History Museum.

Deadline for submission of abstracts is the 1st March 2021 ( max. 300 words). 

The four themes of the conference:

Place-name Collection

Main emphasis on collection of place-names in a broad perspective with regard to: what has been collected, what is being collected and what needs to be collected – in a past, current and future perspective. What is the goal of new and future place-name collection, and how to run place-name collection. Different methods of collection (manual, digital, mapping, geographical area, transcription, audio recording of pronunciation and pronunciation variation, etc.), use of historical sources, use of written and (local) oral sources, archiving, archive access, archival competence and inter-archival communication. Development of standard regional, national and international practices.


Standardization of place-names

Studies into standardization practices and standardization principles, including official and private standardization/written norms. Procedures in standardization processes, actors in standardization processes, regulations and guidelines for standardization. Regional, national and international perspectives. Goals and functions of standardization. Historical and synchronous principles and guidelines, etymological principles, pronunciation principles, the relation to current spelling norms. The role of oral and written sources in the standardization process. Standardization of place-names names versus personal names/ family names norms. Practical, ideological, political and linguistic considerations. Place-names as cultural-historical monuments and ancient monuments. Standardization committees and commissions. Consultation, appeal, decision and implementation.

Research on place-names

Theoretical and methodological practices and models. Name theory and theory of science. Current and traditional research. Structural, grammatical and socio-onomastic analyses. Denotation functions and identificatory functions. Name structure, name interpretation, etymology. Name categories, name classification and name types. Generic elements and specifics. Denotation. The connection to general linguistics. Use of new technology and digitization with theoretical and methodological issues. Hypothesis generation and hypothesis testing.

The future of place-name research

Onomastic science in the future: Needs and functions. New methods and new theories: What are the needs, and what solutions are needed. Continuation and development of toponymy as a scientific discipline. Place-names and market forces. Place-names and power structures (critical toponymy). Place-names and populism. Status of etymology and interpretation of place-names. Naming requirements and standardization requirements. Recruitment and professional onomastic competences. Teaching and dissemination. Strengthening the toponymy as an academic discipline. Archive development, archive access and archive competence. Collaboration with related subjects (history, archaeology, philosophy, sociology, theory of science). Collaboration with Ministries, Mapping Agencies and the Language Councils. Cooperation with national, regional and international bodies. In which way will toponymic research survive? Financial securing of the onomastic science, standardization competence, recruitment, dissemination and place-name research. Rural versus urban. Synchronic versus diachronic. Increase the status of toponymic research.

Contact persons

Peder Gammeltoft: peder.gammeltoft@uib.no

Randi Neteland: randi.neteland@uib.no