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date: 24 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

It is the policy of most general dictionaries to exclude most or all place names. The function of a synchronic dictionary of place names is served by gazetteers, which list the officially sanctioned forms of names within a particular geographical region, identifying each with the settlement or feature it denotes by a grid reference. Place-name dictionaries are predominantly historical in focus. They attempt to supply three types of information: the linguistic units that make up the name (its elements); the sense of the utterance they make up (its meaning); why this description was originally applied to the place in question (its motivation). This chapter draws examples primarily from research into the toponymy of England, examining such issues as: the organization and methodology of regional surveys; conventions in identifying place-name elements; dictionaries of place-name elements; the inclusion criteria of dictionaries of place names and their typical organization and presentation of data.

Keywords: place-name dictionaries, place names, place-name elements, place-name motivations, toponymy

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