Toponymy and local languages


  • Ferjan Ormeling University of Amsterdam



toponyms, parallel namescapes, topographical objects, national toponymic standardization, topônimos, objetos topográficos, padronização toponímica nacional, espaço de nomes em paralelo


Many countries in the world have toponyms in local, regional or minority languages that form parallel namescapes. Despite its recognition of these toponyms and its resolutions to safeguard them, UNGEGN has not provided much guidance on how to deal with them, beyond stating that they must be collected. As the reasons for naming topographical objects form part of our cultural heritage, these should be added to the attribute information collected. But what should happen after their collection is not clear. The impact of national toponymic  standardization on toponyms from local languages is discussed, and linked to the fact that we are already used to sets of parallel namescapes from which we choose the appropriate one, depending on circumstances. This paper tries to work out a number of scenarios for dealing with local language toponyms, from which national names authorities should choose one that fits the national requirements.






Trabalhos do II SIPAT 2021