Vol. 63 No. 4 (2015)

The How of Toponymy: A Comment on Tent’s “Approaches to Research in Toponymy”

Published 2015-10-02


  • Joseph Mitchell,
  • names and style,
  • names and narrative,
  • names and prosody,
  • names and ontology,
  • New York City names,
  • Robeson County (NC) names,
  • The New Yorker
  • ...More


This comment which considers several ways the how of toponymy is an addendum to Tent’s (2015) where, who, when, what, and why of toponymic research. Summarizing Tent’s claims leads to identifying less–mainstream yet theoretically pertinent research concerns central to the how of toponymics.


  1. Basso, Keith H. 1988. “‘Speaking with Names’: Language and Landscape among the Western Apache.” Cultural Anthropology 3(2): 99–130.
  2. Basso, Keith H. 1996. Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
  3. Carter, Paul. 1987. The Road to Botany Bay: An Exploration of Landscape and History. London: Faber & Faber.
  4. Casey, Edward S. 1996. “How to get from Space to Place in a Fairly Short Stretch of Time: Phenomenological Prolegomena.” In Keith H. Basso and Steven Feld (eds.), Senses of Place. Santa Fe, New Mexico: School of American Research Press, 13–52.
  5. Dominy, Michèle. 2001. Calling the Station Home: Place and Identity in New Zealand’s High Country. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  6. Gray, John. 1999. “Open Spaces and Dwelling. Places: Being at Home on Hill Farms in the Scottish Borders.” American Ethnologist 26(2): 440–460.
  7. Gaffin, Dennis. 1996. In Place: Spatial and Social Order in a Faeroe Islands Community. Prospect, Heights: Waveland Press.
  8. Kari, James. 2011. “A Case Study in Ahtna Athabascan Geographic Knowledge.” In David M. Mark et al. (eds.) Landscape in Language: Transdisciplinary Perspectives (Culture and Language Use Volume 4). Ansterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 239–260.
  9. Malpas, Jeff E. 1999. Place and Experience: A Philosophical Topography. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  10. Malpas, Jeff E. 2007. Heidegger’s Topology: Being, Place, World. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
  11. Myers, F. R. 1986. Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self: Sentiment, Place, and Politics among Western Desert Aborigines. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  12. Tent, Jan. 2015. “Approaches to Research in Toponymy.” Names 63(2): 65–74.
  13. Tent, Jan, and David Blair. 2011. “Motivations for Naming: The Development of a Toponymic Typology for Australian Placenames.” Names 59(2): 67–89.