Vol. 69 No. 4 (2021)

A Revised Typology of Place-Naming

David Blair
Macquarie University
Jan Tent
Australian National University

Published 2021-11-15


  • toponym typology,
  • motivation,
  • intention,
  • expression,
  • placename classification


A functional and systematic typology of toponyms is an essential instrument for the toponymist wishing to investigate the naming practices and patterns of a region. To this end, the Australian National Placenames Survey developed a toponym typology for Australia (Tent & Blair 2011). This was characterized as a ‘typology of motivations for naming’. Although various researchers have used this typology with seeming success, further application of the typology to the Survey’s database of toponyms has revealed the need for a re-evaluation of the naming process. This occasioned a modification of some toponym categories generating a revised typology which can be considered a ‘typology of expressions of the naming intention’.


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