Vol. 71 No. 3 (2023): NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics

Using the ANPS Typology to Unearth the Relationship Between Japanese Sign Language (JSL) Endonymic Toponym Distribution and Regional Identity

Johnny George
Meiji University

Published 2023-08-22


  • toponym,
  • eponym,
  • typology,
  • etiology,
  • sign language,
  • Japanese Sign Language (JSL)
  • ...More


This study examines Japanese Sign Language (JSL) toponym distribution by categorizing 184 JSL endonymic toponyms via the Blair & Tent (2020) Australian National Placename Survey (ANPS) typology. Toponyms from the National Sign Language Toponym Map (Japan Federation of the Deaf et al. 2009) were collected and sorted by categories into a spreadsheet, which maintained token counts. Topographical category distribution shows that the Kinki region, which has a strong historical connection to Japan's national identity, has a disproportionately large number of signs related to commemorative eponyms. Past work on sign language toponyms has demonstrated the salience of social and structural factors on toponym spread and production. This study contributes to the understanding of toponym etiology by revealing how the incorporation of regional identity indices might support the preservation of particular kinds of toponyms.


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