This project investigates the role of place names for the relation between human beings and space in two multilingual situations: the Těšín area in Czechia and southern Carinthia in Austria. Both are characterised by a historically rooted social stratification of a dominant (the Czechs in the Těšín area and the German-speakers in Carinthia) and a non-dominant group (the Poles in the Těšín area and Slovenes in Carinthia). Moreover, in both areas place names gave reason to political conflict in recent times. Research questions are:
A combination of research methods are employed, i.e. analysis of place-name usage on old as well as on current maps, content and discourse analysis of the linguistic landscape and city-text with a particular focus on place names as well as interviews and questionnaires focused on the knowledge and variant preferences of place names in selected villages in the two regions.
The project has been completed in 2019. Its results will be published as a book in 2020.
Jordan, P. (2016), The Meaning of Bi- or Multilingual Naming in Public Space for the Cultural Identity of Linguistic Minorities. In: Nomina Africana. Journal of the Names Society of Southern Africa, 30, 1, S. 27-44.
Jordan, P. (2016), Carinthia – Burgenland. The different historical-cultural backgrounds of two minority situations and their impact on inter-ethnic relations and bilingual place naming. In: Onomàstica, Anuari de la Societat d’Onomàstica, 2, S. 169-181.
January 2016 – December 2018