Monday, February 4, 2013


Today I was told for the first time about the term of  ONOMATOMETRY. What is that?

The term in question has been introduced by Prof. Paul Videsott (1971, Italy):

Here he is on the website of Austrian Onomastics:

Here he is on WiKi:

He is professor of Romanic philology at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano:

Ladin language is his research focus:

He is researching on the origin of Ladin names. For example, I have found his: "Ladinische Familiennamen / Cognoms ladins" (Innsbruck : Wagner, 2000):

1990-1995: studies at the University of Innsbruck;
Since 1999 he has worked at the University of Innsbruck: 
In 2000 he has defended his PhD thesis ("Ladin antroponomastics from 1605 to 1784"). In 2004 he has habilitated ("Padania scriptologica: Scriptologic and scriptometric research on the Old North Italian from the beginning to 1525").

His CV is to be found here:

OK, let's drive closer to onomatometry:

In English the term is to be met only once:

It's an article of well-known Slovak onomatologist Vincent Blanár (Bratislava) titled "Proper Names in the Light of Theoretical Onomastics" from the onomastic journal (Namenkundliche Informationen, 2009, 95/96, ISSN 0943-0849) where he mentioned the project of Prof. Videsott : Onomatometry of Eastern Alps / Onomatometrie des Ostalpenraums :

By onomatometry Prof. Paul Videsott understands a measuring theory which by means of the numerical classification and the statistics determines those areas whose landscapes' names seem to be "similar", what demonstrates an „isonymic structure“. Onomatometry – with support of the H. Goebls's dialectometry – is an attempt to synthesise the mass, that is always becoming enlarging, of the available (atomistic) data in the area of toponomastics without having to accept substantial (typologic) losses of information. The visualisation of the results is furthermore possible by means of (coloured) maps.

All previous investigations have shown that the name spaces observeable today can be valid in the still Romanic but already Germanized Eastern Alps area as a result and emanation of an older and relatively coherent Romanic linguistic landscape. The besides ascertained similitude and autonomy structures coincide so well with the disposition of the Videsott's research area, which had already been provided on historical and dialectological basis, so that his model might claim, nevertheless, some plausibility.

Long-term objective of the Videsott's project is the onomatometric analysis of the pre-German toponomastics in all municipalities of his sampling which extends from the borders of Bavaria to the Southern Trentino and from the Swiss Graubünden up to the Western Friauls. This network will also allow comparisons with the existing linguistic atlases for this area (Linguistic atlas of Italy and the Southern Switzerland), ALI [Altante Linguistico Italiano] and ALD [Linguistic atlas of the Ladin Dolomitan (Ladin standard) and neighbouring dialects]).

In the journal Ladinia (Nr. 26-27) you can find "Onomatometrie Ladiniens" (2002-2003, pp.335-256)

In the "Namenarten und ihre Erforschung: Ein Lehrbuch für das Studium der Onomastik" (2004)
you may find the article in the chapter 9: Onomatometrie als Methode der Namenforschung (from the page 213). This onomastic subdiscipline is also mentioned in:

Another article is "Onomatometrie. Die Methoden der numerischen Taxonomie auf die Onomastik angewandt" and it was published in Rivista Italiana di Onomastica (RION). Bde. XII / 2 (2006) (pp. 423 – 467);

In the Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie (ZrP) (Band 119, Heft 3, Seiten 480–509, ISSN (Online) 1865-9063, ISSN (Print) 0049-8661, DOI: 10.1515/zrph.2003.119.3.480, November 2009) you may enjoy the work "Isonymische Strukturen in der Romania Alpina submersa und non-submersa. Ein Beispiel für die Anwendung der numerischen Taxonomie im Bereich der Toponomastik"

Then the term in question has been used by Prof. Damaris Nübling and Prof. Konrad Kunze in their article "Familiennamenforschung morgen: Der deutsche Familiennamenatlas (DFA)" (2005) in Namenforschung morgen. Hamburg:

The google frequency of onomatometry in German is 33, but most of these links are leading to the same works.

I suggest using this term in my research and I am going to consider onomatometry as a dialectometric onomastics or quantitative name studies what is in accord with my geonomastics.

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