Monday, September 28, 2020

2020 SNSBI Autumn Zoom Conference


17 October 2020: SNSBI autumn half-day conference (online).

A morning of short papers on personal and place-names of the UK from Keith Briggs, Kathryn Bullen, Thomas Clancy, Clare Green, and Paul Tempan. For those not familiar with Zoom, there will be advice on how to access and use it, and an opportunity for a practice session. Non-members are welcome to attend, though if necessary numbers may have to be limited. The conference is free but booking is essential. Further details on the booking process will follow in a few days.

1000 – 1110 Session 1 – Personal names

Keith Briggs The first girls in England

The words ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ are both of very obscure etymology. Both are attested as personal names before lexical use starts to be recorded about 1300, but whether the anthroponymic evidence is of any value for the history of the words is controversial. This paper points out that ‘girl’ occurs as a byname throughout the thirteenth century, but only in East Anglia. This allows speculation that the word originated in the east, possibly as a borrowing from a continental language heard in the coastal ports. The talk is based on a paper available here.

Clare Green (SOAS, University of London) Naming Welsh-speaking children: case studies from London and Gwynedd

Many factors go into choosing children's names, and for multilingual families there are extra issues to consider. Should the name represent all the family’s languages? How much should it take into account the linguistic environment the family lives in? Does the chosen name predict the language(s) a child will speak as they grow up? This paper looks at two families with a first-language Welsh-speaking parent, living in very different linguistic landscapes: one in London and one in Gwynedd, North Wales. Based on qualitative interviews with parents, it explores how they chose their children's names, the influence of their Welsh-speaking heritage, and how the decisions reflect their linguistic attitudes and practices. This research uses names as a medium to learn about personal experiences of multilingualism and family language policy. This paper is based on research for a Masters dissertation in Language Documentation and Description.

1110 – 1125 break

1125 – 1300 Session 2 – Place-names

Paul Tempan Names in the Irish built environment transferred due to a common function

Abstract to follow.

Kathryn Bullen (University of Nottingham) Axholme – place-names in the marsh

In this talk I will take you on a journey into the bogs and moors of the Isle of Axholme, situated in north Lincolnshire. The presentation will give an overview of my current PhD research, which aims to assess the impact of language, history, and landscape on place-names on the Isle of Axholme. I will explore the background to the project, demonstrate some of the evidence I have collected so far, and ask how what we know of the past can help manage future challenges.

Thomas Clancy (University of Glasgow) Iona's Namescape: place-names and their dynamics in Iona and its environs (report on a new project)

Abstract to follow.

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