Call for Papers for the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference, Chicago, IL, January 3-6, 2019

ANS Panel at the Modern Language Association Conference

January 3-6th, 2019 in Chicago, IL

The American Name Society is inviting abstract proposals for a panel with the literary theme “Borrowed Names and interactions in Literature.” Literary interactions between authors have always been of great interest in Literary Studies and Literary Theory. Influences, allusions, and intertexts can significantly affect the onomastic choices of an author and result in name borrowings. The papers of this panel will focus either on examples of these practices, thus contributing to the understanding of specific naming choices, or on the role of literary onomastics in theories of intertextuality, allusion, etc.

For more information about MLA 2019, check out the official website.

Proposal submission process:

  1. Abstracts proposals of up to 400 words should be sent as an email attachment (PDF format) to Dr Andreas Gavrielatos (
  2. Proposals should include “MLA proposal” in the subject line of the email.
  3. All submissions must include an abstract title, the full name(s) of the author(s), the author affiliation, and email address in the body of the email and NOT with the abstract.
  4. DEADLINE: Proposals must be received by 5pm GMT on 31 March 2018. Authors will be notified about results of the blind review on or by 30 March 2018.
  5. Contributors selected for the thematic panel must be members of both MLA and ANS in order to present their papers.
  6. For further information, please contact Dr A. Gavrielatos (

More information about ANS and MLA conferences in available on the Conferences page of this website.

About Names: Famous Neils have made giant leaps throughout history

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his March 13th column, he looks at the history of the name Neil.

Neil is the English spelling of Niall, an Irish Gaelic name so ancient its derivation is unclear. “Cloud,” “passionate” and “champion” are all possibilities. The original Niall was Niall of the Nine Hostages, a king who lived in the fifth century. Few facts are known about him, though legends say he led the raid on Britain when St. Patrick was brought to Ireland as a slave.

The 1850 United States census includes 1,801 men called Neal, Neil or Niel — a third born in Ireland or Scotland. When Social Security’s yearly baby name lists started in 1880, Neal ranked 270th and Neil 292nd. Neal fell off until Neil became more common in 1912 — still ranking 292nd.

Want to know more? Read on to find out more about Neils in history!

Carto Cymru: The Wales Map Symposium 2018, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, May 8, 2018

On the 8th of May 2018, the Welsh Map Symposium 2018 or “Carto Cymru” will be take place at the National Library of Wales.  The theme of this year’s event is “Charting the Seas”. Charting the seas and coasts of the World – how maps depict the sea and coastline and how such mapping is used to widen our understanding of these environments. The symposium is a collaboration between The National Library of Wales and The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales. All interested map lovers, names enthusiasts, and Welsh fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets soon.  Information on tickets and the scheduled programme can be found here.

Voprosy Onomastiki (Problems of Onomastics) publishes Vol. 15 (2018), Issue 1

The editorial board of the journal Voprosy Onomastiki (Problems of Onomastics) is pleased to inform you of the publication of Vol. 15 (2018), Issue 21. The issue is available on the journal’s website.


Napolskikh, V. V. Ethno-Linguistic Situation in the Forest Zone of Eastern Europe in the First Centuries AD and the Data of Jordanes’ Getica

Dzitstsoity, Y. A. On the Relics of Scytho-Sarmato-Alanian Vocabulary in the Toponymy of Ossetia

Petrosyan, A. Y. Armenian Demons Called Kaj: Image and Name

Agapkina, T. A., Berezovich, E. L., Surikova, O. D. Toponyms in the Charms of the Russian North. I: Seas and Rivers

Toporkov, A. L. Proper Names in the 17th Century Olonets Codex of Verbal Charms

Fakuade, G., Williams, A., Nnaji, I., Odeigah, T. A Shift in Batonu Personal Naming Practices


Kvašytė, R. Theory and Practice of Rendering Foreign Proper Names into Lithuanian and Latvian

Butler, J. O. The Rocket’s Red Glaringly Apparent Intent: The Dazzling Effects of Firework Naming


Schaarschmidt, G. Some Good Reasons for Renaming Places, and Some not so Good Ones: a Cross-Cultural Sketch. In Honour of Canada’s 150th Birthday and the Year of Reconciliation

Book reviews

Parker, W.
Arthurian Toponymics: Folk Tradition or Antiquarian Invention? Review of the book: Lloyd, S. (2017). The Arthurian Place Names of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press

Sokolova, T. P.
The Problems of Urban Place Names Description. Review of the books: Shmeleva, T. V. (2014). Onomastikon rossiiskogo goroda [Onomasticon of a Russian City]. Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing; Shmeleva, T. V. (2016). Novgorodskaya slovesnost: ucheb. posobie [Novgorod Philology: A Handbook]. Veliky Novgorod: Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University

Golikova, D. M.
Proper Names and Named Entities Recognition in the Automatic Text Processing. Review of the book: Nouvel, D., Ehrmann, M., & Rosset, S. (2016). Named Entities for Computational Linguistics. London; Hoboken: ISTE Ltd; John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2016.


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Call for Papers: Lexicography in the Digital World, ASIALEX2018, Krabi, Thailand, June 8-10 2018

The theme of this year’s ASIALEX2018 is ”Lexicography in the Digital World”. The event will be held from the 8th to the 10th of June 2018 in Krabi, Thailand. Lexicography is much more than simply compiling a dictionary. The field brings together computational linguists, translators, educators, software developers, technical companies, and publishers whose knowledge and experience enrich our understanding of the intricate relationship between dictionary and digitalization. The 12th International Conference of the Asian Association for Lexicography aims to expand the horizons and encourage discussion and cooperation among the many specialists who take different approaches to this field of studies. Researchers working within the area of lexicography are encouraged to send in their abstracts (max. 250-300 words) by the 1st of April 2018. Details on abstract submission can be found at the website.

This year’s guest speakers include:

  • Pedro A. Fuertes-Olivera (University of Valladolid, Spain)
  • John Simpson (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
  •  Pam Peters (Macquarie University, Australia)
  • Virach Sornlertlamvanich (Thammasat University, Thailand)

Call for Papers: 53rd Linguistics Colloquium, Odense, Denmark, Sept. 24-27 2018

From the 24th to the 27th of September 2018, the 53rd Linguistics Colloquium will be held at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark. The theme of this year’s conference is “Linguistic Variation and Diversity”. The colloquium is open to any theoretical approaches.Abstracts for papers (20 minutes presentation plus 10 minutes discussion) or posters should be written in English or German and have a length of 300-500 words including references. The deadline for abstracts is the 12th of March 2018. The website for the colloquium can be found here.

Relevant topic areas of the conference include, but are not limited to:

  • intra- and inter-linguistic variation
  • cross-linguistic comparison – typological, contrastive, historical
  • language contact
  • multilingualism – individual, institutional, societal
  • language policies and minority languages
  • linguistic variation and diversity in the media
  • linguistic variation and diversity in language teaching
  • translation of linguistic variation

TransOnym: The self-naming of transgender people in Germany

This website presents the project “Onymic Border Marking: The Self-Designation of Transgender People in Germany”. In this project, they examine the self-categorization of people from an onomastic (i,e., naming) perspective. The subject is the name choice and self-naming of trans people in the course of their gender change. The central issue is the extent to which names can be used to construct and visualize gender identity.

Read the detailed project presentation , find out about the employees or write to them.

Note: the website is in German.

The Problem With Putting Your Name on a Restaurant

Famous chefs often use their names as the names of their restaurants – but, like fashion designers, those chefs can lose control of that name in court. That’s what happened to Alon Shaya, who, with partner John Besh, started opened several restaurants in New Orleans, including one called Shaya. But since his split with Besh, Shaya has been embroiled in a legal battle with his former partner, and a court has ruled that the restaurant doesn’t have to change its name.

This article at Eater takes a look at this phenomenon. Here’s a sample:

The reality is that chefs and owners want to use the reputation and recognition of a chef’s name and brand to lure in customers. If that’s the case, the best way for a chef to protect herself is with a series of well-written, well-vetted legal documents — an operating agreement that gives her either a controlling interest or controlling vote in the operating company, and/or a very good license agreement.



Kitchen Vocabulary: Care for What You Say

In this fascinating essay at Life & Thyme, Katie Bell writes about the importance of language in the professional kitchens of restaurants. She points out that the special terms and names used between chefs and staff serve multiple purposes – building camaraderie, to reinforce philosophy, to teach, and for so much more. Here’s a small sample:

For the majority of us, picking up that language is a rite of passage. On my first job as a host in a nice restaurant in Colorado, I entered the kitchen to a host of words I knew, but in a context that made no sense. I had so many questions. What is this four top? Why do they keep saying deuce? Who is taking a turn? What is this girl calling a double seating? Why does this guy keep screaming corner every time I walk around one? Why is that cook telling me there are eighty-six chickens? What does it all mean, and why is everyone getting so excited about it?

Click on over to read the rest of it!