Call for Papers: Namen Digital: Workshop at Österreichische Linguistiktagung 2017, Klagenfurt, Austria, December 10 2017

Photo: Joe Kniesek

In Klagenfurt, Austria, a workshop devoted to names, naming, and the digital world will be held on the 10th of December 2017. Called “Namen digital”, this German-language event will take place in conjunction with the Österreichische Linguistiktagung 2017 at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt/Celovec. Researchers interested in presenting are encouraged to email abstracts (max. 300 words) by the 31st of August 2017 to marietta.calderon AT and herling AT‎. The original call for papers is here.

The flip side of picking an English name

Chinese people commonly choose their own English names when they move overseas. It is to make names more pronounceable, but they know the real bonus is the chance to pick their own names, like picking a new identity. In this article in the China Daily, Cecily Liu looks at how Chinese people pick their English names, and what it means for identity – and why British people working in China might choose Chinese names.

MISHI 2017: Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute, Ontario, Canada, August 14 -18, 2017

From the 14th to the 18th of August 2017, the Manitoulin Island Summer Historical Institute (MISHI) will be held in Manitoulin Island, Canada. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Does Wisdom Sit in Places? Sites as Sources of Knowledge”. This event is a joint initiative of the History of Indigenous Peoples Network and the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation. The MISHI is held annually and is designed to bring together students, researchers, and teachers for a week-long investigation of Anishinaabe history and culture. This event may be of particular interest to researchers whose work deals with Native American Names and Naming.

In his study of the place names employed by Western Apache in the American southwest, Keith Basso has beautifully described how the land holds Apache wisdom, as toponyms are abstractions of stories that contain histories, ideas, information, and moral lessons. Learning the names of all the features of Apache places is akin to learning about Apache history, culture, and knowledge. Anishinaabeg likewise use the same device for marking landscape and inscribing knowledge in physical settings. Anishinaabe place names are made up of words marking history, spirituality, and environmental knowledge, all of which make up Anishinaabe cosmology. Alan Corbiere explains that “history as told by the Anishinaabeg uses the land as text book and bible. The land is named, the cliff faces painted, and points along the land serve as portals to summon powerful assistance in times of strife.” Anishinaabe oral historical tradition uses stories, pictographs, and place names to record, interpret and remember significant events and periods. Manidoog, or spirits, play a central role in this history, as they are actors with significant power in Anishinaabe society, helping humans thrive and protecting them from danger. Corbiere asks “when the pictographs have faded or have become inaccessible and unvisited, the bark scrolls locked in a museum, the place names supplanted, the stories untold…will the Anishinaabe still be able to summon [manidoog] in times of strife?”

MISHI 2017 participants will be asked to listen to and think about how Anishinaabe
knowledge inhabits landscape on Manitoulin Island. By exploring the land, petroglyphs,
pictographs, oral traditions, and documentary sources, we will discover if knowledge is
embedded in space or moves around or can be transported and transplanted.

Linguistic Embodiment: Body Part Terms in Linguistic Usage: A Comparative and Typological Perspective, University of Warsaw, Poland, December 8-9, 2017

From the 8th to the 9th of December 2017, an innovative workshop entitled “Body Part Terms in Linguistic Usage: A Comparative and Typological Perspective” will be held in Warsaw, Poland. Invited speakers include the following: Zygmunt Frajzyngier (University of Colorado, USA); Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk (University of Lodz, Poland); Helma Pasch (University of Cologne, Germany); and Ning Yu (Pennsylvania State University, USA). Abstracts are currently being accepted for 30 minute presentations. The deadline for abstracts is July 30, 2017. Each paper will be given 30 minutes, including 10 minutes for discussion.

The conference organizers invite papers which focus on one specific language or comparative/typological studies. Possible topics to be covered include:

  • coding and categorization of body parts
  • polysemy and semantic change of body part terms
  • conceptualization processes (metaphor, metonymy) via body parts
  • expressing emotional concepts through their “embodiment”
  • grammaticalization processes
  • usage patterns of constructed senses
  • corpus studies of body part terms (e.g. frequency, collocations)
  • compounding and noun incorporation
  • “special” syntax (e.g. inalienable possession, use of pronouns)
  • morphological derivation and semantic autonomy
  • language-culture issues and idiomatic constructions

Dottie Lux : “The real names crusader” for LGBT people on Facebook

Dottie Lux has made it her mission to help trans users and drag queens restore accounts that match their identity. Photograph: Camille Adams Photography

One of the most important and exciting parts of transitioning is announcing to the world your brand new name. Thanks to the work of generations of trans activists, this onomastic coming out has become easier and easier. However, there are still many important, painful, and unexpected stumbling blocks. In this Guardian article, what Facebook’s name policy has meant for some in the LGBT community is explored.

The company contends that it does not allow fake names in an effort to prevent bullying, harassment, scams and criminal behavior from anonymous accounts. Though Facebook insists that it has since improved its procedures, critics say the company’s name policy continues to pose challenges for trans people and other vulnerable users who don’t use legal names for safety and privacy reasons, including domestic violence survivors and drag queens.

5 Finalists Announced for Crayola’s New Blue Crayon Color

From almost 90,000 submissions, Crayola selected the following finalists for the new blue hue: Dreams Come Blue, Bluetiful, Blue Moon Bliss, Reach for the Stars and Star Spangled Blue.

From now until Thursday, Aug. 31, people in the United States and Canada can vote on these five names at The champion will be announced in early September, and the freshly christened crayon is expected to first show up in boxes later this year or early 2018. The new color is replacing Dandelion, the color that Crayola retired earlier this year. Unveiled to the public in May, the replacement is based on a based on a pigment discovered in 2009 by a chemistry team at Oregon State University, believed to be the first new blue pigment discovered in 200 years. Crayola apparently didn’t want to stick with the pigment’s name of YInMn Blue, after its chemical makeup of yttrium, indium, and manganese oxides. Cast your vote now!

MERGE! Domain name conference, Orlando, Fl, August 14-18 2017

From the 14th to the 18th of October, 2017, a conglomerate of conferences devoted to the exploring the use and potential of domain names will be held at the Marriott’s Orlando World Center in Florida. Called MERGE!, this event is said to be one of the largest in domain names and naming. Information on registration as well as the program schedule can be found at the website.

This groundbreaking event is a group of different events and networking opportunities – multiple individual events – with shared access. MERGE! will have content, sessions, speakers, panels, networking, sponsors, and events within it, all focused upon fusing ideas and people. Legal, Branding, Development, User Experience, Investment, Appraisal, Startups, Technology, Design, Security and more. This event incorporates the third year of THE Domain Conference as one of the many MERGE! sub-shows, which will also include numerous other events and activities, all of which have a common access pass included with your MERGE! admission.

Many individual conferences will be operating at the same time, with portions operating privately and portions shared sessions, group meetings, common keynotes and networking.

About Names: July 4 2017 is the 241st birthday of the United States of America. But the name America dates back 510 years

America Ferrera

Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his July 4th column, he looks at the history of the name America. 

America was named after Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512.) He was born in Florence and named after his paternal grandfather. The Normans brought a French form of the name to England, where it became Amery or Emery. In Latin, Amerigo became Americus.

Américo is the Spanish form. América has been used as a woman’s name throughout Latin America — fittingly, since South America was given its name.

Hispanic immigration brought America back into the top 1,000 U.S. names in 1998. For unknown reasons it later boomed with Latino parents, peaking at No. 410 in 2002, when 704 children were given the name America.

It’s tempting to link that surge with actress America Ferrera. Born to immigrants from Honduras in Los Angeles in 1984, she was named after her mother, América Griselda Ayes. Read more about the history of the name America here!

Course in Geographical Names: Management and Practice, Windhoek, University of Namibia, Sept. 21-23 2017

The University of the Free State in conjunction with the University of Namibia will be holding an intensive course on the nature of geographic names. This course will cover not only the linguistics of place naming, but also the geographical, cartographic, and technical aspects of toponymy. The course will take place from the 21st to the 23rd of September 2017 in Windhoek, Namibia. To find out more about this course and apply to take part, click here.


Call for Papers: 2nd Ostrava Onomastic Meeting, Ostrava, Czech Republic, April 23-25 2018

The University of Ostrava in the Czech Republic will be holding the Ostrava Onomastic Meeting from the 23rd to the 25th of April 2018. The theme of the conference is “Place Names as a Mirror of Political Developments in Modern European Society 1848 to 2018”. The conference will cover issues such as toponymy and state and national borders; toponymy and politics; toponymy and art; toponymy and ideology. The deadline for abstract submissions is November 20, 2017. Information on this conference can be found at the website.

The conference language is English. The authors are responsible for the content and language of their papers. Presentations of papers should not exceed 15 minutes; PowerPoint presentations are required. The conference organizers plan to publish a book containing papers that are accepted for the conference.