Conference: Onomastic Investigations, Latvian Language Institute, Riga, Latvia, May 10-11 2018

The Latvian Language Institute of the Latvian University will be holding a conference entitled “Onomastic Investigations”. The conference will be held in Riga, Latvia, from May 10-11th, 2018. Topics of the conference include the following: problems of theoretical onomastics; proper nouns in the context of ethnic genesis and glottogenesis; and language contacts in proper names. More on the conference can be found here: The flyer for the conference, in English, can be found here.

Call for Papers: MiOKO XXI, International and Nationwide Conference on Onomastics, Lublin, Poland, Oct 4-62018

The 21st International and Nationwide Conference on Onomastics (MiOKO) will be held at Maria Curia-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland, from the 4th to the 6th of October 2018. This year’s conference will focus on terminology applied to proper names and the need for establishing theoretical and terminological agreement (metaonomastic reflection) as well as mechanisms involved in forming and introducing onyms to a language, with an emphasis on the specific ways they have functioned in the Polish language (and other languages). The deadline for abstract submission is April 15, 2018. More detailed information about the conference can be found here at the website (in Polish).

Call for Papers: Taking Risks in Applied Linguistics, BAAL2018, York, UK, Sept. 6-9 2018

The 51st Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL2018) will be held from the 6th to the 9th of September 2018 in York, UK at St. John University. The deadline for abstract submissions is the 31st of March 2018. The theme of this year’s conference is “Taking Risks in Applied Linguistics.”

The overall purpose of the 2018 conference is to provide a scientific forum for exploring new ways of pursuing our research and improving our practice. Our global community is facing unsettling times, and language use is at the heart of many of the challenges we face. Such challenges include: new and renewed areas of social inequality; political, social and economic instabilities; language learning and teaching-related concerns; and legislative changes which affect the rights of certain groups. The 2018 meeting will be a forum for bold thinking to address these challenges.

The call for papers can be found at the BAAL website.

Call for Papers: VESNA Symposium, Linz, Austria, October 4-6 2018

The Society for Study of Language and Names in Austria [Verein zur Erforschung von Sprache und Name in Österreich (VESNA)] will be holding a conference in German entitled “Namenforschung im Spannungsfeld von Wissenschaft und Öffentlichkeit” (“Name research in the field of tension between science and the public”) from the 4th to the 6th of October 2018 in Linz, Austria. The relationship between science and the public, which is important for both sides but not always tension-free, should form the thematic framework of this conference. Aspects of the – more or less successful – transfer of knowledge between name research and the interested public can be addressed as well as the subject-related exchange between neighboring disciplines (linguistics, history, geography, ethnology, archeology, numismatics, heraldry, etc.).

Researchers interested in giving 30 minute (with 10 minute discussion sessions) scientific presentations are requested to email abstracts by March 31, 2018 to the following address:

More information can be found at the ICOS website, and the call for papers, in German, can be downloaded here.

Call for Papers: 2019 ANS Conference Special Panel on Literary Names

computer-564136_960_720The ANS is inviting abstract submissions for a panel on Literary Names for the 2019 annual conference to be held in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America. The purpose of the panel is to highlight research in, and study of, names in works of fiction.

All professional names enthusiasts are invited to submit an abstract for a 20-minute presentation. Abstract proposals should answer one or more of the following questions:

  1. How do the texts under analysis make use of onomastics to establish and convey character and/or plot?
  2. How does linguistic analysis bear on the reading of these texts?
  3. How is the field of onomastics enhanced by your research?

To submit a proposal, simply send a 250-word abstract proposal and a 100- word professional biography to Susan Behrens [sbehrens@mmm.eduby the 15th of July 2018. For organizational purposes, please be sure to include the phrase “ANS 2019 Panel” in the subject line of your email.

All proposals will be subjected to blind review. Official notification of proposal acceptances will be sent on or before September 30, 2018. All authors whose papers have been accepted must be current members of the ANS and need to register with both the ANS and the Linguistic Society of America. Please feel free to contact Susan Behrens should you have any questions or concerns.

We look forward to receiving your submission!

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 1. 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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