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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

A MARI USQUE AD MARE: Reflections on the toponymy of Canada - Réflexions sur la toponymie du Canada

A Lapierre
University of Ottawa, Canada

This paper, alternating in both official languages, will feature a synoptic view of the geographical nomenclature of Canada. Topics to be covered include a historical overview of the original Aboriginal stratum, the contribution of the various European languages involved in the establishment of geographical nomenclature, naming practices and strategies, as well as current issues in the management and conservation of Canada’s toponymic heritage.

A quantitative appraisal of the distribution of official geographical names in provinces and territories and according to feature type will be provided, allowing for a measure of toponymic density and variation throughout the country. The contribution of provincial, territorial and federal name boards and of onomastic research groups in the development and dissemination of name research and scholarship in Canada will also be addressed.

The paper will conclude with considerations on future challenges, ranging from the place of toponymy in the school curriculum to the addition of digital sound files in toponymic data bases.

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