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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

One Territory, Many Maps: Aspects of Place Names and Naming on Norfolk Island

Author(s):
J Nash
University of Adelaide, Australia

This paper describes the various historical naming practices on Norfolk Island,
an external territory of Australia, in the south west Pacific Ocean. As regards
place names research on Norfolk:

1. Relatively little historical and linguistic research has been done in this field,
2. Norfolk Island presents a prototypical example of toponymy due to its
brief history and isolation,
3. There are several mental and historical maps of naming behaviour on
Norfolk Island which are juxtaposed against actual and current maps and naming practices,
4. There is a genuine lack of knowledge in the Norfolk Island community of
the origin of place names and/or location of many places on the island.

This paper will consider the history of naming on Norfolk Island and the evolution of placenames derived from (1) personal names, (2) other place names and (3) events. Conceptually it will draw on Pidgin and Creole studies, ecolinguistic theory, ethnoclassification and anthropological linguistics in the Pacific.

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