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Identifying migrants in medieval England: the possibilities and limitations of place-name evidence

Carroll, Jayne

Identifying migrants in medieval England:  the possibilities and limitations of place-name evidence Thumbnail


Authors

JAYNE CARROLL JAYNE.CARROLL@NOTTINGHAM.AC.UK
Professor of Early English and Name-Studies



Contributors

J. Story
Editor

W.M. Ormrod
Editor

E.M. Tyler
Editor

Abstract

Many English place-names came into existence in the early medieval period as descriptive, meaningful phrases (‘the river estate’, ‘the clear stream’, ‘Edward’s farm’, and so on).They evolved in the conversation of ordinary people as they referred to familiar places. Over time, these phrases underwent loss of sense in the process of ‘nomination’ (becoming a name). In other words, the meaning that they bore as descriptions was lost, as they came to refer (point to a place) rather than to carry sense (describe that place), thus becoming ‘fossilised’ as names. Other place-names may have been deliberately bestowed, as meaningful administrative labels by those in positions of power, for example, or to commemorate particular events.2 They too underwent a similar process of fossilisation. Whatever the precise circumstances of evolution, place-names can yield valuable information about the periods in which they first arose, if they are handled carefully.

Acceptance Date Dec 11, 2019
Publication Date Aug 20, 2020
Deposit Date Sep 5, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 21, 2022
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Series Title Proccedings of the British Academy
Series ISSN 0068-1202
Book Title Migrants in Medieval England, c. 500-1500
Chapter Number 4
ISBN 9780197266724
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1124293
Related Public URLs https://global.oup.com/academic/product/migrants-in-medieval-england-c-500-c-1500-9780197266724?lang=en&cc=gb

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