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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Akademie Verlag 2012

Exploration of Deutsch-Kamerun: a toponymic approach

Brigitte Weber

Abstract

This paper reflects the geographical and linguistic situation which the first German explorers encountered after the signing of the protection treaties with the Duala Kings and the ensuing occupation towards the South and the North of the country – blank spots on their maps hitherto. They had to come to terms with a heterogeneous language situation. In most areas language names also refer to tribes, peoples, rivers, mountains and places of settlement. Some of the place names were taken over by the Germans, some were reshaped due to misapprehension and misinterpretation, and some new German “Stations” – administrative or missionary – were named after German places or famous people. The areas of North West- and South West Provinces are more investigated. My main informant, a professor from the only English university of Cameroon, Buëa, provided information from these provinces, the British part of the republic of Cameroon. With the help of Deutsches Koloniallexikon and the maps there, some more information could be obtained on places for German “stations” and the geographical environment where the different activities had taken place.