Italian colonial toponymy is an underresearched field of study, especially with reference to Libya. Some contributions exist concerning the final stage of Italian colonialism, when linguistic practices mainly aimed to Italianize the colonial space. This paper investigates the initial stage of Italian colonialism in Libya, with a specific focus on the internal debate concerning the transcription of Libyan place names and the role of Italian Orientalists. After a concise survey of the main scholars who animated the scientific debate and took active part in the colonial enterprise, the paper discusses two different handbooks for the transcription of Libyan place names, highlighting their different approach to the matter.
Whereas Scandinavian place names from the Viking colonization of the British Isles and Normandy are well-studied, the toponymy of the extra- European colonies administered by Denmark (-Norway) from 1620 to 1979 - i.e. Tranquebar, Danish Guinea, Danish West Indies and Greenland - has hardly received any scholarly attention at all. This chapter provides a short introduction to the history of the overseas colonies of Denmark-Norway, with a special focus on its toponomastic aspects. This if followed by a presentation of a planned project on Danish colonial place-naming policies and practices in the Danish West Indies (now U.S. Virgin Islands) and Greenland.
This paper represents an extended version of an application sent to the Danish Independent Research Fund in 2018 for a research project about the language ecology in the Danish West Indies, a Danish colony from 1672 until 1917. Based on the analysis of DWI newspapers, handwritten documents and place-naming practices, the aim of the research project was to investigate which role the colonial language Danish played in the multilingual reality of the DWI whether the Danish language in the DWI became different than contemporary Danish in Denmark, and, more generally, to investigate functions of bilingualism, language attitudes and language policy in colonial communities.
The paper analyses colonial place names as multi-dimensional linguistic phenomena regarding their function in place-making as well as in displaying different layers of colonial power. Based on extensive toponymic data from the former German colonies, it is shown that three general contradictions of colonialism manifest themselves in the creation of place by means of language. In this respect, the classification of geo-objects via toponymic classifier elements plays an often neglected, yet most relevant part. Regarding the project of Comparative Colonial Toponomastics, the paper argues for closer investigation into areal differences, types of classification, a focus on colonial areas and the obvious relevance of compounds in colonial place-naming.