Naming Swamps and Avalanches: Place Names in Tyrol and Louisiana

Professor Gerhard Rampl

Place-names are generated by humans as language-users in response to their environment. In terms of geographical environment Tyrol and Louisiana are, in fact, extremely different: the first an inner Alpine country with no access to open waters, the second a southern Mississippi-state with extensive swamp lands and coastal marshlands. The lecture will show how these differences are reflected in the respective place names.

Gerhard Rampl is a Visiting Professor from the University of Innsbruck in UNO’s Department of English and Foreign Languages in the fall semester 2016; he serves as part of the faculty exchange between UNO and the University of Innsbruck. He is a Senior Scientist with the Department of Languages and Literatures: Linguistics at the University of Innsbruck. In 2011/12 he was Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) conducting the project "Communicating Location in Emergency Calls". He is Coordinator for Toponymic Guidelines for map and other editors with the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN). His research interests include Onomastics, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Conversation Analysis (CA).