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Toponymies between Rhine and Elbe – Onomastics in the European Area

Links to the project

The aim of the project is to record all older place names of the federal state of Bremen, the federal state of Lower Saxony and the Westphalian part of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, additionally, to compile the historical tradition, to present explanations of names made in previous research and to present its own interpretation. The project is carried by the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and it was initiated on January 1, 2005 and approved until December 31, 2029. The results will be published continuously in over 50 single volumes with the names of the single districts in separate volumes. In general, a presentation that is comprehensible also for laymen is pursued.

Toponymies between Rhine and Elbe – Onomastics in the European Area

Toponymies between Rhine and Elbe – Onomastics in the European Area

Host Academy
Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Lower Saxony

Location and federal state
Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia

Editions: Epigraphy and Onomastics

Project number

With this, the project closes a research gap because large areas of this space have not yet been edited onomastically. Since onomastics is a discipline that is linked with other disciplines in many ways, the research results will also be profitable for historical geography and settlement history, archaeology, language and cultural history, social history, agricultural history, history of law or economic history, to name but a few. Because toponyms are partly of old age, they extend far into the preliterate time. In doing so, they can also answer questions concerning settlement movements and very old settlement areas. Simultaneously, the comprehensive examination enables an investigation of differences within the greater area, both onomastically and dialect-geographically. In addition, the wide written tradition permits the precise temporal and spatial follow-up of historic processes of sound change and therefore the possibility to improve the knowledge of Old Low German considerably.

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