Maps meet myths: Understanding Jahai place naming through Geographical Information Systems

Julia Villette, Niclas Burenhult, Ross Purves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Placenames are seemingly universal, with the potential to reveal different systems of organizing information in everyday communication. We report on the relationship between placenames in Jahai, an indigenous language spoken by the Jahai people of the Malay Peninsula, and the environment. Our approach explores the tendency to organize names using a hierarchy of kinship associated with the cnεl, mythological entities in origin stories, which appears to map onto catchment areas. By associating linguistic data with these ethnographic inputs and geographical properties calculated in a Geographic Information System, we generate and make suggestions for productive ways of understanding placenames as systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalJournal of Linguistic Geography
Volume10
Issue number1
Early online date2022 May 2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics

Keywords

  • place names
  • landscape
  • myths
  • Geographical Information System
  • Jahai

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