Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Slovene exonyms: methodology, standardization, GIS

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.12.00  Humanities  Geography   

Code Science Field
S230  Social sciences  Social geography 
H370  Humanities  Onomastics 
geographical name, exonym, endonym, slovene language, standardization, ortography, geographic information system
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (7)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  24301  PhD David Bole  Humanities  Junior researcher  2008 - 2009  297 
2.  27510  PhD Mateja Breg Valjavec  Humanities  Junior researcher  2008 - 2011  188 
3.  13179  PhD Mauro Hrvatin  Humanities  Researcher  2008 - 2011  360 
4.  07553  PhD Drago Kladnik  Humanities  Head  2008 - 2011  1,160 
5.  21464  PhD Blaž Komac  Humanities  Researcher  2008 - 2011  619 
6.  08294  PhD Drago Perko  Humanities  Researcher  2008 - 2011  1,034 
7.  17073  PhD Mimi Urbanc  Humanities  Researcher  2008 - 2011  442 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  61,076 
The research presents various aspects of the use of exonyms in the Slovenian language. Cartographic use of these geographical names is based on an almost a century and a half long tradition. The problematic of using rendered foreign geographical names in all important Slovenian world atlases, geographical text books on different levels, lexicons, handbook- and academic literature, tourist guides and newspapers will be presented in detail. The exonyms will be worked on based on their regional affiliation and semantic types and also evaluated in relation to the adequateness of their use. With this the use of rendered foreign geographical names will be critically ascertained ands we will be able to ascertain their actual value and reliability from the point of view of onomastics. The collected material will be a basis for the needed standardisation of the exonyms, which is recommended by the resolutions of UN Conferences on the Standardization of Geographical Names. Individual members demand a restriction of the exonym use, which is partly in contrast to the autonomy of the language. We will draw attention to the traditional roots of Slovene exonyms and with that we will try to preserve a rich language heritage of the Slovenian language, which has a rather small number of native speakers. The language could become endangered, if we subdued ourselves to the prevailing principles of dominant international communicating.
Significance for science
Regional-, hydrographic-, relief-, administrative- and place- geographical names, from which the names of the inhabitants derive, are an implicit spiritual, cultural, social, historical and political factor. From these names it is possible to make out many moves of natural, social and characteristic past as well as present, of a single inhabited or uninhabited area on our planet. The problematic of toponomastics is right at the intervening centre of various scientific disciplines, mainly geography, linguistics, history and geodesy or better said cartography. Within the Slovenian geography toponomastics never played a central role, but the interest for it is rising, although some geographers have already in the past been a part of the group, which dealt with the formation of Slovenian world atlases and some regional-geographic textbooks. While doing so, they based their knowledge on their own capabilities and only in the last decades became aware of the international aspects of this topic, which led them to getting better acquainted with it. Even more, some of Slovenian geographers even became their active co-creators. With that, a special place was taken by studying of Slovenian exonyms, with which our experts took an equal part in international studying of this sort. The problematic of geographical names is gaining on its international meaning due to its sensitivity. The role of international professional associations is strengthening. One of these associations is the UNGEGN (United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names), which was formed within the UN in the year 1959. The experts at the UNGEGN strive for the standardization of geographical names all over the globe, due to the necessity of improved communicating. Our presence is felt with the leading of the Working group on exonyms, past presidency of East Central and South-East Europe Division, one of the 21 regional language-geographical workgroups of the UNGEGN, and as well as in leading the internet sites of Working Group on Exonyms and the Working Group on Toponymic Data Files and Gazetteers. Because we must maintain contact with global findings, we systematically processed a corpus of the most frequently used Slovenian exonyms due to our own needs for more uniform usage of exonyms and to facilitate atlas production in the face of increasingly frequent digitization or automation of tasks. The studies that were carried out represent an important contribution to new findings about toponomastics. The research will contribute to the preservation of national identity and of the rich Slovenian language heritage and is because of that an important contribution to the studying of the Slovenian language. The formed collection of exonyms will be a small stone in the mosaic of national collections. It will be always possible to add new data and also gather data from the existing collection about the exonym use in our society. The collection will also be a proof of using exonyms in the past. With this approach we will contribute to the international acknowledgement of Slovenian science, which has already in the past become known with articles on the mentioned subject. Proving the actual use of Slovenian exonyms will, with the help of experts from various linguistic areas with similar views, restrict and restrain the consequences of the interventions made by the birocracy of wide international community, which are seen through the restrictive resolutions of the UN Conferences on the Standardization of Geographical Names. To date, this topic has not been included in any of the syllabuses for undergraduate or graduate geography programs at any Slovenian university, and so students have been unable to learn more about it. It is hoped that the attitude toward it will gradually change as it appears more frequently in geographical periodicals and other literature. The studies that were carried out and the publication of their findings have helped promote historical geogra
Significance for the country
The unification of exonym use within the public, scientific and professional usage will enable an unambiguous identification of the named features and objects. The exonym use will be easier, which will also disburden the work-load of grammar experts, which are in charge of abolishing mistakes in texts. Some gaps of the dictionary part of the Slovenian orthography will be filled with the prepared index of names. With the use of information' digital databases within the preparation of atlases of the world, the idea of an integrated collection of Slovenian exonyms and their standardization is becoming more and more actual, because less sources will be needed to publish the material. The standardized Slovenian exonyms will contribute to a more qualitative classes of geography on a level of primary school, high school and even university and other spatial sciences on an university level. This will also prove the public's long-term-paid attention to the proper use of exonyms. A register of recommended exonyms will also be published with which the international vault of geographical names will be enriched and will with that become a part of the international language heritage. The published list of recommended exonyms will become an important reference resource and will also enrich the international treasury of such names and become part of global linguistic heritage. The work was elaborated in collaboration with the experts of the Commission for the Standardization of Geographical Names of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia (KSZI VRS). Because of its involvement in international circles (the representation of Slovenia at the UN Conferences on the Standardization of Geographical Names and at meetings of the East Central and South-East Europe Regional Language-geographical Division of the UNGEGN) and current political affairs (i.e. the prevention of rendering Slovenian geographical names in international prospects, like for the example the attempt of some Croatian politicians of renaming Piranski zaliv) Slovenia shouldn't be inactive in the field of studying geographical names. Also KSZI VRS, which aim was in the past years many times underestimate or even misunderstood by the state, shouldn't be inactive in its actions. For now, the state still hasn't assured proper financing for its necessary activities.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Views history