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Topographical Names and Protection of Linguistic Minorities

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Giuseppe de Vergottini and Valeria Piergigli

The protection of linguistic minorities through the conservation or restoration of traditional toponyms, in the areas of traditional settlement, involves (albeit by different approaches) all pluralistic and plurilingual legal systems. Despite the apparent favour of recovery of traditional toponomastics and legal protection of linguistic minorities, the right to use traditional place-names is often assigned minor rank in the hierarchy of minority protection measures and the formal legal provisions sometimes are ineffective or contradicted when implemented. This book is conceived in an attempt to understand these mechanisms, of which there has not yet been any full legal analysis. In consideration of the specificity and multidisciplinary character of the subject, the research contained in this volume includes contributions by linguists, glottologists and historians, as well as papers on the European legislation of linguistic minorities’ toponomastics in a comparative perspective.
Contents: Carlo Alberto Mastrelli: Toponomastics and its partitions – Daniela Giaimo: The history of place names in Alto Adige/Südtirol: origin, development and sources of Italian toponomastics in the Burgraviato area of Merano and in Val Venosta in relation to German diction – Davide Rossi: Along the streets of Trieste. Roads, culture and law between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Italian Republic – Peter Hilpold: Topographic names and international law – Valeria Piergigli: The legal regulation of toponomastics in Italian law and the specific situation in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol – Gugliemo Cevolin: Protection of linguistic minorities and toponomastics in the Italian region Friuli-Venezia Giulia – Antonella Benazzo: The languages of France and toponomastics – Susanna Mancini: Belgium: only by name? Vanishing federalism and invisible minorities – Peter Hilpold: Topographic naming in Austria – Lidija R. Basta Fleiner/Thomas Fleiner: Topographical names and minority rights: the case of Switzerland – Dewi Llŷr Jones: Place names and minority language protection in the United Kingdom – Giovanni Poggeschi: Place names in Spain: the prominence of the linguistic pluralism of the Estado autonómico – Francesco Palermo: Minority protection and regulation of place names in Croatia – Carlo Casonato: Toponomastics as an instrument of protection and valorisation of the Italian community in Slovenia – Boris Krivokapić: Toponomastics and protection of ethnic (national) minorities: legislation and practice of the Republic of Serbia – Sergiu Constantin: Linguistic rights and minority toponymy in Romania – Orsolya Farkas: Geographical indications as means of protection of minorities: the situation in Hungary – Valeria Piergigli: Concluding remarks.