University of Oulu

Taarna Valtonen (2017) Place-Name Loaning Patterns as Cultural Survival Strategies in Sami Contexts. Journal of Northern Studies Vol.11 No. 1 p.53-70

Place-name loaning patterns as cultural survival strategies in Sami contexts

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Author: Valtonen, Taarna1
Organizations: 1Giellagas Institute for Saami Studies, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Umeå Universitet, 2017
Royal Skyttean Society, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-02-15


This paper discusses the place-name loaning patterns of one South Sami and one Inari Sami community that have plenty of parallel names in their area. The time span studied reaches from the end of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. The loaning and borrowing processes are analyzed and interpreted in a thoroughly studied cultural context. The author claims that the differences in loaning reflects different strategies that aim to secure the existence of minority language and culture, and that the place-names have been used as means of manifesting one’s cultural ownership to the land. The most important results based on the quality and distribution of the parallel names in the South Sami area reflects the existence of two separate name systems and a protective purist strategy toward outsiders. In the Inari Sami area the results indicate that the local Sami community has an open and pedagogical strategy towards outsiders and because of this they have shared the language-cultural code to the Finns. The author has been inspired in her study by the ideas presented in the field of ecological linguistics and cultural onomastics. This paper is based on the results of the author’s doctoral dissertation.

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Series: Journal of northern studies
ISSN: 1654-5915
ISSN-L: 1654-5915
Volume: 11
Issue: 1
Pages: 53 - 70
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Funding: I wish to thank the Finnish Cultural Foundation for the grants that made it possible for me to write my doctoral thesis and now continue my work as a post-doctoral researcher. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the Giellagas Institute for Saami Studies at the University of Oulu and my colleagues there for the constant support they have given me over the years.
Copyright information: © The authors and Journal of Northern Studies. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.